book tag

The Finally Fall Book Tag

I know it’s been fall for a while now, and I’m a bit late (when am I not?) with this tag, but autumn is my favourite season, so this tag is my jam, and I’m really excited to do it today! If you would like to do it too, consider yourself tagged. ❤

(BTW, I took these photos when I visited Kew Gardens in London the other day. I got given a season pass to Kew for my birthday; it’s such a beautiful place to walk, especially in the autumn!)


1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw is the perfect book for this question. Although I found the plot of this book a bit predictable, the SETTING of this book earned it a 4 star rating from me. You can almost taste the sea-fog, rolling up the shore of the mysterious island our protagonist lives on, feel it, cold and damp against your skin. The little island is just across the water from the town of Sparrow, Oregon, a quaint, eerie and superstitious place, the descriptions of which are also sprinkled with just the right amount of dark magic. I loved Shea Earnshaw’s writing style, and I am looking forward to whatever she writes next; I hope it will be just as atmospheric as The Wicked Deep.


2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

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Moonrise by Sarah Crossan is the story of Joe, whose brother Ed is on death row and has just received his execution date. This book is written in verse – it’s not flowery, but the writing is beautiful in its raw and brutal honesty. I’m pretty sure this book stabbed me in the heart, but I wouldn’t take back the experience for the world, and I highly recommend this phenomenal book.


3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

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I haven’t actually finished reading this book, because it’s quite academic and requires a lot of focus (even if it is written in a very accessible style) but Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker taught me *this* disturbing fact: there is a (thankfully rare) type of insomnia some people get where they stop sleeping COMPLETELY, which goes on for about 18 months, and then they just… die. WTF how terrifying is that?! This book about sleep and sleep disorders and dreaming is super interesting though, and I really need to pick it up again soon.


4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

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I would love to be part of the friendship group in Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais. I read Piglettes back in the summer, and I think it’s probably my favourite book of the year. It’s about three girls, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima, who become friends when they are voted the three ugliest girls at their school in their classmates’ annual ‘Pig Pageant’. But this book just blows raspberries at bullying, and it’s all about how these three awesome, witty, clever, resourceful girls decide not to let the haters get them down, and become media sensations by spending their summer cycling across France, selling sausages, and raising money for an anti-bullying charity. It’s SO good, SO funny (Mireille is a hilarious narrator), and SO uplifting. And I would LOVE to be friends with these girls because they just kick ass in the most positive of ways.


5. The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-coloured spines!

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I didn’t even do this on purpose, but I recently bought this selection of books from a charity shop, and they’re so perfectly colour-coordinated for this tag, and aesthetic glory in general.


6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

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The book that springs to mind for this question is The Wrong Train by Jeremy De Quidt. The story follows a boy who gets on the wrong train home in the middle of the night. He gets off at the next station, only to find himself alone on the platform but for a strange old man, who insists on telling him increasingly frightening stories whilst he waits for his train to arrive. This book was really creepy and unsettling, and I loved every second of it.


7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

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I feel like I recommend the same creepy books every time this question comes up, so this time I’m going to suggest something I read recently, which was The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman. This book was a lot darker than I expected, and although structurally it was a bit messy, I really enjoyed it because it made me think and it creeped me out. It’s about a boy called Kyle who’s on a school trip when he gets caught up in a train crash. Whilst struggling to find a way to get out of the train, he discovers that he has the ability to enter the nightmares of the other passengers on the train, learning some very dark and disturbing things about the people around him in the process.


8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

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For this question, I am recommending Take My Picture by Giselle Ellis which is an indie-published gay romance novella about a moody photographer, Jake, and his assistant, Aaron (who is of a much sunnier disposition!), two guys who are absolutely perfect for each other, and everybody knows it but them. This book was adorable, and filled my heart with so many fluffy feelings, and I promise that if you are feeling sad when you pick this up it will leave you with a big soppy smile on your face by the time you finish it. For a short book, the chemistry in this book is flawless, and you never doubt for one second that these characters are just hopelessly and cluelessly in love with each other.


