October Hopeful Reads

In the spirit of the new month, it’s time to set myself some goals for my reading this month. Last month I did technically manage this, but I had quite a bad month for reading overall, so hopefully I can change that in October.

I’m still going to be keeping my goals fairly vague and not identifying a set tbr, largely because my course reading makes this really difficult. My academic reading has to take priority, which means my tbr can change dramatically week-to-week.

My first goal for the month is, of course, to do all my reading for university. I don’t really have much room to not achieve this one, so it’s a pretty safe bet. I also have quite a lot of poetry to read in the next few weeks, so whilst these won’t count towards my total books read, it’ll give me some nice variety.

My second goal is to keep reading for pleasure at least once a week. I’ve really enjoyed this over the last couple months, and I’m pretty determined to find time in my week to continue. I think I’m going to focus on the gothic genre (as it is spooky season), reading both older and contemporary works. I’ll also be continuing to re-read the Percy Jackson series, which hopefully I can finish by the end of the month.

My aim for total books read in October is 8. I think 2 books a week will be a realistic yet challenging aim, and if I can make half of those reading for pleasure I’ll feel really accomplished.

I’d also really like to listen to at least 1 audiobook this month. My first experience of audiobooks last month was a really nice change in my reading habits, and I think audiobooks will be a really great way to read for pleasure that’s compatible with my studies. If anyone has a good audiobook suggestion please let me know in the comments!

Finally, I just really want to try and read consistently this month. I had quite a few times in September where I just didn’t pick up a book for a range of reasons. If I can try to minimise this, I’ll be really happy.

So there we are, that’s my hopes for reading in October. I hope you all have a great month, and that you’re looking forward to more reading!



September Wrap-up

This has been a really strange month for me, in terms of reading and just in general. Still I thought it would be nice to look back over the books that I’ve read this month, and see whether I stuck to the goals I set for myself at the start.

It’ll only be a short post, but I think it’s nice to have these monthly wrap-ups to look back on.

The books I’ve read this month are:

  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein
  • The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe
  • This is not a Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I’m happy with the number of books I read considering this month has been a bit all over the place. I moved back to university, I went away for a week and I’ve struggled with mental health, so seven books in one month is good considering the days I spent actually reading.

In terms of what I read, I’m really happy too. There’s a good mix between reading for pleasure and preparatory reading for university in there, which were my two main goals for September. Whilst my ratings weren’t as consistently high as they were in August, I did enjoy what I read, and I got round to reading some long-term tbr pile books. I also discovered a new love for audiobooks, which I’m really happy about.

Speaking of audiobooks, my favourite book of this month was definitely The Beekeeper of Aleppo. Please check out my review, and if you haven’t read it definitely pick it up soon!

I’ll publish a post talking about my hopeful reads for October soon! Let me know in the comments what your September reading looked like!


September Hopeful Reads

Just like that, August has gone and it really doesn’t feel like a whole month has passed since I made my last post of this nature. I posted my wrap-up of my August reading a few days ago, and now it seems time to look forward into this month of reading.

One of the main differences that September brings is university starting again. Although my term doesn’t start until the last week of the month, it is time I start thinking about preparatory reading. Because of this, my reading this month is going to be a mixture between books I truly want to read, and those I have to. It’s not to say that I won’t enjoy the books I’m reading for university (some of my favourites have been discovered through required reading), but there definitely is a difference between the two.

Because of this difference, I’m having to think about my goals for my September reading in a completely different way. There’s no use in selecting a long tbr pile, because I don’t yet know for sure what I need to read for my studies, and how much reading for pleasure I’ll be able to fit in alongside this. I’ve decided that it’s far more productive to write more general, quantity-based goals for this month.

So, my hopes for September are that I:

  • Make a good start on my reading for my academic studies
  • Read at least one book for pleasure per week

These goals are far more realistic, and are likely going to help me feel way more motivated to keep reading throughout the month. By not selecting a specific tbr list, I’m hopefully reducing the chance that I’ll fall into a reading slump and stop reading for pleasure all together. I have faith that I’ll be able to keep to these goals, and it’ll be good to get into these habits before my course properly start. In the past I’ve completely abandoned reading outside of my course, but I really want to try and slot it into my schedule going forward, even if the quantity has to lessen even further.

