April NetGalley Update!

Hello fellow bookworms and bloggers! This is the first in the series of my monthly NetGalley updates, in some vain attempt to keep myself on track with my ratio…

I have really gotten my requesting under control over the last month or two, but I had a few that I was reeeeeeeally desperate to read and the book gods answered me!

All at once...

So, as of 1.4.21 my stats are:

Ratio – 88%

41 Approved / 36 feedback sent

My titles to read are:

– The Happy Family by Jackie Kabler.

– The Repeater Book of the Occult by Eugene Thacker, Tariq Goddard and others.

– The House of Dust by Noah Broyles.

– The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood.

– One Monsoon in Mumbai by Anitha Perinchery.

I am very excited to read every single one of these titles, and I am forever grateful to have access to copies of these books before their publish date😭

I will update this again in May and I’ll redo my stats and see if I’ve improved my ratio! Hint – probs not 🙂

Em xxx

📚I Dare You book tag📚

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog! I’m super excited to do this tag so I won’t waste time introducing it…

1 – What book has been on your shelves the longest? A – This is still The Green Mile by Stephen King, someone literally is going to have to force me to read this book!

2 – What is your current read, last book you read and next book you will read? So my current read is His & Hers by Alice Feeney, my last read is Cinderella is Evil and my next read will be an undecided Christmas themed one (I have some left over from last year and I really want a feel good romance🙈)

3 – What book did everyone like that you hated? A – I probably can’t say this as I’ve not read it the entire way through but IT by Stephen King, I just cannot get stuck into it no matter what I do, I’m not saying I hate it but yeah I strongly dislike it…

4 – What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but probably won’t? A – 100% The Green Mile, it has been on my shelf FOREVER.

5 – Which book are you saving for retirement? A – I’m only 25 I have definitely not planned that far ahead!

6 – Last page: do you read it first or wait for the end? A – I wait for the end, I don’t want to spoil it.

7 – Acknowledgements: are they a waste of paper and ink? A – I love a good acknowledgement, especially with larger authors that have a lot of published books when they thank their wife or husband or whoever it makes my heart feel happy❤️

8 – Which book character would you switch places with? A – Hermione Granger, yes she had to save Harry like all of the time but could you imagine being a witch and attending Hogwarts?!

9 – Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? A – Not really, I used to use books to get away from real life when I was younger so I’ve blocked out some of those memories.

10 – Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way? A – Oohhh! I have a collection of ghost story books that are coming up 90 years old which came from some distant relative who’s house we helped clear out when they died, they were in their loft for ages and we found them so I was allowed to have them.

And I have a copy of Macbeth that we found in our own loft at home, we have no idea who it belonged to and none of my family recognise the handwriting in the front of the book…

11 – Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person? A – I’m probably really harsh but I don’t give books away to people, they only go to the charity shop if I hated them haha.

12 – Which book has been with you to the most places? A – That would be The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas.

13 – Used or brand new? A – Either, before lockdown I would regularly hunt in charity shops for used books, I’m not fussy.

14 – Have you ever read a Dan Brown book? A – Yes all of them! I love Dan Brown.

15 – A book that made you hungry? A – Probably Harry Potter, whenever I used to read about the feasts they had at Hogwarts my mouth would WATER.

16 – Most read author? A – Stephen King, easily.

I feel like you can learn a lot about people from book tags so I hope I’ve done this one justice, I never want to write loads for each answer as it can become quite long!

As always if you want to play along consider yourself tagged.

Em xxx

NetGalley Update!

Hello friends, if you follow me on twitter (I’m @WhatEmsReadingX if you don’t already follow me) you’ll have seen I was using February to attempt to make a good way through the ARCs that I had from NetGalley, some of which had been sitting on my kindle for far longer than I want to admit…

My first update was on the 1st Feb 2021:

Feedback ratio: 67% 🔸 36 approved / 24 feedback sent 🔸 9 books on TBR shelf

And as of 23rd Feb 2021:

Feedback ratio: 97% 🔸 36 approved / 35 feedback sent 🔸 1 book on TBR shelf

I tried so hard to work my way through as many ARCs as possible and I did it! WOOOOOOP.

