First Time Reading: Graphic Novels

I’ve got some reviews to come but this happened:

It all started when I wanted to read the Sandman books by Neil Gaiman, but I haven’t read graphics novels before to know if I liked them.

Well, I did read a hardback compilation of Beano when I was a child and enjoyed it enough to read it over and over.

My first point of call was to see if my local library had it, this ended as it often does: they have lost it! I ordered it back in May (or maybe April) and when I went there last month to ask about it they told me it was lost. I didn’t hear anything back. So maybe  it’s easier to buy myself a copy ….

I could’ve gone to the library that stocks the graphic novels and try one of those first. But then I realised Prime Reading has them on there, and opted for the quicker option (it was evening the library was closed in my defence) so why not see if there’s anything there. Just to try out a comic and see if I’d enjoy them before I bought Sandman….

Image result for american vampire

Not sure if I should count this in my Summer Reading Challenge.

I can’t resist a vampire story. I had to figure out how to read it using the Kindle app on my phone. And sometimes I read the speech bubbles in the wrong order :/ After a while once I’d got used to the different format,  I was hooked to the story.

I found it awkward to follow sometimes, I don’t think I was concentrating properly, tired reading isn’t a good thing.

The only downside to the Kindle app (I’m hoping it’s not graphic novels in general) is the writing is so small and my eyes were straining.

So after realising I do like graphic novels I decided to buy Sandman:


Can’t really resist. I still think I prefer a novel, but I’ve only read the first few pages concentrating on  a book I’m already reading instead that I can’t wait to review.

It’s good to read something different now and again. And it’s Neil Gaiman! Wonder if the library has the rest….. I’m looking forward to going back to my favourite library I just need to widdle down that tbr. It will be done.

Do you read graphic novels?


Summer Reading List & Challenge

Wow, it’s been a while. I’ve been having a hectic time trying to get my house sorted and then trying to relax but now I’m back.

Since I won’t be going on holiday this year I thought I’d find some holiday/travel books that will make up for it. This is  also my way of coaxing myself to widdle down that tbr. This post originally started as a list of fun books to read if you’re not able to go on holiday this year but plans change.

Another blogger Cathy @ 746 Books has set up a Summer Reading Challenge on her blog, this is the link to her list of books. Thanks to What Cathy Read Next for reminding me and also to Shayney (who reads a lot of books and don’t try to challenge her she will beat it!) for the reminder.

I wasn’t going to join and I’ve missed the start. It starts beginning June and ends in September….. 

I’m doing it! 20 books by the end of September, no pressure! Lets do it!

This is my Summer Reading List, fully flexible 🙂 Books I’ll be reading June-September

IMG_20190614_153310665.jpgThis is a WISHLIST book, I finally bought it this year, it’s a indie book set in Scotland. Currently reading this and over halfway through, it’s a lovely book. It’s great to read a thinner book for a change, I’ve been reading the second and third Outlander books and they’re taken so much time to read. I enjoy them and don’t want to read anything else when I’m reading them, but it’s a joy to get back to reading shorter books and realise how quickly I can get through them. (I might defeat the tbr yet!!)

I wanted a fun, feel-good book to read like a Jenny Colgan. This book was available on Netgalley and since I’m missing Cornwall this year I thought it’d be perfect.

On about Cornwall, I bought this from the gift shop in Tintagel last year and never finished it:

IMG_20190617_140019875-1.jpgI’m looking forward to getting back into this book, there’s some lovely stories in there so keep an eye out for my review.

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree: A Sequel to Driving Over Lemons (Lemons Trilogy Book 2) by [Stewart, Chris]This has been on my Kindle  for a few years, I read the first book the last time I didn’t go on holiday (or maybe it was a short break later in the year I forget) so it’s apt that I’m going to read this now. I wasn’t even blogging when I read book 1, I loved it felt like I was right there with the author.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)I’ve never read the Narnia books but I’ve had the opportunity to read and review them for a website. Although it’s not really a summer read it’s a lovely children’s fantasy. Something short and fun.

I was introduced to this in school but read it myself outside, I loved it and have been meaning to reread it and also the other books by Gerald Durrell set in Corfu. I’ve been meaning to reread it since the tv series started and it’s finished now, so it’s definitely the right time. I don’t own any of Gerald Durrell’s books, so I’ll probably be getting it from the library.

