September ’15 Wrap Up

wrap-up-header

I realise how cliche I sound when I say I can’t believe it’s now October, but it’s true. Lo and behold, the sun is setting sooner, school has started and I actually needed a coat the other day because of the chill outside. I’ve discovered so many cool book blogs this month and they’re a m a z i n g. It may not look like a great reading month from the lack of books in my “Books I’ve read section” but I feel like I might be getting out of the reading slump. Hazarrrrrrr!

Books I’ve Read

Anya's Ghost by Vera BrosalAssassin's Blade by Sarah J. MaasMiss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsTess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

Reading Challenge Update

Back to Classics Challenge  I really do think I’m going to reach my goal of the 9/12 classics! I’ve finished Tess of the D’Urbervilles and I’m almost half way through Jane Eyre (which I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much as I am!). After that one I’ll probably read one more and that’s my goal reached. Yay! Current status: 8/12 read.

Alphabet Soup Challenge – Ahh none of the books I read this month covered the ten letters I still have to cover for this challenge BUT I’m still not worried too much. I’ve got timeeeeee…. Current status: 16/26 letters covered.

New Author Challenge – Finished it last month! Whoooo!

Goodreads Challenge – Okay, okay so I’m even more behind than I was last month but I am reading more than I was! I’m reading five books at once give me a break…

godreads challenge sept 15

September Favourite

Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas I have absolutely got to give this one to one of my favourite authors of all time, Sarah J. Maas and her series of novellas The Assassin’s Blade. I put off reading this book for a long long while and looking back I’m not really sure why. THERE ARE SO MANY REFERENCES IN THIS BOOK AND EVERYTHING FITS PERFECTLY WITH THE REST OF THE NOVELS IT GAVE ME SO MUCH JOY. I really do love it when everything fits together and because of this book I now love Sarah J. Maas even more, which, to be quite honest, I didn’t think was possible.

Most Anticipated October Release

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

To see the things I've been loving this September click HERE!

I have so many cool things planned for October you’re not even ready! BUT tell me about YOUR MONTH. I know I’m pretty much FAILING but how are you doing with your reading challenges/goals? With only three months left of 2015 (THREE MONTHS!) do you think you’ll make it? Any Halloween plans? If I see anyone dressed as a book character I will probably tackle them in hug that clearly coveys the bookish vibes~

Advertisements

Nattie’s Catch Up (September ’15)

Natties-Catch-up

The Highs

Remembering how beautiful seaside towns are during autumn – At the very very beginning of September, before school began, my family and I managed to make the most of one of the last sunny days of the year and headed for the seaside. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t the greatest weather but it didn’t matter because I adore cute towns by the sea like the one we went to. It had the cliffs and cream parlors (although I went with a hot chocolate on the day) and pebbled beaches (and some sandy ones too!). It was pretty and not too hot which was great because I haven’t felt so relaxed since!

IMG_1583 IMG_1585  IMG_1602 IMG_1603

The Great British Bake Off – If you could represent Britain with just one show, The Great British Bake Off would be it. It’s a baking competition that takes place in a big tent in the middle of a field where the presenters make bad (yet hilarious!) puns, one of the judges is an lovely 80-year-old lady and everybody cries when someone has the leave the tent every week. The phrase “soggy bottom” alone is the single most British thing I’ve ever heard. What more could you want?

tumblr_nugxpnmgtZ1s5v14qo1_500

Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon – Not her actual honeymoon cause that would be weird. I’m talking about her new album that came out only about a week ago! I’ve loved Lana Del Rey for years and years now and although her first album will always be my favourite, Honeymoon is so so good and I’ve definitely got plans to see her when she goes on tour.

giphy tumblr_nt1560mo9z1qb4lmho3_500

The Low

The stress – I’d be lying if I said school is easy right now. It’s such a big leap from last year in workload and difficulty and I’m not sure how I’m not sleeping during half of my breaks. It’s getting more difficult to fit in my reading time but so far I’m managing (only just) and soon, hopefully, I’ll be doing a lot less of this:

sheldonpapers

ENOUGH ABOUT ME. Tell me how your September has gone! Did you go back to school? Work? What music album are you obsessing over that I should probably give a shot? I’m a sucker for any kind of cooking competition, not just Bake Off and especially if it has Gordon Ramsay in it so tell which show on TV you have a weakness for!

Here’s to a wonderful October!

pumpkins

August ’15rap Up

august-wrap-up

August wasn’t a great reading month. As I said in my Catch Up yesterday, my summer reading really slowed me down and my reading slump isn’t helping (what else is new?). I’ve currently got four started books so it’s not me being lazy I swear!

