book blog

Things That Make Me Feel Festive | Blogmas

December 23rd, 2020


Hi Readers!

This year being so different from others, and with the added worries and anxieties from Covid, I honestly thought I would not feel festive this Christmas. I forced myself to put up my decorations and honestly looking back I wasn’t my happy go lucky self. I actually felt quite low and I made it worse because I was panicking that this would be how I would feel for the whole of December.

But some Christmas magic must have kicked in because it did not take long for me to get that Christmas spirit back. Now I’m wearing all the Christmas jumpers, consumed many mince pies and watched a fair few Christmas movies.

I’m sad that there’s only one week of this left! But there’s still time to enjoy some of these!


Earlier this month I shared some bloggers whose blogmasses I’ve been enjoying. I’ve also of course loved watching Zoella’s vlogmas. I actually went back and rewatched her old ones and it was so nice to see a pre-covid Christmas and just remember what life was like when things were normal.

Garden Centres

Me and my family do this every year and I was so worried we wouldn’t get to do it this year, especially when the second lockdown happened. But we were able to get out there and look around a few of our favourite garden centres safely, and it was probably the beginning of my festive cheer for me.

Here are some of my favourite displays from 2020. This year was a children stories theme!


As I said, I did feel a bit down whilst putting them up. But now I’m really appreciting them. I just love the sparkle and light they give a room and they make cosy reading evenings so perfect.

Festive Baking

I love to bake all year round, but there is no place like the kitchen at Christmas time. I love baking with spices and dried fruit and, of course, chocolate!

Some of my favourite things to bake are Mince Pies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Gingerbread Men (which I love to decorate!)

Christmas Lights Hunting

This is something we normally leave until Christmas eve every year, but this year we ventured out early as we’re doing a lot of evening errands. There are a lot more than their usually are this year! Everyone has gone to town on their outside lights and it’s so lovely to see.

Christmas Films

Some people think they’re cheesy, but I could let December pass without me watching ALL of the Christmas films! Here are some of my favouries:

What activities make you feel festive? I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Film and TV

Best Ever Christmas TV Specials | Blogmas

December 21st, 2020


Hi Readers!

Every year, one thing I look forward to is the Christmas specials of my favourite TV shows! Every year there’s something to get excited about, and the family gathering around to watch it always creates lovely Christmas memories. Here are some of my favourites.

// Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion //

David Tennants first proper bout at being the Doctor, and he stole all of our hearts this Christmas. And then went on to shatter them five years later!

// Downton Abbey (Season 2) //

I mean, you’d have to be heartless not to gush over this episode! It’s the one Christmas special that has all the festive feels.

// Victoria //

They only ever did one Christmas special, but it was so festive that it’s enough to keep me going each Christmas. It explores how Victoria and Albert popularised the Christmas Tree.

// Outnumbered (All Of Them) //

If you want a hilariously relatable Christmas special, this would be the one. This shows all the stresses of Christmas and also the wonderful innocence of children.

// Great Festive Bake Off //

I love that they’ve started doing this every year. Seeing old bakers come back and bake festive treats is a must watch every Christmas for me.

// Gilmore Girls (Season 2) //

I just love this scene of Jess and Rory in the horse and carriage whilst it’s snowing around them. I’m such a Jess stan, so this episode was made for me!

// Gavin and Stacey Christmas Specials //

We’ve been gifted with two of these treasures now, and both are incredible! If you haven’t watched Gavin and Stacey, it’s such a feel good TV Show, it’s a must watch if you’re feeling stressed and just want something with great dead-pan humour. It’s basically a love story between to people and how it brings two very different families together.

// The Goes Wrong Show (2018 & 2019) //

If you haven’t watched this yet, you absolutely have to get on it. It’s based on a stage play and it’s literally what the name says. Everything in this show ‘goes wrong’ and makes for some hilariously awkward moments for the cast. It’s silly slapstick comedy and is perfect for Christmas!

What I’m Looking Forward To This Christmas!

The Goes Wrong Show: The Nativity! – Can’t wait for this to have me in stitches again this Christmas!

Ghosts Christmas Special – This was one of my favourite TV shows of this year, so getting a Christmas special was fantastic news for me! This will also have me and my family in stitches, I’m sure.

Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse – This looks so adorable! It’s airing Christmas Eve and is about an encounter Roald Dahl had with Beatrix Potter when he was a kid.

Call The Midwife – I mean, it’s become a Christmas staple, hasn’t it? It’s one of those shows that will make us feel all the emotions. My entire family loves it and it’s a great way to spend Christmas evening.

Bridgerton – I’ve been reading the book bit by bit since last Monday. It’s so good that I just want to savour every moment. I can’t believe I had never heard of it before. I’m very excited to see how they’ve adapted it, it looks amazing.