9. Fall returns every year: name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

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I’m actually in a big re-reading mood at the moment. I’m currently re-reading Persuasion by Jane Austen, because it’s an old, cosy favourite I feel at home in. But I also fancy re-reading The Mortal Instruments series soon, because it’s been ages since I’ve done that, and I love getting stuck into a series at this time of year.


10. Fall is the perfect time for cosy reading nights: share your favourite cosy reading “accessories”!

Well, obviously I love a cosy blanket! I also love fluffy socks, my pjs, a warm mug of hot chocolate or tea, a calming lavender-scented candle, and a mountain of cuddly animals to snuggle.

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Add a book, and that makes my perfect Friday night, because I’m a cool introvert who thinks social lives are overrated.


And that’s the end of this tag! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What are you favourite fall reads? I’d love to hear from you!

book tag

The A-Z Book Tag

Hi guys! Hope you’re all having a lovely week, and enjoying the season of pumpkin-spiced-everything as much as I am.

I haven’t done a book tag in 5eva, so when I saw this one over at YA Allegiance, I couldn’t resist giving it a go, because apparently I am never going to get around to doing any of the tags I have actually been tagged in. I’m the worst.

If you want to give this tag a go, feel free lovely people. Link me to your answers down below if so. Here are mine (and in case you couldn’t tell, I’ve made them as Autumnal as possible because October is my life):


Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

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Lucy Daniels. I read approx. fifty gazillion of the Animal Ark books when I was little, and I was obsessed with them, even though they were all basically the same story but with a different animal. I recently discovered that ‘Lucy Daniels’ is not a real person, but a bunch of different authors writing under a pen name. My childhood imploded.


Best Sequel Ever:

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This is such a difficult question, but I think I’m going to have to steal YA Allegiance’s answer and go with A Court of Mist and Fury. It was my favourite book of 2016, and Rhysand is bae. I mean, I really f***ing hate the word ‘bae’, but let’s be real, he is bae.


Currently Reading:

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I’m currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray. I’m in the mood for paranormal reads at the moment because I live and breathe the month of Halloween, and I am enjoying this book SO MUCH. I love the creepy, occult vibes, I love the 1920s New York setting, I love how outrageous and fun the main character is, and I’m very impressed with Libba Bray’s writing.


Drink of Choice While Reading:

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I love cosying up with a mint hot chocolate and a good book.


E–Reader or Physical Book?

I much prefer reading physical books. There’s something so satisfying about turning pages; swiping on a screen is just not the same.


Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

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Michael Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries, my very first fictional crush, obvs.


Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

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A Game of Thrones. I put off reading this book for the longest time, because I thought it would be too violent for me, but when I finally got around to reading it, I adored it. I really need to read the rest of the series, but those books are so intimidatingly long, and the TV show has Kit Harrington, so…


Hidden Gem Book:

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Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson. Why do people Not Know about this book? It is the most adorable gay romance with the most hilarious narrator of ever. It will make your heart so HAPPY.


Important Moment in your Reading Life:

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I guess that would be the moment when, at the age of 17, I fell unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Edward Cullen. I was SUCH a Twihard teenage fangirl. Just to clarify, I fell out of love with Mr Sparklypants eventually, but I still give Twilight and Stephanie Meyer credit for igniting my love of reading, and turning me into the bookworm you see before you today.


Just Finished:

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I’ve just finished reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. This is a very short, very strange book, with very odd characters, a cat called Jonas, and a mass-murder involving blackberries. Right up my alley, basically.


Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’m not the hugest reader of historical fiction, unless there are paranormal elements involved, or the characters are LGBTQ+.


Longest Book You’ve Read:

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The longest book I’ve ever read is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I enjoyed parts of the book, but on the whole, I was bored to tears, especially the part where there was a ten-page description of some characters mowing a field. TEN F***ING PAGES, PEOPLE!!!!


