Monthly Wrap Up

July Wrap Up

July was a month full of entertaining reads.

I completed Kristin Hannah’s “triathlon” and loved it. 😊 Hannah knows how to create long lasting emotional roller-coasters. After enjoying her The Great Alone, I wanted to read more of her other books and I am her fan now. Her The Nightingale is on my TBR list next! 🙂

I also listened to the brilliant audio version of Trevor Noah – Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, narrated by the author himself. This is such an excellent memoir, full of emotionally charged stories that explore racism, feminism and a lot more. I really, really recommend it as it left a strong impression and is possibly the best audio-book I have listened to so far.

I also did a buddy with of Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns with lovely Umut. I enjoyed exchanging our notes and discussing each of those magical stories. Thanks Umut for being such an awesome buddy reader to me! ❤️

For those interested, here’s my complete list:

Leigh Bardugo:  The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Kristin Hannah:

  1. Firefly Lane
  2. True Colours
  3. Night Road

Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Health-wise: I finally bit the bullet and went to see a doctor about my digestion. We had quite a lengthy chat and he suspects some form of IBS or even IBD being behind my symptoms. I got a referral to see a specialist in August and will start the process of being tested and prodded.

My anxiety has been at its worst. It may have something to do with being quite involved in my health and self-diagnosing myself every few days with a new diagnosis, ranging from leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s disease …

Also, my grandma, has been very unwell and it really hit me.

I found myself spending more and more time online mindlessly scrolling down social media feeds and feeling like crap. I also spent hours researching what may be wrong with me. To feel better, I started spending money online. Something I am not proud of and which I want to address.

I am declaring August to be my month of slow and intentional living.

I have deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts as these both contribute to my mindless scrolling addiction and may temporarily disable my Facebook account to spend more time off-line.

This is going to impact my blog as well.

August will be my blog’s summer holiday month. 🙂

If I feel like writing posts and reviews, I’ll prepare them but will not be posting, nor will be blog hopping as I want to reduce my anxiety, which is not helping my digestion and health in general.

This is not a goodbye, just a short summer holiday with the ‘see you in September’ premise. 😊

Hope you all have a wonderful August, full of long evenings, BBQs, sunshine, laughter, time with your loved ones as well as time spent outdoors.

My plan is to carry on reading but also to finally start learning how to surf and to spend time on my life coach certification.

Thank you for reading and for being here. See you in September my friends! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

About Me, Bookish

Sunshine Blogger

I’ll start with a quick shout out to Inge from The Belgian Reviewer, that had me over at her super cool blog the other day. Inge writes stellar reviews that cover thrillers, crime fiction and much more. If you don’t know her blog yet, please go over to check it out. I wholeheartedly recommend it. 🙂

Inge, it was an honour to answer your questions, thanks so much for having me at your blog.  If you would like read my answers to Inge’s questions, you can do so over here.


Now let’s dive into today’s topic.

Lovely Azu @ BookOrbit tagged me a while ago for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Azu likes YA fiction, has an extremely pretty blog and is a very sweet person, with whom I enjoy connecting. Thanks Azu for thinking of me. 

The rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions

Without further ado, here are my answers to Azu’s questions. 🙂


  1. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Just one? That’s impossible!

I love Tolkien’s Hobbit from fantasy, King’s The Shining from horror, Coelho’s The Alchemist from fiction, Brown’s Daring Greatly from non-fiction, Exupery’s The Little Prince from children’s fiction despite it being really meant for adults…

  1. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

I like to look at books as not meant for me, rather than them being bad.

With that said, any insta-love romance type of book usually gets me bored. Add a moody / arrogant / ‘misunderstood’ object of affection to it and I am struggling to finish it… Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series being one of them. Sorry, just not my thing…

  1. If you could be any fictional character for real. Whom would you be?

Jo Little Women

I would quite like to be Jo from Little Women.

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Insta-love because it usually gives an author a pass to skip a relationship building phase, which I personally find so interesting.

