#ReadingChallenges 2018 – The Magic Square – completed!

As a member of The Book Vipers over at GoodReads, the fabulous Paul always sets a wonderful reading challenge at the start of the year! So I like to jump in both feet first, and planned to read a book that corresponded with all the squares – you can choose to do the smaller squares! – and I’ve happily found out today that all squares have been ticked off! Yay!!!  I always enjoy these kind of challenges as they often push me in the direction of books I’d never normally pick up!

Here’s a look at the books that I chose to help me complete the challenge!


A Classic – War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells 

A Book About Money – The Million Dollar Duchesses by Julie Ferry 

A Book Under 100 Pages – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A Book Of Poems – Helium by Rudy Francisco 

Free Choice – The Lido by Libby Page 

A Book Set In Another Country – The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi 

A Translated Book – We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard 

True Or Fictional Crime – Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins 

A Book With An Animal In The Title – The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Book Vipers Monthly Read – Eleanor Oliphant 

Non Fiction Book – The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young 

A Debut Book – The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurt 

Book From A Small Publisher – Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh 

A Biography – Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham 

A Book You Have Borrowed – The Trees by Ali Shaw 

Free Choice – All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

A Banned Book – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll READ

A Book with a Food in the Title – Sour Fruit by Eli Allison

Free Choice -The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw 

A Shortlisted Book – Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O’Neill 

A Book Over 500 Pages – The Parentations by Kate Mayfield 

An Award Winner – The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan 

Second Book In A Series – Us against You by Fredrik Backman 

A Book About Books – Bookworm by Lucy Mangan 

Science Fiction Or Fact – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 



20 Books of Summer 2018 #20booksofsummer


The smell of Summer is in the air!! And now it is time to take part in one of my favourite bookish challenges!!! The lovely Cathy over at 746 Books started this a few years ago now, and thankfully has decided to run it again for 2018!

It’s a simple enough challenge! From the 1st June to 3rd September the challenge is to read!!  The main aim is 20 books, but you can also sign up for 10 or 15 if you want to! And you can change your reading list along the way, or the number if needs be! We never know what challenges lie ahead over the summer months so this is the perfect challenge to take part in as nothing is set in stone!

It’s always fun to see how everyone is doing and Cathy also tweets progress using #20booksofsummer so I’ll be doing the same – if I remember! – and hope you do too if you take part!

Probably the hardest part for me is choosing the initial list of 20!  The bookshelves of doom are always looking over me at this point, as well as the Kindle bursting at the seams with book choices thanks to my book acquiring habits!! So I have decided on using this opportunity to attack my NetGalley bookshelf which is way out of control!! Not my fault of course!! But now I have the perfect excuse to go through the backlog of books I’d been so excited to read when I first spotted them there!

So below is the preliminary list – there may be changes along the way! – so click on the book title for the link to the GoodReads page if you want to know more about each book!

Arlette’s Story by Angela Barton

Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman

Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

Elefant by Martin Suter

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Girl with Dove by Sally Bayley

The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

The Moby-Dick Blues by Michael Strelow

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Just For the Holidays by Sue Moorcraft

The Way of all Flesh by Ambrose Parry

The Poison Bed by E.C. Fremantle

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J.Harris

The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey


And there we have it! A wide range of genres and hopefully lots to keep me entertained over the summer months!

Hope a few of you will be joining in the 20 books fun! Looking forward to seeing your lists and progress!!


Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Goals for 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme now hosted by http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/  and I thought it was about time I took part to try and focus my reading a little more!!

So here’s my Top Ten of how I hope my reading will go over the year!

1. Cut back on buying books

Yep easier said than done I know!  But as I constantly seem to be decluttering at the moment to release shelf space on the overcrowded bookshelves, I think the time has come where I need to reign in the buying a little…

2.  Stop wasting time online

I know it is where we go to find out bookish news online and read fabulous blogs, but I do find myself often wasting time scrolling through stuff when I could be reading!  Time to turn off the Wi-Fi me thinks!!

3.  Get my NetGalley shelf under control

Despite not visiting there very often anymore – honest! – I seem to have a number of unread books on my Kindle that have been there for sometime, so I need to get through those as I was so eager to read them when I downloaded them to begin with!

4.  Organise my bookshelves

They seem a little – ok a lot! – random at the moment in how I organise them and signed books are mixed in with a variety of copies so I’d just like there to be a little more order and to make it easier for me to find things when I’m looking for a certain book!

5.  Organise the Kindle

Not sure if you do the same as me, but there are a lot of freebies that I’ve downloaded over the years hoping to get round to and that sounded interesting reads, but once they are on my Kindle I seem to forget about them!  So I’d like to make a list of the ones I have and start planning on reading even just one a month would do!  

6.  Take part in more Tags

I don’t often take part as I never know the best place to look for Tags that are doing the rounds, and then I’m never organised enough to get a post up in time! So I need to search out more organised bloggers than I and see what I can join in with as they’re so much fun to read and join in with!

7.  Stop losing notebooks

Whenever I read books for review I often have a notebook by my side to jot down notes on characters/plots etc as I’m rubbish at remembering what is going on half the time! But then I do have a tendency to misplace a notebook that I’m using and thus lose all the notes! 

8.  Organise my Blog

Happy to admit that I’m not the most competent when it comes to computers, so my Blog has been put together with no real planning – or clue what I’m doing! – so I’d like to learn better ways of presenting things as it often looks messy and hopefully streamline the whole operation!

9.  Complete my reading challenges

Doing well so far with my ‘Year of Persephone’ reading challenge so hoping that continues!  Also making good progress with my GoodReads Challenges so hope I can remain committed and the dreaded reading slump doesn’t strike!

10. Carry on enjoying reading

I often think that when we review books and have blogs, reading often becomes a chore!  So I’m hoping that I can remember why I read in the first place, to keep finding books that I love and become emotionally attached to and not to ever get in that zone of feeling that I’m just reading for the sake of reading and keeping up with reviews

Seems like a possible list of targets….. I hope!!  Fingers crossed I can stick to them all!