2020 Goals

Happy almost end of the first month of 2020!

After the kind of, and almost of success of my 2019 Goals list, I have decided to give it a go again. But this time, in widget form! So say goodbye to the tired format of last year, and say hello to my pretty checklist!

Hello pretty checklist.

The above image is one that will live on the side of my blog in a widget. When I am able to tick something off, I will update the image with one with pretty ticks so that I and everyone else who cares can keep track.

Remarkably similar to my Hopeful Reads of 2020 personal challenge – this 2020 Goals checklist is a passive one. I may talk about it or feature it if I mark off something but other than that, its job is to sit there and look pretty.

Hopefully you will see this 2020 Goals image on the side widget if you visit on a browser but if you visit my page while using a mobile or tablet, you will have to scroll right now to the bottom to check out this lovely content. But no worries, I am just happy that it is there for my own personal reference.

…to quietly breath down my neck and remind that I said I would get shit done this year…


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Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet

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The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett.

A deliciously funny novella that celebrates the pleasure of reading. When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, the Queen is transformed as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

The author of the Tony Award winner The History Boys, Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s best-loved literary voices. With The Uncommon Reader, he brings us a playful homage to the written word, imagining a world in which literature becomes a subversive bridge between powerbrokers and commoners. By turns cheeky and charming, the novella features the Queen herself as its protagonist. When her yapping corgis lead her to a mobile library, Her Majesty develops a new obsession with reading. She finds herself devouring works by a tantalizing range of authors, from the Brontë sisters to Jean Genet. With a young member of the palace kitchen staff guiding her choices, it’s not long before the Queen begins to develop a new perspective on the world – one that alarms her closest advisers and tempts her to make bold new decisions. Brimming with the mischievous wit that has garnered acclaim for Bennett on both sides of the Atlantic, The Uncommon Reader is a delightful celebration of books and writers, and the readers who sustain them. 

Taken from book blurb

So I only recall brief snippets of this book but I remember being charmed. If only because the protagonist is the current, Queen of England. As the blurb states, the story follows the Queen as she stumbles upon a mobile library and from there develops a love of the written word. Dear old Lizzie makes her way through the classics as well as modern literature.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet”

My Goodreads Year in Books – 2019

I did it – I finished the challenge!

Previously in 2018 I had challenged myself to read 70 books and beat that challenge, so this year I thought I would go for the big 💯. I am happy to say that I have beat that by *almost* 50. So close 😋

Since I surprised myself so much this year, I plan on upping the challenge to 150 books in 2020. So wish me luck and also check out all that I read in 2019.

Continue reading “My Goodreads Year in Books – 2019”

2019 Goals Rundown!

Happy almost the end of 2019!

Let’s have a quick look at what I have accomplished this 2019. If you’ve been paying attention, I have been tracking my progress each month in my Small Snippets posts, so some of this may not be a surprise to you.

Reread

I have gone abysmally at rereading books this year 😰 While I did try with reading the first book of the Lunar Chronicles this year, sadly I did not pick up any other books in the below series.

The Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer.

❌The whole Tortall series by Tamora Pierce.

The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix.

❌Finish the Modern Faerie Tales series.

Continue reading “2019 Goals Rundown!”

My Hopeful Reads of 2020

Due largely to my enjoying the graphic, rather than my ‘success’ of last year – I will be attempting again my Hopeful Reads of 2020 reading challenge.

Referring to the below image, this will be on display in a sidebar widget of my blog for the entirety of 2020. The books featured are ones that I want to hopefully read by the end of 2020, thus the ‘Hopeful reads of 2020’ title.

The books that are featured are potentially ones that:

  • are designated reads in my 2020 Goals
  • potential Book Bingo selections
  • have been recommended to me
  • have caught my eye
  • are books that have remained from last year
  • or simply are ones I want to read.


See any books in there that you want to know more about? Do you want a similar template for your blog? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Rundown of My Hopeful Reads of 2019

Since I started my Hopeful Reads of 2019 half way through the year, I am going to forgive myself for not really getting through many of my selected reads 😅

The image which has been on display in a sidebar widget of my blog, saw me complete a grand total of 6 out of the 16 total books. One of these books was something that while I technically finished, decided to mark as Did not finish as I really disliked the book.

There are still a few on there that I want to read and will be transferring across onto my 2020 graphic but there are also some that I may abandon. The Lily & the Crown is a book I still want to read but I can be honest with myself in 2020 and get rid of the the first Lioness book, Alanna as I doubt I’ll be getting to that series anytime soon.

I really enjoy looking at the graphic and so I am planning on continuing with this easy and passive reading challenge in 2020. Keep an eye out later in the week for my updated graphic for my Hopeful Reads of 2020.



Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton

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Chart Throb

by Ben Elton.

Ben Elton is about to put the “real” back into Reality TV in his biting satire of one of today’s most popular cultural phenomena — the TV talent show.

95,000 hopefuls. Three judges. Just one winner.

And that’s Colin Simms, the genius behind the show.

Colin always wins, because Colin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgment on the mingers, clingers and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted “search” for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The “real” is about to be put back into “reality” television, and Colin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves.

From the best-selling author of The First CasualtyPopcorn, and Dead Famous comes Chart Throb. One winner. A whole bunch of losers.

Taken from book blurb

I have extremely vague memories of this book, however I always remember it fondly. While I could not tell you much about the plot, I do remember one character arch that has stuck with me ever since I put the book down.

Alert – Spoilers Ahead

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton”

Christmas Book Gifts under $20

While certainly I hope for books for Christmas, or at the very least money to buy myself more books. Others may not have that need for more reading material. So why not do them a favour and get them some good books as presents this year.

