TBR Piles

It’s Sunday which means that it’s time for this week’s #SixforSunday choices. SixforSunday is the brainchild of Steph (@eenalol) and the details can be found on her blog here https://alittlebutalot.com/sixforsunday/. The idea is that each week has a different theme that 6 books are linked around. This month we have been celebrating Spring and all things growing. This is the last Sunday in May and it’s all about growing your reading. What is in your TBR piles at the moment? I’ve already posted my current TBR’s in a previous post for 20BooksofSummer to I thought I would share my current children’s books that are on my list of books to read.

I’ve heard good things about all of these but am especially excited to read Shark Caller which I have heard about from so many different people.
The one I”m most looking forward to out of these three is A vanishing of Griffins. I loved A Darkness of Dragons and am really looking forward to the sequel.

We’re off on a residential trip next week with Year 6 and I’m going to take at least some of these with me. I don’t know how much time there will be for reading but I’m hoping to be able to read a couple and maybe pass them onto a child before the end of the week.

That’s my SixforSunday. What do you think of these MG books? Have you read any of them? I would love to hear your thoughts.

WWW Wednesday

A day late for this but yesterday was really busy. WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam on the blog Taking on a world of Words https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/. I’ve only just come across it but liked the idea of answering 3 simple questions each week.

This week’s Ws are: What are you currently reading?
What have you just finished?
What are you hoping to read next?

I’m a sucker for crime novels and this is new author to me. I’m really enjoying it so far and love the Lake District/Cumbria setting
I have just finished reading this. I bought it for my class library as they loved the previous book so much. Definitely a great read for 10-12 year olds.
This is next on my list but I’m saving it until I’m on half term holiday next week.

So that’s my past, present and future in books. Have you read any of them? Let me know what you think.

May Bullet Journal Spreads

It’s nearly the end of May and time for a my bullet journal round up as I’ve just finished the final weekly spread for this month. The end of this month has been really busy so one or two weekly spreads have had a bit less time spent on them than some other weeks.

I have tried to keep to a theme or a colour scheme so that each month looks a bit different. This month is flowers and the title page above was inspired by @paperwand in a video I watched as part of sketchbook revival this year.

My monthly set up was exactly the same as the previous few months. I probably need to think about changing it a bit but I like how it looks and the pages work for me. I have my exercise log, my record of what I listen to, watch etc and my record of books that I have read.

We were spoilt by February this year which began on a Monday and ended exactly four weeks later. Each month since then has the dilemma of where do you put the odd days or do you have weeks that begin on other days of the week besides Monday? I decided to begin with a single page spread for the first few days of the month and then squeeze the last 8 days onto one double page. That kept things nice and neat as I’m not sure my brain could have coped with weeks beginning on a Tuesday.

This was just flower doodles in black pen and then coloured in. The lines are skinny washi tape.
This was a busy week and I have this lovely washi tape which is flowers on a strip. I used a continuous length down the side of each page and single flowers on the opposite side of the page. I quite liked how it looks.
I had more time this week so I drew some of my favourite Spring flowers and then painted them using watercolours. I really enjoyed creating this week’s pages.
I was inspired to do this one by a post on twitter from @misspaul20. The circles took quite a while to draw but doing the leaves around them was a lovely, peaceful way to spend a while. I didn’t do them all at once though.
Another busy week so this final spread just uses washi tape days which I have used before. They are from the same set as the flowers that I used earlier in the month. Then I just doodled some simple flowers to divide the days up.

And that’s my journal pages all done and just waiting to be completed now. Now it’s time to start thinking about June. I already have a theme in mind so we’ll see how it works out.

Best Character Arc or Growth

Another Sunday and another #SixforSunday. This is the brainchild of @eenalol and her blog explaining it can be found here https://alittlebutalot.com/sixforsunday/. It started in 2017 and is still going with a brand new prompt every week.

This month, it’s Spring so all about growth and growing. This week the prompt is about character arcs and growing. This has really made me think about the books that I have read recently and it took me a while to come up with 6 characters who I felt showed growth or a satisfying character arc. Then there was the problem of whether the arc had to be over a single book or if it could be over a series. Decisions. Decisions. I eventually went with 6 books where I felt that the character had really grown or developed over a book

Mattias definitely has a great character arc as he moves from anger and seeking revenge through to love.
Possibly the best book I read in 2020. Kya goes through an amazing journey.
A girl who was going to be a priestess and ends up on a very different journey. Still one of my all time favourite fantasy books
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could explore all the possible choices before choosing your best life? I loved Nora’s journey.
Dana’s story is complicated and full of deception on all sides. This book stayed with me for ages after I had finished it.
So many of Mercedes Lackey’s characters have amazing character arcs. Karal in this book is one of my favourites though as he struggles through situations that he never expected and ends up being more than he ever dreamed.

