Interview with my other half – Blogmas Day Fourteen

Hello and welcome to DAY FOURTEEN of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library. I’m going to do something a bit different today and interview my boyfriend of four years – John. He’s a book lover as well and also has a blog named Books & Fables (although he’s not really posted a whole lot this year!) 

Just a few quick questions so my readers can get to know him a bit more. My questions will be in bold and his answers are in normal font. I hope you enjoy this random Q&A session!

Hiya and welcome to your interrogation. You’ve been a massive disappointment this year in terms of reading and despite my relentless prodding to read books I think you’ll love, you’ve constantly disregarded my makeshift TBR’s for you! 

Yeah..so what’s your question? 

Is there a particular reason you don’t like following my book recommendations?

Yes there is actually! I want to read what I want to read. If I don’t read what I want to read, I won’t read it! 

Surely there’s got to be some recommendations that I’ve geared you towards in the past that you’ve ended up loving?

Yeah, of course there are. Illuminae for instance, I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own, but I read it when I wanted to read it, not when I was prodded. I do think you know what I would like to read better than I do myself, but the timing is crucial!

So, no makeshift TBR’s in the future then? 

You know how I feel about your makeshift TBR’s! I might start the first book but then I’ll probably stray away from everything else.. And DNF the first book too.

I think something that would work really well with the type of reader you are would be buddy reads. You can take them as seriously or as casually as you like and you have someone to gush over a book with. I’m not necessarily saying do one with me, but is it something you’d consider? 

Yeah I’d definitely consider that. I love talking about the books I’ve read (as you no doubt know by now), so having someone to do that with would be great! We certainly like different sorts of books, or rather judge them based on different things, so our views on the same book can be very, um, polarising – which makes a buddy read with you veeeery interesting.

You’ve not completed your reading challenge this year, and it’s looking unlikely that you will. I’ve heard you speak negatively about the stress they bring to reading throughout the year, so why is it that they just don’t click with you? 

I’m not sure, because they work with so many other people. I must just be missing something! I remember the end of last year when I was speed reading just to complete my challenge and I think that’s the reason that I didn’t read again until what, mid-2018? I would much rather just read when I want to, and not have a number to hit by the end of the year. Sitting down with a book is one of the most relaxing things I can ever do, and I don’t want to feel pressured into doing so, otherwise it takes away from that for me. 

Looking back on 2018, what has been your favourite and least favourite read of the year?

My favourite was probably Illuminae for me. The entry book into the trilogy was a breath of fresh air (yes, I know you think it’s a gimmick!) for me, and the fact that it was very heavy on the sci-fi just made it even better. I was left wanting more, and I think that’s proven by how quickly I read Gemina straight after! My least favourite would have to be How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand. It was an ARC that we picked up from YALC this year – definitely a whim. Not one that paid off, judging by the fact that I DNF’d it…

And given you’re dating someone who appreciates aesthetically pleasing book covers, do you have any personal favourites this year?

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. It is BEAUTIFUL. I cannot wait to read this just based on the cover alone!

If you could gift a copy of any one book to everyone you know this Christmas, which book would you like everyone to experience?

Cure For The Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker. Anyone who likes a quirky contemporary with pop culture references needs to read this book. It’s such an original idea, it’s funny, relatable, and it carries a deeper meaning too. Hands down one of my favourite books.

Will you be blogging again next year or is it something you’re just no longer interested in?

I don’t know. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t! I have to be in the right mood to make a blog post, and also have the free time on my hands to do so. Unfortunately, it’s quite rare that both of those things combine!

Given this is a Blogmas post, it seems only right to ask you this next question. What are your favourite things about Christmas?

The food. The food, and company, too. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to gorge yourself on a massive Christmas dinner with the people you love. The gifts are a bonus too!

Are there any 2019 releases you cannot wait to get your hands on?

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – after reading two of the Illuminae Files books, anything these two release is an automatic buy for me.

And that’s all we’ve got time for because as per usual this was not pre-scheduled or pre-written. A massive thank you to everyone who read this as well as John for agreeing to take part! 

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My Surprising Reads Of 2018 – Blogmas Day Thirteen

We’ve all had that moment of shock after finishing a book when you either expected to love it and were incredibly disappointed, or when you weren’t really all that excited by a synopsis but you’re in awe of how much you ended up adoring it! In this Blogmas post, I’ll be talking to you about the books that happened to me with this year! They’re not all 2018 releases but I did read them all in 2018 so I’m counting them!

Let’s get to it! 

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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I was talked into buying this in June by someone at the Hot Key book stall at YALC. He said it was amazing and everyone was talking about it so I picked it up. Truthfully, I don’t know why I did because it really didn’t interest me all that much. However, I finally got around to reading it this month and I loved it! It was fast paced, fantastical and I adored both of the protagonists. It wasn’t particularly original, but I was surprised by how gripping it was! 