Who knows, you may ignite a life long love of reading!

Be sure to click the book covers to be taken the to site/company with the books available for under $20. So with this in mind, check out my recommendations for book presents you can get for cheap this holiday period!


So popular you can’t go wrong

Surely they’re popular for a reason?

The Chef by James Patterson.

No matter my personal feelings towards James Patterson, he is incredibly popular. I can only take solace in the fact that he probably wrote none of this book. The Chef is a stand alone or but could potentially be the start of a new series – so hopefully whoever you get this for can jump on the Patterson bandwagon.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris

Fast becoming an Australian classic this incredible story is a fictionalised account based off of a true story. Rumour even has it that the book is being made into a BBC series!

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts.

Another big name that you can’t go wrong with – while the book is the third in a series you can easily find the first two for under $20 each. So depending on how much you like the person, you could get them the whole series. But like Patterson you can’t go with Roberts.

The Secret Runners of New York
by Matthew Reilly

A stand alone, time travelling, dystopian, young adult novel. The master at fast paced action, larger than life stories and engaging characters- you can’t go wrong with Reilly.


For the Binge Watchers in your life

Now they’ve binged the show, get them to read the book!

Good Omens by
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Honestly you can’t go wrong with Good Omens – Gaiman and Pratchett do what they do best and just make good stories.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han

One of the most popular Netflix original moves in 2018, why not buy the whole box-set and get the person up to date with the whole story.

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Fans of the show can now devour the original novel and the newly released and award winning sequel, The Testament.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Truly a classic piece of black humour and indeed literature as a genre. Catch 22 is a perfect gift for your history buffs or those who are hard to shop for.


Young Adults

Who says YA books are only for young adults?! Some of the best fiction out there is classified as YA. So why not expand peoples perceptions by getting them an amazing YA novel.

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

If you can make it past the first couple of chapters – you’re golden!

Illuminae : The Illuminae Files_01
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae may tickle the fancy of people who aren’t too keen on reading as the book itself is quite different. The story is told through official document, transcripts, and often involves tilting the book to read all the text.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Touted as an Australian mix of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland. So great!

The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black

The third and final book of The Folk of Air series, Black is always a great choice. If you know someone who is interested in fantasy, the fae, and dark YA then this series is for you!


12 Tropes of 2020 Reading Challenge

I’m very excited because I have finished making my 2020 Reading Challenge Card. Similar to this years Book Bingo, which I have really enjoyed, I am toning down the amount and instead focusing on 12 tropes of 2020.

The action plan for my 12 Tropes of 2020 Reading challenge is to once a month, pick a trope, read a book that fits, and then write a post about the book and the trope. So keep your eyes out for a post and my hashtag #12Tropesof2020.

If you’re interested in taking part all you need to do is:

  • Use my Challenge Card or make/ask for one of your own
  • Read 12 books and write 12 posts throughout the year
  • Add a link and pingback to this post
  • Use the hashtag #12Tropesof2020 and
  • Have fun!

If you’re interested in using the below challenge card or want to take part but want different tropes, let me know! I’ll see if I can make you a graphic or if not you can download the blank graphic that is available at the end of the post.

So without further adieu, check out my 12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge.


So what do you think? Do you like the new layout? Digging the trope choices? Interested in taking part? Leave a comment and let me know!



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Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare has been my introduction to all things Tessa Dare. The historical romance series is also the first time that I have managed to finish and enjoy a fictional audiobook.

I’m really happy to have found this new historical romance author (well new to me 😋) and after listening to the first book in the series, quickly devoured all that I could. So the below quick little reviews are just my comments on the books that make up the Girl Meets Duke series. Enjoy 💌


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 1

The Duchess Deal was my first ever audiobook that I finished and that I loved. The narrator of the audiobook was amazing and really brought the characters to life.

I absolutely loved the story and characters of this romance novel, the romantic lead Ashbury is such a gruff bastard but he was one that I fell in love with – he had the incredibly endearing and humourous trait of only swearing in Shakespearean quotes. Also Emma was such a strong and beautiful character – I was honestly rooting for the pairs happy ending.


The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 2

Once again I fell in love with the characters of this novel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the amazing, Mary Jane Wells, and once again the whole cast were brought to life through not only this narration but storytelling.

The multiple doll funerals really made me fall in love with, not only the two girls, but Chase himself. The resigned patience and punny eulogies really made the novel and made me see past the libertine archetype that I usually dislike. Also Alexandra was a true treasure as she helped the girls explore and learn as pirates, not to mention her inner strength and Filipino representation!


The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 3

I loved this story – Penny had always been a character from the previous books that had stood out to me and I really enjoyed seeing her story with her romantic lead Gabriel.

Be warned – spoilers ahead

I really loved this story until about three quarters of the way through – the book takes a serious turn with a revelation of childhood sexual assault. This revelation really did sour the book for me – I am not saying that historical romances shouldn’t tackle hard issues but the previous books had been quite lighthearted so this was not what I was expecting.

I’m not saying I hated the book because I didn’t, I’m just saying that I was quite shocked that this content was included. Also the way that the characters in the novel decided to deal with it was, in my opinion, quite hodgepodged and really detracted from the end of the story.


I am really enjoying the Girl Meets Duke series and despite the one hiccup with the third book, I am looking forward to reading about Nicola in the fourth book, The Bride Bet.

Have you read the series? Do you love them or hate them? Do you agree with me about the third book? Leave a comment and let me know 😊