Posted in bookish

Reading on a Budget

With Christmas approaching, I’m limiting the amount of money I spend on books to spend on Christmas presents instead.

I’ve decided that I’m going to try and stick the limit I’ve set myself, even once the Christmas period is over.

I’m currently limiting myself to buying no more than five books in a month and so far, I’ve managed to stick to this limit. I did want to set myself a limit of one, based on the state of my current TBR, but there was no way that that was a realistic goal.

In order to save money, I’ve also only been buying secondhand books and have been borrowing books from the library, rather than buying them, where I can.

I haven’t noticed a major change in my spending/saving so far but I hope to in the very near future!

– Elanor

Posted in bookish

Pros and Cons of Audiobooks: Are They Really More Convenient?

A few months ago, I listened to my first ever audiobook (unless you include the audiobook of The Tiger Who Came To Tea, which I listened to obsessively when I was younger).

Since then, I’ve listened to a few audiobooks, but I’m still trying to decide if I like them or not…

I will admit that audiobooks do have some positives over physical or ebooks:

  • More convenient, can listen to them while working on other things
  • No risk of losing your page
  • No need for a bookmark
  • Don’t take up (as much) space in your bag

However, they do have negatives too:

  • I fall asleep to them and end up losing my place
  • If you zone out when listening, you have to try and skip back to find where you were
  • You don’t get a physical copy to keep on your shelves
  • Difficult to lend/borrow between friends

At this present moment in time, I’m leaning heavily in the direction that audiobooks are more trouble than they’re worth; mainly because I keep falling asleep listening to them and losing my place!

However, I do feel like I may become more in favour of audiobooks when I start wrapping Christmas presents as I can listen as I wrap!

Where do you stand on the audiobook vs. physical book debate?

– Elanor

Posted in book tags, bookish

Judging A Book By It’s Cover Book Tag

The Judging a Book By It’s Cover book tag was created by Books Nest. I haven’t been tagged by anyone to participate, but I saw the tag on Twitter and thought it sounded fun so I’ve decided to join in anyway!

The rules of the tag are as follows:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Ask your friends or Twitter/Instagram followers to send you book cover suggestions and pick four to feature
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

I asked one of my friends to pick some book covers for me to judge and she picked the following:

1. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

My first thoughts upon seeing this book cover are that this is not a book I would pick up or read and that it looks like a thriller/horror/suspense novel.

I’m going to guess that based on the cover, this book is set in a pet graveyard, which is haunted by the (evil?) ghosts or spirits of dead pets.

After writing my initial thoughts, I had a look at the blurb of the book on Goodreads:

“The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed’s rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.”

Well, I got the pet graveyard part right…but not much else 😂

2. Snap by Belinda Bauer

Based on the cover, I think this book is about a woman under a lot of pressure, who is being threatened by someone and is on the verge of a breakdown.

The blurb of the book on Goodreads is as follows:

“On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.

But the truth can be a dangerous thing …”

I actually really like the sound of this book! I wasn’t really close with my assumptions, although I may be right in assuming that the mother had a breakdown…

3. The Ex Girlfriend by Nicola Moriarty

This looks like a good read! Based on the cover, I think that this is about a woman who is being threatened by her boyfriend’s ex (possibly someone she knows as opposed to being a stranger) because his ex wants him back. I think this could possibly be a murder or crime novel as the ex may go as far as trying to get rid of the current girlfriend altogether.

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Luke is the one. After everything she’s been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved. Safe.

The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble accepting their break-up, but Georgia thinks there’s more to the story. She also has the feeling someone is watching her.

When everything starts to go wrong at work, at home, in her old friendships and her happy new relationship with Luke, Georgia starts to feel truly afraid.

Cadence wants what she has. What would she do to get it?

And can Georgia trust anyone at all?”

Ooh, I actually wasn’t far off with this one! This is another one that I quite like the sound of – I might give this one a read.

4. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

My first thoughts are that this is a romance novel. I think that the main character is going to be a woman who needs money, so takes up a cleaning/housekeeping job and ends up falling in love with her boss when he helps her out (e.g. maybe she needed money and he advanced her wages).

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?”

Yeah…not even slightly close with that one 😂


What I’ve learned from this tag is that I need to stop judging books by their covers because I’m really bad at it!

I would like to tag the following bloggers to participate:

1. A Little Haze Book Blog

2. Highland Book Fairy

3. Nomadic Worlds

4. Bog Hygge

5. Melanie’s Reads

– Elanor 🙂

Posted in bookish

My Top 5 Agatha Christie Books

Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors and so I’ve decided to compile my top five novels to recommend them to you all!

I absolutely love these five stories and I really hope any of you who decide to read any of them do too!

1. And Then There Were None

Arguably one of the most famous Agatha Christie novels, there is also a BBC adaptation which I would recommend watching!

I actually did a presentation about this book as part of a job interview (I had to give a presentation about an interest of mine so I talked about the works of Agatha Christie and used this book as one of my examples).

