Are you taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch?

One of my favourite things to do when im not reading or researching is just watching the birds that come and go in the garden.  Im convinced its very theraputic and good for the soul.

I spend far too much money on feeders and  food for them to help them through the winter until they can find food themselves again.

So, this year i’m taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which is happening right now 28th, 29th and 30th January 2017. Im doing my hour tomorrow, 30th January. The weather looks to be drier then and i should see more birds hopefully.

So in honour of this I’ve expanded the menu at my bird cafe (a selection of feeders i hang in the bushes outside the front window and on the bird table in the garden)

Depending on their size and breed they can choose from mixed seed, fat balls, plain suet blocks, bugs and berry suet blocks, sunflower seed hearts, peanuts and dried mealworms in the front cafe and in the back they have almost the same plus some cheese crumbs and an old apple.

Should be enough to satisfy any birds fancy.

I’ll report back my one hour’s findings tomorrow.

Book Beginnings on Friday

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Today i’m taking part in Book Beginnings on Friday, which is a bookish meme hosted by Gilion over at Rose City Reader

The idea is that you share the first sentence or thereabouts of the book you’re reading along with any thoughts or first impressions you have on it.  I’ve not taken part in this one yet and as i’ve just begun a new book its worked out just right.

So my book is this

Armada by Ernest Cline, and as you can see i’m reading this on my new Kindle.

So here is the opening sentence

Isnt that just an opener you cant refuse?  Its a Sci Fi/fantasy book and not my usual sort at all but i loved Ready Player One so I thought i’d check out his next book.  So, is he dreaming? having hallucinations? in a computer game? or is it real? Only time and reading the book will tell.



3 reasons why i finally bought a Kindle

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Yes its true! I did finally succumb and buy myself a Kindle with some Christmas vouchers.

And do you know what?

I think I might really, secretly,


Being a mad crazy gadget freak I have wanted one for ages but also haven’t wanted one because i love a the feel of a real book at the same time and i dont want digital books to mean they will be done away with. *horrified look*

So what made you change your mind then Gill?

Well, thanks for asking, i’ll tell you and as the title suggests I have 3 reasons for this

  1.  I dislike hardback books, (and i hate waiting, for anything but especially for a book to come out in paperback form.)  I dont like the weight of them or the fact that the dust jacket slides up and down when i’m reading it.  But I cant remove the dust jacket because most books have a boring plain cover and that would not make me want to read the book. Anyway, i digress. I dont like waiting for a book to come out in paperback when its already been published in hard copy so buying the ebook version means i get to read that book months earlier, plus the Kindle is rather convenient and easier to read than a book in some situations.
  2.  The price of books has sky rocketed in the last 3 years since i began book blogging.  I always buy my books online as i dont have a book shop very close to me. I use Amazon and have always found them to be very well priced compared to WHSmith which is my nearest shop. Books used to be £3.85, £3.99, £4.99 or around that mark and my money and gift vouchers went a long way. Now, for some reason most books cost £5.99, £6.99, £7.99 and even, God help us £9.99! for a paperback! Its disgraceful.  A Kindle ebook can often be anything from £1 to £6 cheaper than the paperback version, plus there is no delivery charge as it can arrive on my Kindle in minutes, for free!  I had a list of 4 books i wanted to buy the other day and i worked out that i could save over £16 by buying the ebook versions! £16! I can buy even more books with what i’m saving, its a win, win situation isnt it.
  3.  And my third reason is to do with the font size. yes the font size!  I’d say, on average that 1 in every 4 books I buy has the most ridiculously small fonts now. WHY Publishers, WHY?  Is it a paper saving thing? They make the font smaller to cram more on the page so they use less paper to make the book?  ARC’s from publishers are guilty of this quite a bit lately. Some proofs come in a form where they use what seems to be really good quality, bright white paper which also makes the book weigh twice as much as an average book and the font is something like 10 point. Now ive worn glasses for years now but my eyes strain terribly trying to read it and there is no enjoyment in reading if my eyes are uncomfortable. But an ebook can be read at any font size you are comfortable with.

I am not endorsing an eReader over real books for one moment, they are too gorgeous and soft and magical and (usually) beautifully produced to ever give them up but I have come round to seeing the advantages of an eReader in some situations, and until the font size gets back to normal and the prices go down to something affordable for all of us I’ll be happy to use my new Kindle.



another book haul

Yes, another week, another pile of books is accumulated


*big smile*

here they be:

books i did buy for me

Yes, its true i have the two Isabel Greenberg graphic novels, at last, in my life and in my hot little hands *dances for joy*

I treated myself using gift vouchers i was kindly given for Crimbo.  Aren’t they bloody gorgeous? Oh yes they are!

Also i buyed me these

Yes, you’re right what am i doing buying 4 sci fi books when i dont read sci fi?

Well thats a good question but somehow i just fancied me some so Space type books and as im reading (slowly) The long way to a small angry planet it seemed sensible to buy the sequel.  Mind you I am annoyed with myself that i didnt notice it was only out in hardback *waves fist in air*

and now for some books i was kindlee sent by those sooper dooper publishy types

I was approached by Quercus who asked if id like a copy of Hattie Hoffman and after doing a bit of detective work on Amazon i said “yes please”  It is written from perspective of three characters in the first person so whats not to like there?