IMG_20190617_140056701-1.jpgI bought this book last month recently, I love history but sometimes struggle to really get into a non-fiction book. This is about the history of Britain, the wars that happened between England and Scotland and England and Wales. I subject I’ve always been interested in.


This book appeals to me as a summer read as it’s set in Scotland and it’s about a woman healing and finding her way again, I love stories that are uplifting. It’s an indie read.

I also have these books on my bookshelf that I might read:


Skin is set in Celtic Britain, The Magpie Tree is set in Cornwall, so both seem to fit well into a summer theme.


I don’t want it to be set it stone so I might swap books or add them as the challenge says you can 🙂 I have a list of Netgalley reads that will be in my next post.

Let me know what books you’re planning on reading over the summer.  If you’re looking for a book to add to your summer reading I recommend The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, it’s about a couple who walk the 630 mile South West Coast Path, an amazing read that makes you feel like you’re there. I read this last year after buying a copy on holiday, an indie bookshop in Padstow.

I’ll try to keep an update of my challenge 🙂 Let me know if you’re joining too.







To finish or not to finish?

It’s not always a simple decision about whether or not you want to finish a book. There’s a lot of decision on twitter about DNF books. If you don’t like them and you know you can’t continue it’s simple. But I have these books that I’m just not sure what to do.


The Raven's Head

I mentioned this in my previous post. I liked the book when I started reading it but I have other books I enjoy more so I’ve put it aside for now.

What’s not to like? I think it may be the viewpoint change that is getting on my nerves. I’m not sure, maybe it’s just the wrong time to read it.

Finish or not? I keep thinking that I’m going to pick it back up again and continue it so I’m leaving on my ‘currently reading’ shelf on GoodReads for now


I bought this book last year. I wanted books set on an island with a magical theme, as research for the novel I’m writing. Sort of. I thought it would give me more info about island life and I could avoid having a similar book.

What’s not to like? I didn’t like the viewpoint changes and to make it worse there were viewpoint changes in the same chapter! They’d just be a new paragraph and this put me off. Surprised as Nora Roberts is a well known writer and popular it seems like a mistake for a new writer not to serperate viewpoint, but maybe I’m wrong. I liked the concept but the style wasn’t gripping me. I liked the characters. I think it was the different viewpoint that put me off, I love reading books with one viewpoint or at least not too many, I prefer the (I think it’s called:) limited viewpoint, where you only see what that one character sees rather than dip in and out of all the characters heads which this one seemed to do (in one scene) because there was no seperation :/

Finish or not?

I’ve taken it off my GoodReads for now and left it. I’ve got a lot of books to read and I’ve realised it’s nothing like the book I’m writing. I might pick it up again, I hate just not finishing them.

Sometimes I’m temped to just give them away but I’ve done that before and then wanted to read them. Or read a book hated it and the second time loved it (The Golden Compass).


I’ve got a book about writing on Netgalley that I’m thinking about not finishing. But it’s Netgalley! I started reading it and it’s good but I just feel like I have a lot of books to read. I almost didn’t bother with Wakenhyrst and thought I should have a fresh start but it’s a book I don’t want to put down.

Mood. Tiredness. Reading other books I prefer. These are the reasons I seem to stop reading specific books. I need to read a certain book and start reading it but then don’t finish others. I also don’t like not finishing books and giving up on them.

What do you think about these books and my decision? What books have you not finished?


Series I’ve started…. And haven’t finished

I have this habit of starting a series and never getting around to finishing it. Not because I’m not enjoying them, I seem to always find something else to read.

Series I need to finish

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


Amount on books in the series: 3

I’ve read: 2

I love this series, a weird fantasy story about children with peculiar abilties, children who are very old and stay young as they live in time loops where they are protected from the Wights that could harm them.

Earth Haven  series by Sam Kates

The Cleansing (Earth Haven: Book 1) by [Kates, Sam]

Amount of Books: 3

I’ve read: 1

I read the first book and I got sucked into this apocalyptic story, which was partly set in Wales. I haven’t got around to reading the next book with no real excuse as it’s a good start to the series and I need to read more.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer


I’ve read the first two of this weird and intriguing series but still haven’t read the third, even though I need to find out what happens next!

