What I Read: March

Welcome to the second instalment of What I Read, which I’m hoping to make a monthly series (if I remember) all about what I’ve read each month, ranging from mini reviews to general recommendations. I like this idea because often I feel pressure to write long reviews about everything I’m reading, but the thing is… I don’t really like to read detailed book reviews. Why should I write them? I’m excited to carry on with this series and have more time to write about my broader interests, such as art and film. Catch my February post here.

This month I read a lot, I’m not even including everything in this post! This month was also inadvertently themed around a pretty big subject: anxiety. Each of the following books has a main character that deals with anxiety in various ways. The books are also, as usual, about love.

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What I Read: February

Hello and welcome to a new series of posts: What I Read. Each month I am going to wrap up my reading for the month (or the highlights). Here’s February… a little late, March will be coming at you next week!

My goal for February, what with it being love month and all that, was to read as many books with a romantic theme. This wasn’t difficult for me because my automatic reflex is to turn to a romance novel. Want to relax? Read romance. Want to cry? Read romance. Want to generally feel things? I. Read. Romance. In February, I decided to go for extra comfort (and test out the new reread function on Goodreads) by revisiting some of my favourite books, as well as a cute, new to me graphic novel.

what i read feb

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“Want fries with that?”

In defence of English degrees and doing whatever the hell you like.

This morning I saw a tweet from bestselling author, Diana Gabaldon, about her advice for aspiring authors who are choosing a university major. On the subject of English majors she said: “English major = “Want fries with that?” Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want.” And ever since I saw that I have been stewing for a number of reasons.

Before I start, I want to say that this post is not really going to be about Diana Gabaldon. I don’t have any strong feelings against her. I’ve never read any of her books but I’m sure she is a very good writer. We all say silly things on the internet now and then so what I mostly want to discuss is why the idea in her tweet seems problematic to me.

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Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor


I want to start this review with a long, dreamy sigh. Okay, that’s sorted, let’s get into it. Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor is a gorgeous book, it might even be among one of my favourites of the year and it’s only February!

wishbonesWishbones is all about a teenaged girl called Feather who lives in a very small English town where nothing much goes on. Except everything goes on in this book as we follow Feather through six life changing months in her young life. It starts on New Year’s Eve, Feather comes home to discover her mum, one of Britain’s most obese women, in a diabetic coma. This horrific experience pushes Feather into action as she decides to take it upon herself to make her mum better before she eats herself to death. Alongside this, Feather is an avid swimmer and is training towards winning the Junior UK Swimming Championships, so it’s safe to say that she’s got a lot on her mind. As she tries to help her mother, she discovers all kinds of shocking secrets about her family. The story is gripping with lots of intrigue and manages to tie lots of different storylines and ideas up into a complex and coherent novel.

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Christmas/Birthday Book Haul

Because I love being late to the party, here’s my Christmas book haul. Expect my January book haul sometime in the next year or two… I must get better at this whole blogging thing! Anyway. I love Christmas. It’s a great excuse for me to add lots of lovely books to my TBR pile without feeling guilty for spending money on them, BECAUSE IT AIN’T MY MONEY. HAHAHA!

These are the books I received for Christmas/my Birthday/bought myself in the sales because I have no self-control. I hope you enjoy the list, I think each of them makes a great gift so if you’re looking for any inspiration for upcoming birthday presents for loved ones, or maybe even Valentine’s Day gifts, these are some pretty good choices!


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2017 Reading Resolutions

I am a pretty voracious reader, always have been and (hopefully) always will be. I think I read a respectable amount, especially whilst juggling a full time job with a social life and other commitments. But each year I go in and out of reconfidence-in-sunshineading slumps and it’s always tough to dig my way out. I’ve found, however, that a very effective way of getting back on the ball is to set reading goals and challenges – such as the Goodreads yearly challenge. I took part last year and read 31 books out of a goal of 30.

So, for 2017, I’ve decided to carry on creating some fun reading goals for myself to hopefully inspire me to read more widely. Here we go!

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… And a Happy New Year?

nyeSo, here’s the thing: I don’t really like trilogies at the moment. Or duologies. Or series of any length really. I haven’t read a full series of books since I was in university and I was devouring The Hunger Games in the back row of a Critical Theory lecture. But despite my current feelings of hesitation towards emotionally investing in a long series of books, I’m here to shout about the one trilogy I did read this year and why you should read it too.

I’m talking, of course, about the Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne. Comprised of three books, Am I Normal Yet? (#1), How Hard Can Love Be? (#2) and What’s a Girl Gotta Do? (#3), the Spinster Club series follows Evie, Amber and Lottie, three young girls attending college in the UK, as they navigate an array of trials and tribulations. Each book focuses on a different character, delving deeper into their lives and personalities, whilst tackling some pretty important subject matter. For example, the first novel in the series, Am I Normal Yet?, follows Evie who is just trying to keep it together, juggling starting a new sixth form college with recovering from a mental illness. It’s such a sad, inspiring read, that portrays mental illness in an honest and heartbreaking way. It also perfectly introduces our cast of strong and intelligent female characters that lead the series and build the Spinster Club (later known as FemSoc), an outlet for their feminist musings – and an opportunity to eat an abundance of chocolate and cheese.

The rest of the novels also focus on some interesting topics, touching on family problems, first loves and standing up for what you believe in – even if others want to pull you back down. But overall, the Spinster Club series is about love, friendship, feminism (!) and it makes my heart happy. It is an exceptional set of YA novels and I just want everyone to read them. The best part about the series is that it’s finished, so you won’t have to spend hours tearing your hair out waiting for the next installment. Plus! Holly Bourne recently released a final, special novel to round off the series, … And a Happy New Year?, which features all three girls equally and ties up their stories very nicely. Set, as you might expect, on New Years’ Eve, it’s time to say goodbye to the Spinsters.

As it’s New Years’ Eve tonight, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to chat about these books and show off my copy of … And a Happy New Year? It’s the only one of the series I actually physically own, opting to read the others on my Kindle, and I think it’s the best one to own by far. The cover design, the colours used and the gold foiling makes the book look and feel like a gorgeous, glittering gift. It’s going to be the perfect addition to my bookshelf, and (I’m hoping) maybe it will serve as a good luck charm to make 2017 a very happy year indeed.



The Reading Group: January by Della Parker

the-reading-group-januaryI was a little bit disappointed to jump into this without reading the first book in the series (The Reading Group: December), but was pleased to see that this didn’t matter at all with regards to the cohesion and my enjoyment of the novel.
If you are looking for a sweet, light and romantic read, this is the one for you. It follows Anne-Marie, a self-proclaimed matchmaker who is far more interested in helping the singletons of Little Sanderton find love than she is in finding it for herself. But matchmaking isn’t as simple as it seems and, much like the heroine of the Reading Group’s latest read, Emma by Jane Austen, Anne-Marie finds herself in a bit of a mess.

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Notes on a Dark Day

Last night, like a night last June, I bit my fingers to pieces. The cuts my teeth left turning the skin infected, hot and red. But nevertheless, I went to sleep confident that I’d be waking up in a world I’d still want to be in.

Last June, I had to vote. An easy choice with only two possible options. Remain or Leave. In or Out. A vote that resulted in an unexpectedly historic outcome. Like today, I woke in a sweat, already somehow knowing, long before I checked my phone. Before I saw messages from friends. Messages that read things such as “I feel sick” and “How could this happen?”. Today, I woke up to almost the same messages of fear and nausea, this time for events happening thousands of miles away.

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