  1. What’s your hobby?

Rock-climbing, yoga, hiking, staring into nothingness… and people. I honestly love people watching and it does get me into trouble sometimes… 😉

  1. What’s your dream job?

I don’t think there is a dream job per se. I think any job has a dream job potential if we start perceiving it that way and start finding aspects in it that are aligned with our values. 😊 To me, as long as I am helping others and contributing to this world, I am happy and content. 🙂

  1. Who is your favourite author?

Again, just one??? If I stick to only one, I’ll go with Brene Brown. I adore her story telling ability and well as her courage to explore some difficult topics such as shame, vulnerability and belonging.

Honorary mentions go to J.R.R Tolkien, Katherine Arden, Tamora Pierce and Leigh Bardugo.

  1. What’s your favourite genre?

The problem with me is that you can not ‘box’ me. I am so whimsical and my taste changes on a regular basis. I suppose having a consistent genre would probably help with my blog’s theme… but hey, it is what it is.

I love all sorts of genres. Non-fiction, especially psychology, philosophy, memoirs and mythologies; from fiction, it would be fantasy, psychological thrillers and psychological / character driven stories in general. Sprinkled with some horror, sci-fi and crime as well from time to time. 😊

  1. How was your day today on the scale of 10?

I did wake up, so 10 it is. 😊

  1. What got you into reading?

I think it was my family upbringing. My parents are both keen readers and our family ‘quality time together’ sometimes meant all of us reading at the same time… our own books… together…. 😊

As a child, my dad would take me for walks and let me run around a forest whilst he was reading his books. I would always enquire what he was reading, and he would start telling me stories about old Greeks, religion and science (side note: I share with him my love for non-fiction as you can tell!).

I always wanted to know more. He helped me to learn how to read before I started school and we would read together Greek myths or old Slavic folk stories.

I have always been a reader. I cannot remember not reading to be honest. Reading takes me to different worlds, honours my love of creativity as I can imagine creatures that no one has seen before. It also makes me think and helps me with my staring into nothingness hobby as well… 😉

11. What is your all time favourite TV Show?

I guess it would have to be Friends for their humour, friendship and struggles of early adulthood. But it’s on par with Gilmore Girls as I just love that mother / daughter aspect of it. Both of these shows are something I could re-watch over and over again because of that humour, human connection and feel good factor.

Honorary mentions go to Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and then Lost, Homeland and Game of Cards when they were at their best..


Alrighty, because I had fun answering these questions and I am quite lazy, I’ll re-use Azu‘s question for those of you, who would like to take part. 😀

If you are reading it, consider yourself tagged!

If you don’t feel answering the entire list, would you mind sharing with me:

what got you into reading?

I’d love to know! 🙂

Bookish

T5W – Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This week’s topics for the Top 5 Wednesday series is: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year.

I must admit I am slightly worried that once I admit I want to read something, I am likely not read it. I am notorious for obsessing over a book, buying it, looking at it…. and not reading it. So please bear that in mind, and yes, I have a problem, I know! 😉

  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (release date: 25th September 2018)
Small Spaces cover
Small Spaces cover

I adore Arden‘s books. Her The Bear and The Nightingale is one of my favourite books. Arden’s lyrical prose is something I can not get enough of. Small Spaces is supposed to be a middle grade ‘spooky’ book. I am thinking a perfect Halloween read! 🙂

  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock Cover

Because so many of my trusted reviewers loved this book. Also, it was shortlisted for the Women’s Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018. I read so many excited reviews and I am looking forward to reading it very shortly.

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief
The Book Thief cover

Because it’s supposed to be about a girl during WWII. Because everyone I know who read it loved it, and because I am living under a rock and haven’t read it yet. 🙂

  • I really want to re-read Steinbeck‘s novels. The one I’m hoping to read again this year is East of Eden – John Steinbeck
East of Eden
East of Eden cover

To be honest, I am pretty sure I read it but I am not entirely sure I have. My poor memory says: “the blurb sounds familiar and you read pretty much everything of Steinbeck as he is one of your favourite authors”… but I am not certain. So I will re-visit! I am slightly scared that I will change my mind (I think I loved it…) but hey, you never know until you try. 🙂

  • Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas (release date: 7th August 2018)
Catwoman
Catwoman cover

Because Maas has such a fun writing style. It’s a roller-coaster of action after action. There’s also lots of humour and snarkiness and this just screams ‘perfect fun summer read‘ to me. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. 🙂 Side note: not an fan of the cover though so eBook it is. 🙂

There you have it. My five books I’m hoping to read this year. Please don’t hold me to it! 🙂


Over to you my friends!