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon.

Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found.

All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate.

For each has been marked for murder.

One by one they fall prey.

Before the weekend is out, there will be none.

And only the dead are above suspicion.”

2. A Murder Is Announced

I really love this story, although I’ve only read the book once. There is a TV adaption (ITV, I believe) which is also really good, although not exactly the same.

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“A murder is announced in a small-town newspaper advertisement—and Miss Marple must unravel the fiendish puzzle when a crime does indeed occur.

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.”

A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it.”

3. 4.50 From Paddington

I couldn’t not include this one in my top five! I’ve only read the book once but I’ve watched the ITV adaptation many, many times (bonus: part of it was filmed at the same location as Downton Abbey).

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Elspeth McGillicuddy is not given to hallucinations. Until she witnesses a murder at Paddington Station. But did she? No victim, no suspect, no other witnesses. In fact no one believes it really happened at all. Except her friend Miss Jane Marple, and she’s returning to the scene of the crime to discover just exactly what Mrs. McGillicuddy saw.”

4. Murder On The Orient Express

This has definitely gained a lot of recent press due to the new film adaptation (which is really good, for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it).

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.”

5. The Body in the Library

I feel like this is one that not as many people have heard of, but I really liked it, although it is my least favourite of the five in this post.

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth – and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, things begin to move along nicely, and its all far more convoluted – and sordid – than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.

A curmudgeonly financier, his self-absorbed adult children, a couple of pragmatic and clever hotel workers, tons of money and influence, a wild local lad, some smitten girls, the film business, mix into a classic Christie plot filled with twists, turns, and double-backs galore. Plus the glorious settings of A Great House, a fancy Hotel, and an excessively genteel little village, and let’s not forget Miss Marple…”

Have you read any Agatha Christie novels?

– Elanor 🙂

Posted in bookish, weekly book memes

Six For Sunday: I Wanna Snuggle With…

Six For Sunday is a weekly tag hosted by A Little But A Lot. Each Sunday, a tag is set and you post about six books which meet that tag.

The tag for this week is I wanna snuggle with…

I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’m choosing to look at this prompt as being books which I would want to curl up in front of the fire with and read on a cold or rainy day.

1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The ultimate cute, chilled out read. This is such a good book to read while snuggled up inside!

2. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

When the nights get dark and cold, it usually means that it’s getting close to Christmas and I love reading (or watching) the Harry Potter series around Christmas. Particularly the first book…perfect for snuggling into a blanket and reading.

3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

There’s nothing like a good mystery novel to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s day and this is an especially good book!

4. The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton

A childhood favourite will never be a bad choice to snuggle up to read!

5. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I absolutely love these books and will always love the opportunity to snuggle up and reread them (for the millionth time)!

6. A New Book

Is there anything neither than snuggling up to read a brand new book?

At the minute, I’d choose Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie!

Which books would you choose?

– Elanor

Posted in bookish, weekly book memes

Stacking the Shelves (16th November 2019)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly book meme which is co-hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, in which you are encouraged to share the books which you are adding to your shelves this week (including books you have bought, borrowed or received as gifts)!


Another week of breaking my book buying ban…

Books I’ve Bought

This week I found a copy of The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler in a charity sale for 50p! It sounds like a pretty light-hearted, fun read so I’m looking forward to starting it.

– Elanor 🙂

Posted in bookish

An Unrealistic Goal?

A week or so ago, I uploaded a post about the books I want to finish by the end of 2019. Since then, I’ve done some thinking and spoken to a friend and decided that what I really want to do (at the very least) is finish all the books on my currently reading shelf on Goodreads.

I’m not entirely sure how realistic this is…

Currently, I have the following books on my Goodreads shelf:

1. Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

I’m currently reading this one and it’s the one I’m most likely to finish at present!

2. You Were Gone by Tim Weaver

I was really excited to read this one but I’m finding it hard to get into. I feel like this may be one I give up on and shelve as a book I didn’t finish.

3. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett

The first in A Series of Unfortunate Events…all of which I planned to read in October…oops. However, I am quite far through this book so I may at least get this one read before the end of 2019.

4. Dorothy Must Die Stories by Danielle Paige

This is the series of novellas which go alongside the Dorothy Must Die series. I think there are nine in total and I’m only on the third, so I do have a while to go…

5. Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

This is one I really want to finish because I loved the sound of it when I first picked it up. I haven’t touched it since last August and I’m not really sure why.

6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The book which became a joke among my friends (“have you finished Pride and Prejudice yet, Elanor?”). I want to be able to say that I’ve read this but I found it so difficult to get into…I haven’t touched it since February 2017 so this is definitely the book I’m least likely to finish.

After reading back over this post, I’ve concluded that it’s very unlikely that I’ll accomplish this…

What do you think? Possible or impossible?

– Elanor

Posted in book reviews, bookish

*REVIEW* Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon *CONTAINS SPOILERS*

This review contains spoilers.