Death To 2020 – Still not sure what this is going to look like, but I’m intrigued.

Doctor Who: Revolution Of the Daleks – Another staple for every Christmas, although recently they’ve moved it to New Years Eve which I’m not a particular fan of but I’ll still be watching it for sure. I think this is Bradley Walsh’s last episode which I’m gutted about, but it does look like a great episode.

book blog

Christmas Book Recommendations | Blogmas

December 17th, 2020


Hi Readers!

It’s getting even closer to Christmas, but there is still plenty to time to pick up a festive read. These are some of my favourites!

// A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens //

Of course I have to start with the classic Christmas story of redemption and Christmas spirit. I’m sure you’ve all seen countless adaptations of this story, but the original tale is also well worth a read.
On the eve of Christmas Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of friend and co-worker Morley who gives him a warning. Change your ways, or end up like him, in a miserable and endless afterlife.

// Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Miracle //

If you’re looking for a more modern story however, this would be the way to go. This YA contemporary contains three stories by three authors, all following a different set of characters in the same town at Christmas.
I loved seeing the three stories intertwine and come together for the end. It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember Maureen Johnsons part being my favourite.

// The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand //

Talking of A Christmas Carol adaptations. It’s not just film and TV that finds inspiration in the story of Scrooge, so does YA literature. The ‘Scrooge’ in this story is Holly Chase who is a rather self-centred teenager. She also gets the chance to change her ways and is visited by the three ghosts, but she isn’t as convinced as Ebenezer was…

// Dash And Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn //

Wish you could be spending Christmas in New York? Well you could do that vicariously through Dash and Lily if you read this short festive YA book.
Dash isn’t a fan of Christmas and has escaped spending it with his family this year. Lily loves Christmas, but her parents have left to go on a honeymoon. For fun, she leaves a notebook in The Strand with a dare, and Dash answers.

// Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson //

If you want a more adult book though, this one is for you. This is another short story collection although these down intertwine so it’s a nice book to read if you don’t have a lot of time to read next week as you could just read a story a day.
Something I really love about this book as well is that after each story there’s also a little recipe that Winterson has picked up over the years from friends and family. Such a perfect festive read.

Do you have a favourite festive book you love to read at this time of year?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

The 20 Books I Would Keep | Blogmas

December 11th, 2020


Hi Readers!

Growing up I had three small bookshelves which held probably 30-40 books. I now own 2 full size bookshelves, another bookshelf the length of a wall, books in my wardrobe and another full bookshelf in the garage. All of that amounts to around 300+ books (possibly more. I haven’t counted recently).

I’ve always wondered what I would do if I had to downsize and go back to the amount I had as a kid. Then I decided to make this challenge even harder for myself and go with 20 books for 2020.

I feel like there are actually a lot of books I own that I’m not attatched to at all and just hold on to for the sake of it. But I also know I’m so overly sentimental about way more than just 20 of them, so this will be tough.

These are the 20 books I own and could never, ever let go of.

1.The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I do technically own two copies of this, so I would choose the blue one as that is my annotated copy. I have scribbled and doodled and highlighted in this copy. It’s very personal and I treat it like a diary. Nobody is allowed to look in it.

I think this book is so special to me because of what it meant to me as a teenager. I first read it when I was 16 and despite the fact it was written 20 years before, it still has such a timeless feel. It’s the book that made me feel seen and understood. I’d never be able to part with it.

2. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is a bit more of a random one. It’s a more recent read so it hasn’t got that attatchemen from being a kid/teenager. I think the reason I feel so sentimental about is because of the emotions it brought out in me, which was pretty much every emotion under the sun.

3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Another pretty recent one. This only came out a couple of months ago, but already means so much to me. This is about a woman who suffers with depression and it takes a sci-fi look at regrets and how that effects out mental health. She’s given the opportunity to see how her life would have turned out had things gone differently. It has a very powerful and positive message.

4. Shadow Forest by Matt Haig

This is a book from my childhood which comes attached with a lot of good memories. I first read it when I was 10 at school and I feel like it was the first time the whole class looked forward to reading. It’s a nice way to remember my final year at Primary school.

5. Simon Vs The Homo Sapians Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I would keep this as it’s a book that never fails to put a smile on my face. I love the characters and their funny interactions with one another. I think I would miss them too much if I had to give this book up. There’s also just such cute moments between Simon and Blue, I feel gushy just thinking about them.

6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anna Barrows

This book just never fails to put me in a good mood. It’s a real book lovers treat but it’s also got a lot of importance to it as it does tell the story of Guernsey whilst it was occupied in WWII. But it really captures the resilience of the people who lived their. I just think this book is so wonderfully British.