Robin Hobb books: The Farseer Trilogy


I started reading Robin Hobb a few years ago, I had never really read much fantasy and seemed to be only finding ones I didn’t like. Then I found Robin Hobb! I started reading and loved her world and characters. I realised after reading Fool’s Assassin that there was an earliar trilogy featuring the childhood of the character so I went back to the begining and started reading The Farseer Trilogy. So far I’ve read book one: Assassin’s Apprentice.

Series I wonder if I’ll ever finish


Morganville vampires

I enjoy reading these books, they’re books you can get through quickly but for some reason I never seem to continue with them.

True Blood books

I’m not a huge fan of the style and I have a lot of them but I keep thinking I’ll get aound to reading them but don’t.

Series I am not in a rush to finish.



I love the Poldark tv series and books, I’ve been watching the series first and then reading the books relating to that series. Sometimes there’s a cross over and it spoils the next series. I’ve got either 6 or 7 books to read but I’m not in a rush to finish, especially considering it’s the last of the tv series this year. I’ll need something to console me.



I read the first book two years ago. I told my mother about it and she watched all the series and read the first five books! I have the second book Dragonfly In Amber to read from the library. I’m not rushing it because I try not to have the series spoiled. However I am hooked and might have to keep reading…. 🙂

And the book series I want to finish but can’t:

I finished A Song Of Ice and Fire books last year, but there’s more to come. And I know that the majority of fans have been waiting for years for the next installment, the tv series caught up and is finishing this year !

 Others worth mentioning:

  • I have one book left of the Inkheart series.
  • I have The Dark Materials series to continue which I’ve bought recently.


Why can’t I finish a series? I can blame my ever expanding to be read list, but I think the problem is I take a break between books to make them last longer or so I don’t get bored (um, why would I?) and then never get around to continuing. I want to finish some though before I decide to start more. I hope I haven’t forgotten any :/

Do you have the same problem?  Which series have to got to finish?

Have you read any of these?


Charity Book Fair Haul

I was so excited to go to the Lions Club Charity Book Fair in Bridgend this morning. I didn’t go last year I had no room and was planning on moving house. I got a bigger house now and I’ve given up banning myself from buying books. A good morning, I just spent two hours going around and around, spotting books the second time that I didn’t see the first.

My mother was looking for Outlander books but we didn’t see any and I was hoping for  Neil Gaiman books.

Last time I went I bought nine so I only bought one more this time.

These are my impulse buys

I’ve keep hearing a lot about Six Of Crows, I picked it up and put it down so many times, if I don’t read it or don’t like it then I’ll donate it back. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas why not, the first page gripped me too. A Monster Calls, I recently watched the film.

Classics I had to buy

I love my classics, there wasn’t many this year. I’ve read these (I think I’ve read all Sherlock I forget) but don’t have a copy of The Hobbit and my Sherlock paperbacks are terrible. Going to look for the companion book illustrated  short stories.

I’ve read ‘Northern Lights’ before I had a copy hated it and gave it away. Then lent a copy, liked it, (sometimes you have to be in the right mood) and never get around to reading the rest of the series. I didn’t have to buy these but it might encourage me to finish the series now. I loved The Golden Compass film.

Books I’ve been meaning to read

I hoped to find The Night Circus there, I’ve been meaning to read it for ages so glad I got it now. And The Cuckoo’s Calling, I liked the tv series so I’ve been wanting to read these also.

I have had other books recently, I signed up ages ago to be a ‘book fairy’ on readitswapit book forum and this quarter I had more Hardy books and a copy of The Girl On The Train, another book I’ve been meaning to read.

I should probably start donating some books to this book fair, I have a stack of books I keep meaning to take to a charity shop. But some books you can’t part with, it’s books I know I won’t read again. I don’t really have room for these books on my shelf but oh, well.

I’m not banning myself from buying anymore, I’m hoping if I stop saying I can’t buy books maybe I won’t want to buy them so much HAHA maybe.

Have you read any of these?

Books, review

World Book Day Special: Heidi Review and Books I Read As I Child

Heidi is a children’s classic book that everyone will enjoy. I did read this as a child but can’t remember it all. I decided to read Heidi as in the ‘read a classic a month’ challenge thread on readitswapit it was the book for Febuary and since I already have this lovely hardback copy I decided to join in. And then have one less book on my tbr (like it gets smaller)



Synopsis from GoodReads

“Little orphan Heidi goes to live high in the Alps with her gruff grandfather and brings happiness to all who know her on the mountain. When Heidi goes to Frankfurt to work in a wealthy household, she dreams of returning to the mountains and meadows, her friend Peter, and her beloved grandfather.”