Books I’ve read

I know, I know. Trust me, next month will be better!

Reading Challenge Update

Back to Classics Challenge  I am still working my way through Tess of the D’Urbervilles but once I finish that in a few days I’ll have read 7/12 classics! In conclusion: nothing new on this one.

Alphabet Soup Challenge – Both Finding Audrey and The Golden Compass (under N because the English version is called Northern Lights and that’s the version I read) make it onto my list! That means I have 16/26 letters covered. I’ve got 10 more to go but I’ve made a list of what books can fill in the gaps so I’VE GOT THIS.

New Author Challenge – I’ve finished this one this week! *a massive pat on the back for Nattie* I haven’t written reviews for more than half of them, though, so once I do that the challenge will be completed!

TBR Pile Challenge – I think I’m going to give up on this challenge, guys. I’ve only read 2 out of the 12 on my list and I’m not excited about the rest. We’ll see but I think I might just ditch this one.

Goodreads Challenge – After changing my goal from 100 books to 75 books last moth, I am still behind schedule. IN FACT I am even further behind. Yikes. I’ve reserved a bunch of graphic novels from the library though so I should be catching up soon…

challenge

August Favourite

A Thousand Spledid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThis isn’t a type of book I’d usually pick up at all and if it wasn’t required for my English class, I probably would not have picked it up for many years or at all. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is hands down one of the most moving stories I have ever read. I felt so invested in the story only a fifth of the way through and by the end I felt like I fully understood each and every character, even the children. I got mad at this book and I’ve cried with this book and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone, even if Adult Fiction may not be your typical read.

Most Anticipated September Release

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas [SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE THRONE OF GLASS SERIES AHEAD]

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I mean, if you’ve seen my reviews of the previous book you’ll know this series is my favourite YA fantasy. This book is my most anticipated read of the year and I’m sure Sarah J. Maas won’t let me down.

That’s it! August may have not been the best but September will be my month. Let me know how your month was!

Nattie’s Catch Up (August ’15)

Natties-Catch-up

What is this? Nattie’s Catch Up? This is new!

Yes it is! Nattie’s Catch Up what I decided to call a monthly feature that will go alongside my monthly wrap up. It’s a chance for me to tell you a bit about me and how great (or terrible) my month has been!

What I loved

  1. Tyler Oakley’s Auguest – I don’t think I’ve ever said it on this blog, but I’m a huge fan of Youtubers. Dan and Phil, The Fine Bros, Caspar Lee and too many booktubers to name in this post. One of my absolutely favourites is Tyler Oakley and August is a very special month when he collaborates with 20 different people and posts a collab every single weekday. I’m an over-the-top fangirl when it comes to Tyler Oakley I couldn’t be happier with so many videos. This whole month I’ve dying of laughter because of them. Plus, he collaborated with my other faves like Dan and Phil, Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig. What’s not to love?
  2. Halsey – Speaking of over-the-top fangirling, Halsey just released her debut album! Oh God is it amazing. I’ve listened to nothing but her voice since it came out yesterday at midnight (and you know I stayed up for that) and I not getting bored yet. She’s got such an amazing tone to her voice and her lyrics are incredible. Everyone should go listen to her, especially the song New Americana. I also love Castle because it’s basically both Katniss’ (from The Hunger Games) and Celeana’s (from Throne of Glass) anthem. Colors is also a favourite. In short: go listen to Halsey. She’s brilliant.
  3. Visiting my family in Poland – Seeing my family in Poland at the start of the month was a visit that was long overdue. I haven’t seen them in years! Skype calls are all good but we all know they’re not the real deal. I managed to see both my grandparents, my cousins, my aunt and other people I haven’t seen in a long time. PLUS I got to walk my gran’s dog ever day and I met the cutest 3 month old puppy in the world!

IMG_1522IMG_1540

What I hated

  1. Bugs and things that fly– While I was in Poland I spent many many days by the pool which was mostly fun, except for a few things: ants, flies, wasps, bees, dragonflies and mosquitoes. The only good ones were the butterflies, For the 50+ hours in total that I spent by the pool, I could hardly relax for an hour without thinking “Was that just the breeze or is it another ant on my leg?”
  2. The heat – 40 degrees Celsius in the shade. Every, Single. Day. To any Americans, that’s 104 degrees Fahrenheit. I was absolutely m e l t i n g.
  3. Summer reading – Now, don’t get me wrong,I love reading. It’s the whole reason I made this blog. But being told what to read and how much time I have to read it is not my thing. The titles that I got set were A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. There’s others too but we weren’t supposed to read over the summer. Summer reading, even if I enjoy the book by the end, slows down my reading pace and kills my motivation to read. That’s not great, especially when August was supposed to be the month I get out of my reading slump. Siiiiiigh.