Major Book Hangover Because Of:

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I don’t often get book hangovers, because I’m usually excited to start another book, but when I binge-read a series I tend to struggle to get into something else straight afterwards, because I’m still wrapped up in the characters I’ve been spending all my time with.


Number of Bookcases You Own:

I have three bookcases at my flat in London, and two bookcases at my parents’ house in Oxford, although not all of them are full yet. Why helloooo, Waterstones, I haven’t bought anything from YOU in a while!


One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

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I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone over and over and over. It’s not my favourite book in the series (although of course I adore it), but I’m really bad at finishing the full re-read, so I always end up going back and starting at the beginning again. The beginning is pretty magical though, tbh. 🙂


Preferred Place To Read:

Probably on the sofa, because when I get into bed, my eyes automatically get sleepy, and my book gets neglected. This sounds like sacrilege but I think I like sleep more than books, you guys. Don’t throw things at me!


Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From A Book You’ve Read:

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I adore this quote from Wild by Cheryl Strayed (one of my favourite books of all time):

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”


Reading Regret:

That I’ve never, ever read a graphic novel. So many people seem to be into them. I feel like I’m missing out!


Series You Started And Need To Finish:

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I seriously need to finish the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, because I really want to read Six of Crows. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, but I’ve been reading Siege and Storm for ages now and I’m finding it a bit boring.


Three Of Your All-Time Favourite Books:

I’ve already mentioned Wild by Cheryl Strayed, so I’ll go with Night Film by Marisha Pessl, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, and Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.


Unapologetic Fangirl For:

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I’m trash for Malec, Rhysand, and Damon Salvatore.


Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

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I have no idea what this book will be called, or when it will be released, but I can’t wait to get my hands on Moira Fowley-Doyle’s next book. I read and loved The Accident Season in 2015 (which, btw, is the PERFECT Autumn read, if you’re looking for recs), and I recently finished her second book, The Spellbook of the Lost and Found. If you love magical realism and atmosphere with a capital A, I highly recommend her books.


Worst Bookish Habit:

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I’m sure everyone can relate, but definitely buying books and then not reading them, then buying more books, and reading them instead of the ones I already owned, and then buying even more books. And repeat, forever.


X Marks The Spot: Start At The Top Left Of Your Shelf And Pick The 27th Book:

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The 27th book on my shelf is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, which I am ashamed to say has been sitting on said shelf since before I started this blog. I am, however, planning to finally read it this month, because it feels like an October kind of book, and I’m trying to read as many of those as possible this October.


Your Latest Book Purchase:

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I ordered Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury from Amazon yesterday. It’s a story about a dark carnival, set around Halloween, so it’s top of my TBR for the last week of October.


ZZZ-Snatcher Book (The Last Book That Kept You Up WAY Late):

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I don’t often stay up late reading these days, because I get hella cranky without my beloved bed, but when I read I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, I sacrificed sleep because that book was just too damn addictive. It was also very creepy and legitimately scared me, so I may have struggled to nod off after finishing it too…


Have you read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to know what you thought of them! 🙂

Uncategorized

‘The Autumn Book Tag’/’The Fall Time Cosy Book Tag’ Mash Up

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I have been tagged by two lovely ladies, Charley over at Books and Bakes, and Deanna of A Novel Glimpse, to get all autumnal and talk about the books I like to snuggle up with when the weather gets colder. I’m combining these two tags for obvious reasons, but for those I nominate, you can choose to participate in one, both, or neither… whatever you prefer!


The Autumn Book Tag:

What is your favourite thing about autumn?

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Autumn is my favourite season (I’m an October baby)… crisp mornings, falling leaves, cosy evenings in the warm. I also love Autumn because The X Factor is back on my TV screen, and I still have a soft spot for it, even though it’s the same every year, and full of ‘sob stories’, and the crap auditions are totally staged… it’s perfect comfy-pyjama viewing for a dark, chilly night.