I’m still going to be writing reviews and updating about what I’m reading, so make sure to check my blog out throughout this month! I hope you all achieve your September reading goals, whatever they might be!


August Wrap-Up

This month has completely flown by, and I can’t quite believe that September is here. The UK hasn’t exactly had peak summer weather, but for the first time in a while I don’t feel ready for Autumn to arrive.

Matching how short this month has felt, I thought it would be good to write a short blog post wrapping up my August reading and summarising how I’ve felt it’s gone.

In terms of reading, I think I did really well. I read 6 books this month, and considering I took a whole week off reading I’m really happy with that. Those 6 books were:

  • Mythos by Stephen Fry
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Watsons by Jane Austen
  • The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde
  • The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

More important than the quantity though, I really enjoyed all of the books I read this month. I rated most of these 4 or 5 stars, and it was such a nice chance to read books I was genuinely interested in. Going back to uni in September means I will be less in control of my own reading, so it’s great to take advantage whilst I still can.

I did want to read The Beekeeper of Aleppo this month, but to be honest I just wasn’t in the right mood for it. For some reason I just never wanted to pick it up, and I take that as a warning sign that I could be nearing a reading slump if I force myself to start the book. For this reason, whilst I’d still love to read this at some point, I have moved it to the lower end of my tbr pile for the time being.

I’m slightly behind on uploading my reviews for this month, so I will continue to post these into September. If you want to read any of my reviews for these books and you can’t find them on my August archive page, check the page for September!

Thank you so much for supporting my blog throughout August, and I hope you stick around for September!


My (hopeful) August TBR

So like a lot of avid readers, my book buying habits usually surpass my reading speed. As per usual, I bought a lot of books in June and July that I’m really excited to read, so I’ve compiled a TBR list that I can hopefully get through in August!

The first book (starting from the left in the image above) is Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews about this book in particular and Murakami’s work in general, so this has been a must-read for me for a while. This novel tracks a college student in Tokyo as he negotiates the struggle between new and old relationships that form alongside his transition into adulthood. Described as detailing a ‘young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love’, I think this could be a great coming-of-age novel that deals with the harsh reality of growing up. As a young person myself, I feel like this is the perfect time for me to read this.

The next book is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. About adult identical twins who lead separate lives after growing up in a small, southern black community, this book looks at how the past continues to influence future generations. As their daughters’ fates become intertwined despite their mothers’ different directions in life, Brit Bennett creates a story about family and origin that is both emotional and empowering. This book sounds like a really powerful and important read, which I am excited to start.

The Dinner Guest is by B.P. Walter, and this selection is heavily influenced by BookTok. I haven’t read a proper Agatha Christie-style thriller in a while, and that is just what this book promises to be. When four perfect people go to dinner, no one would imagine the web of secrets that would be revealed, and that one of them would be murdered. The description of this book is fairly short (that’s all the information I have), so it’s very intriguing. The only thing putting me off is that this book is slightly longer than the others, and for some reason I get the sense it might put me in a bit of a reading slump.

The fourth book is The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, which is about a couple (a beekeeper and an artist) who live in Syria, until the war forces them to escape. Left blinded, they undertake the dangerous journey to Britain, where a cousin has established an apiary. Having to confront all that they have lost and the unknown future they face, I have heard that this novel is beautiful and moving, and I really want to give myself the time to properly read and appreciate Lefteri’s writing and ideas.

Finally, there is Jasper Fforde’s The Constant Rabbit, which I documented buying in my post ‘Book Buying #1’. I did buy this book partially for the weird cover, but also for the equally as absurd blurb. Peter lives in a quiet, traditional village until a family of rabbits move in next door. As most of the villagers support a political party that are against the rabbit population, Peter faces a hard decision: choose between his job and the acceptance of his community, or confront the moral problems with the active resistance against the peaceful anthropomorphised rabbit population. This is pretty intriguing, and it’s not that long of a book, so I think this is probably quite high up my hit list for this month.

As you can tell, I’m quite excited to get started on my August reading list, and I’m really hoping I get round to these books and preparatory reading for my course in September doesn’t take over.

If you have any recommendations abut which book I should start with based on your own reading experience of any of these books, or from what I’ve just described, please do let me know in a comment below!