So I actually finished this book within mere hours of uploading my last post about it…it was so good!

The Blurb

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything.

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz’s life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don’t add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally?

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

Because it takes two to forge a friendship.

But it only takes one to wage a war…”

Initial Thoughts on the Book

From the first chapter, I was hooked on this book and the rest of the book was equally gripping! I ended up staying up until 1am and going to work on only 5 hours sleep because I just had to finish reading (and it’s been a while since I’ve read a book good enough to lose sleep over).

Plot Summary

The main character is a woman named Holly who, at the beginning of the book, is celebrating a promotion at work. Roz is her work best friend, who told her she wasn’t going to apply for the promotion and helped Holly with her application.

As Holly starts her new job, a few odd things begin to happen, like documents she had printed completely disappearing, and she begins to suspect that someone is trying to sabotage her. Her immediate suspicion is that Juliet, another woman in the office who Holly and Roz don’t get on with, and who also applied for the promotion, is behind it.

But then her boss let’s slip that Roz also applied for the promotion, even mixing up something Holly was going to use in her application as an idea Roz had come up with.

Holly’s daughter, Ashley, is now pregnant and so Holly decides to rent out Ashley’s old room in their flat to a lodger, to raise extra funds for the baby. She finds a lodger named Hattie, who seems perfect; she’ll be away at the weekends caring for her Mum and out most days at work.

Holly and her non-work-related best friend Dee team up to work out why Roz lied about applying for the job, but they just begin to unravel more and more mysteries…no one has ever met Roz’s supposedly successful husband, no one has ever been to her house…

In the midst of all this, people begin to get emails from Holly’s email account that she did not send, resulting in a couple of close shaves with her boss and other members of staff.

Holly and Dee begin to piece together parts of the puzzle, realising how little they can believe anything Roz says…

I could go on and on about this book but I don’t want to ruin every single detail!

In Summary

I actually really like the sound of Holly and Roz’s jobs as script editors – not sure that it would be worth all the feuding though!

I was really disappointed that Ryan broke up with Ashley after they had discussed (at great length) if they could handle having a child, but I was so pleased that she moved back in with her Mum at the end!

I KNEW Hattie was Roz’s friend and that she was helping her!

This book also totally put me off ever renting out a room in my house to a lodger – even without a feud at work to cause extra problems, it sounds far too stressful!

Overall Rating

I rated this book 4 stars! I’ve actually recommended it to a friend already and I’m looking forward to discussing it with her.

Posted in bookish, just for fun

5 Fictional Worlds I’d Love To Visit

With the days getting shorter and the weather more and more depressing, I’ve decided to compile a list of the fictional worlds I’d love to vist.

1. Middle Earth

The setting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

I’d want to visit in peace-time and I wouldn’t want to visit any places with spiders (which unfortunately rules out Mirkwood) but I’d love to visit The Shire and Rivendell in particular.

2. Narnia

The magical land at the back of the wardrobe…

I’d love to travel to Narnia during it’s Golden Age to meet the Pevensies and Aslan and all the talking creatures.

3. Oz

Following the yellow brick road, of course!

An Oz with no wicked witches would be a fun place to visit – with all the different lands within it, it would take me a while to get bored!

4. Hogwarts/Wizarding World

While the setting of the Harry Potter series is in England, I’d love to visit the wizarding world; Hogwarts and Diagon Alley in particular! This time of year would be especially magical…

5. Avalon

The faerie kingdom featured in the Wings series always sounded so magical and exactly like somewhere I’d love to visit!

If you could visit any fictional world, which would you choose?

Elanor 🙂

Posted in bookish

The Book That’s (Slowly) Pulling Me Out Of My Reading Slump

I’ve briefly mentioned in recent posts that I’ve been stuck in the worst reading slump ever for a while now. I don’t know what it is about this time of year but I always seem to get stuck in a bit of a slump.

BUT!

THERE IS GOOD NEWS!

After browsing my bookshelves, my family’s bookshelves and the (virtual) shelves of the library, I have finally found a book that is making me excited about reading again!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken a while to find. I’ve actually started and put down (possibly never to pick up again) two books and considered reading several others before I changed my mind.

As you have probably guessed from the featured image at the top of this post, the book which has (hopefully) brought my reading slump to an end is Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon.

I’ve read a few books written by Janr Fallon in the past and have always enjoyed them, so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one.

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything.

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz’s life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don’t add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally?

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

Because it takes two to forge a friendship.

But it only takes one to wage a war…”

I only started reading this on Sunday, and I’m already over halfway through the book. I’m really looking forward to getting to the end because at present, all my theories have been wrong and I have no idea how it’s going to pan out!

Note to self: when stuck in a reading slump, reach for a book by an author who is yet to disappoint you

I’m going to end this post here and get back to reading! I’m almost certain that I’ll have finished the book by the end of the week, so watch this space for a review being uploaded very soon!

– Elanor