Predictions For The Women’s Prize For Fiction Longlist 2021

February, 25th, 2021

Hi Readers!

This year more than ever we all need something to look forward to, and for me that is the Woman’s Prize For Fiction Longlist announcement!

For the past few years I have tried to both predict and read the longlist for this prize and it’s always such an amazing selection of diverse books chosen by a wonderful panel of readers. I’ve been thinking about this list, I kid you not, since January…

Normally I would have liked to have read a lot of these, but I am so behind on new releases because of the libraries being closed so I have only read three of them. But I’ve tried to make educated guesses, I’ve taken other peoples reviews into account and these are the 16 books I think have a good chance of making it.

Luster by Raven Leilani
I’ve been seeing this around a lot in the past few weeks. I don’t know how it escaped my noticed last year, but it definitely sounds like something the women’s prize judges could be looking for in a longlisted novel.

Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden
Another one I’ve heard from SavidgeReads and, I mean, this follows the wife of Death. Does anymore need to be said? I’ll be reading this soon either way.

The Manningtree Witches by A.K Blakemore
I’m currently reading this one, and I just think this is something that really fits the themes of the women’s prize. It’s all about the witch trials that took place in a small town in Essex in the 17th century.

We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
I’ve only just discovered this book, but it sounds phenomenol and, again either way I’ll be reading it. But it does sound like a women’s prize longlistee.

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
I’ve mostly heard Simon from SavidgeReads talk about this and he has nothing but praise for it.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Donoghue is an author I’ve been meaning to read more of, so I think me wanting her latest book on this years longlist just so it gives me the push to pick it up.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson
I actually DNFed this last Summer, but I was distracted and didn’t give it much of a chance. I can’t ignore the praise it’s received, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on this years longlist.

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha
I so nearly read this one last Summer, and do still hope to. This is one that has so much praise, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t on the longlist.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
I know the longlist doesn’t always have much fantasy on it, but seeing as this is kind of based on mythology, it may have a chance.

Transcendent Kingdom Yaa Gyasi
Gyasi’s second book has garnered a lot of positive reviews. I’m sure it’s on the judges raider, I hope it makes it!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
This was a huge release in 2020. Everyone and their mother read it! But I also think this is such phenomenol book, if it makes the longlist, it has a real chance of winning the whole thing.

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
I don’t really know anything about this book if I’m honest. But the author has been norminated before so I wanted to at least mention it.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
I wasn’t the biggest fan of her dystopia book ‘Station Eleven’ but this one sounds much more up my alley and, I think, sounds like a possible women’s prize longlisted book.

Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey
I wanted to go for at least one book I haven’t heard that much about, as the judges always seem to pick a book like this out of the bag. I think this is about a woman who feels like an outsider, and it’s Irish lit. I think these are things the judges could like.

Rodham by Curtis Suttenfield
Most people I think are assuming this will be on the list. It made waves when it was released, and whilst I haven’t read it myself, it definitely sounds intriguing.

A Net For Small Fishes by Lucy Jago
Could this be this years ‘Hamnet’? This is based on a real scandal that ‘rocked James I’s court’ and I just love the sound of that.

We only have another couple of weeks to wait before we find out how far off I am. I’m sure this is way off. The prize always has a few books I hadn’t heard of before and I can’t wait to get introduced to them.

Which book do you hope will make this years longlist and are you excited for this book prize?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Reading Bloggers 2020 Favourite Books | Part One Thoughts

February 23rd, 2021

Hi Readers!

Earlier in January I set myself a challenge to read 10 books that other book bloggers had put on their favourite books of 2020 lists. I split it into two parts and I’ll still have to wait for the libraries to open before getting to part two (April 12th people!) but I’ve just finished the first five and I’m excited to talk about them.

Here’s the initial post if you want to know more: Reading Bloggers Favourite Books of 2020

So far it’s been a bit hit or miss. A couple of the books I absolutely loved, but one I couldn’t make it to page 100 and in hindsight I’m not too shocked about that. It just goes to show how individuel books can be and how one persons favourite could be another persons DNF.