Save The Date by Morgan Matson 

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She’s essentially the queen of heartfelt contemporaries so this was an auto-buy novel for me. Unfortunately, this is the first of her books that I just couldn’t get into. The whole wedding setting was stressful and repetitive and I didn’t feel any emotional connection to any of the characters or the plot itself. I’ll still be picking up her next novel but will have to re-consider in the future if her next book is as boring as this was.

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

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My other half RAVED about this book being a gripping YA thriller so I instantly picked it up because, you know? It sounded GOOD. Unfortunately it felt boring, predictable and I disliked every character. The premise was intriguing but a thriller needs to keep you on the edge of your seat. I was just waiting for it to be over. 

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell 

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I expected to enjoy this, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away! I’m a horror movie fanatic and get scared easily when watching them but it takes a lot more to scare me when I’m reading a book and this did! I was terrified! It’s not fantastically written or anything but the author managed to create such a tense and sinister atmosphere that left me hooked! 

The Island by M.A. Bennett

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I’ll be talking about this later on in another Blogmas post, but I HATED this book. I met the author herself at YALC and she was so lovely. Heck, I even got her to sign my copy before I’d even read it! Unfortunately, this book made me feel a bit sick and I thought there were a lot of problematic elements to it that didn’t get discussed. I’d been genuinely looking forward to reading it so of course, as you can imagine, I was insanely disappointed by this one. 

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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After I had finished Caravel I was undecided on whether or not I’d be continuing on with the series because it wasn’t my cup of tea at all. I bought the sequel during it’s week of release and I only picked it up this month. That’s how low my expectations were. Now? I cannot express how excited I am to read the final book. Legendary was everything I wanted from the first book and I am just in awe at how magical everything felt. Bring on Finale!

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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The cover is gorgeous, and the first half of the book matched the outside. It was magical, romantic and had a lot of potential. However, I think that because the book was so short, the author felt like she needed to wrap everything up too quickly and there was very little plot because of this. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what her next novel is like because I think there’s a lot of potential for her to be a great YA fantasy author, but this just didn’t do anything for me. 

And there we have it! My most surprising reads of 2018! Are there any books that you didn’t love but expected to or vice versa? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading! 

My 2019 Book Buying Ban – Blogmas Day Twelve

Following on from yesterday’s post, I’ll be discussing my plans for reducing my TBR in 2019. I definitely need to get down and do this, because I would LOVE to be a person who can go into a bookshop and pick up my next read without feeling pulled down by all of the books waiting to be read on my shelves.

So here are the rules for my 2019 book buying ban! 

  • Write a list of all the books I actually own and intend to read, and donate any books that no longer interest me. 
  • Make sure to write a TBR at the beginning of each month but not feel tied down to those books if it’s only going to put me into a reading slump. 
  • Create a space on my bookshelf for any books that I haven’t read yet so they’re not mixed in with books I already have. 
  • Buddy read books that have been sitting around for ages so that I can capture some excitement about them again. 
  • No bookish subscription boxes. 
  • Create solo readathons on my days off but invite others to join in too and if a readathon comes up that I’m miraculously available to do, then do it. 
  • Avoid charity shops and second hand bookshops at all costs so I don’t create some weird loophole in my book buying ban. 
  • Not picking up any free books or accepting review copies. 
  • If I do go to YALC I’ll judge my circumstances at the time and decide whether or not I’m allowed to buy any new books. 
  • Create a list at the beginning of the year of any new releases throughout the year that I am allowed to buy and not stray from it. 
  • Do wrap-ups at the end of each month so I can keep track of how well I’m doing. 
  • I will be able to buy sequels of books I already own if I’m that desperate to read them but I’m not allowed to begin any new series I don’t already own unless they’re on my list I create at the beginning of the year. 
  • If I’m struggling to focus on classics I will read them alongside a different novel so I’m not solely focused on that one book. 
  • Book ban will run from the 1st of January through to the 24th of December 2019. 

And there you have it! Am I crazy? Am I stupid? Perhaps. But I’m also oddly excited! Are you attempting to reduce your TBR in 2019? Do you want to join me in my challenge? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading! 

My Bookish Goals For 2019 – Blogmas Day Eleven

Hello and welcome to Day Eleven of Blogmas! I’m going to get straight into it today and discuss my book related goals for the new year! 