So that’s my 6 for this Sunday. I think these are all books where the character really grows and develops. Do you agree? Let me know what you think of my choices. I can’t wait to read what characters and books other people choose.

20 Books of Summer

20 books of Summer is hosted by Cathy at https://746books.com/ It’s a really free and easy challenge where you don’t have to read 20 books at all, it can be 15 or 10 or whatever. As I’m retiring this July, I’m anticipating having more time for reading and maybe getting around to reading some of the things that I have always intended to but not got around to.

I haven’t got a clue what books I might be reading in August though so I’m going to begin by posting 5 books for June. Hopefully no-one will mind. My aim is to post 5 more in July and 10 in August when I will be a lady of leisure!

Here are my first 5 choices for this challenge.:

Great Expectations – My aim is to try and read one classic book each month. I have had Great Expectations on the shelf for years but never got around to it. This year will be the year I actually read it.

Ninth House – I loved her Grishaverse novels especially Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. This one sounds very different but it was the first book I saw as I entered the library so had to read it.

Dancer – An acoount of the life of Rudolph Nureyev. I’ve just read Zoli by the same author which I really enjoyed so am looking forward to this one.

The vanishing of audrey wilde- I really liked The Glass House which I read last month so had to buy this when it was on Kindle for only 99p.

The Strawberry Thief – I’ve had this to read for a couple of months but not read it yet.

These are my first 5 books for 20 books of Summer. Let me know what you think about these. Has anyone actually read Great Expectations?

Flower based book covers

This week, It’s all about flowers!

It’s Sunday again and so time for Six for Sunday. This month’s prompts from https://alittlebutalot.com/ are all celebrating Spring and things growing. If you want to find out more about the challenge, then visit Steph’s blog https://alittlebutalot.com/. This week’s prompt is books with plants or flowers on the covers so here are my 6 choices.

I really enjoyed this mystery by Eve Chase. I liked the ending too which isn’t always the case with this genre of book.
One thing I love about this challenge is the new books that I find on other posts. This was from the week we had to snakes on the cover. I loved this and am looking forward to her next book.
Lots of river plants on this cover.
One of my current library books. Another good book with an ending that I really liked.
I haven’t got around to reading this yet but it definitely has plants on the cover.
The best thing about the library is being able to choose books that you have never heard of before. I was grabbed by the cover and am really looking forward to reading it.

So that’s my 6 for this Sunday. Have you read any of them? What did you think?

Love your Library

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

One of the worst things about both the full lockdowns was not being able to go to my local library. I have always read a lot since being a young child and the weekly visit to the library has always been part of my life. I really missed being to go and choose different books every week. It was also very expensive because I had to buy all the books that I wanted to read. As I really didn’t want to spend a fortune, that also meant that I spent a lot of last Spring and Summer rereading books that I already owned.

But now libraries are back open again and, even better, mine is full of brand new books. I spent a blissful half hour last Friday browsing and choosing books. I came out with 8 books, most of which were brand new and it didn’t cost me a penny.

I was really pleased to find the bottom two on this pile as I’ve been wanting to read both of them.

The best thing about getting your books from the library is that you can take chances. You can pick up a book just because you like the cover and if you don’t like it, then you just take it back. Or pick a book because it sounds interesting but then you just don’t fancy reading it. That’s OK too. You can just return it unread.

A couple of real unknowns in this pile as well as The Kiss Quotient which I know my daughter really loved.

Library services are continually being cut. My library is still operating but the hours are hugely reduced from what they were years ago. However, libraries are still there and still providing an amazing service. If more people use them, then councils will have a harder time justifying closing them.

Please use your library if you have one. Go and borrow books that you might not like or by authors you have never heard of. Keep the service going because public libraries really are too important to lose.

Books with Pastel Covers

It’s Sunday again which means it’s time for #SixforSunday which is the brainchild of Steph alittlebutalot. Every week there is a new prompt and this week it’s all about pastel covers to celebrate Spring. Visit Steph’s blog https://alittlebutalot.com/2021/03/19/sixforsunday-does-april-may-and-june/ to find more details and what the rest of the prompts are for this month and next.