The only reason I have 1 remaining book on my shelf is because it isn’t being published until July and I know if I read it now I’ll forget what happened and writing my review would be super difficult.

The books I read were:

337 by M Jonathan Lee – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Pastel Effect by Arly Carmack – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bad Karma by Debi Chestnut – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Players by Darren O’Sullivan – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The House of Whispers by Anna Kent – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ghost Town Girl by Debra Cunningham – ⭐️

I was really lucky to read some truly excellent books and my reviews for all except The Players and The House of Whispers will be coming on my blog in the next 5 weeks or so.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in achieving my goal of clearing my shelf, I am taking this as a win because my final book to read isn’t published until July, which is months away!

Until next time, Em xxx

📚The “Guilty Reader” Book Tag📚

Hey guys! I’m sharing my answers to the guilty reader book tag, I wasn’t tagged in this and I found it on Pinterest but if you want to take part, consider yourself tagged.

Q – Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?

A – If giving it to the charity shop counts as gifted then yes! I did try to read it first but I just couldn’t get into it, so I freed up some space on my shelves. 

Q – Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t? 

A – Nope, I’m quite open about books I haven’t read, I just end up adding them to my TBR list or my to be purchased list.

Q – Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it? 

A – Technically yes, but my Mom lent me the book and we live together so it just moved rooms and stayed in my room instead haha.

Q – Have you ever read a series out of order? 

A – Yes and no. Ages ago I read Red Dragon, but none of the others. So in 2019 I read the whole series in chronological order. Starting with Hannibal Rising and making my way through the rest. You can actually read the reviews here.

Q – Have you ever spoiled a book for someone? 

A – I hope not! I do try and keep my reviews spoiler free but I always mark them as spoilers if they do have any.

Q – Have you ever dog eared a book? 

A – Yes but I’m getting better now I’m older and will literally use anything as a bookmark to prevent me from doing this.

Q – Have you ever told someone you don’t own the books when you do? 

A – Only a couple of times, when I really didn’t want to give that particular person the book because I knew I would never see it again. 

Q – Have you ever skipped a chapter or section of a book? 

A – Definitely, if I’m really hating on a book I’ll skim read it to see if it gets any better. 

Q – Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked? 

A – Nope, I’m an open book when it comes to my book-ish opinions. 

Q – Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have? 

A – Again, I’m open about everything I’ve read (even 50 Shades, it was shit btw) and I share every book I’ve read either on my blog or Goodreads, so you only have to search me to see what I’ve been reading.

Wow, I’m actually not as guilty of a reader as I thought I would be! And if you want to take part in this one consider yourself tagged!

Em xxx

📚My Life In Books Tag📚

Hello I’m here again with a book tag, this time it’s my life in book tags! I do have a middle name but I don’t have a book beginning with J so I just haven’t included it on the first question🙈

Q – Find a book for each of your initials.

A – Well my initials are E W so we have… End of Watch by Stephen King and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Stretching it a bit there but I wanted to do these with books from my own shelf!

Q – Count your age along your bookshelf, which book is it? 

A – The 25th book on my shelf is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis. 

Q – Pick a book set in your country. (That’s England).

A – A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs.

Q – Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to. 

A – Inferno by Dan Brown.

Q – Pick a book that is your favourite colour. 

A – My fave colour is actually pink and I don’t have any books of that colour 😦 if you have any pink books hit me up with your recs!

Q – Which book do you have the fondest memories of? 

A – It’s a choice between a few childhood books really, Matilda and the Goosebumps series, they both remind me so much of my childhood. 

Q – Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? 

A – IT by Stephen King, I have tried 3 times now to read this book and I just cannot get into it. 

Q – Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it? 

A – At the moment it would be The Green Mile by Stephen King, simply because I have had this book on my shelf for years, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. 

Well there we have the end of this book tag, my favourite part was definitely searching through my bookshelf for the books with my initials and counting my age!

Em xxx

2020? Completed it mate.