7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s so hard for me to just pick one Jane Austen book. I love them all so much! But seeing as I can not go a year without rereading P&P, I’d have to keep this one. I do own three copies of it but I think I’d have to keep my first copy of it which I got for Christmas when I was 14. That one is just a little bit more special than the others.

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Such a cosy and heartwarming book. I fell in love with this the first time I read it and I’ve loved it every time I’ve read it since. I reread it recently and I will say I found it a bit morally heavy than I remember. It was a bit too sentimental. But I’ll always remember how I felt the first time I read it and I seriously love the characters.

9. My Sister Jodie by Jacqueline Wilson

Another one I read as a kid. I would call this book the pivotal moment in my reading life. It was the first of many Jacqueline Wilson books and through this I found YA. Most of my Wilson books are in the garage now but this one still has a place on my bookshelf and it always will.

10. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsen Burnett

This book is special because it reminds me of afternoons with my Nan when I was younger. We used to watch the movie together and the first time I read the book I borrowed her copy. It such an old fashioned childrens classic and I’d probably hate it if I didn’t have that nostalgia attatched to it.

11 + 12. The Hunger Games + Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I would not survive without the first two books in the Hunger Games trilogy, but I could happily do without book three. Not because I think it’s bad, but because it hurts too much!

13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I mean, it’s one of the most famous classics for a reason. It’s a captivating plot that never fails to enamour me. I just don’t think I’d ever be able to part with such an amazing crafted story.

14. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I’ve only ever read this once, so I don’t know how I would feel if I reread it now. But I remember the first time I read this, I was so sure I was going to struggle with it because of it’s length and because it’s a translated piece of Russian literature. It just felt so inaccessible. But I ended up flying threw it and loving it.

15. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is one of those stories that really has something to say and it just achieved so much so well. It’s touching, it’s brave, it’s inspiring. I’ll be rereading this book my whole life.

16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Another book I just can’t pass a year without reading. It’s got the most emotionally complex characters and wonderful parents. Just thinking about this books makes me so emotional!

17. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I have a lot of YA on here and I think that’s because the books we read as teenagers are books that will always stay with us. It’s not the easiest time in life, but books really helped me get through it. This book is also just one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.

18. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

This is a quartet so picking just one book is hard, but I think the first book might be my favourite. The whole series follows the friendship of two girls throughout their lives. Book one follows them through adolescence.

19. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another more recent favourite. I think this book means more to me than others though because it has a book community feel to it. It really feels like everyone I follow has read and loved this book. It also just makes me so emotional, and I do love a book that makes me cry!

20. Harry Potter & The Philosphers Stone

Despite recent events, HP will always mean something to me and I can’t shake that off (I just won’t be buying anything new from her ever again). This was another pivotal moment for me.

Now it’s your turn. What is one book you could never part with. Let me know!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

Blogmasses You Should Be Following | Blogmas


Hi Readers!

There are so many amazing book bloggers who have taken on the blogmas challenge this month and I thought it would be fun to share some that I have been reading and really enjoying.

These bloggers are each participating in their own way, whether it’s every day or posting more than they usually would. They have created some amazing posts so far, so go and check them out and give them all the support they deserve!

// Jen – JenJenReviews //

Something I love about Jen’s TBR for this month is three of the books were chosen by her husband! I look forward to seeing what she thinks of them. Especially the wild card choice!

Antonia & Amanda – Classy X Book Reviews

If you want a blog that posts regularly, this is the one for you. It’s run by two bookworms and alongside blogmas they’re also posting a bunch of reviews of books from all genres!

Ness – The Wolf And Books

Ness is posting 3-4 times a week and has so far done a vast array of things including a book tag and a festive bucket list.

Amie – Read With Amie

I especially loved Amie’s Books That Should Be On Your Christmas List post! I reckon there’s a book for everyone on that post.

Bec – Bec And Books

Already looking forward to a few 2021 releases? I wonder if any of them are on Becs list! I definitely have my eye on a few of them.

Pilar – Bookworm Shelf

Firstly, I’m in love with Pilar’s graphics for blogmas! But also I love how creative Pilar’s posts are, especially the Ranking Adaptations post.

Kristin – Kristin Kraves Books

I’ve been a huge fan of Kristin’s blog for a while now and I was so excited to see she’s doing blogmas! On blogms day four she shared that she’ll be attempting the PopSugar reading challenge in 2021. Check out her plans!

Wrin – Reading With Wrin

Wrin shared how she’s Getting Her Netgalley Under Control (something I think we can all relate to). She’s also posting some great reviews, so go check them out!