IMG_1577 IMG_1578

Tell me about your month! What has been you highlight and the what happened that just wasn’t the best?

July ’15 Wrap Up

July-Wrap-up

I haven’t done a wrap up in so so so long! My last wrap up was before things got a little more hectic with my other commitments which was end of February (Yikes, I know!). But I figured I’d tell you all about what’s happened, what’s going on currently and what’s coming up for me and Book Rambles in general.

Books I read in the month of July…

This whole year I’ve been in a reading slump so the fact that I’ve only read four books and a play this month doesn’t really surprise me at all. Hopefully as the summer goes on I’ll get more into reading and tackle that Goodreads reading challenge. Speaking of challenges…

Reading Challenge Update

Back to the Classics Challenge – so for this challenge I set out to read a classic for every one of the 12 categories… that may not happen. But I’d doing well! Since last time I have read Medea which is a classic play, Northanger Abby by Jane Austen which I will count towards the 19th century category classic and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells which, since English is not my first language, I can count towards the Classic in Translation category. BUT, FEAR NOT I am actually reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles which is a classic! *victory dance*. Once I finish that, I will have 7 out of the 12 under my belt and let’s be real here, for me, that’s pretty good.

Alphabet Soup Challenge – I haven’t been paying much attention to this challenge since I thought I’d read normally for most of the year and then at the end of the year read books with the specific letters that I have left and I would be fine. Right now, I’ve got 14 out of the 26 letters covered which is not that great if I’m being frank. By the time the next month’s wrap up comes along, I’ll be ready with at least 20 letters covered. Yupp. That’s my goal.

New Author Challenge – I’M DOING SO WELL ON THIS ONE! My goal at the beginning of the year was to read 25-new-to-me authors and guess what? I’m on 24 only 7 months in! Someone give me a medal or at least a pat on the back.

TBR Pile Challenge – I’m… not doing too great on this one either. I’ve read one out of the 12 books I listed that I have to read by the end of 2015 but I still think I can do it! One of the books on my list I couldn’t get into so I’ll have to replace that one, I’m in the middle of A Game of Thrones which I’ll be taking on holiday with me along with four other books from that list so hopefully I’ll get back on track with that challenge soon.

Goodreads Challenge – I had to change my goal of 100 books to 75 books because honestly, I didn’t see myself completing that. I am still behind on this challenge but I’m hoping the month of August will fix that.

reading challenge

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellJuly Favourite

At first I wanted to go with Red Queen because it was one of the best books I’ve read this year but then I decided to go with the book which made me squeal and laugh and want to scream at the ending: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowel. I’ve got a review on this book ready to be posted soon so stay tuned for that but for now I can tell you that this book is filled with fluff and good things but also really serious topics too so, naturally, everyone should go read it!

Most Anticipated August Release

Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Other Stuff I’m Loving

  • I’ve recently become more active in the bookish side of tumblr which was great! I’ve been on tumblr for years and years now (and it, along with Youtube, is the most addictive site on the internet by far) but I’ve never seen the book community that is on it. It’s been great and there are some amazing and creative people on that site! If you want to follow me, you can find my tumblr HERE.
  • Speaking of booklr, I’VE BEEN MAKING EDITS! Some of them aren’t that great some of them I’m really proud of so it really depends how they turn out. I made a new one every weekend to not get too distracted from blogging on here but if you want you can check out my The Book Thief edit HERE and my A Court of Thorns and Roses one HERE. Those ones turned out pretty good actually!
  • MY BOOKSHELF IS OFFICIALLY IN RAINBOW COLOURS! I’ll probably make a post about it sometime soon but it’s so pretty and every times I look at it I want jump around at how gorgeous it looks ahhhh!
  • Green tea. Green tea green tea green tea. ALL THE GREEN TEA. It’s supposed to be very healthy for you and stuff but for me it’s all about the taste OH BOY IS IT GOOD. I’m kind of scared if I’ll normal tea I’d hate it now because green tea is so good you guys, SO GOOOOOD.

So that’s it! I have to say, July wasn’t that eventful. I’m praying that August will be better…

How has your July been? Are you on top of all the challenges you committed to in January? Hopefully you’re doing better than me!