Here are my thoughts on the first five I’ve read, and make sure you go check out the bloggers who recommended them. They have great taste in books, I can assure you.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

One of KBbookreviews favourites of 2020

This became a favourite, for sure. I didn’t think it was perfect, but it’s storytelling and atmosphere took me to another world, and I think we could all use that right now. It’s cosy, it’s magical, it’s pure escapism for the reader.

Full Review

The Muse by Jessie Burton

One of FacingTheStory‘s Favourite Books of 2020

I have a bit more mixed feelings about this one. This is a beautifully told story, don’t get me wrong. But I just didn’t quite click with it. I normally like a slow build, but the ending of this one just didn’t pay off for me, and I did struggle through it. I’m glad I read it though. I’ve been curious about this one for a long time and the writing really was very beautiful.

Full Review

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

One of Naty’sBookshelf Favourite Books of 2020

This is a very powerful and personal account on racism in America. It’s a heartfelt letter from father to son about the racial discrimination he has faced in his life. The words are honest and informative, and I found myself mentally highlighting so many passages of this book (it was a library copy, otherwise my highlighter would’ve definitely been out). A must read for everyone.

Full Review

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One of ChoiceofMagic’s Favourite Books of 2020

This was the book I DNFed, and I really shouldn’t be surprised by that. I’ve had this on my shelf for a few years and I’ve put off reading it many times, citing it just ‘wasn’t the right moment’. But if I’m honest with myself, it’s because this book just doesn’t excite me.

I got about 80 pages in and I realised I was just plodding along, not really taking the story in, and decided life is too short and my TBR is too long to be reading books that aren’t interesting me. I can’t put my finger on why this didn’t work for me. Honestly, it made my head hurt and my eyes sleepy.

The Martian by Andy Weir

One of TheUnchartedWorld‘s Favourite Books of 2020

To end on a high note, Azia’s list made me finally pick up a book that has been sitting on my shelf for literally years. I’ve put it off for so long, convinced that because it’s science fiction I wouldn’t enjoy it. But Mark Watney quickly became a new favourite character with his dry, dark sense of humour. I wasn’t expecting this to be funny, but it was.

Full Review

I still have five books from my list to read, but they’ll have to wait until April now, as it’s been announced that will bewhen libraries can reopen! I’m so excited to get to them, so look out for part two of my thoughts then!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

New Book Releases | March 2021

February 17th, 2021

Hi Readers!

Another month of book releases is coming our way and here are some of the most exciting!

YA Contemporary

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales Wednesday Books
Releases: March 9th
About: Bi girl gives great dating advice. Sucks at dating herself.

Yolk by Mary H.K Choi Simon and Schuster
Releases: March 2nd
About: Estranged sisters come together when one of them is dying.

Once Upon A Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira HarpeTeen
Releases: March 2nd
About: Unpaid Summer internship leads Carmen being forced to dance with her most regrettable ex.

Follow Your Arrow by Jess Verdi Scholastic
Releases: March 2nd
About: Internet famous Cece falls for internet hater Josh

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre Underlined
Releases: March 2nd
About: Rival film makers start to see each other through a different lense

Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore Bloomsbury
Releases: March 9th
About: Genderqueer teen takes a stand against discriminatory high school

Bruised by Tanya Boteju Simon Pulse
Releases: March 23rd
About: Daya, grieving her recently passed parents, becomes hooked to roller derby.

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert Simon Schuster
Releases: March 9th
About: Beth and her tight-knit circle of friends make a pact to protect their friend Jason.

Adult Contemporary

Just Like In The Movies by Heidi Rice HarperCollins
Releases: March 12th
About: Celebrated film maker leaves his lifes work to friend and nephew who clash.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown Berkley Books
Releases: March 9th
About: Third book in the Brown Sisters series.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai Berkley Books
Releases: March 16th
About: Childhood sweethearts become fake fiances

Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman Atria Books
Releases: March 2nd
About: Follows three generations of a boisterous Irish family.