Hello fellow book blogging friends and happy Christmas month! I feel like this year has simultaneously been the slowest and quickest of my entire life, it still feels like we should be back in March or something and in actual fact we’re about to ring in 2021!

Back in June I shared my halfway through the year blog post, with all the books I’d read so far as I suck at doing monthly wrap ups…

I still suck at doing monthly wrap ups and that is something I’m working on for next year but in keeping with June’s post here is my second half of 2020 reads.

2020???? COMPLETED IT MATE! (At last).

P.S. I increased my Goodreads goal again, up to 100 this time so we shall see what I end up on 🙂

Grab your hot chocolate, fave Christmas snack and a blanket and let’s get cosy AF. I’ve also tagged all my reviews that are live if you fancied a nosey!

July (10 books) – I FINALLY hit double figures after my slump in June and I was so happy. Granted some of these were short stories I still count them towards my goal. July’s reads were definitely aided by my two weeks off work where I literally chilled with my bf and read for hours on end.

My July reviews were: Reckless Nights in Rome, The Garage, Turn Her Face to the Wall, Honeymoon Alone, A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery, The Room Upstairs, Bones, The Cry of the Lake, The Scam List and Falling For The Cowboy.

August (7 books) – August was a strange one for me, I read a few books that I loved and couldn’t rate highly enough but I just struggled to read that many in total, it just felt a bit of a strange month to me. Coupled with not reading for an entire weekend because I was visiting my brother I felt really behind compared to July!

My August reviews were: Gerald’s Game, Heaven’s Peak, Silenced For Good, Extreme Malice, Intergalactic Interloper, Abandoned: A Ghost Story, The Fear.

September (6 books) – Ahhhh September, the month of possibly the WORST reading slump I have found myself in this year, I am so thankful I had some short stories on my Kindle to read else this would literally have been like 2 books… September also saw me read one of my favourite (if not favourite) reads of the year so it wasn’t all bad!

My September reviews were: It Came From The Multiplex, Evangeline: Memoir of a Teenage Serial Killer, Sleeping Beauti, Secrets on Sale, Death’s Door, The Proctor Hall Horror.

October (9 books) – So during October I made a pact with myself to read only books that were horror or thriller themed, which honestly just got me SO in the mood for Halloween. You can see my round-up post for my October reads here as I also detail how many pages I read in total, amongst lots of other stats!

My October reviews were: Be Careful What You Wish For, I Can’t Sleep, Dr Sleep, The Ghost In The Closet, Typhoid Mary, Psychosis, What Goes On In The Walls At Night, Horror Stories, The Haunted.

November (7 books) – After my highly successful October TBR list I decided to set myself one for November too, which you can read here. I was pretty ambitious with my TBR for November and I worried I wouldn’t get through that many books that I’d almost rebel against myself but I did pretty well!

My November reviews were: Tales of Lunis Aquaria, The Stranger, Dreaming of Florence, Squall, Lord of the Flies, Fiddleback and Love Among the Recipes.

December (10 books) – December was the month where I pledged myself to read just Christmas books and that I did! I still haven’t written the reviews for these so they’ll be appearing in January some time but honestly I had such a blast reading these books.

My December reviews were: The Christmas Bake Off, Six Geese A-Laying, A Beginner’s Guide To Christmas, Sex, Snow and Mistletoe, A Cornish Christmas Reunion, Christmas Wishes Come True, The Christmas Truce, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes, Snowed In with the Billionaire and Midnight Sun.

Well bookworms that took me a total of 101 books in 2020!!!!! I changed my Goodreads goal three times, from 50 to 60 and then finally to 100.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever hit that number again but my work allowed me to work from home during most of this year so that gave me an extra 30-35 minutes to read per day (no commuting time!) and I was furloughed fully for 3 weeks before going onto flexi furlough for a period of time, meaning I was doing half my usual hours and I had soooo much more time on my hands.

Without books I would have been in a much worse place this year, and I will be forever grateful for having access to so many books❤️

Anyway, there you have my half yearly wrap up, happy 2021 everyone!