  • Have you read any of those?
  • What book are you looking forward to reading this year?
About Me, Bookish

How I Choose My Books Tag

The wonderful and kind Kelly from Another Book in The Wall tagged for the how I choose my books tag! Kelly has an amazing blog – not only does she write thoughtful reviews, but she also creates many thought provoking discussion posts as well as features inspiring book quotes. If you don’t know her blog, please go over to say Hi. I sincerely hope you will enjoy is as much as I do. Thanks Kelly for thinking of me. 

My attempt to catch up on all those lovely tags and awards continues. Let’s have a look how I choose my books, shall we? 🙂


  1. Find a Book on Your Shelves or E-Reader With a Blue Cover | What Made You Want to Pick Up This Book?

the witch of portobello

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

I love Coelho’s The Alchemist and because of that, I read a few of his other books as well. This one spoke to me via its blurb “How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?” I thought to myself: ‘that’s an interesting question, I wonder how it will get answered’ and gave this book a chance. 😊

  1. Think of a Book You Didn’t Expect To Enjoy, But Did | Why Did You Read It in the First Place?

heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (my review)

I am a big Alice in Wonderland fan. That was the reason behind choosing this book. I started reading it thinking ‘I sincerely hope that Lewis Carroll’s non-sensical world will not get ruined’… I had many arrogant and cynical assumptions at the back of my mind and they were proven completely wrong. I absolutely adored this book.

  1. Stand In Front Of Your Bookshelf With Your Eyes Closed And Pick a Book At Random | How Did You Discover This Book

Underland

Underland by Chanda Hahn

I read everything Chanda Hahn has written… I enjoy her re-tellings and especially loved her An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series.

When I found out Chanda wrote a book featuring Greek myths, well, it was a no-brainer for me to pick it up… and it did not disappoint by the way, I recommend this book.

  1. Pick a Book That Someone Personally Recommended To You | What Did You Think Of It?

what alice forgot

Norrie recommended me a while back What Alice Forgot from Liane Moriarty (my review). I loved this book because of its characters as well as the concept of ‘time travel thanks to amnesia’… and because of Norrie’s recommendation, I discovered another great author. 😊 With Big Little Lies (my review) being one of my favourite books of 2018 so far.

  1. Pick A Book You Discovered Through Booktube/Book Blogs

educated

Educated by Tara Westover (my review)

I picked this book up after I read this Umut’s review. It is still my book of 2018… despite being massively impressed with Circe

  1. Find A Book On Your Shelves With A One Word Title | What Drew You To This Book?

Outliers

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Oh, Gladwell and his impressive writing. No unnecessary words, everything well-thought-out and to the point. I adore his thought provoking books.

I was drawn to this book both because of its author as well as its description: “Gladwell asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

  1. What Book Did You Discover Through a Film/TV Adaptation?

The Lighting Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I read Percy Jackson’s adventures a while back, shortly after I watched Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief movie. I really wish I read those as a child, I enjoyed them as an adult but I know I would have loved them even more as a kid. 😊

  1. Think of Your All Time Favourite Book(s) | When Did You Read Them and Why Did You Pick Them Up In The First Place?

My All Time Favourite book is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

little princeI was given this book by my dad and we read it together for the first time when I was a child. Dad would always pause and let me think about what we just read. We would analyse it together and he would ask for my opinions page after page. 🙂 I read it again a few times as a teenager after that. My sister and I share the same love for this book. We used to talk about its quotes for hours in our local tea room, which is built in our Gothic’s town’s old town walls.

tearoomPhoto of that lovely tearoom

I still remember those discussions and cherish them very dearly.