  • Up my followers on all social media accounts – Blogging for me isn’t about the stats, however it is nice to know you’re connecting with people, so I’d definitely like to set myself some targets for next year. I would really like to reach 1500 followers on Twitter, 350 on my blog and 200 on Instagram. I don’t think I’m going to quite achieve the follower goals I set myself mid-year but I like to think the ones I’ve set for 2019 are achievable. 
  • Have a blogging schedule – I’m all over the place when it comes to writing and scheduling posts in advance. I write when I wanna write and I post when I wanna post. However, I’d definitely like to at least get a rough schedule set so my days are mapped out. I’m hoping to get a diary/notebook to help make this happen because I am a lover of lists and I always need another notebook. 
  • Reduce my physical TBR – I’m always going to have a mental TBR of all the books I don’t own and I can’t really do anything to help that, but I can try and reduce the books I do actually have on my shelves. In early 2019, I’ll have a plan set out of how I’m going to do that so stay tuned, but for now…it’s a mystery. All I know is that I don’t want to go into 2020 with 80 books on my TBR. I miss the days where I’d buy a book, instantly read it and then go and buy my next one. Whether or not I’ll be able to reduce it by that much I don’t know but that’s definitely a goal of mine. 
  • Start researching and possibly drafting my first novel – I love writing. I have a creative mind and I think I could have the potential to make an amazing story. I’ve got a couple of ideas that I’m toying around with and just need to finally sit down and actually think about where it could all go. Definitely need a little writing space to help me get motivated though. 
  • Utilise my Goodreads more – It’s amazing having a platform specifically designed to discuss books and organise our never-ending TBR’s but I definitely don’t use mine enough. I’m obviously going to set my reading challenge at the beginning of the year as always but I would like to sort out my bookshelves a lot more and make sure I review everything I read. 
  • Maybe branch into Booktube – I don’t know whether or not my confidence has upped itself enough to post videos of myself on the internet yet but I would love to give Booktube another try in 2019. I love watching everyone else’s content, so why not create my own?
  • Get a new bookshelf…or two – I have run out of space for my books. It’s getting a lil’ messy around the house now because there are stacks everywhere so it’s really needed. I suppose I only need one if I’m meant to be reducing my TBR but it’s always good to have a spare one right?
  • Get my own blog domain – I’ve loved being able to utilise WordPress and getting to know how to make my blog look like a real blog, but I would really love to be able to have my own blog domain. It’s something I really need to look into in the new year. 
  • Stop reading books I don’t want to read – We’ve all been here I think? Reading a book because you NEED to review it but not because you WANT to be reading it? Well, this is something I’m definitely stopping. I’ve read a couple of books this year that I felt I needed to review and I didn’t enjoy them as much as I could have because of that. Next year, I want to spend my time off work reading the books I’m wanting to read. I spend too much time pleasing other people at work and a little self care never hurt anyone! 
  •  Read more adult literature – I love YA. I always will. But sometimes I need to read about characters who are slightly closer to my age or books that are a little bit more complex. I think it’s a shame that a lot of YA books dumb themselves down to appeal to the target audience and they really needn’t bother but a lot do and sometimes I just need a book to be really dark or a bit more philosophical. 

Do you have any goals for the new year – bookish or otherwise? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be doing a list of my non-bookish goals too in my 2018 wrap-up post but for now, goodbye and goodnight! I hope you enjoyed Day Eleven of Blogmas!

My Favourite Booktubers – Blogmas Day Ten

Welcome to Day Ten of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library! Today I will be sharing my favourite booktubers with you all! Before I begin let me just say that I would LOVE to watch smaller accounts and I don’t know why I don’t. I guess I just don’t know where to start? So if you know any amazing lesser known booktubers then please link them down below! 

Let’s begin with…

Tilly And Her Books

Tilly And Her Books was the first Booktuber I discovered two years ago before I even knew people made videos to discuss everything bookish! I found her funny, easy to relate to and she also loves animals! She doesn’t post as regularly as she used to and I do miss seeing her content but I’m hoping in 2019 she makes a full return! I’ve discovered so many amazing reads through her channel and I can’t wait to discover more! 

Super Space Chick

Once again, Kristen’s Super Space Chick account was one of the first channels I discovered! I instantly fell in love with her bookshelves which were organised by colour at the time and then realised we have a lot of similar interests outside of books too! She’s so down to earth and the fact that she’s a New Yorker makes her all the more fascinating for a Brit like me! 

Hailey In Bookland

Everyone knows Hailey by now if you regularly watch Booktube. Again, she was someone I instantly connected to and we share a lot of similar tastes in books and are both obsessed with Alice in Wonderland! I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed her content quite as much as I used to recently and I’m not really sure why. I think I just prefer her reading videos to her writing ones and she’s very focused on being a writer at the moment. Either way though, she’s one of those accounts I instantly rush to watch as soon as she posts something new!

PeruseProject

Bit of a different story for Regan from PeruseProject compared to the others. I actually really didn’t enjoy her videos for quite a long time. Then she started doing reading vlogs, and suddenly she was up there with my favourites. I definitely enjoy getting a lot of adult literature recommendations from Regan’s channel and I love just seeing her day to day life in New York during her reading vlogs. 

Merphy Napier

And last but by no means least, Merphy Napier! I stumbled across her channel about two weeks ago when I was watching unhaul videos, and she instantly became my favourite booktuber. I ended up binge watching so much of her content as well as adding so many books to my TBR. She’s so down to earth, has a beautiful family and I love how varied her taste in literature is. 