Mystery/Thriller

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson William Morrow
Releases: March 23rd
About: Brides one-night stand shows up on her honeymoon.

The Lake by Natasha Preson Delacorte Press
Releases: March 2nd
About: A summer camp full of secrets.

She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard Henry Holt & Co
Releases: March 30th
About: YA thriller inspired by The Picture of Dorian Grey

Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering St Martin’s Press
Released: March 2nd
About: Can Skye trust the man who’s just proposed to her?

Historical Fiction

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi Penguin, Viking
Releases: March 4th
About: Follows a Ghanaian family in Alabama

You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham Lake Union Publishing
Releases: March 25th
About: A secret family history of love, anguish and betrayal

Bones of a Saint by Grant Farley Soho Teen
Releases: March 2nd
About: Coming-of-age set in the ’70s

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner Legend Press
Releases: March 2nd
About: A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn William Marrow
Releases: March 9th
About: A World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

Of Women and Salt by Gabriel Garcia Flatiron Books
Releases: March 30th
About: A daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born.

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore Granta Books
Releases: March 4th
About: The English witch trials.

Sci/Fi & Fantasy

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare Margaret K. McElderry
Releases: March 2nd
About: Book Two in the Last Hours trilogy.

Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab Scholastic
Releases: March 2nd
About: Third book in the Cassidy Blake series.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo Orion
Releases: March 30th
About: Book Two in King of Scars duology.

Lost In the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas Swoon Reads
Releases: March 23rd
About: Peter Pan retelling.

Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera Quill Tree Books
Releases: March 2nd
About: Delayed Book Two in Infinity Cycle

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft Wednesday Books
Releases: March 2nd
About: He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.

The Queens Secret by Melissa De La Cruz G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
Releases: March 2nd
About: Book two in The Queens Secret duology.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro Knopf
Releases: March 2nd
About: Klara is an Artificial Friend who remains hopeful a customer will someday choose her.

Non-Fiction

You’re History by Lesley Crow Repeater Books
Releases: March 9th
About: Raucous, sensual and sublime: how twelve pioneering female artists rewrote the rules of pop.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez Abrams Press
Releases: March 2nd
About: This non-fiction about data bias in a world designed by men comes out in paperback.

What book release are you most looking forward to this March?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

11 Books To Read If You Enjoyed Netflix’s Bridgerton

February 15th, 2021

Hi Readers!

I finally finished watching Sonderland and Netflix’s Bridgerton this week, and now I’m feeling that empty hole in my life that needs to be filled, and I’m sure a lot of you are feeling that as well. To help you get through the wait whilst they film season 2, here are some books that reminds me the Bridgerton.

The Bridgerton Books by Julia Quinn

This is an obvious one. But if you’ve only watched the TV show you have to know that it is in fact based on an eight book historical romance series. Each book follows a different Bridgerton sibling and they all have similar tropes of hate to love or forbidden romances. They’re a lot of fun, I’d highly recommend.

The first season of Bridgerton is based on The Duke and I, but there is also The Viscount Who Loves Me, An Offer From a Gentleman, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, To Sir Phillip, With Love, When He Was Wicked, It’s In His Kiss and On The Way To The Wedding.

Rokesbys Series by Julia Quinn

This is a prequel series to The Bridgertons following the romantic endeavors of the generation before Daphne and her siblings. The first book follows Billie Bridgerton, who would be Daphne’s aunt (her fathers older sister). So if you’ve finished the Bridgerton series but are dying for me, give these a go.

It’s still ongoing, but so far we have Because of Miss Bridgerton, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband, The Other Miss Bridgerton and First Comes Scandal (just published last year).