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Skipping Christmas by John Grisham | Blogmas

December 5th, 2020


| Published: 2001 by Arrow |
| Genre: Humor |
| Age: Adult |
| Length: 198 Pages |
| ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Hi Readers!

I have been a huge fan of Christmas With the Kranks since I was a kid. It was only last year however that I found out it was originally a book titled ‘Skipping Christmas’. I don’t know if it’s because the name was different or who the author was, but I expected this to be nothing like the movie. Turns out, it’s one of the most faithful adaptations I have ever seen.

What Is It About?

When his daughter leaves for her volunteer work abroad just after Thanksgiving, Luthor Krank is thinking how different Christmas will be without her there. Then he comes up with the wild idea of skipping Christmas altogether, saving the money, and going on a cruise which sails at noon on Christmas Day.

Let’s just say his very festive neighbours don’t like it…

What Did I Think?

Grisham tells this tale in a suburban American neighbourhood with a cast of characters who are exaggerated and unrealistic, but quite funny to read. This whole book has quite a satirical feel to it, which adds to the comedy and makes it a fun, light, Christmas read.

At first I wasn’t a fan of the writing as I found it quite stilted. It begins in an airport, and the description of it didn’t do it’s job of immersing me in the atmosphere. Instead I could just picture Grisham standing in a busy airport making notes of what was going on to put in his book. I think there is such a thing as too much description and this book does it.

It did grow on me though, and in the end I was able to enjoy a story I already knew I liked. It is a little slapstick and you do need to be quite genenrous with it on the believable front. But it will make you giggle here and there, especially if you haven’t watched the movie.

I’m not sure if I’ll read more by John Grisham. I don’t think his writing is for me. But I do love this story and I’ll probably find the time to rewatch Christmas With The Kranks sometime this Christmas as well.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

Christmas Books Released In 2020 | Blogmas

December 4th, 2020


Hi Readers!

This year I’ve embraced the idea of Christmas books and these are few newly released to 2020 that have caught my attention…

// Finding Love At The Christms Market by Jo Thomas //

Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. But then one of her residents sets her up on a date at a German Christmas Market, with the promise she takes a bus full of pensioners with her.

I love a Christmas market, and seeing as there won’t be any this year, this is a good substitute.

// A Season In The Snow by Isla Gordon //

Alice loves her life, her career and her friends. But when tragedy strikes, bringing with it Bear, a rapidly growing puppy, it turns Alice’s world upside down.

Finding a London flat isn’t suitable for a dog like Bear, she lets him push her out of her comfort zone and they move to his homeland, the moutains of Switzerland.

// In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren //

The queens of romance have answered our Christmas wishes and have released a festive read! And it sounds epic.

Mae is feeling low after spending her Christmas at her favourite log cabin in Utah for the last time. But on the way home she’s in a car accident and when she wakes she finds herself on the plane bound for Utah and finds she has tot start the same holiday all over again. Sound a bit like groundhog day, and I am here for it!

// The Winter Garden by Heidi Swain //

I’ve heard a lot about Heidi Swain’s Christmas books, and I think this year will be the year I finally read one.

Freyer is estranged from her family and has been following her dream of being a gardener ever since. When she gets the opportunity to design a Winter garden she jumps at the chance. But local artist Finn is making her feel anything but welcome.

// One Family Christmas by Bella Osborne //

This books sounds like a Christmas filled with family drama, which I’m sure we can all relate to.

Lottie is hosting Christmas for the first time at the old family home. But when everyone starts arriving, it becomes clear everyone has a secret and tensions start to rise.

// Together By Christmas by Karen Swan //

Lee first arrived in Amsterdam with a baby and a secret. Five years later her life is settled there, with a career in photography and a son who’s growing up.

They’re looking forward to spending Christmas together with their circle of tight-knit friends. All this changes when Lee finds a book in her biscicles basket with a desperate message inside, and she feels compelled to find them.

// Christmas Wishes by Sue Moorcroft //

Hannah and Nico are meant to be together, but fate has kept them apart.

They become close friends, but Hannah has a boyfriend and Nico has two kids to look after. When Hannah loses her shop and is forced to move to a little village, only to find Nico has just moved there to.

Can two childhood friends make romance work over the festive season?

// The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss //

Kate is content with being single. In her small village, the prospects aren’t vast anyway. But then her best friend signs her up to a dating service which promises to help you find love by Christmas.

These definitely aren’t all of the Christmas books released this year, but they’re the ones I’m most interested in. Which are you looking forward to reading?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Most Popular Posts

Christmas Gift Ideas For Book Lovers | Blogmas

December 3rd, 2020


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


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


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


Candle 1: Old Bookshop | £5.99

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

Candle 3: Book Themed Candles | £7.06


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


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