February Wrap-Up

celebrationAhh, another reading slump of a month for me! It’s been such a drag with all of the books I’ve read except for the odd two and the fact that I spent the whole month reading more than one book at a time bugged me to no end. On the brighter side… MY BIRTHDAY WAS ON WEDNESDAY! Wooo!

Books I’ve read:

A Time to Reap by Jonas LeeThe Prince and the Pauper by Mark TwainThe Golden Lily by Richelle MeadA Monster Calls by Patrick NessThe Indigo Spell by richelle MeadGeek Girl by Holly Smale

February Favourite:

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (review coming soon!)

This book has been sitting on my shelf for absolute ages and I finally decided to give it a try. It was a really quick read with many gorgeous illustrations and a story that left me thinking. It wasn’t really what I expected!

February Reviews

A Time to Reap (The Legend of Carter Gabel #1) by Jonas Lee – The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Most anticipated March release

Vanishing Girls by Lauren OliverVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

I’ve heard really good things about Lauren Oliver, both about her Delirium series and her standalone Panic. This one sounds really interesting and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Things I’ve done!

  • I case you’ve missed it, the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon took place last weekend! It was a bunch of fun meeting cool new people and following a tonne of new blogs. I’m so glad I participated and I can’t wait until next year!
  • TODAY I went to one of the biggest shopping centres in England to a Holly Smale book signing! Holly Smale is the author of the Geek Girl series and, honestly, she was so lovely! I went along with a friend who was a fan of the books longer than me and we had a great chat about the new book and countries and languages and the inspiration behind it. It was brilliant!

Other stuff

  • Gayle Forman is coming to London! *cue excitement and loads of fangirling* She’s on a UK tour of her new book called I Was Here (which I have reviewed here) and I couldn’t be any more excited! I’ve said before that I don’t get the chance to go to London that often so I’m over the moon to be going to a Q&A + signing with Gayle Forman on the 7th of March as well as getting the chance to roam my favourite city.
  • My exams are next week! There will be no review on the Friday, however, I may do something else that I havent’ done before so stay tuned for that and wish me luck!

January Wrap-Up

January was such a lazy month for me! I cannot believe the badly my reading year has started. I’m still in a reading slump. At the start of the month I’ve picked up about three books and just didn’t make it past the 50th page on any of them because I just can’t seem to find the motivation to read. Once I get to some of the fantasy books on my shelf in February, though, I’m hoping I’ll be on a roll and pick up my wild reading habits.

Books Read:

Bloodlines by Richelle MeadThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathSleepless by Lou MorganThe Water Knife by Paolo BacigalupiA Darker Shade final for Irene

January Favourite
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (review coming soon!) – Long story short, when I was reading it, I didn’t feel like I was in a slump at all and I finished it really quickly. It’s a coming-of-age story about a woman that lives the ultimate lifestyle in 1953 New York and her journey as she struggles with depression. It was fantastic and had me hooked right from the first page.

January Reviews

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Matched by Ally Condie – A Darker Shade of Magic (preview) by V.E. Schwab – Sleepless by Lou Morgan – Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey by Ed Sheeran x Philip Butah – Blankets by Craig Thompson – Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Most anticipated February release

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I got a chance to have a sneaky peak at V.E. Schwab’s new book and I grabbed it with both hands. It was stunning and, oh boy, am I excited to read the whole thing! Check out my review here to find out exactly why you too should be getting excited for this book.

Challenges

Classics Challenge – Read a book by a female author = The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Alphabet Soup Challenge – I’ve got a B, D, S and a W!

New Authors Challenge – 4 new authors! (Sylvia Plath, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lou Morgan and V.E. Schwab)

TBR Pile Challenge – none :C (although I did try to read Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King but didn’t get too far.)

Goodreads Challenge – 2 books behind schedule :/

Other stuff:

  • January is a wonderful month, filled with the sweet sound of all my favourite shows coming back from winter hiatus. Both Revenge and Reign are back and How To Get Away With Murder came back yesterday so I’m very excited about that.
  • I’ve been to see The Theory of Everything with a friend and thought it was absolutely fantastic! It had a few funny moments in there too which I wasn’t expecting. The DUFF (which I haven’t read yet) is coming to the big screen next month and it’s now ever so close to Insurgent.

The things that got me really hyped in January were mostly TV and film, as you could probably tell. In general, I have a feeling February will be an amazing month (and not just because it’s my birthday.)