Top Ten Tuesday

7 Changes In My Reading Life

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about the changes in my reading life. I’ve been around the blogosphere for nine years now, and I feel like my reading life and habits have changed a lot. How has yours changed?

1. I’m a more analytical reader

This is also partly thanks to studying English Literature, and also partly thanks to watching and analysing countless TV shows, but my reading life has also been greatly affected! Since starting blogging, I’ve become much more analytical with my reading because I need to think up things to say about the books I’m reading, whether it’s for a review or to discuss with friends!

2. I have a lot of people to talk to about books

Back before I started blogging, I had no one to talk about books with. That’s part of the reason I – and many others, I’m sure – started a blog. Now I have hundreds of people who are around pretty much every second of the day who will talk about books with me, and it’s an amazing feeling! I’ve made some incredible friends through blogging, but I also really appreciate all the acquaintances I’ve made on Twitter and Booktube. If we’re not considered friends yet, I hope we will be given the time!

3. I read a lot more diversely

Over the years my reading has become more and more diverse. I’m thankful to the people around me for this, because so many people I know are amazing advocates for diverse reads, and without them I don’t think as many diverse books would be on my radar. It also helps that the publishing industry is publishing more and more diverse books every year (although it has a long way to go).

This is irrelevant, I just love Max

4. I can discover books more easily

I used to have such a tough time discovering new books as I lived in a small village and could only shop for books in charity shops (poverty problems!), but now I have access to an amazing community who will recommend me books at the drop of a hat. If I’m not on Twitter, I can find books through Instagram, Goodreads, Booktube… almost anywhere!

5. I have more reading apps on my phone

What did we do without reading apps?!

6. I read less urban fantasy and paranormal romance

Related to the charity shops thing above, I used to read sooo much urban fantasy and paranormal romance books! I first got into the genre at about 16, and I blew through so many series. I think I kind of wore myself out in the genre, because now I rarely find myself picking it up. I’ve moved on to thrillers and epic fantasy now more than anything. This could also be related to the genre trends in publishing changing, rather than just me being different!

7. I read so many more books

Not to brag, but I went from reading about twenty books a year (that was my absolute minimum) to reading about one hundred and thirty. This might be because I’m not at school any more, but it also seems to be related to how much I have going on in my personal life. Is that obvious? I just noticed that when I first started blogging I jumped up to one hundred plus books a year, and then the first couple of years I was with my partner (and had a few rubbish things going on) I was back down to about fifty books. Now I’ve jumped up to over one hundred and thirty again and I don’t know how that happened because I’m still quite a busy person!

Top Ten Books On My Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re all sharing our Autumn/Fall TBR piles! I’ve got quite a big list, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to just ten books. This topic has also made me feel quite motivated to read them all, so I hope I don’t miss any!

1. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I’m reading this one this week for the Contemporary-a-thon, FINALLY. It’s been on my radar for ages, and I snatched up a copy at YALC for £5. Everyone raves about this series, and I think the final book comes out early next year, so I want to know what all the fuss is about.

2. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

I am hooked by Lapena’s books. They’re not always my favourite thrillers, but I always get stuck into them really quickly, and I’m so pleased that she is releasing another one this year. I believe Someone We Know is about creepy neighbours, which is exactly what everyone wants from a domestic thriller.

3. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

I’ll admit, Sager’s books haven’t really wow’ed me so far. I liked his second book a lot more than his first, so I take that as a sign that his writing is improving. Lock Every Door is set in a fancy apartment block, and that sounds like something I would love to read about since home invasion and creepy house stories are the only things that can really creep me out.

4. The Whisper Man by Alex North

I’ll be reading this one (and Lock Every Door) for Friday Fright-a-thon and I am soooo excited because I found this staring at me at the library. It was completely unexpected, but finding a new release there made my day. I’ve been holding off on starting this one but it’s hard, because this is another thriller about a serial killer and I am HERE FOR IT.

5. A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

I requested this one as an ARC last year, and I didn’t get around to it due to various blogging slumps. Recently, everyone has been talking about it (and the sequel), and now I’m super hyped. Since I’m trying to reduce my ARC Mountain and catch up, this is a good chance to read the book since I think it sounds like something I will love.

6. Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Everyone I have spoken to has said this one is delightfully creepy. It’s apparently kind of like The Blair Witch Project. I’ll be picking this one up for Spookathon, and I almost cannot wait!

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I have been meaning to reread this series for years so I can finally finish it off (I got up to Empire of Storms). I’m a bit worried that I won’t enjoy it as much as I used to, although I remember being incredibly bored by this first book so I will give it a chance. I’m also planning a special feature to do with this series on my Booktube channel, so look out for that next year!

8. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

I’ve had this one on my shelf for ages, but I didn’t get around to it when I last had my time travel/parallel universe phase. I think I’m slowly getting back into that whole sub-genre, so I think this autumn will be the time to read Ruby Red!

9. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

I have absolutely no idea what this book is about but I have a pretty hardcover and people have said good things.

10. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I found this one at the library and I am dying to get to it. I think I might keep it for the Spookathon, because I’ve heard it’s creepy? I don’t really know what it’s about but I know that Crouch’s books are generally quite well received. Have any of you read this one?

Top Ten Books I’m Avoiding and Why

A lot of these books are books in a series because I’m absolutely awful at finishing series even if I’m really enjoying them! I might write a blog post about it at some point. I just get scared about being disappointed!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

  1. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
    This is where I stopped in this series. I adored Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, but I just never picked up Empire of Storms because I was worried about the series getting worse.
  2. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
    I’m not really avoiding this one, it’s just I need to reread The Way of Kings before I pick this one up again. When I read the first part of this, I couldn’t remember much from the first book. I think I need to do a full reread to refresh my memory.
  3. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
    I’m avoiding this one because I’ve heard it’s not the author’s best work. I really want to pick up his Lightbringer series, but I don’t want to do that until I’ve read his original trilogy.

4. The Passage by Justin Cronin
I’m mostly just avoiding this one because it’s really long, and the trilogy keeps getting longer.
5. Atonement by Ian McEwan
I just don’t want to cry.
6. The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom
I’ve heard this one is really bad, but I kind of want to read it around Halloween? I tell myself that every year.

7. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein
I started reading this when I was a child, but I couldn’t get into it. I read The Hobbit a bit more recently, and I hated it. So while I want to read this one because it’s a classic (and Quill loves it), I think I’m going to hate it.
8. Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I’ve probably gone off this series? But I own this one so maybe I should give it a go?

9. A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
10. The Fireman by Joe Hill
I’m mostly just avoiding this one because of the size of it. I think it sounds like something I’d love, but it’s HUGE.

Top Eight Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana.

I struggled to come up with books for this topic because a lot of the books that I read are perfect for spring or summer, not so much for grey and dreary days. Then I remembered that I read a lot of thrillers, and those are actually great for curling up on the sofa with!

If you’ve taken part in the meme this week then feel free to leave your link in the comments below and I’ll come check it out.

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is one of my favourite books of all time! I reread it recently and it definitely held up. If you’re looking for something short and feel-good, then this is the book for you. It’s also a really good introduction to classics, in my opinion.
2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
I flew through this one, and I maintain that it’s Lapena’s best book. It’s creepy and eerie and atmospheric. 
3. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
This one really got to me! It’s probably one of the creepiest thrillers I’ve ever read because the amnesia storyline really stood out and sent chills down my spine.

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Five Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book (and Three Things That Make Me Put It Down)

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in months (years?) but I felt like getting back into it this week because I like the topic! Here are five things that will absolutely 100% make me pick up a book, and three things that will make me cast it back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.

+ Rich People Drama

I’m an absolute sucker for Rich People Drama, a term that I’ve been using in the book blogosphere for YEARS. It probably all started with the It Girl series, which is set in a fancy boarding school and there’s drama and drugs and Rich People Problems. I’ve read a tonne of these types of books throughout the years, the most recent being Crazy Rich Asians, and I can’t wait to get to the sequel!

+ Middle Eastern fantasy

I only discovered this recently but apparently I have a love of epic fantasy involving Middle Eastern mythology! It started with Aladdin, I guess, and then evolved when I discovered the Rebel of the Sands trilogy (which I love) and The City of Brass (which I ADORE with my whole heart). Give me all the djinn!

+ No romance

I used to be a massive shipper, but over the past three years or so my shipping tendencies have fizzled out. I’m not sure what happened, but I just don’t get into it as much as I used to. So if someone tells me that a book has no romance, I’m much more likely to pick it up because I’m going to be more invested in the story or the world building than two (or more) characters getting it on.

+ Buddy reading

This isn’t necessarily about the books themselves, but if someone offers to buddy read a book with me, or someone puts out a call for buddy readers, I’m going to jump straight on it. I just love reading books alongside other people and talking about them during and afterwards. (As a sidenote, if any of you want to buddy read anything then let me know! We can chat.)

+ Feminism

This should be pretty self explanatory. If a book promises to be feminist, or to have a feminist main character, then I’m all for it. I read The Nowhere Girls in 2017 and realised that YA fiction has been missing some hardcore feminist books, so I need more. I also want more feminist adult books, so if you have any recommendations then hit me up.

– Instalove

Another self explanatory one, especially considering what I mentioned above about not shipping anything. First of all, I’ve always hated instalove. Secondly, if I’m going to ship anything (which is rare), then I’m going to ship a slow burn romance, not a love at first sight attraction.

– “The next Game of Thrones/Harry Potter/Star Wars

This drives me crazy! I get that the publishers need to market the book somehow, but if they keep putting those same words on every single book that they want to do well, then it gets a bit redundant, don’t you think?

– Models on the cover

I just really dislike seeing faces on the covers of books unless they’re in shadows, or they’re drawn. Photographs of real life people are the WORST.

And that’s it! Let me know if you’ve done this week’s list in the comments below and I’ll come and check out your post!