Like I said earlier, please link either your booktube accounts or just some smaller creators that you know down in the comments and I’ll be sure to go and check them out! Who are your personal favourites and do we have any in common? Thank you reading my tenth Blogmas post and I shall see you again tomorrow! Have a great day! 

The Christmas Stocking Tag – Blogmas Day Nine

Kate at Reading Through Infinity created this super fun and festive tag so make sure you go and check out her original post! I haven’t been tagged by anyone but really liked the questions included in this so thought I’d give it a go! Without further ado, welcome to Day Nine of Blogmas on Matilda’s Library! 

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

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I’d definitely say Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. The book features a lot of diversity, and the story was full of colour and featured dazzling magical realism. It just felt like a really vibrant novel in so many ways and it’s definitely one of the most life affirming and positive books I’ve read this year. 

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

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I don’t really have that many expensive books but for this one I’ll say my Barnes & Noble edition of The Wizard Of Oz. I’ve never read the original novels but I ADORE the movie with all my heart and this special collection of the first five is simply gorgeous. I also have the second book they’ve released which is the next five stories and it’s equally beautiful.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

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This has to be the final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Winter by Marissa Meyer. The book was action packed from start to finish and had me on the edge of my seat throughout it’s entirety. I cared about the characters so much and every battle was intense because the stakes were so high. I just didn’t want to lose anyone. 

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

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The Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. I wasn’t a massive fan of the first book at all. Don’t get me wrong it was okay but that’s all it was to me. Just an average YA fantasy. I recently finished the second book in the series, Legendary, and it was insanely entertaining. I still have my issues with some things but I’ll definitely be reading the final book now. 

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

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Muzna from I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan. She is hands down one of the most inspiring characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about and I don’t know if I’ve ever rooted for a character as much. By the end of the book I’d screamed into my pillow so many times due to second hand embarrassment, happiness and irritation. She wasn’t perfect but my gosh, was she incredible.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

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The A Court Of Thorns and Roses trilogy was heavily laden with fantasy tropes. Pretty much every trope from every genre to be completely honest. Turns out however, that I really didn’t care. I thought it was a highly entertaining fantasy series and maybe it wasn’t great, and indeed full of cliches but I’d still recommend it to anyone looking to get gripped by a series. Even if you may roll your eyes occasionally….

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

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I still have yet to read a book by the author I’m about to mention, but I saw her talk at a panel at YALC this year and I loved how passionate she appeared to be about writing and about the genre she typically writes. That author would be Becky Chambers. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I really cannot wait to get around to reading her books. 

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

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The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. The premise was actually very good, but there were so many problematic issues with it that ultimately overshadow the positive aspects. Didn’t we almost all love this series when we were younger? I just wish I could have had the power to edit some things out and give Bella a bit more of a personality. 

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

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The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp. I bought this at the beginning of last year when I was really heavily into reading adult fantasy/horror/sci-fi and I kind of drifted out of that phase really quickly leaving me with a bunch of unread books that I’d already bought. This was one of them and I finally got around to reading it in October of this year. It wasn’t amazing by any means but thoroughly enjoyable, hilarious and at times very creepy. 

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

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I hadn’t been really into reading in years when my mum bought me a copy of this book for Christmas two years ago and in all honesty, I didn’t intend to read it. It just didn’t interest me. However, of course I did end up doing so and now I have a book blog and tons of social media dedicated to my re-discovered love of reading. That book would be The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. I owe so much to that novel. 

I tag anyone who wants to do this but in particular 

Kate @ Book Lover Kate

Stark @ Random Melon Reads 

John @ Books & Fables 

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned or are you planning to? Also let me know if you do the tag and link me down below so I can go and check out your post! Thank you for joining me for Day Nine of Blogmas and I shall see you again tomorrow! 

My Christmas Traditions – Blogmas Day Eight

Welcome to DAY EIGHT of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library. Today we’re taking a slightly less bookish but considerably more festive route and talking about CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS. Everyone has them. Whether that be opening up a book on Christmas Eve or not celebrating at all and ordering a Chinese takeaway. 

So let me tell you a little bit about Christmas traditions in my house! 

What’s On The Table?

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A very dry turkey made especially dry by my mum leaving it in the oven overnight. A ham joint covered in honey and breadcrumbs and fifteen million cloves. Sausage meat mixed with sage and onion stuffing and baked to perfection. Gravy with so much wine in that you might as well be having a bottle of it poured over your dinner. Potatoes roasted in goose fat. Honey roasted parsnips. Brussels sprouts – if you’re that way inclined. 

What’s On The Box?

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Typically, we’re not really the kind of family who watches anything on TV on Christmas Day. But there’ll always be hundreds of A Christmas Carol adaptations we watch in the run up to it – my favourite being the Muppets version. As well as the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, Love Actually and The Holiday. 

What Games Do We Play?

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Ticket To Ride has become a staple on our dining room table in the last five or so years but that’s the only game that has stuck around for a long time. Monopoly just takes way too long to play, so we never play that anymore but a few years ago I’d have said that too! And maybe Trivial Pursuit?