Em xxx

Top 10 books in 2020…

Good morning friends! In light of what has been absolutely terrible year, I’ve decided to bring some cheer to my blog by reminding myself of my top 10 books in 2020.

I’ve picked these because not only did I give them a 5 star review at the time, but I would give them that review time and time again, even if I re-read them in the future – I just thought they were that good!

In the interest of transparency, I did receive ARCs of those bolded, these were free copies in return for an honest review.

1 – One Week Till Christmas by Belinda Missen. Even though I read this in January and it’s actually a Christmas read it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside was my first 5 star review of the year!

2 – Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I had no reason not to include Coraline on this list, it genuinely terrified me…

3 – The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza. The Night Stalker is a stand-out read of 2020 for me, it kept me completely on my toes.

4 – The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson. Possibly my most unexpected 5 star rating of the year, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did!

5 – The Whisper Man by Alex North. I absolutely loved this book, it was definitely a contender for my absolute favourite of the year…

6 – The Scam List by Kurt Dinan.

7 – Silenced For Good by Alex Coombs. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride reading this one and I loved it!

8 – Intergalactic Interloper by Delas Heras.

9 -The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson.

10 – Dreaming of Florence by T A Williams. Dreaming of Florence was just one of the most beautiful reads of the year, I loved every second of this book and I was so gutted when I reached the end.

And there you have it, my top 10 favourite books of the year! I definitely enjoyed the majority of the books I read this year but the 10 in this list were standout for me!

Let me know what your top reads were of the year, or pop a comment with a link to your post below so I can check it out.

Em xxx

December TBR.

Here we go, the one I have been waiting for! It is finally time for me to start my December TBR which is basically just Christmas books, I have been dreaming about this list since the 1st November I’m SO EXCITED to read these festive books…

1 – The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements✅

2 – Six Geese a-Laying by Sophie Kinsella✅

3 – A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce✅

4 – Sex, Snow and Mistletoe by Laura Barnard✅

5 – A Cornish Christmas Reunion by Laura Briggs✅

6 – Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland✅

7 – The Christmas Truce by Rosalind Palmer Jones✅

8 – Christmas Wishes Come True by Jessica Coulter Smith✅

There is no doubt in my mind that I will make it through all of these books during December and that I will love them all, I’m kinda Christmas obsessed!

Inbetween making mince pies and Christmas biscuits (not wrapping my presents because I’m organised and I’ve done that already lmao) I will be sharing my progress on Twitter, visit me at @WhatEmsReadingX to follow how I’m getting on.

Happy December friends!

Em xxx

Staying sane during lockdown 2!

Hello fellow blogger friends! It’s something different today, and completely non-book related…

I know we’re being told this isn’t a second lockdown and isn’t a return to the measures we faced in March (which it isn’t) but it’s certainly not the freedom that we’re all used to having in our lives. Even for an introvert like me who isn’t bothered about socialising I’m starting to flag a little bit.

Hence this post on how I’m staying sane during lockdown 2! I’m still working, but from home so I have a purpose to get up and out of bed in the morning.

1 – I’m sticking to a similar sleep routine. I’m going to bed around my usual times and only waking up half an hour later than normal so that when I do return to normal work it isn’t such a shock to my system.

This is completely different to lockdown 1 where I was awake until like 2am every day.

2 – Getting dressed. I’ll be the first to admit during lockdown 1 I didn’t change out of my pjs for work, grim I know. This time around though I’m getting dressed, not in my usual work outfits cos nah, but just into some leggings and a jumper, something that tells my brain “this is not relaxing time”.

P.S. Yes this means wearing an actual bra which I didn’t do a lot of the first time around…

3 – Working from the dining table. As I have my laptop it would be so easy for me to sit on the sofa, but I’m forcing myself to work away from there so that when I sit down in the evenings it’s not a work space.

4 – Regular exercise. I started a new exercise regime during August and I’m pleased to say I’ve stuck with it!

I do have a broken toe at the moment which is preventing me from doing a lot of my usual stuff as I can’t really put weight on it yet, so I’ve adapted and changed my exercises up a bit so I can keep going.