I read it again many times as an adult and every time I read this bittersweet book, I discover something new in it.  It’s full of possibilities, dreams and love. 😊

Some of my favourite quotes from this book are:

  • “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
  • “What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” 
  • “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” 
  • “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” 

 


If you haven’t done this tag and are reading this post, I am tagging you. 🙂 

Tag, you are It! 🙂

Now over to you:

  • Have you read some of the books I mentioned? 
  • What Book Did You Discover Through a Film/TV Adaptation?
Bookish

3 Days 3 Quotes Tag: Day 2

I’ve been tagged by Kathy from Pages Below the Vaulted Sky in the 3 Days 3 Quotes Tag. I’ll keep it short given it’s the weekend. 🙂


Day 2

Educated quote
Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir

I can not stop thinking about Educated (my review)

I think people may think it’s about survivalists.

To me, this book is all about having courage to belong nowhere but to yourself.

To be strong enough to say goodbye to those toxic and hurtful relationships.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I recommend giving it a go.


Fancy giving it a go?

Don’t feel pressurised to participate though. 🙂

And anyone else who would like to do this tag. You’re It!


Hope you are having a great weekend full of sunshine and happiness.🌞

What do you think of this quote? 

Bookish

I Spy with My Little Eye… something that starts with…

The Incredible Spy Norrie @ Reading Under the Blankie invited me to take part in this fun challenge. I’m always up for a challenge. So what is this particular one about?

The challenge: Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!!

Side note: I will use my GoodReads’ list of books, which I have read or want to read, displayed a grid to help me with this challenge. Let’s see how quickly it goes…


FOOD

fairest

I enjoy fairy tale re-tellings and the Fairest from An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series was a highly enjoyable read. I recommend the series if you love fairy tales. 🙂 Fairest by Chanda Hahn

TRANSPORTATION

Small Spaces cover

I can not wait to get my hands on this book. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is a highly anticipated book.

WEAPON

norse mythology

Well I’m sticking with this one as Thor used his hammer as a weapon. 🙂 Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (my review).

ANIMAL

the horse whisperer

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Absolutely loved this book when it was released (the movie was ok but it’s the book that stole my heart).

NUMBER

13

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong – I read her entire Otherword series as well as a few other of her books. Witches, werewolves, necromancers, and mafia.. what else to say. 🙂

SOMETHING YOU READ

talon

Talon by Julie Kagawa. Kagawa is such an amazing author and I still want to read some of her books as I haven’t read all of them yet. I love dragons and this book cover is just…. 

BODY OF WATER

Life of Pi

I bought this audiobook recently and can not wait to start listening to it (hopefully sometime this week). Life of Pi by Yann Martel

PRODUCT OF FIRE

the winter of the witch

Another of Katherine Arden‘s highly anticipated releases. I can not wait to read The Winter of the Witch. I really, really can not wait. Can I somehow get a copy please… ehm, like right now please??? Let’s appreciate how beautiful this cover is so I can talk about it for a tiny bit longer… 😀

ROYALTY

red queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard I read it, it was ok. Moving on…

ARCHITECTURE

kin

Kin by Snorri Kristjansson – a book about highly dysfunctional family dynamics plus a few murders now and again happening within this ‘lovely’ family. Quite a surprising fun read (my review).

CLOTHING ITEM

the three musketeers

I absolutely adored this book whilst growing up. Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeers.

FAMILY MEMBER

Iron Daughter

Another of Kagawa’s books that I really enjoyed reading. This one is about The Iron Fey. Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa.

Side note: if you enjoyed The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, I highly recommend this series as well. 🙂

TIME OF DAY

Mort

My favourite Pratchett’s book. I know it’s not ‘quite’ the time of day but I just had to sneak it in here… Mort by Terry Pratchett

MUSIC

1000perfectnotes

The emotional contemporary novel A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews (my review)

PARANORMAL BEING

hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The paranormal being in this case is the dragon, Smaug, not Bilbo – because Bilbo is a legit hobbit, just saying…

OCCUPATION

alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book helps me dream every time I read it… 

SEASON

wintersmith

Another of Pratchett’s wonderful creations. This is especially enjoyable on a cold frosty winter day. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