What book reminds you of your school days?

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It sounds crazy considering how much of a bookworm I am now, but during school I had a gap of several years where I barely read, because I was an angsty teenager struggling to cope with my own ‘issues’, let alone the problems of fictional characters. The book that got me back into reading was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It really did take over my life, at a time when I needed to be distracted, so it’ll always have a place in my heart, even though I am slightly embarrassed looking back on my all-consuming obsession.


What cover reminds you of autumn?

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The misty, atmospheric sky on the cover of The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle reminds me of fog settling on a chilly morning, and this book is the perfect October read. You can check out my review here.


What is your favourite horror or Halloween story?

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl. This book follows disgraced journalist Scott McGrath, who is investigating the suspicious ‘suicide’ of Ashley Cordova, daughter of controversial horror director Stanislas Cordova, whom Scott is convinced had something to do with Ashley’s death. It’s a huge book, but pacey, creepy and strange, and I was thoroughly sucked in, to the extent that I became a total zombie whilst reading it; although my body went through the motions of turning up for meals, having conversations with other humans, etc., my mind wasn’t present in the real world until a good few hours after I’d finished the book.


What is your favourite horror or Halloween film?

I’ve a feeling if I were to see it now, it would be lame and not scary at all, but I remember having 2 back-to-back sleepless nights after watching The Ring at a sleepover aged 13. To this day, I’m still not overly comfortable when old TVs go all fuzzy and make that hissing static sound…

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Image via Giphy.com


What fall book release are you looking forward to?

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I’m a big Sophie Kinsella fan, and there’s a new Becky Bloomwood book coming out soon (Shopaholic to the Rescue!) which I’ve got to get my hands on! This series never fails to make me laugh out loud.


What autumn movie release are you most anticipating?

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Mockingjay Part 2… Help, I’m going to bawl my eyes out in the cinema!


What are three books you plan to read this autumn?

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The Fall Time Cosy Book Tag:

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

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City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare. I love this cover, it’s just stunning. Coincidentally, I also adore what’s inside it! 🙂


Cosy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cosy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I haven’t read much contemporary romance this year, but I’m starting to get back into it, and this is one of my favourites! Etienne St. Clair is adorable, I don’t think you can read this book without falling in love with him a little. Anna is also one of the most likeable protagonists in YA fiction.


Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

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You can’t beat a good ghost story on a stormy day/night. I loved Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, a spooky story of isolation and creepy happenings, which takes place on a 1937 Arctic expedition to the supposedly uninhabited bay of Gruhuken…


Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments. She makes slaying demons and being a badass seem somewhat effortless, plus I really want her ruby pendant!


Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

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The Wayward Pines Trilogy by Blake Crouch. I’m not sure if these books are necessarily under-hyped, but I hadn’t heard of them until I randomly discovered the first book whilst browsing Amazon. They’re amazing! The story follows Ethan Burke, a secret service agent who arrives in the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, looking for a colleague who went missing and was last seen there. He soon realises that something seems ‘off’ about the town – he can’t make any phonecalls to his wife and son, everyone seems determined not to believe he is who he says he is, and perhaps the most troubling thing of all… there doesn’t seem to be any way out of this creepy little town…


Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

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Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I’ll admit that I’ve read it (though my ‘Inner Goddess’ wasn’t a huge fan, soz), but I definitely wouldn’t want to be caught reading it on the bus. Then again, I guess that’s what the tiny-size font on your Kindle is for.


Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

Anything warm and yummy… jacket potatoes, sausages… the kind of food you eat on bonfire night. 🙂


I tag the following people:

Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm

Meg @ Little Blog of Books

Ali @ I Wuv Books

Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

Alysyn @ Rein Reads


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Autumn photographs courtesy of Iain Strachan (my – very talented – Dad!)