I had to search a bit among my books to find pastel covers. A lot of my books seem to have either very dark or very bright covers. However, I did find 6 which should fit this week’s prompt.

I love the early Rivers of London books. Definitely a good read if you like urban fantasy. I was less keen on the latest one as it just seemed the same as earlier books.
My daughter has raved about the Miss Fisher TV series for ages and now the books have started to appear in the library. I guess they are cosy crime but they are entertaining.
I really liked this book by Beth O’Leary. I enjoyed The Switch but think I liked this one more.
It’s got a cream cover so counts as pastel in my opinion. The story behind Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra destroying her letters.
I don’t read a lot of Chick Lit but I do love stories set by the sea. Lucy Diamond always creates interesting characters even if you do know how it will all end up.
And another story set by the sea.

So that’s my #SixforSunday for this week. What have you read lately with a pastel cover? I’m looking forward to reading other people’s posts. It’s always fun to see what books others recommend.

See you next week for books with plants and flowers on the cover.

Currently Reading Book Tag

I’ve stolen this from @charlotteswhere (who got it from someone else and they did the same. I wonder where it started?) and it seemed like a fun idea.

How many books do you read at once?

Usually only one, but now the libraries are open again, I might have a library book and one of my own that I’m currently reading. At the moment I am just finishing Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood and then I’m all set to read The Glass House by Eve Chase.

Do you ever switch bookmarks while you’re partway through a book?

No, but I lose most of them very shortly after I buy them or get given them. If I buy a book from a bookshop, I keep the receipt at the back of the book and that is the bookmark for that book. Strangely, I never lose those but lovely bookmarks from museum or gallery visits disappear after a single evening. Occasionally, they do turn up again down inside the armchair but most of them disappear to where ever book marks run away too.

Where do you keep the books that you are currently reading?

On the arm of my chair in the lounge. Our chairs have lovely wide arms that are just wide enough for books to rest on. There are 3 there at the moment.

What time of day do you do the most reading?

Generally I read in the evening. It’s my standard way to spend an evening although we’re watching a bit more TV now so I’m reading a bit less. If I’m on holiday then I will often read as I have my lunch and for a while after too.

How long do you typically read in one session?

It is never less than half an hour (lunchtime) but if it’s the evening, then it will often be for at least two hours. If I’ve got a new book that I am really loving, then I might spend 3 or 4 hours reading.

Do you read hardbacks with the dustjackets on or off?

Generally, the only hardbacks I read are library books and I always leave the jackets on.

What position do you normally read?

Always sitting up. Generally curled up in an armchair or on the sofa. I used to read in bed as a teenager but I find that really hard now.

So that’s my list of reading habits. When and where do you read?

April Bullet Journal

April is now over so I thought I would share my bullet journal pages for the month gone by. Ideally, I should get the whole month’s pages ready in advance so that I could share them before the month is over but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. The cover page was inspired by a video session on painting wreaths by Sarah Simon as part of this year’s sketchbook revival.

After having a theme of green leaves for March, I decided for a complete change in April and so just went for a pastel coloured theme inspired by all things Easter. I have a lovely collection of pastel washi tapes as well as some lovely pastel highlighters so it seemed like a good idea to use them.

My first three pages always seem to be the same now. I begin with a page for logging my exercise which definitely does help to make me go out and walk those steps. I hate leaving blank spaces even if I’m the only one who sees them. Then I have my book page where I record the books I read. This started off as part of a page but that wasn’t nearly enough room. Finally I have my activity page where I put my music, art etc. The format of these pages stays the same and it’s just the decoration and colour scheme that changes. Maybe I need to be more adventurous with this part of my journal.

Exercise Log
Reading Log

I do try to make each weekly spread different. I tend to alternate between having rows that go right across the page and blocks where I have two columns on each page. I think that generally I prefer the rows so might just stick to that at some point.

The first weekend of April
Pastel colours and a rainbow. Lots of washi tape on this page.
The butterfly theme was inspired by a post that I saw on Instagram. Mainly all hand drawn with just a tiny bit of washi tape in the bottom corner
Hanging out the bunting ready for the Bank Holiday. The colours are a bit dark as you can’t really read the days of the week. I still like the design though. Skinny washi tape is great for outlining boxes.

I’m still loving my bullet journal journey. Creating the pages and looking at other people’s examples is a lovely relaxing way to spend a few quiet minutes every week end. And because the pages are pretty, there is a real incentive to complete something every day.