My Thoughts

Heidi reminds me of other books like ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Anne of Green Gables’. It’s a lovely read just like them. And also it’s similar because Heidi  is an orphan who goes to live with her grandfather. He has a reputation for being a horrible person but people’s opinion does change when they realise how good he is to Heidi.

I loved the setting of  the Alm. It’s described brilliantly, you feel like you are right there and don’t want to leave. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed reading this book but there were a few things I didn’t like:

  • Peter jealousy towards others who has Heidi’s attention. And his childish behaviour of shaking his fist, it’s a bit chessey. I also didn’t like that he intended to hurt one of the goats. However considering the time it was written and that it’s written for  children I can understand that it may have been seen differently in the past. I thought he was self-centred and don’t know if it’s explained why, but he is a child.
  • I have no idea what illness Clara had. In ‘The Secret Garden’ the boy can’t walk and they do explain his fear and how their overindulgence of him has prevented him from trying.  But there’s no explanation in Heidi, Clara can’t walk and gets tired easily and then after spending time on the Alm there’s a miracle and she can walk again. I didn’t like that.
  • Not much happens but it’s still an enjoyable story.

I didn’t mind the religious themes in the book, Heidi is given advice that a Christian would be given which makes sense as in the time it was written society was predominately Christian and not really concerned with other faiths. It does jar with me when books from this era like ‘Little Women’ seem to press Chrisitianity on the reader (I don’t agree with making children believe in something before they can make up their own mind) I understand why though, it was normal in that era and the characters are believers. (Maybe I take it too personally) However the advice given to Heidi is kind and it’s lovely advice even if it is religious in nature. And I enjoyed reading those parts even though I could not relate to the religion.

Heidi is a light hearted read and an easy classic book to read and enjoy.


Since today is World Book Day I wanted to do something special and being short on time thought I’d share with you other books I read as a child. Some like Heidi I may have forgotten what happens but others I read so many times I could never forget. Some are my own photos but where I no longer have the books I borrowed from the internet.


These are a few of my Famous Five books. I read a lot of Enid Blyton books, including The Wishing Chair books and some short story anthologies. I remember reading The Amelia Jane books and The Naughtiest Girl books. My favourites by Enid Elyton where the Willow Farm books which I no longer have, I keep thinking about buying them again though:

Enid Blyton: 2 titles: The Children of Willow Farm and The Children of Cherry Tree Farm

I love Roald Dahl books too:

I read Esio Trot recently, it’s a very short book and I loved it. Matilda was my favourite as she loved books as much as me.

I reread Black Beauty so often as a child, I still have my copy but the dust jacket has been lost:

Other books I remember reading:

What Katy DidCharlotte’s Web by [White, E. B.]

I loved these:

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Character Classics) by [Tomlinson, Jill]Septimouse, Supermouse!

Has I got older I started to read more scary books, my favourites where the choose your own adventure, I didn’t read all of these.  Every once in a while as a kid, you were in the mood to be spooked. And it was exciting because, in a way, you were in control of how scared you wanted to be. You were careful to choose your Goosebumps book based on the cover art and how much creepiness you thought you could handle.

It’s hard to remember everything I read, I can barely remember the picture books I enjoyed. I remember a Hairy McClary book, the Zoo, the funny bones. And of course all the classic fairy tales. A gorgeous copy of Hans Christian Anderson, books I wished I’d kept.

Have you read Heidi? What did you love reading as a child? If you didn’t read much then what was the first book you remember enjoying?


Book Haul

The day I was waiting for finally arrived…. I went to Waterstones. I do have book shops close to me, two branches of The Works and a WHSmith but they don’t have as much as Waterstones, it’s not the same!

I’ve been wanting to go for a while but time, too many books and buying a lot of things for my new house stopped me. Nothing was going to stop me this week! I had a week off with my boyfriend, busy week, (hence this is the first post) we got some house stuff done.

I think I spent ages in Waterstones, my boyfriend isn’t a reader and he was waiting for me, whoops.

