Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Series I Haven’t Finished

Given how up until last year I actively avoided sequels, I’m really pleased with myself for being able to make this list.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

Inspector McLean series by James Oswald

I read half of this series during Lockdown 1 last year and loved every book, so the remaining five are on my tbr for 2021, which worked out quite nicely since Book 11 is being published this month and now I can complete the series up to date.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3)

I loved Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, so I’m hoping I’ll get round to reading the final book in the trilogy soon.

I know what happened historically with Thomas Cromwell, but I’m really excited to see how Hilary Mantel puts her spin on it.

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

I also started reading these during the first lockdown, and have just four more books to go.

Jack Reacher by Lee Child

There’s over 20 books in this series so while it’s unlikely I’ll get anywhere near finishing them all this year, I’m hoping to make a bit more progress with it.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Desolations of Devil's Acre (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #6)

The sixth and final book in the series is due for release this year, and I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens to the Peculiars and the residents of Devil’s Acre.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books I will *definitely* read this year

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

Elevator pitch
Elevator Pitch

This was one of the last books I bought in 2020.

I haven’t read anything by Linwood Barclay before, but he’s one of those authors whose name you’re dimly aware of because it crops up all the time, and Elevator Pitch has received a lot of hype.

Haven’t They Grown
Haven't They Grown

Before reading Sophie Hannah’s revival of Hercule Poirot, I wanted to try one of her own novels, and this one stood out to me.

The Mirror and The Light
The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3)

I’m excited to finally get my hands on the third Thomas Cromwell book.

After some research when reading Wolf Hall, I know how Cromwell met his end, so it will be interesting to see how Mantel puts her spin on that, while bringing her trilogy to a conclusion.

Uncommon Type
Uncommon Type

This was an impulse buy, because I’d been seeing people’s reviews and posts on it everywhere. I have no idea what to expect, but I have high hopes and how can Tom Hanks let us down?

The Sentence Is Death
The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne, #2)

The first I’d read of Anthony Horowitz was his new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House Of Silk, but it was his sequel, Moriarty, which made him one of my all time favourite authors.

The plot twist in that book still amazes me (although I’m sure if you were to read enough Goodreads reviews you’d find someone who said they saw it coming), and I can’t wait to get started on his newest release.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Anticipated Books of 2021

I took a break from reading at the start of the month so I didn’t burn myself out, so I’m really excited to get back to it and looking forward to all these books.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

The Switch by beth o’leary
The Switch

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but  is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

The Devil and The Dark Water by stuart turton
The Devil and the Dark Water

A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

Halfhead by Stuart Macbride
Halfhead by [Stuart B. MacBride]

Glasgow, not too far in the future.

A new punishment has been devised for the perpetrators of serious crimes. The process is known as halfheading: the offender’s lower jaw is removed & they are lobotomised. They are then put to work as cleaners in municipal areas like hospitals, where they serve as a warning to all that crime doesn’t pay.

What Will Burn by James Oswald
What Will Burn (The Inspector McLean Series) by [James Oswald]

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned-out game-keepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh. Clearly no accidental fire, Detective Inspector Tony McLean suspects that neither is this simply a grim arson attack. There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings might suggest, and something ritualistic to her horrific murder.

Nor will it be the only case of death by fire that Tony and his team will be faced with. This is only the beginning, and with such evil clouding the air, Tony begins to wonder what else will burn…

Fire Watching by Russ Thomas
Firewatching (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #1)

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . .

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Bookish Resolutions

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

Make time to read

It feels like all I did in 2020 was read and watch TV, but that was only because it was far from a normal year. In 2019 it was the opposite, so my goal for this year is to make time to read no matter how it turns out because I have loads of amazing books to look forward to.

Reading Challenges

I’ve signed up for The Out Of Your Comfort Zone & the When Are You Reading challenges because I did my Owls last year and had a lot of fun with it.

These challenges are a little different from the Owls, but taking part in them will mean reading books that wouldn’t ordinarily be my first choice of reading material, and I’m excited to try new genres and discover new authors.

Limit My Book-Buying

I made a list at the beginning of last year of all the books I hadn’t read yet and wanted to try and get to during lockdown, but the list was added to almost every month because I was buying so many new books.

So I’ve decided that this year I’m going to limit myself to 2 or 3 books a month- though I will let this carry forward if for some reason I don’t reach my limit.