Jane Austen

If you fell in love with the regency era whilst watching Bridgerton then you need a bit of Austen in your life. Her writing is equisite and has all the balls, gossip and matchmaking that Bridgerton has. I actually see The Duke and I (which is the book the first series is based on) as a Pride and Prejudice retelling. Although I’m sure Austen would be scandalised by what the characters get up to…

Luxe by Anna Godberson

If it’s the gossip girl vibes you enjoyed, than this series following the high society of the New York scene in the late 19th century is one you should give a go. We follow the young New York societals as they party till dawn and find themselves embralled in scandals and messy hook ups.

Tessa Dare’s Books

I haven’t actually read any of these myself, but if you want more tropey historical romance books I’ve heard great things about her Castles Ever After series.

Vanity Fair by William Thackery

Set in the same time period, Daphne Bridgerton, Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair) and Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) could have been attending the same balls and trying to snatch up the same eligible bachelors. This books follows Becky as she tries to climb her way up the ranks of society in the most devious of ways. The ITV adaptation of this even stars Claudia Jessie, who plays everyones favourite Bridgerton Eloise.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

If you’re more interested in what’s happening downstairs and want an inside look into the life of a servant, give this retelling of Pride and Prejudice a try. After reading this book, you will feel a lot of sympathy for those maids and carriage drivers!

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Soon to be a Netflix film itself, The Selection is all about the Prince of a dystopian kingdom finding a match amongst a group of thiry-five girls. Think Bridgerton meets The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.

Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

If your favourite character in Bridgerton was Eloise, then a more feminist historical romance might be just what you’re looking for. This one follows Annabelle, the daughter of a destitute vicar and among the first cohort of female students admitted to Oxford University where she finds herself become highly involved in the rising female suffrage movement.

A Lady’s Guide To Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins

What if Lady Whistledown didn’t just report on societal gossip, but also murder? In 1865 Lady Katherine Bascomb is Englands most norotious newspaper columnist and thinks it’s her mission to report on the nefarious and deadly criminals who prey on the fairer sex, when she witnesses a murder herself.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

If you want more of the ‘fake dating’ trope then there is a whole library for you to read, but To All The Boys is my personal favourite.

Hopefully these books will help get us all through the wait for season 2 of Bridgerton!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Page To Screen | Every Book To Movie Adaptation Coming In 2021 (that i know of…)

January 28th, 2021

Hi Readers!

2020 ended up being a bit of a dud year for movie releases with most of them getting cancelled or delayed due to cinema’s being closed (thanks Covid). Online streaming ended up being the saving grace for the flm industry and it’s where most of these adaptations will be released this upcoming year…

Films

The White Tiger
Netflix – January 22nd
Book: Aravind Adiga
Starring: Priyanka Chopra and Adarsh Gourav

The Dig
Netflix – January 14th
Book: John Preston
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Lily James and Ralph Fiennes

Fear Street Trilogy
Netflix – ?
Book: Fear Street by R.L. Stine
Starring: Sadie Sink

To All The Boys: Always and Forever
Netflix – February 12th
Book: Jenny Han
Starring: Lana Condor and Noah Centineo

There’s Someone Inside Your House
Netflix – February
Book: Stephenie Perkins
Starring: Sydney Park and Theodore Pellerin

Moxie
Netflix – March 3rd
Book: Jennifer Mathieu
Starring: Josephine Langford and Patrick Schwarzenegger

The Last Letter From Your Lover
Netflix – March 12th
Book: Jojo Moyes
Starring: Shailene Woodley and Joe Alwyn

The Woman In The Window
Netflix – ?
Book: A.J. Finn
Starring: Amy Adams

A Boy Called Christmas
Netflix – November
Book: Matt Haig
Starring: Henry Lawfull, Maggie Smith, Sally Hawkins and Kristen Wiig

Without Remorse
Prime Video – February 25th
Book: Tom Clancy
Starring: Mihael B. Jordon and Lauren London

Cherry
Apple TV – February 26th
Book: Nico Walker
Starring: Tom Holland

French Exit
Theatres – February 12th
Book: Patrick Dewitt
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges

