Wednesday, 25 November 2020

WWW Wednesday | 25/11/2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden yesterday and it really blew me away. The fact that this so universally loved does make you worry that you're going to be in the minority that doesn't but thankfully I loved it too. This is such a beautifully written book, I adored the main character Vasya and the antagonists were so clever. The atmosphere too was incredible, this really is the perfect time to read these books because you feel like you're right there in Russia in the middle of winter. 

What are you currently reading?

Spin by Colleen Nelson is an ARC that I meant to get too last year but never got around to it. It's a YA contemporary that follows Dizzy as she strives to become a DJ as well as discovering more about her absent mother. I am enjoying this book, I'm liking the three different perspectives of Dizzy, her brother and her dad but I'm just not hooked yet on the plot. I'm only 25% in so my mind could change.   

I'm on chapter 7 of Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4) by Tamora Pierce and still really liking listening to these audiobooks. They're really well read by the cast and would definitely recommend if you like full cast audiobooks. As for the plot of this one, it's good and still really liking the characters but it was a bit of a surprise to find that this one revolves around an epidemic spreading throughout their home! It feels weird listening to a book about a speading infection when we're currently in a similar situation!

I just started Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I read the first three chapters last night and I already love it so much! I knew I was going to love Jane Austen and her characters and her romances and I only needed to read the first 20 pages to know her books will be some of my favourites. I of course know the plot, the 2005 film is one of my favourites, but I'm really excited to continue reading this one as soon as possible. 

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm going to pick up I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai again after I finish Pride and Prejudice. I started it last week and read the first chapter or two before putting it down because I wasn't really in the mood for non-fiction. I do really want to read it before the end of the month though and so I'll spend the last couple of days of November reading it. 
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Top Ten Tuesday | Books By Indigenous Authors I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...

Thanksgiving Freebie but seeing as how I'm British and don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought I'd highlight ten books by Indigenous authors instead. I do really want to start reading more from Indigenous authors and these are some of the ones that interest me the most.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

I haven't heard too much about this one but it's been getting some amazing reviews and the world this book is set in sounds so interesting.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

I've mentioned this book on my blog before and it just sounds like a beautiful magical realism read.

Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford

It's 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women, presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine's father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church - a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But Justine does her best as a devoted daughter, until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever. Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine--a mixed-blood Cherokee woman-- and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world--of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces, like wildfires and tornados--intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home. 
 Here for a historical novel that explores the bond between mothers and daughters.

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who's often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he's also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can't rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer (he calls her Baby)--and now she's dead.

Jared can't count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can't rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family's life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat...and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he's the son of a trickster, that he isn't human. Mind you, ravens speak to him--even when he's not stoned.

You think you know Jared, but you don't.
That line "Ravens speak to him - even when he's not stoned" just has me so intrigued for some reason and it feels like it's going to be my kind of weird.

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

The youngest child of his best friend, Pete Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools, and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.
The actual Goodreads synopsis is longer then this but this chunk was all I really needed to read before my interest was piqued and to be honest I kind of want to go into this one blind.

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson  

With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, a troubled artist who also lives with the family.

Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American background and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah’s feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.
This sounds emotional and poignant and just a beautiful coming of age story.

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Another one that's bound to get me emotional, and I like the sound of the mixture of genres used to create this story. 

The Things She's Seen by Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire?
As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another... 
As soon as I read that first line I was like, yes I have to read this! I love a good small town mystery.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones    

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

This book has been getting a fair bit of hype this year and so I want to jump on the bandwagon! Plus, the author is described as the Jordan Peele of horror and therefore I have to pick it up!

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.

I definitely want to educate myself more on the way that Indigenous people have been overlooked throughout history and this book has been recommended as a good place to start. 

Which books by Indigenous authors are on your TBR? Leave a comment or link your own Top Ten Tuesday's for me to check out! Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!


Monday, 23 November 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Non-Fiction

This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Non-Fiction. I do actually really like reading non-fiction, I've always liked learning new things and researching about obscure topics. I also try and read at least one non-fiction book a month which so far is going pretty well! I tried to choose five books off my tbr that look at different subjects so without further ado...

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Down The TBR Hole #11


Current TBR shelf: 3950

Last week's TBR shelf: 3953

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Book Review | Horrid by Katrina Leno

Title: Horrid 
Author: Katrina Leno • Author's Site 
Publication Date: 15th September 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Owned Physical Copy
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Horror  


Trigger and Content Warnings: pica (mostly xylophagia/paper, but mention of hair and flowers, too), loss of a parent/sibling/child, scenes with blood, panic attacks


Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all--it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears....