What About Presents?

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We are a family who likes to go all out at Christmas. Not in a spoilt way, but just because we like giving gifts to each other. Over the years, we’ve tried to open presents AFTER Christmas dinner, but my eldest sister who’s in her early thirties gets far too excited and moans that she wants to open her presents, so we do usually still unwrap them in the morning. We’ve never been a stocking kind of family and little gifts are under the tree too. Our mum buys us all the same chocolates year after year. Guylian for me. Ferrero Rocher’s for the over excitable eldest I previously mentioned and Toffifee for my other older sister. Who knows when my mother decided that those were the chocolates we would like for the rest of our lives, or even when we liked them in the first place, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also typically receive a pair of cosy pyjamas. 

What Decorations Do We Have Up?

A tree! Varies each year on whether or not we have a real one or not. Personally, I do prefer them but they are very expensive, so not always a viable option. I like to have very natural coloured baubles and lots and lots of fairy lights. At my parents house, we’ve always put something random on top of the tree. Something like a soft toy seal. My other half and I now have a glittery silver star that we put up year after year in our own home along with fairy lights and natural coloured tinsel around my bookshelves. 

What about Boxing Day?

Every boxing day, my grandparents ‘host’ a get together at their house. So we have all of my dad’s side of the family there, a buffet, a game of bingo and some more presents. It’s my favourite tradition and one that I haven’t been able to attend nearly as much in the last few years given we rotate Christmas’ with my family and my boyfriend’s family. Thankfully, I AM going this year! 

Any new traditions this year?

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Technically, traditions are traditions because you’ve been doing them for a long time but I’d definitely like to create a new one and that is….reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in the run up to December. I love the story and it is so festive so this is definitely something I would like to do from now on!

I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions! What do you have for Christmas dinner? What games do you play and what films do you watch? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you all again tomorrow for DAY NINE of Blogmas! 

The Bookish ‘Naughty or Nice’ Tag – Blogmas Day Seven

Welcome to DAY SEVEN of Blogmas! So, I haven’t been tagged to do this but the lovely Jenn over at jenniely.com posted and created this tag and given it looked like a lot of fun, I decided to take part anyway! You can find her original post as well as a list of tag questions over on her original post! (Just click the bright blue link to take you directly to the post)

Let’s find out if my bookish habits this year have managed to get me on the nice list! 

Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✔

Yes. I have done this many times. In all honesty, I don’t really like feeling pressured into writing a review which I think is what it can sometimes feel like. I’ve never specifically requested a book and then not reviewed it though. 

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley ✔

Well, I have closed down my Netgalley account because I don’t like reading on a kindle or e-books in general, but when I did have it, it was waaaaay below 60%!

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)? ✔

All the time. Like are there people out there who actually review every single book they read on Goodreads? Because woah. You people are magic.

Folded down the page of a book ✘

I’m pleased to say that no, I have not folded down the page of a book at all this year. When I was a kid I did this all the time, but now it just upsets me. 

Accidentally spilled on a book ✘

I don’t drink hot drinks and I’m very fussy about what I can and can’t eat while I’m reading, so there’s very little chance of this happening to me! 

DNF a book this year ✔

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I don’t typically DNF books but kudos to you if you do. In fact I think this should be included on the nice list because why waste your time reading books you aren’t enjoying? However, personally, I do struggle to DNF books, but there was one exception this year. Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It just wasn’t clicking with me and it is a BIG book so that’s why I decided not to continue. I’ll be giving the series another go in the future though. 

Bought a book because it was pretty with no intention of reading it ✘

I am a cover buyer, but never do I buy a book with absolutely no intention of reading it. I maybe sometimes buy a book that I have slightly less interest in than others because of how pretty the cover is but I always plan to read what I buy. 

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else   (like homework) ✔

ALL. THE. TIME. Honestly, the amount of times I’m meant to be blogging or tidying the house, or even getting ready for work, you can bet that my head is still stuck in my current read. 

Skim read a book  ✔

GUILTY. I do this a lot, and I am kinda ashamed to admit this one. I devour stories, but I’m definitely not a detail orientated reader. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really am and I am dissecting every word on the pages, but other times I just want a quick read and skimming does help. 

Completely missed your Goodreads  goal ✘

I’ve already long passed my goal of 50 books, so thankfully not this year!

Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library ✔

I have £75 worth of library fines. Need I say more?

Broke a book buying ban ✔

Yes, but in my defence, I NEEDED the books I bought. 

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about ✔

Once again, are there people who don’t do this?? 

Wrote in a book you were reading ✔

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I annotate a copy of my Nick Cave lyrics book. Don’t tell anyone but *whispers* …it even has a broken spine. 

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads 

I just can’t physically do this. I am desperate to see my latest read lined up with all my other beautiful previously read books in my reading challenge. 