I responded to a blogger call on Twitter for a copy of Spontaneous which sounds rather unusual to say the least. (people spontaneously combusting, but humourously?) so thank Canongate books, i think!

and finally I was sent Skintown completely unsolicited by W5 books (Johnathan & Hannah) and Doubleday.  There is no way I would ever buy this for myself, its way out of the old comfort zone but a tiny bit i read is very funny and has whetted the old appetite for more, so who knows eh?  Its written by an actor dont you know?  Ciaran McMenamin was in Primeval which i used to watch until it became so barmy only a brain dead amoeba could follow it.

So there we have it, what larks eh?

Blogging about The Brontes

I’ve been in love with all things  Bronte for ooh such a good many years, about 30 or more i reckon.  I haven’t read all of their books just Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (though i’m not sure i finished it or understood it but thats beside the point) My love for those three young ladies has known no bounds so I thought i’d do a series of blog posts celebrating them.

I am actually far more fascinated by their lives than their written works if i’m honest and visiting Haworth parsonage is still a dream to visit one day.

I have some books arriving Saturday and once they are here I can begin the celebrations


Stacking The Shelves (240)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click HERE to visit the page and join in for yourself.

I haven’t taken part in this for far too long so as part of my New Year, New Plan strategy for my blog i thought it was about time i did. Especially since I have hauled the most amazing books in this, the first week of 2017.

Here is my haul:


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet


The Bombs that brought us together by Brain Conaghan

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

The books sent for review were total surprises which is always nice.  I do already have a proof copy of The Edge of Everything which i requested last month but now i have a gorgeous finished copy too with the most amazing orange sprayed edges, look!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and if so what you thought of them.

Happy New Year


How i keep organised with new books

Watching so many book tubers as i do I get to hear about loads and loads of stupendous new books coming out in a few weeks/months time. Now i dont know about you but i cant keep track of them all and their publishing dates and i’d hate to miss even one of them being available for purchasing, wouldnt you?

So whats the solution?

Spreadsheets!  yes thats right a good old fashioned spreadsheet.

Here’s one i made earlier:

I find it so useful for keeping track of whats coming out.  A lot of the books are most probably already published as i dont really buy hardback books so this is mostly for me to see when the paperback version comes out.  I hate having to wait so long for them when i really want to read the book.

You are welcome to use this information if it helps.

How do you keep track of books youre waiting for to arrive?

a few of my most anticipated books of 2017

I’ve made myself a spreadsheet of all the books coming out in 2017 that i really cant wait to buy and devour.  I intend to add to it as and when i hear of a good book coming along.

Yes, i know i’m a nerd but i’m proud of it!

I love being organised plus its exciting to look at a list of books and to count down the days/weeks/months until i can have them in my life/ on my shelf.

So to begin, here are just 5 of them to make my mouth water.


Isnt this just a stonkingly beautiful cover?

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Its miles away from my usual taste but I really fancy this one for some reason and i reckon i’ll love it.  its published tomorrow – 5th January – by Viking so i dont have long to wait fortunately.

FELL BY Jenn Ashworth

In this eerie, atmospheric and mysterious tale, a woman returns to the house in Morecambe Bay where she grew up in the 1960s to find it falling apart, undermined by the roots of two huge sycamores. She is unaware that she has awoken the spirits of her parents, Jack and Nettie Clifford, who watch anxiously as their daughter Annette is overwhelmed by the state of the house and realise too late how far they neglected her as a child.

This has been shown so much love on Book Tube that I cannot wait for this to come out in paperback. Not until 6th April though so patience will be needed. (what is patience?) Published by Sceptre.


When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.
Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.
Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.
Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

I’m really getting into stories about WW2 so this is gonna be a corker if all i hear is true.  Published on 12th January also by Sceptre its another book i can get my grubby mitts on real soon.

WHO'S THAT GIRL BY Mhairi McFarlane

She kissed the groom. She’s not the bride…
Edie thought she’d found The One…until he told her he was marrying someone else. And on the day of his wedding, when he kisses her, life really does go pear-shaped…
Labelled as a home-wrecker and office outcast, when her boss offers her the chance to get out of town Edie jumps at it, even though moving back in with her eccentric father and prickly sister isn’t exactly the escape she needs.
When her work throws her into the path of rising star and heartthrob Elliot, Edie is expecting a highly strung diva. But as their unexpected friendship develops, Elliot isn’t the only one in the spotlight…

Now if you know me at all you’ll know that i cannot be doing with chick lit/rom com nonsense, However….   This does sound like its much better than that and has had lots of love from booktubers who themselves wouldnt normally read it.  Another long wait for this though as its not published until 9th February by Harper.


Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.
Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t, and the next day she remembers it. It’s the first time she’s remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he’s moved to the Arctic.
Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?

Now doesnt this just sound wonderful?  well i think so. Another YA contemporary novel to add to my ever growing collection. This one will only keep me waiting until 12th January though, hooray! Published by Penguin.

So, what are you most anticipated books of 2017?

Lets chat.

New Year, New Look, New Post, New book

Hey, i’m a poet and i didnt know it with my blog post header!

So lets get on and i’ll explain all.

First of all, let me wish everyone who has visited my blog and anyone who visits in the future a stonkingly good Happy New Year. In honour of this I decided to give my blog a bit of a makeover. Nothing special just a new theme from WordPress but i really like the scrolling banner which highlights certain posts. Cool isnt it?

And last of all this is my choice for first book of the year.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I was so lucky to be sent an early copy of the paperback just before Christmas.

He was good. The best fighter she’d ever faced. But Safi and Iseult were better

All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom. But with war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

I’ll report back on this book later.