5 – Schedule regular me time. For me, having a bubble bath is the BEST, I love coming out looking like a lobster because the water is so hot, it gives me LIFE. I make sure to always set aside time (on a Saturday, late afternoon) where I have my peaceful bath, with an obscene amount of bubbles lmao.

6 – Not being too hard on myself. During lockdown 1 I was far too hard on myself, I would berate myself for not reading more or for not exercising more, because I suddenly had all this extra time I should be filling it by doing things… I’ve since realised this is not the case, it’s an incredibly stressful time and there are absolutely no expectations on anyone.

7 – Putting my Christmas decorations up. Ya know what, I’m usually one of those people that says NO DECORATIONS TILL DECEMBER, but nah, I’ll be getting my tree up in my room next weekend because why not?! 2020 has been awful I NEED some festive cheer.

I’m treating lockdown 2 very differently to the first time around and so far after a week of it my mental health is much better this time around, it’s not perfect but I haven’t cried yet (except at a Christmas ad on the TV which doesn’t count) so I’m counting that as a win!

If you’ve got any tips for staying sane during lockdown 2 let me know, I’m always looking for ways to stop me going stir crazy…

Em xxx

📚The Bookshelf Tag📚

Hey guys, I found this tag ages ago and it’s been sitting in my saved folder ever since so I’ve finally gotten around to doing it! This one is The Bookshelf Tag.

1 – Describe your bookshelf and where you got it from. So my bookcase is an Ikea Billy Bookcase, I have had it for several years now and it was originally birch, but I brought new black furniture so I got some paint and it now matches the rest! Though I will be purchasing a new (bigger) one soon as I simply do not have room for any more books 😦

Live footage of me putting together my bookcase.

2 – How do you organise your books? I did a post on this ages ago, but it’s actually changed now and TBH it’s a bit of free for all as I’ve got no room but I’m hoping to organise it better once I get a new bookcase.

3 – What’s the longest book on your shelf? That would be IT by Stephen King, coming in at 1,138 pages!

4 – What’s the shortest book on your shelf? This one is Psycho by Robert Bloch coming in at 185 pages.

5 – Is there a book you received as a birthday gift? I had The Green Mile by Stephen King and Carrie by Stephen King for my birthday, which were several years ago and then this year I received like 10 new books *happy dance*

6 – Is there a book from a friend on your shelf? There is from my boyfriend, but from a friend I don’t think there is, they avoid buying me books because I already have so many haha.

7 – The most expensive book on your shelf? Probably my illustrated Harry Potter books.

8 – The last book you read on your shelf? This would be The Haunted by Niki Valentine. My review will be going up shortly.

9 – Do you have a complete series? I do indeed, I have several… The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, Harry Potter by JKR and the Hannibal series by Thomas Harris.

10 – What’s the newest edition to your shelf? Erm, that is a very good question, it’s actually 10 books that were all added at once as they were received at the same time!

11 – The oldest book on your shelf? So I have a copy of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins back from 1982. But the one that was written the longest time ago would be The Divine Comedy by Dante.

12 – What’s a book you’d hate to let out of your sight? (AKA no one is allowed to touch it). Definitely my illustrated Harry Potter books, they’re literally my pride and joy haha.

13 – Most beat up book? My Hannibal series, they used to belong to my Mom so they have been read a lot.

14 – Most pristine book? It’s a choice between my Mistborn series or The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales, they are literally perfect!

15 – A book that doesn’t belong to you? All of the books on my shelf are mine!

16 – A book that is your favourite colour? My favourite colour is actually pink and I don’t have any pink books on my shelf 😦

17 – A book that’s been on your shelf the longest and you still haven’t read it? Definitely The Green Mile by Stephen King, it’s been on there for several years now.

18 – Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read? Out of the books on my shelf it would likely be The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

I say this about every tag I take part in but this was literally so much fun, I loved going through my bookshelf and sharing the answers with you guys. If you want to take part please consider yourself tagged!

Em xxx