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend ✘

I don’t borrow books from anywhere other than the library so…nope. 

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book ✔

The idea of someone bringing back a book of mine and it being damaged, kills me. Coffee stains, bent spine, folded pages…no. I just couldn’t do it. So yes, there’s always a change of subject there or I just flat out tell them I can’t let them borrow it for the reasons above. Depends who I’m speaking to obviously! 

Broke the spine of someone else’s book ✘

Again, I don’t borrow books from people, but at the library I’m very careful to keep a book looking as it did before I read it. 

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ending up making it even more damaged ✘

I take the dust jackets off all the time but I carefully place them on the bookshelf in a safe place, so this has yet to happen to me. 

Sat on a book accidentally ✔

Yes. Almost on a daily basis. 

                                             FINAL SCORE – 12/20

 I guess this year I’m on the naughty list! In all honesty though, this just a bit of fun and no matter how you read/blog/review, you do you and be proud of it! 

I’m only going to be tagging a couple of people who I think might like to do this, but if you read this and want to take part then consider yourself tagged!

I tag…

Kate @ Book Lover Kate

Stark @ Random Melon Reads 

I hope you enjoyed day seven of Blogmas and I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow! Let me know in the comments if you’ve decided to take part and link back to this post so I can read yours too! 

My 2018 Christmas List – Blogmas Day Six

I’m still a little kid at Christmas. I write a Christmas list, I have an advent calendar and I still can’t get to sleep on Christmas Eve. Truthfully, I doubt I’ll ever be any different! But I like that. It’s something to look forward to throughout the year.

One of the most superficial elements of the holiday is receiving gifts. Now, I’ll be posting later on this month about the gifts that I’ll have given as well, because that’s my favourite thing about the holiday – as well as the food and spending time with my family. The only reason I’m not putting that up yet is because I want to tell you about all the things I’m giving as presents and I can’t really do that in case it spoils someone’s present for them! So please don’t think me selfish for putting my list up first. Also, this is a book blog and given I’ve primarily asked for only books this year, it’s probably going to be a lot more interesting to my readers!

Let’s begin day six of Blogmas! 

Throne Of Glass box set by Sarah J. Maas 

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I REALLY want to get to this series in 2019, and what better way to do that than to have the box set sitting proudly on my shelves just waiting to be read? It’s a series that I’ve definitely felt like I’ve been missing out on and if I do have this sitting under the tree this year, I fully intend to read the entirety in the new year. Could be a difficult challenge, and the idea of adding eight more books to my physical TBR is a bit daunting but I’m hoping it’s a series that will be worth it. 

Middlemarch by George Eliot – Folio Society Edition 

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I definitely don’t read nearly enough classics and my goal in the new year is to be reading one classic along with every modern day release. I won’t have to finish them at the same time but one classic per month seems like a pretty easy target to achieve. Middlemarch is one of my dad’s favourite classic novels and he particularly likes to talk about the powerful final paragraph. In fact I could probably quote it to you off by heart these days, and I haven’t even read the book yet! I’m a bit intimidated by the idea of reading a £75 book and I know Folio Society editions are more collectable than a practical book to read, but I think as long as I’m careful, I should be able to manage. Or maybe I’ll just buy a cheap copy to read and then have this one as a collectable. Who knows? I’ll have to see whether I get it before dealing with a potentially unnecessary conundrum. 

Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Folio Society Edition

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I used to be absolutely obsessed with the Audrey Hepburn adaptation of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but can you believe I still haven’t read the book it was originally adapted from? I unfortunately just hadn’t seen any edition of it that I wanted to own, so therefore haven’t had a chance to! Then one day, I was browsing Folio Society’s website, and there it was. Stunning, sparkly and chic. Everything a cover for this tale should be. It was a meet-cute. Insta-love. I needed that book. That book needed to be on my shelves. And there you have it. That’s the tale of how it ended up on my Christmas list. 

The Snow Queen and Other Winter Tales – Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Edition

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There was an adaptation of The Snow Queen that I loved when I was growing up but I’ve never picked up the original classic fairy tale. Given this is such a gorgeous and wintry edition, I thought it would make a really pretty and appropriate Christmas present. I love the Barnes and Noble editions of classics, and despite the fact that they’re not exceptionally well made, they do look absolutely gorgeous on any bookshelf. I currently own their Wizard of Oz, Emerald City of Oz and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland editions. They are my babies.

Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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No, I still do not own a copy of my most anticipated 2018 release. Why? Because I put myself on a book buying ban the month before it was due to be released. I read Strange The Dreamer last year, and though it had a really slow start, it managed to completely grip me by the end and I now consider it one of my favourite books of all time. The writing is very flowery and the pace is painfully slow at times but I personally enjoyed those things and cannot wait to read the sequel! 