Remember Netgalley

I sort of forgot I had a Netgalley account last year, which meant I missed out on loads of books I would have loved to have advanced-read before their publication, so I’d like to fix that in 2021 and remember this wonderful website.

Support independent book shops

My favourite book website (Book People) went into administration last year and I was gutted.

I’ve been on the lookout ever since for an alternative, and I’m determined to find a new favourite book shop.

As alternatives to Amazon, I’ve been using Lowplex Books (which have loads of book bundles) and The Works, but I’d like to try and support other smaller stores with my purchases. (So if anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.)

Posted in Book Tags, Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books of 2020

I’ve been both dreading and looking forward to making this list. There have been so many amazing books I discovered for the first time this year, and others it was fun to revisit.

Below are my five favourite reads of 2020. Included are their links to Goodreads.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

A Dark So Deadly

The thing I love about MacBride’s writing is that it’s funny, but without making light of the darker aspects of the story he’s telling. (Which are some of the grimmer crime novels I’ve read.)

A Dark So Deadly was no exception, and draws first with my next book on this list for my favourite book of the year.

The Flatshare

The Flat Share was adorable. There’s no way it wasn’t going to be on this list.


I’m kind of surprised that Hamnet made this list, since I’d taken a bit of a break during reading, but in the end, I didn’t want to put it down and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Maggie O’Farrell’s work in the future.

Natural Causes (Inspector McLean, #1)

This was a series I’d found by accident when I was in a bookshop a few years ago, and I picked up books 1 and 2 because they were set in Edinburgh and I hadn’t read many Scottish crime novels.

Admittedly I didn’t start reading them until this year, but I enjoyed them, and as the first book series I’ve actively followed, they’ll always have special meaning for me.

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)

The Thursday Murder Club was everywhere on its release, and I saw praise after praise for its story and its characters.

It didn’t disappoint.

And there you have it. My top 5 reads of 2020.

Were any of these on your list?

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Covers of 2020

One of my favourite things about following book blogs is getting to see all the pretty book covers.

Here are some of my favourites from this year.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

Hamnet by Maggie o’farrell

I thought I was over my phase of buying books because they look nice, but that was before I kept seeing the hardcover edition of Hamnet all over my social media feeds.


The Devil and The Dark Water by stuart turton

This one doesn’t have much going on with it, but I love the colours and the little compass on the front. Plus the hardcover edition has matching sprayed edges, which I just love.

The Devil and the Dark Water

Beach Read by emily henry

Beach Read is easily one of the brightest books I own. I love the vivid colours and the beach design, which ties in with the title and the story.

Beach Read

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

I loved this story, and seeing the cover makes me remember it.

The Flatshare

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

Technically I’m cheating a little for this last one since I didn’t read this book in 2020, but I couldn’t include it.

Three Things About Elsie
Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books On My Holiday Wishlist

While I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I’d intended to when we went into lockdown at the end of March, I have been doing a lot of reading. And adding to my wishlist.

I’ve had more book hauls this year than ever, so this prompt for today’s Top 5 Tuesday seemed like a good excuse to look over all the books I would love to own and try and prioritise them a bit.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.

The Cousins by Karen McManus

There aren’t many authors whose books I’ll buy/ pre-order without knowing anything about them, but Karen McManus is one of them.

I loved One Of Us Is Lying, and One Of Us Is Next, and Two Can Keep A Secret, so I’m really excited to get my hands on this latest addition soon.

The Cousins

What Will Burn by James Oswald

Ignoring the fact that I still have five books in the Inspector McLean series to read before I can get round to Book 11, I really really want to get a copy soon. Preferably hardback, and signed, like the copy of Book 10 I got before remembering I have the rest of the series in paperback.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Am I collecting all of Beth O’Leary’s books? Possibly. But I adored The Flatshare and I’m excited to read The Switch, so I couldn’t really not add The Road Trip to my wishlist.

The Road Trip

The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel

After buying Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for their rrp then finding Wolf Hall for sales at The Works for £2, I’m not rushing to buy the third book in this series.

But I do really want to read it, and hopefully soon before I forget who all the characters are and what’s happened.

The Thursday Murder Club 2 by Richard Osman

I haven’t heard what this sequel is about or seen it available to request on Netgalley as an arc, but I really enjoyed the first one and I was happy to find out there was going to be a follow-up.