The Nightingale
Theatres – ?
Book: Kristen Hannah
Starring: Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning

Two Kisses For Maddy
Theatres – April 30th
Book: Matthew Logelin
Starring: Kevin Hart

Marry Me
Theatres – June 18th
Book: Bobby Crosby
Starring: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez

Dune
Theatres & HBO Max – October 1st
Book: Frank Herbert
Starring: Timothy Chalamet and Zendaya

Infinite
Theatres – May 21st
Book: Reinarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz
Starring: Dylan O’Brien and Mark Wahlberg

Cruella
Disney+ – May 26th
Book: 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith
Starring: Emma Stone

Deep Water
Theatres – August 13th
Book: Patricia Highsmith
Starring: Ana De Armas and Ben Affleck

The Last Duel
Theatres – October 15th
Book: Eric Jamer
Starring: Jodie Comer, Adam Driver and Matt Damon

The Power of the Dog
Netflix – ?
Book: Thomas Savage
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Thomasin McKenzie and Kristen Dunst

Blonde
Netflix – ?
Book: Joyce Carol Oates
Starring: Ana De Armas and Evan Williams

Chaos Walking
Theatres – March 5th
Book: Patrick Ness
Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley and Nick Jonas

TV Series

Firefly Lane
Netflix – February 3rd
Book: Kristen Hannah
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke and Ben Lawson

Shadow and Bone
Netflix – April 23rd
Book: Leigh Bardugo
Starring: Ben Barnes and Jessie Mei Li

The Handmaids Tale (S4)
Hulu – ?
Book: Margaret Atwood
Starring: Elisabeth Moss

Anatamy Of A Scandal
Netflix – ?
Book: Sarah Vaughan
Starring: Rupert Friend, Sienna Miller and Michelle Dockery

Nine Perfect Strangers
Hulu – ?
Book: Liane Moriarty
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans

Conversations With Friends
Hulu – ?
Book: Sally Rooney
(Cast not yet known)

You (Season 3)
Netflix – ?
Book: Caroline Kepnes
Cast: Penn Badgley

More that have been confirmed, but probably won’t come in 2021…

Heartstopper
Netflix
Book: Alice Oseman

Daisy Jones and The Six
Amazon
Book: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Cast: Riley Keough & Sam Claflin

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Freeform
Book: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Percy Jackson And the Olympians
Disney+
Book: Rick Riordan

Bridgerton Season 2
Netflix
Book: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

I’m sure there are more, but these are what I could find so far. What are you most excited for?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Reading Bloggers Favourite Books Of 2020 | TBR

January 21st, 2021

Hi Readers!

This is something I started doing a couple of years ago and really look forward to it every year. I love learning what peoples favourite books of the year where, and I love reading some of the books myself to see which bloggers I have a similar reading taste to.

This has been made a little bit more difficult to complete this year as libraries are currently closed in my area due to Covid. But I’ve found a way I can still do it, it will just take me a little longer.

From all the ‘Favourite Books’ posts I’ve read I have chosen 10 books that I will read. But I won’t be reading them all in January.

Five of these books I own so I can read them straight away, no problem. The other five I have reserved from the library and the minute they open (hopefully no later than March, but you never know) I’ll check them out and revisit this later on in the year.

Here are the five books I’ll be reading in January/early February.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern // KBbookreviews

I remember attempting to read this, but I ended up not finishing it as it needed returning to the library (although I did mark it as read on goodreads). Luckily, I got it for Christmas, so I can dedicate time to it now. I somewhat remember the beginning but have no idea what happens after the first quarter. Kat says this book is a hit or miss book and I’m hoping it’s a massive hit for me.

One Hundred Years Of Solitude // ChoiceOfMagic

Cristina makes this book sound so magical and I have had it sitting on my shelf for far too long. I haven’t really given the genre of magical realism a try, and this seems like the place to start.