COLOUR

the colour of magic

Norrie – you did extremely well with King, I was very impressed. 🙂 I was tempted to play along with Pratchett but did not dare… he he. Still, I had to use his third book here… purely because it is a pretty awesome book and because I’ll be re-reading it soon with this lovely bunch. Join us if you fancy joining a Terry Pratchett Read-a-thon!! 🙂

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

CELESTIAL BODY

little prince

Because that’s my favourite book of all time. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery I particularly love this quote of his:It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

SOMETHING THAT GROWS

wildwood dancing

This book… I completely lost sense of time whilst reading it. Its writing is truly magical. It’s a wonderful story of five sisters that discover a portal to a mysterious forest (just to double check, something is growing there in the background, right?) If you like Arden’s writing, I have a feeling you may enjoy this beautiful book as well. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier


What wants to play along?

Cynic On Wings  | Book Beach Bunny | Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky | Leslie @ Books Are The New Black| Alex @ Alex Reads and Blogs | Ivy @ Ivy’s Library Card | Ashley @ Ashley in Wonderland | Justine @ Milkz’ Bookshelf

Fancy giving it a go? And also everyone else who feels like it. It’s a lot of fun, promise!

I did not beat the 5 minute time though… I guess ‘indecision’ is my middle name, he he. It was a lot of fun, thanks Norrie for thinking of me. 🙂


Now over to you:

What book cover would you choose for CELESTIAL BODY? Fancy sharing it with me? 🙂 Thanks.

Chitter-chatter

Chitter-Chatter: Book Ratings – to be, or not to be: that is the question!

CaféLatte (1)

Welcome to the ‘Chitter-Chatter‘ series. I’m so glad you are here.  

In case you have missed previous posts in this series, we are still talking about:

In today’s post, I would like us to talk about book ratings.

Or rather for them to be, or not to be: that is the question. 😊

I have been recently wondering how comparable these ratings are across different genres as well as how granular they really are. I mean if I incline towards 4 stars, but it’s not quite there, but then 3 ½ stars seem a bit low… I know, I am overthinking it.

How do you rate a coffee table book vs. a fantasy book? One will show you lovely images and could make your living space more enjoyable whereas the other one may get your heart pumping and could get you emotionally invested. Is it fair to rate the first lower than the latter because of perhaps a lack of emotional investment? I guess if you, as a book blogger, tend to stick to one genre, maybe this question becomes redundant. But I like to read a lot of non-fiction as well as fiction. And I’m starting to wonder if my non-fiction ratings are directly comparable to my fiction ratings…

What also bugs me the most is when my heart is in a conflict with my brain. That’s where I have not idea how to rate.

I’ll give you an example:

I finished reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I was fully emotionally invested, I cried a lot and my heart loved it. I gave it 5 stars on GoodReads straight after I finished it. Then I started thinking about it. And my dear brain told me: ‘ehm, the ending was rushed, it was a bit of a soap opera really, there were quite a few clichés… let’s give it 3 or 3 ½ if we are generous, shall we’? My heart is refusing to listen and wants to firmly stick to the 5-star rating.

So which rating shall I give it? Shall I average them? Or listen to my brain?

Ultimately all reviews are our opinions and are therefore subjective. I think describing our reasons for liking a certain book and then pointing out where it personally fell a bit short of us, seems quite fair to me.

We are reading Art. Is it fair to rate the work of art?

I honestly don’t know the answer to it yet.

But I am starting to incline towards writing a review which will leave a reader with my thoughts rather that with thoughts + a number.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t use ratings by the way, I’m just thinking out loud and trying to work out what would work the best for me.

If you enjoy giving your books ratings, please don’t feel judged. That’s not my intention at all.  


Let’s talk!

As I’m trying to figure it all out, I  will be very grateful for any of your advice.

I am especially keen to work out if:

  1. you listen to your heart
  2. you listen to your brain
  3. you listen to both of them

If your answer is 3), how do you then reflect that in your overall rating please?

I appreciate all your comments, they always make my day. 😊