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more...horrid?




Wednesday, 18 November 2020

WWW Wednesday | 18/11/2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill on Saturday and had some pretty mixed feelings about it. At the beginning and for most of the book, I was a little bit bored because I didn't particularly like the main character. Gaia was just very naive and obsessive and I struggled with her personality. I did like the changes that O'Neill made when steering away from the original story of the Little Mermaid, the ending really picked things up and I liked the feminist twist on a classic fairytale. 

What are you currently reading?

I've finally started Shadowsea (The Cogheart Adventures #4) by Peter Bunzl after I said I would at the beginning of the month. I managed to slot it in for my final prompt for the 1000 Doors Readathon; to read a book that remind you of American Horror Story. This doesn't remind me of it necessarily but it is set in a hotel and AHS has a series revolving around a hotel so we're going with my loose link! I'm about 80 pages and I'm really enjoying being reunited with these characters and I'm excited to see where this new mystery leads.   

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is my current physical read and my non-fiction book for the month. I haven't really felt in the mood to read for the past couple of days mainly because I've been feeling unwell and I've had a headache that keeps coming and going so I'm still only 21 pages into this one. I do like Malala's voice already though and it'll be interesting to hear about her life story. 

Briar's Book (Circle of Magic #4) by Tamora Pierce is what I'm currently listening to on audio although again I haven't made much progress and I've only listened to the first chapter. I'm excited to finish this series off though and Briar has been my favourite character from the previous stories so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden will be my next physical read and I can't wait to read it. I'm taking part in a readalong for this series hosted by megwithbooks and I've heard nothing but good things about this series. I'm ready to get to stuck into some Russian folklore and wintery fantasy vibes. 
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Top Ten Tuesday | Fictional Characters I'd Name A Pet After

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...

Characters I'd Name A Pet After. I've always liked the idea of naming a pet after a character from a book or film purely because I'd rather give them an unusual name rather then something very generic. I've never actually named a pet myself though as the majority of our family pets have been rescues who already had names. If I do eventually get some pets when I'm older, these are the names I'd keep in mind. 


Monday, 16 November 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Black Covers

This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Black Covers. I thought this prompt would be super easy but actually I struggled to find books that were predominantly black and most of the ones I ended up choosing still have a slight splash of colour. 

The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Page 

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.

A sorority of witches? Yes, please.  

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

Getting lost in the woods is a specific fear of mine so I can see myself getting especially creeped out by this book!

Meme by Aaron Starmer

No one is going to miss Cole Weston. A loner without friends or family and an unhealthy obsession with the darker corners of the internet, Cole had become increasingly violent toward his ex-girlfriend, and threated to do so much worse. So it was only logical–only right, really–that his former friends took it upon themselves to rid the world of Cole Weston.

Now, Logan, Meeka, Holly, and Grayson are forever bound by Cole’s body, buried under the cold Vermont earth. The failsafe should any one of them consider betrayal: their old phones, buried with Cole, disconnected from service, and each wiped clean except for one file–their video confession.

As expected, no one misses Cole. Or even realizes he’s gone. But a few days later, the meme appears. It’s a stupid meme, old school and not even funny. But every terrible joke has one thing in common, the same photo–a screenshot from the confession video still entombed six feet under with Cole.

This is recommended for fans of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and whilst I didn't love that book, I do enjoy plots that follow that same vein. I have a feeling this is a book I'm either going to really like or really dislike!


Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco Moore    

Jo lives in the same Appalachian town where her mother disappeared fifteen years ago. Everyone knows what happened to Jo's mom. She was wild, and bad things happen to girls like that.

Now people are starting to talk about Jo. She's barely passing her classes and falls asleep at her desk every day. She's following in her mom's footsteps.

Jo does have a secret. It's not what people think, though. Not a boy or a drug habit. Jo has a twin sister.

Jo's sister is not like most people. She lives in the woods--catches rabbits with her bare hands and eats them raw. Night after night, Jo slips out of her bedroom window and meets her sister in the trees. And together they run, fearlessly.

The thing is, no one's ever seen Jo's sister. So when her twin attacks a boy from town, everyone assumes that it was Jo. Which means Jo has to decide--does she tell the world about her sister, or does she run?

It's gotten some mixed reviews but it sounds weird and creepy enough that I want to check it out for myself.


The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

 I love witchy books and this sounds dark and atmospheric and probably one I'm going to enjoy a lot.


Which books with black covers are on your TBR? If you've already read some of these, let me know what you thought! Leave a comment with your own #5OnMyTBR posts for me to check out! Happy Reading!

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