The Martian by Andy Weir // TheUnchartedWorld

I’ve actually put off reading this because I know sci-fi just isn’t a genre I enjoy. But to this day I still hear so much praise for this book, so I think it’s time I give it a go. At least I’ll finally know whether I’m right or not.

The Muse by Jessie Burton // FacingTheStory

This is one I was able to get out of the library before they closed, so when I saw it on Darina’s list, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to read it. I’ve read one of Burton’s books before, The Miniaturist, and I remember being struck by how beautiful the writing was and I’m hoping this will be just as good.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates // NatysBookshelf

Naty put this as one of her favourite memoirs of 2020 and it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I believe it’s a letter Coates wrote to his son about the racial issues in America and I’m sure this will be incredible.

Books I’ll have to wait before I get to them…

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo // TheInharmoniousheroine

This is a 2020 release I never got to, which confuses me because Elizabeth Acevedo is one of my favourite authors. I was reminded of it when I saw it on quite a few bloggers ‘favourites of 2020,’ but I first saw it on Liza’s. I know my local library has it on the shelf so the minute they open I’ll go in a grab it.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt // FlowersInTheLibrary

(I do actually own this one, but I wanted to split it evenly into five books each so I’ll just be waiting to get to this one).

The only reason I haven’t read this book yet is because of it’s length and that needs to end this year! Their review of this makes the book sound so compelling, and makes me even more determined to read it.

The Forty Rules Of Love by Elif Shafak // Fazila Reads

After reading it this book made it to Fazila’s favourite books of all time, which makes me want to read it even more. I have read an Elif Shafak book before, but this is the one by her I’ve been particularly excited to read and I’m hoping it’s as magical an experience as Fazila’s was.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner // MyChestnutReadingTree

I’m really looking forward to reading more books retelling or about the works of Jane Austen this year and this was one that was already on my list, so I was so excited to see Jo enjoyed it so much!

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe // IHaveThoughtsOnBooks

I remember seeing this on a lot of people’s top books of 2019 and it really made me want to read it, but then it slipped my mind. But not this time! This is a memoir about the Irish Troubles.

What books have you read recently because a book blogger talked about it?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

How I’m Tracking My Reading In 2021

January 12th, 2021

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Hi Readers!

At the end of each year I love looking back and being able to break down what I read that year with charts and statistics. But to get those I have to track what I read. So for the past few years I’ve tried different methods of doing that. This is what I’ll be doing this year…

Goodreads

I’ve always used goodreads because it’s just the easiest way to keep track of what I’ve read. I don’t always review on there but I do like the rating system as it’s just quick and simple. It’s also where I keep track of my TBR.

Book Roast’s Spreadsheet

I’ve been using google spreadsheets to track my reading for four years now and each year they get a little bit more detailed.

Like last year, I’m using The Book Roasts spreadsheet, but the new updated version for 2021 as it just does everything I need it to. I have edited it a little to suit my needs though. For example I have actually edited out the CAWPILE rating system because I just found it took too long coming up with a number for each category when I kind of knew what star rating I wanted to give it anyway.

I use it mainly because it’s a handy tool to get the charts I use for my end of year wrap up and I like having all the numbers in one place. My biggest issue is remembering to fill it out, which is why I use goodreads as well because believe it or not I find it so easy to forget what I’ve read…

If you want to use this particular spreadsheet as well, you can find everything here.

Reading Journal

This is where I keep my opinions and notes for any reviews I want to read. This is probably my favourite way to track my reading because it’s the one I return to the most to remind me what I thought about a particular book I’ve read.

How are you tracking your 2021 reading?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

My Top 10 Best Books Of 2020

January 4th, 2021

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Hi Readers,

I really leaned on reading to get me through 2020, and I’m so grateful to have something that is so consistant in my life. I read some seriously incredible ones as well, it was hard to chose just 10. But, it’s tradition that I do, so here are the top 10 books I read in 2020.