The Thursday Murder Club 2

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: 5 Series I Want To Start

Narrowing this list down to 5 wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be when I saw today’s Top 5 Tuesday prompt.

I can’t take any credit for that, though, because there were only a handful of series on my tbr list, and even fewer that I have any interest in starting as soon as I can.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by The Bionic Bookworm.

#5 The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

I tried reading the first one a while ago but gave up to read something else. It wasn’t a dnf because I didn’t like the story- I was just overwhelmed at the idea of the series being 6 books long, plus The Infernal Devices series and The Dark Artifices.

That being said, I would still like to restart the series, because I’m starting to get a handle on my commitment issues with sequels, and I feel a little left out of the Shadowhunters loop.

#4 The Selection

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

I’m still surprised sometimes when I see this trilogy on my shelves, because it’s so not me. Dresses and princesses and romance?

The only reason I bought the series is because it kept showing up on Instagram and the covers looked pretty. (And I wanted to find out if America won the selection or not, given how indifferent she was about it.)

#3 Switched

Switched (Trylle, #1)

Yet another series which is nothing like what I usually read, the Trylle trilogy was recommended to me by a friend. And abandoned after book 1 because of the aforementioned commitment issues.

There were only three books in this series, but I loved the first one and I’d love to finally get round to finishing them.

#2 Logan McRae Series

I’ve technically already started this series, but since I picked up book 12 instead of book 1, I decided to still include it.

Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1)

#1 Game Of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

I bought the first two books in the series not long after the TV show started, and it was always my intention to read them and then start watching the show.

Needless to say, that didn’t happen, but I would still like to get round to reading the books eventually.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: 5 Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet

This list is made up of books I don’t yet own, with the exception of #5 and #1. So guess who’s going to be buying more books at the end of lockdown?

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Bionic Bookworm.

#5 Murder Trending

I’ve seen this so many times, but am yet to read a review or find a synopsis of what it’s actually about. At any rate, the title sounded interesting.

#Murdertrending (MurderTrending, #1)

#4 The Flatshare

I’m impatient to get started on this one. It sounds sort of cutsey, along the lines of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, but I loved that, so I’m excited to get to The Flatshare.

The Flatshare

#3 Tweet Cute

I think it’s starting to become clear at this point that I don’t need to know what a book is about to add it to my tbr list.

Tweet Cute

#2 Don’t Read The Comments

I found this on Goodreads when I was adding #Murdertrending to my tbr. Needless to say, going searching on Goodreads for recommended reads is a dangerous idea.

Don't Read the Comments

#1 Deathly Hallows

Before you start gathering your angry mob and your pitchforks, the last Harry Potter novel is not on this list because I didn’t want to read it.

The only reason I haven’t yet is because the final film came out before I could finish it, and I abandoned the book halfway through.

I mean, (almost) everybody died. And I’d only just discovered the series at that point. I wasn’t ready for another emotional rollercoaster.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: 5 Books That Made Me Laugh

When I saw this prompt on the list for April’s topics over at Bionic Book Worm, I thought it would be easy. Then I looked at my bookshelves and realised about 90% of the books I own are either mystery or crime.

After some despairing, and wondering what the books I own says about me (I haven’t answered this yet and don’t really want to) I decided to interpret today’s topic loosely, and include books with scenes or lines of dialogue that made me laugh.

#5 Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

Order of The Phoenix is always one of the tougher HP books to reread, but the classic “Have a biscuit, Potter” earns it a place on this list.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)

#4 Fangirl

The dynamic between Cath and her sister Wren was accurate, in that like real-life siblings, they bickered and outright argued but showed their genuine care through sarcasm and insults.


#3 Heat Wave

This series was a spin-off from the TV series Castle, which used to run on ABC in America (or Your TV, in the UK), and although it’s far from serious literature, there was a ton of references to the show that made me laugh more than once while reading.

Heat Wave (Nikki Heat, #1)

#2 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue

While most of the conversations in The Gentleman’s Guide were serious or genuine and heartfelt, there was still the occasional sarcastic remark that I’m a sucker for.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

#1 Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging

It’s been a while since I read this series, but I remember how much I enjoyed them.

Georgia never had a quiet life, between her parents’ unwillingness to accept their age, or her sister’s lack of boundaries, along with her own habit of creating chaos with her friends.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1)