Wildcard by Marie Lu

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I still don’t really know what to make of this duology. I feel like I NEED the second book, but in all honesty, I wasn’t a massive fan of the first. Don’t get me wrong, I gave it a fairly high rating because it was genuinely entertaining and very fast paced but I couldn’t help but be disappointed with it. I’m not even sure why. I guess my expectations were maybe unrealistic because I was so excited about the plot but still, I cannot wait to see what happens in the final book. 

A Court Of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

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I know, I know. This isn’t meant to be that great of a novella. But I NEED it. I need to find out what the characters are up to after the events of the third book and I need it to add to my collection. I’m gutted I’ve had to wait this long to read this but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get round to it before the first spin-off novel gets released! 2019 may be a year of me literally only reading Sarah J. Maas books, and you know what? I’d be kinda okay with that…

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur 

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I love me some modern poetry, especially when it’s bound in such a vibrant and pretty way like the hardcover of The Sun and Her Flowers. I’ve seen the paperback edition around and it’s very lovely but then I stumbled upon a hardcover version in Waterstones a couple of months back and I FELL IN LOVE. Yes, I am shallow and cover love may end up making me want a book I could have easily waited a while to read but now, all I want is this edition! *insert grabby hands*

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Once again, feeling the cover love on this one. I’ve wanted to read this for a really long time but I keep seeing the special editions of Vicious on social media and let me tell you, I AM JEALOUS. Is it perhaps the most bookstagrammable book ever? Yes. I think it might be. It truly is that gorgeous. If I do end up receiving this for Christmas I will be popping my V.E Schwab cherry as I have still never read a book of hers. I’m hoping it’s a good one to start with! 

Distortion by Victor Dixen

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This is the only book on the list that’s not a hardcover oddly. Typically I do prefer getting hardcovers as gifts as they feel more special, whereas a paperback I’ll usually just buy for myself but I cannot wait to read this second book in the Phobos series. The first book was insanely entertaining and I almost ordered this second as soon as I’d finished it. However, I decided to wait until Christmas in the hopes that it might be wrapped up it a little bow under the tree. 

I’ve also asked for lots of different things for our home but nothing too specific so I’m not going to include them on my list. Just think blankets and duvet covers etc… cosy stuff! 

There you have it! My 2018 Christmas List! I know it may seem like a lot or at least that it adds up to a lot of money, and you’d obviously be right. It does. I don’t expect to receive ALL of these. My list is always just a guideline for my parents and other half because let’s face it, how do you buy a bookworm a present when she’s already got so many books and you don’t know what she has and hasn’t bought. A list is definitely the easiest way to go. As for the fact that a lot of them are expensive, special editions –  I ask for stuff that I normally wouldn’t buy myself. This year has been a tough one financially for me, and because of that I’ve really not treated myself at all besides a couple of second hand DVD’s and books. I’d like cheering up and even if the way to doing that is to unwrap a gorgeous edition of a beautiful book then so be it. 

So what have we learnt here? I’m bad with money AND I am very superficial when it comes to book aesthetics! What books do you want to see wrapped up under your tree? Do you still write a Christmas list, and do you even ask for books or are you all booked out by the time Christmas rolls around? Let me know! Once again, thank you for reading and I shall see you tomorrow for day seven!

My Favourite Covers Of 2018 – Blogmas Day Five

Welcome to DAY FIVE of Blogmas on Matilda’s Library. How is this month already flying by so fast?! Sorry this is a bit delayed in going up – I haven’t prepped at all in advance, besides having the ideas for posts all set up, so I’m kind of winging everything day by day. My other half and I were both off work today which is a rarity in itself so I wanted to spend some much needed time together.

Anyway, back to the point of the post! I will be showing, and discussing with you, my favourite book covers of the year. I’m not going to include anything regarding plot details because this is a imagery based post and I don’t think plots often come into cover buys. I wanted to take these covers at face value as if I was in a bookshop and that’s what I’m going to do! After all, I am a cover buyer and PROUD. 

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – I’ve been drawn to this cover since I first saw it promoted on Twitter. It’s giving me heavy video game vibes and I love adventure games so this just looks like a perfect read to me. I’m thinking Temple Run/Tomb Raider with a little bit of Mass Effect thrown in for good measure. I’ll be picking this book up at some point and it will one hundred percent be a cover buy and I’m not even sorry. 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – Once again, loving the sci-fi elements of this cover. Especially paired with the golden border and the dramatic scene pictured – you can just tell this is going to be an intricate, exciting and hopefully riveting novel. I’d imagine this book to be an EVENT. You know? The sort of book that leaves you with the best kind of hangover. CANNOT. WAIT. 