As usual I completely forgot what books I wanted and ended up going on my GoodReads to remind me. Deciding was hard and there’s a book I didn’t get that I want to buy Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

So without further ado, here’s what I bought:


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

I just heard about this author, I see her tweets often but got properly introduced to her books thanks to one of Tim Clare’s podcasts, where he interviewed the author. Her books sounded great and I had to buy one. Recently I’ve been feeling the need to read more fantasy and this sounded amazing:

“Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London…” (blurb from Waterstones website)

I did have a dilemna, they never put the numbers of the series on the books! But a quick internet search helped me to find this one. I can’t wait to read this, I’m going to bump it up my to-be-read stack/list.


The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

I seen this on Netgalley but had so many books to read and review etc that I didn’t request it. I picked this up in the shop and didn’t want to let it go. It’s my type of book a gothic novel, dark and creepy.

“Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks.

For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…” (Blurb from Waterstones website)

I think this is going to have to be bumped up too. It was part of buy one get one half price deal and that’s where I struggled to decide what to get. I can’t resist a deal so I bought:


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I’ve read a few books by Neil Gaiman and loved them. I’d hoped to buy a Neil Gaiman novel that day and they had a few but I just couldn’t decide from the other ones on the shelf. I’m interested in mythology and don’t know enough about Norse and I’d heard a lot about this book so this was perfect. Neil Gaiman writes amazing books, original and riveting.


“”As I retold these myths, I tried to imagine myself a long time ago, in the lands where these stories were first told, during the long winter nights perhaps, under the glow of the northern lights or sitting outside in the small hours, awake in the unending daylight of midsummer.” – Neil Gaiman

Gather round, this is where the stories are born. This is where the world was made.

Picture it: about you, mile upon mile of sparkling, moonlit rock and snow. Above, the flickering magic of the aurora borealis, an electric-blue contrast to the warm fire where the storyteller weaves his words. He talks of playful, careless, wrathful gods, stories of immortal forces battling under freezing, star-filled skies.

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from TolkienAlan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction.

Now our greatest living fantasist reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.”

I’ll have to read Good Omen’s before I read this though.


I have so many books to read, I have about 5 on Netgalley and others to review. I think I need to be more organised. I bought those books then had an email from the library, I’d forgotten I’d orderd a book there:



Paint Me A Picture by Patsy Collins

“Mavis Forthright carefully rehearses her jump from Portsmouth’s Round Tower. She’s existed for over five decades. Lived hardly at all. Will end her misery with a few second’s fall into the cold sea. Except she’s not quite ready to die. A half day’s delay to try a bacon sandwich from the cafe won’t matter. Mother’s no longer there to disapprove.

She delays another day to lend Janice a book. Then a week to use her new paints. A month. Until the end of term. Mavis makes new plans; to create paintings full of emotion, to live, perhaps even make friends.

As if to balance her survival a number of people connected to Mavis die. At first that doesn’t matter. They’re people she dislikes. Mavis continues painting, tending her garden, feeding the birds and keeping her home properly clean, without additional concern. Then people who’ve been kind to Mavis are killed or injured. That shouldn’t happen.

Why are people dying? Is it because of charming Norman who’s back from her past, or is that strange boy Jake her mistaken guardian angel? Perhaps Mavis herself is to blame. She must learn the truth, stop the deaths and protect those she’s learned to care about before she can enjoy the new life she’s making for herself.” (blurb from Amazon)

I read an extract from this book in one of Patsy’s short story collections and it grabbed me.  I follow her on twitter and sometimes join a #writingchat I’ve reviewed her collections on here (without her knowing beforehand): Just A Job, Not A Drop To Drink

So, now I just need a month off work to read all my books. If only.


Besides going to Waterstones I went into HMV too, it was great to go to an actual shop (as opposed to buying online) and buy some new CDs:


All the CD shops (and dvd shops) closed down by me and I realised how much I’d missed them recently.

I’m been a Bowie fan since my teens, he was on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (when it was still on the BBC) promoting his ‘Reality’ album and I was hooked. I knew Bowie from Labyrinth of course but I’d never really listened to his music before.

I have a few more recent albums and ‘best ofs’ but I thought I’d start buying some more. I did originally have a cassette tape of Low but I’ve not idea where it’s gone and you can’t put that on an mp3 player.

Have you read any of these books? Which Neil Gaiman book should I read after Good Omens?