2018 Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this, but I do love answering bookish questions in list forms and reflecting on all the books I’ve read so far this year, so I thought this sounded really interesting!

Best Book You’ve Read This Year?

It’s definitely Brooklyn by Colm Toibin but seeing as that’s a re-read, I won’t include it. I’m thinking either A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway or Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, although there’s loads of books that it feels cruel to leave out!

Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018?

I’ve only read a couple, so I suppose I have to say The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read all of the Lord of the Rings books back in January, but I’m planning on reading Becky Chambers’ second novel in July so I think that will probably take Tolkien’s place!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

There are quite a lot – I have a lot of new releases sent by the publishers waiting on my shelves – but I think either Duncan Barrett’s Hitler’s British Isles (suitable after my slight Guernsey obsession in April), Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley or Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

I never know anything about new releases, but I am actually excited to read Kate Atkinson’s Transcription. I’ve never read anything of Kate Atkinson’s, although I’m planning to rectify that soon, but I love Second World War spy stories!!

Biggest Disappointment?

Although I still enjoyed it, I’m going to say And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, because I’ve heard of so many people being absolutely amazed and gripped by this book, but I was nowhere near as transfixed as when I read Murder on the Orient Express.

Biggest Surprise?

I’d heard loads of great things about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas but as I’m really not keen on young adult books, I was still surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel!

Favourite New To You Or Debut Author?

Although I would probably say Dolly Alderton – I’m also loving her Love Stories podcast – I don’t want to be repetitive so I will say how much I’m looking forward to reading other Mary Beard books after reading Women & Power.

Newest Fictional Crush?

I haven’t really fallen in love with any male characters this year, although I did like Alastair in Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave – but my absolute favourite male character this year is Tommy from David Copperfield, he is just so vivid and nice!

Newest Favourite Character?

The only character I’ve really, really liked this year is Hadley from Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife but that’s a re-read so I’m not sure if that counts…

Book That Made You Cry?

I cry at everything so I can’t even be sure what books I have cried at… I know I definitely cried when reading Everything I Know About Love because I was on the bus and trying to hide my tears (lol).

Book That Made You Happy?

I’m going to say The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter because it made me really appreciate the beautiful city of Paris when I was visiting.

Favourite Book-To-Film Adaptation?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!!! I really liked the book, but I LOVED the film. I was so obsessed, I even went to see it twice which I don’t think I’ve ever done with a film before.

Favourite Post You Have Done This Year?

To be honest, my favourites are probably my travel posts but I also love writing about books. I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to keep the momentum going with this blog – I started it in 2016 but rarely posted until the start of this year!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

Oh dear, I’ve bought a lot. It’s a tie between Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (a beautiful Persephone edition), the two Penguin English Library editions I’ve purchased (Dubliners and Wives and Daughters) and the two hardback Agatha Christie novels I bought last week (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Body in the Library).

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?

There are probably hundreds, but I’m choosing Belgravia by Julian Fellowes, The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I’ve had them all for ages.

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Travel Tuesdays: Brooklyn

Here is the third part of my travel series focusing on my recent trip to New York! Check out the two previous instalments here if you haven’t had a look yet: New York City and Greenwich Village. Today I’m looking at Brooklyn, our only trip outside of the most famous NYC borough, Manhattan. I really liked Brooklyn – we went for a wander around Brooklyn Heights and we also visited Coney Island. Read on to find out more of my impressions…

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Me at Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Spring Book Haul

Hello everyone! I’ve never actually posted a book haul before, but publishers have been especially kind to me recently and I have accumulated a giant pile of books in the past few weeks. And where else can you post about your ridiculous amount of unread books if not in the book blogging community? Please feel free to send me commiserations about how my floor will shortly cave in because, believe me, I’m worried about that too. So here are some (yes, SOME) of the books I have acquired!

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Travel Tuesdays: Greenwich Village, New York City

Last week I wrote a little bit about my trip to New York City, and this week I’m continuing the theme by talking about the time I spent in the Village in Manhattan. Greenwich Village in particular is one of the famous areas of New York – it was known as a bohemian and arty area for years and I’m really keen to learn more about it by reading John Strausbaugh’s The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, which I added onto my never-ending list of books I want to read after spotting it in a New York bookshop.

We actually started off our Greenwich Village day in a neighbourhood that is a bit further north: we started walking the High Line in Chelsea, got off in the Meatpacking District and from there walked to Greenwich Village. The High Line is a park built on disused train tracks running along the western side of Manhattan – through the trees you can glimpse the Hudson River and the skyline of New Jersey. It’s a lovely integration of greenery and nature into an urban landscape, and some of the views from the elevated walkway are great! (I wasn’t that keen on Chelsea though, it felt kind of dirty.)

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But now to Greenwich Village! I LOVED Greenwich Village, it was so beautiful and picturesque. The buildings are gorgeous and just quintessentially charming New York and there is so much greenery. Although it’s busy, it also felt much calmer and prettier than the sights we’d seen so far, and it ended up being my favourite neighbourhood in New York. I would love to live there, although the estate agent’s we walked past shows just how spectacularly expensive that would be…

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Bookish Fridays: New York Books

As I mentioned on Tuesday’s blog post, I recently visited New York, a place that has long had an inexorable grip on my imagination. There are so many books and films and TV series set in New York City, more than I’d ever actually articulated to myself before I went. My favourite New York books include The Princess Diaries, Something Borrowed, The Age of Innocence and Golden Hill, and some more that I really want to read are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Just Kids, although I’m sure that there’s loads more I’ve forgotten about! But in this blog post I wanted to talk about the four New York books I read during the six days I was there.

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Travel Tuesdays: New York City

A month ago – I can’t believe it’s been that long – I visited New York City! It’s been a city that I’ve wanted to visit for the longest time, and this was actually my first trip outside of Europe. As a lover of European history, culture and architecture, I’ve grown used to exploring European cities, and New York City was in some ways so different and so similar to all of the cities I’ve been to. Some of the neighbourhoods look eerily like London, others look distinctively New York with the gorgeous brownstones and fire escapes, and the skyscrapers are just like nothing I’ve ever seen before (I’m really scared of heights, so it took me a couple of days to stop feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of all the buildings.)

Did I love New York? I’m not really sure. I certainly didn’t fall in love with New York at first sight which is probably unsurprising, seeing as we were staying in Midtown. There were areas of New York – namely Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights – that I completely loved, and there were other areas where I found the buildings atmospheric and the history really fascinating. When I went to Budapest, the minute I stepped out onto the streets I felt like I would really like to live there, but I didn’t feel that way about New York. But still, there’s no denying that I became kind of obsessed with the city and regard it with total affection. There’s just something about New York City.

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Mini Persephone Readathon

I love the idea of Persephone Classics but, before this weekend, I had only ever picked up one. (Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson, which is EXCELLENT and you should all read it.) So when I saw that Jessie at Dwell in Possibility was hosting a mini Persephone readathon, of course I had to join in!

Visiting the bookshop is an absolute top priority for my next visit to London – we were going to go in February, but then I ended up spending too much time looking at pretty clothes in Camden Market, and decided just go to for a walk along the Thames again… But I am going to visit again some point this year, and I will definitely be going to the Persephone bookshop! I think every publisher should have a bookshop, it would be a really interesting way of discovering what publishers you actually enjoy. (That’s a blog post that I want to do some point soon!

Anyway, here are my reviews for the two Persephone books I have picked up this weekend.

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