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I’ve not made it a secret that I wasn’t a massive fan of the Illuminae Files. I always saw it as a bit of a gimmick *gets a brick thrown to face* – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love the covers. Especially Obsidio. The black background contrasting against the explosion makes it look like a massive galactic scene with stars everywhere and it’s just so beautiful. I’m sure I’ll have this on my shelves at some point because my boyfriend absolutely adores this series and he’s yet to complete it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll give it another go too! 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – Despite the title giving me oceanic vibes rather than witchy, everything else about this is pure magic. Literally. The deep blue of  the background cast against the silver of the images and text makes for an intriguing cover. I may prefer this without it’s dust jacket however, as the naked book is covered in stars with a half moon on the front. Totally wouldn’t buy it just for that though….*orders book*

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – This is probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever had the pleasure of seeing in my life. I know I said I wasn’t judging these based on the plot or anything, but I will just mention that this is actually meant to be a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid. Like really, pretty dark. So, I think it’s managed to steer in a different direction with the cover here. In fact in a way, this looks a lot more like middle grade than YA. From the rouge of the mermaid’s hair, to the floating items scattered around, it’s a phenomenally designed cover and so many little intricacies have been added to make it that extra bit special. 

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova – The photo really doesn’t do this book justice. This is only one of two books on this list that I actually own physically and though I’ve yet to read it, I’m hoping it’s just a beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. It’s definitely creepy – moths certainly aren’t the most delightful of creatures, especially not when they’re designed with a skull on their body. They’re synonymous with death and the occult, so I’m hoping that’s going to be an accurate indicator of what the book will be like. I’m loving the simplicity of the design here. A delicate border, bold background and font with the moth as the focal point. Very effective. 

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold – Once again, this cover is all the more beautiful for it’s simplicity. The font reminds me a lot of a lit up neon sign and obviously paired with a black background, it’s a very dramatic contrast. The fact that the book title gives the impression of a damsel in distress/a weak protagonist, the bold fiery colours utilised here represent the contrary whereas the flowers represent the softer, stereotype of a female which matches the title a lot more. I’m imagining a lot of excellent character development woven into the plot of this story and I hope I’m right! 

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman – This has very powerful imagery present from the first moment you lay your eyes on it. We’re seeing a very strong, powerful and large dragon, looking down on a tiny woman. However, she’s standing her ground and it’s unclear as to whether the dragon is a friend or a monster. The details when you look closer, such as the forest etched onto the dragon, and the watercolour effect of the background just bring it all to a very pretty finish. 

All The Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett – I have the first book of this series on my shelf and it’s also gorgeous, but this sequel has definitely outdone it in terms of beauty. The purple colouring and the stars in the sky would have been beautiful on their own and just the title but add in the mountainscape, the lake and and the promise of an adventure and I’m all the more sold. It looks like pure magic and I cannot wait to read it. Once I’ve finally read the first book of course…

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – This is another book that looks a lot better in person – or at least in booktube videos as I’ve still not seen this one out in the wild. It reminds me a lot of The Surface Breaks’ cover that I previously discussed in this post due to all the little intricacies making up the illustration. I’m presuming that each of the items featured have different parts to play within the novel and because of that I think it’s a book cover that will feel even prettier once you know the meaning behind everything pictured. 

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – All of Maas’ book covers are pretty similar however some just work a little more than others for some reason and this is one of them. I don’t know whether that’s because it is the final book of the Throne of Glass series that it just looks like a FINAL book, if you know what I mean, but the gold background and the protagonist’s stance just feel powerful and final. I think it’s gorgeous. 

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – What can’t I say about this cover? Typically adult fantasy novels are incredibly unappealing but this, this is just something else. I know little about this novel, but I am without a doubt going to give it a try based on the artwork. The burning city, the border, the girl staring out into the flames whilst sitting on a window sill. I already want to this girl’s story and it’s the book on this list that I’m most excited to read in 2019. 

Antipodes by Michele Bacon – I already had some ideas as to what books I was going to feature in this post before I delved deeper into hundreds of 2018 releases. Antipodes was a book I’d never heard of but the cover had me eager to read the synopsis as soon as I saw it featured on a Goodreads list. I believe it’s set in New Zealand, so it features a landscape from the country reflected in the water. The stars, the mountainscape and water rippling lead to a very atmospheric and mysterious cover. 

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury – At first glance I originally thought this was an island, a little bit like Mako Island in H20 Just Add Water. When I looked closer, I could easily tell that this is meant to be a lake or a pond. It looks like a novel that focuses a lot on reflection and character rather than a plot driven story. I’d imagine it to be quite thought provoking and I’m loving that I’m getting all of that solely from the cover artwork. It’s subtle but it’s very pretty. 

All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth- No, this is not the first or last time I’ll be mentioning this book throughout Blogmas. It’s stunning. In every way. I’ve always found this particular version of the cover to be very in keeping with the theme of the book. It’s dark. It’s more than a little creepy and the girl on the front is only a tiny part of the story, just like she’s pictured so small in a vast amount of water. It’s a very clever cover, and it also helps that it’s gorgeous to look at. 

What were your favourite covers of this year? Do you agree or disagree with any of mine and do covers have any influence on whether or not you’ll buy a book or not? As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! I hope you enjoyed day five of Blogmas and I hope to see you all again, at what I hope will be a much earlier time tomorrow! Thank you for reading!