Interestingly most of these books were published in 2020, but that wasn’t intentional. I guess I just really enjoyed my new releases this year!

For them to have made this list, these books must be books that tugged on my heartstrings, attached itself to my soul and hasn’t let me go, even now.

10. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This is set around Día de Muertos following a trans boy who is trying to prove to his family he’s a brujo, and whilst doing that releases the ghost of another teenage boy who recently died. I was just obsessed with these two characters. Their dynamic and bond stole my heart.

Full Review Here

9. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I wasn’t a fan of the sequel, but I can’t let that cloud how much I loved Vicious. I read this almost straight after watching the X-Men series for the first time and this was just what I needed to fill that hole in my life once I’d finished. I just love that this book doesn’t really have a hero. Everyone in it has a pretty messed up agenda which definitely made it a whole lot more interesting.

Full Review Here

8. The Six Wives Of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

I’m shocked that a non-fiction book is making my top 10. But I feel I’ve found the type of non-fiction I actually enjoy. Historical and about women. I also really loved Alison Weir’s writing and will definitely be reading more by her.

Full Review Here

7. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I was always destined to love a YA fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. My favourite Disney film growing up, and I love the dark twist Kemmerer gave us with this. Can not wait for book three!

Full Review Here

6. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

If someone told me I would one day have a horror book on my top 10 of the year list, I would have laughed in their face. Okay so for some people this probably isn’t super horror like, but this scared me into sleeping with my light on for a brief period. And I loved it.

Full Review Here

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I mean, whose ‘Favourites of 2020’ list didn’t this make? And that’s probably only because they didn’t get to reading it. I loved this story. It’s just the type of sci-fi/fantasy I love. Slow, character driven and full of intrigue. I will definitely be rereading it soon.

Full Review Here

4. Beach Read by Emily Henry

This is just the type of book I love to read in the warm sun. A tension filled romance with a great cast of characters who have great banter. This follows two authors who are kind of rivals, and I loved the writing aspect involved in it. That’s definitely what upped it from a typical romance to something I will return to.

Full Review Here

3. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Another one I’m sure will be on a lot of peoples lists this year. It’s just so good and completely gripped me. Felix is a trans teenage boy who is still exploring his identity whilst being targeted by a anunymous, transphobic bully.

Full Review Here

2. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

2020’s women’s prize winner, and the book I was routing for! Hamnet is a beautifully written historical fiction about the wife of a famous play writer.

Full Review Here

1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Can you believe that when I first wrote this list, I completely forgot this book exhisted. The second I did remember however I knew what spot it deserved. And that’s because of what this book means to me. I’d recommend this to everyone but TW for mental health.

Full Review Here

What was your number one book of 2020?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Every Book I Read In 2020 (W/ Stats)

January 1st, 2020

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Hi Readers!

It’s time for one of my favourite posts of the year. Looking back on the year we’ve just had and breaking down every book I read into genres, page lengths, star ratings, just to see what my reading was like over the past year.

This year was a little strange and a lot of my reading plans were thrown out of the window as the libraries were thanks to Covid. This meant a lot of rereads and making do with the books I have on my shelf, which actually ended up being really enjoyable.

Firstly, let’s see how I did with my 2020 goals…

My first resolution was the Give Indie Books A Try which I did with a little help from BBNYA, a book prize for indie authors which I was a panelist for.

I also wanted to review every book I read, which I did, but I think I kind of burnt myself out doing it. I think in 2020 I’m going to continue reviewing, but it won’t always be on my blog. It may sometimes be on goodreads, so make sure we’re friends on there!

Try and Complete the BBC ‘Novels That Shaped Our World’ list. Which is a list I completely forgot about until now. I might take another look at it and see why I wanted to complete it so badly. But right now the libraries are closed again for I don’t know how long, so if I do start it again, it won’t be straight away.

I also wanted to read these five books…

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

And I just want to hang my head in shame because, no, I did not read ANY of these books. I will carry this list onto 2021 and I’m hoping War and Peace may actually be one of the first books I read in the new year.

Books I Did Read + Stats

This is pretty much every book I read in 2020, but if I read an entire series then I just included the first book.

I Read 135 Books! This is a record for me and I don’t know if I would ever manage this again.

55 of those books were rereads. Another record! Here are some charts to see what my reading habits were…

Star Ratings

chart (4)

I’m really happy with the reading year I had. I actually gave more 4 stars than I did 3. Another first! I actually gave a lot of five stars as well, but I think a lot of those would have been for books I reread.

Genres

chart (2)

No surprise, by a cast majority, my most read genre this year was contemporary (including both YA and adult). I’m surprised I only read 5 non-fiction. I think a goal of mine in 2021 will definitely be to read more. I already have three I’m excited to read in January so I’m sure that will happen.

Age Range

chart

This may be the first year adult books overtook YA, and by quite a large margin as well. I definitely think I’ll be keeping that trend in 2021, but I’m not ready to say goodbye to YA just yet.

Author Gender

chart (3)

This isn’t surprising to me. For a few years now I have gravitated more towards female authors. I just connect to their writing more and they just seem to write stories I’m more interested in.

Physical Vs Ebooks

chart (1)

I’m actually so surprised by this. I honestly thought that, with the libraries closed and me using my kindle more than ever, I would have read more ebooks. But I guess I did stick to reading a lot of the books I own, most of which I physical. I will always pick physical unless I can’t help it.

Owned Vs Borrowed

chart (6)

I normally borrow more than just 36% of what I read, but, again, libraries were closed for a good three months. We’re going into 2021 with the libraries closed again, but thankfully I stocked up before they did this time!

I think I’ll always look back on this reading year as the odd one out as my reading habits were forced to change. It was definitely an interesting one, but also amazing. I’m still working on my ‘Best Of’ list, which should be up next week, and all I’m going to say is I am struggling to narrow it down to 10 books.

How was your 2020 reading year?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Christmas Gift Ideas For Book Lovers | Blogmas

December 3rd, 2020

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Hi Readers!

When it comes to Christmas shopping, are you a planner or a pantser? Are you done by November, or are you one of those whose left it all until Christmas Eve?

Whatever you are, if you’re looking for the perfect gift, or a little something extra, for that bookish person in your life, here’s a list of amazing gifts that would make any bookworm happy.

*All of these images were taken by the items creators

Mugs

Mug 1: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Book Mug | £18.00

Mug 2: Book Lovers Mug | £9.95

Mug 3: Quentin Blake ‘Book Lover’ Mug | £10.99

Bookmarks

Bookmark 1: Personalised Leather Bookmark | £10.99

Bookmark 2: Personalised Handmade Bookmark | £4.25

Literary Christmas Tree Ornaments

Ornament 1: Alice In Wonderland | £8.99

Ornament 2: Book Stack | £6.95

Ornament 3: Personalised Book | £10.00

Candles

Candle 1: Old Bookshop | £5.99

Candle 2: Reading On A Rainy Day Candle | £11.99

Candle 3: Book Themed Candles | £7.06

Clothing

T-Shirt: Just One More Chapter | £9.33

Socks: Curl Up With A Good Book | £9.99

Jumper: Sunday Readers Society | £32.00

Wall Art

Print 1: 100 Books Scratch Bucket List | £12.99

Print 2: I Would Rather Bee Reading | £11.12

Print 3: Library Print | £12.00

Pins

Pin 1: To Be Read | £10.99

Pin 2: Readers Gonna Read | £7.00

Pin 3: Love Books | £6.37

Beautiful Classics

  • Seasons Edition of Classics
  • Barnes And Noble Leatherbound Edition
  • Puffin Chalk Childrens Classic
  • Folio Society
  • Penguin Clothbound

Hopefully this will help you just a little with your Christmas shopping (or Christmas lists!)

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X