Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR 📚☀️

summer-tbr

Hello There

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. On Tuesdays, you post a list of ten books that coincides with the week’s prompt.

Can you believe that summer is almost here, in the northern hemisphere? In a way, I’m so relieved that we’re almost halfway through the year, considering what this one has been like. Still, with new seasons come new lists of things I want to do, books I want to read, movies and TV shows I want to watch and so on, which is exciting!

I’m not really one to set monthly TBRs, but I like the idea of having seasonal ones. Because of that, I thought it’d be fun to do a Top Ten Tuesday again (it’s been quite some time!), as this week’s prompt is “Books on My Summer 2020 TBR”. So without further ado, here are the books I’m hoping to get to this summer:

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The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang — The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year so far, so I’m super excited to read its sequel! This Asian-inspired fantasy series follows Rin, a war orphan, who aces the test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies and get into Sinegard, the most elite military school in the Empire. The Poppy War was a very dark, but excellent debut in my opinion, so I can’t wait to read The Dragon Republic!

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty — The final book in the Daevabad trilogy came out last week, so of course I’m planning to get to it as soon as my pre-order arrives! This series follows Nahri, a con woman in 18th century Cairo, who accidentally summons a djinn warrior and learns of Daevabad, a legendary city to which she is irrevocably bound. I adored the first two books in the trilogy and am currently rereading them, so I can’t wait to know how this story ends!

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff — I only have one book left in The Nevernight Chronicle, so I’m also planning to finish this series during the summer! I adore assassins stories so much and Mia Corvere’s sure is among my favourites. I’m so excited to know what will be next for her, though I admit I’m a bit terrified this book will break my heart. We’ll see.

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The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin — I’ve been meaning to get to N.K. Jemisin’s works for the longest time, as she’s highly praised by so many reviewers I trust, and I’ll finally be doing so this summer! I’ll be starting with The Fifth Season, a dystopian fantasy, where a woman is looking for her son in a deadly and dying land. Every book in this trilogy was awarded the Hugo for Best Novel, which makes me even more excited to read them!

Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier — I binge-read Marillier’s original Sevenwaters trilogy last summer, so I’m looking forward to reading the second half of the series at last! This series is set in a world inspired by Celtic folklore, where the Fair Folk lives in the forest and everything feels like a fairy tale. Each book is the story of a woman from the Sevenwaters’ family, this one following Clodagh, whose baby brother was taken from his room, something unnatural being left in his place. I can’t wait to get back into this world, so hopefully I’ll buy this book soon!

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett  — I’ve been seeing this series everywhere among SFF book reviewers lately, so I’ve been super eager to get to it. Foundryside is about Sancia, a thief who has been sent to retrieve an object in a warehouse, only to discover it is an artifact of unimaginable power that could revolutionise magical technology in her world. I also know there is a f/f romance in the series, which makes me even more excited to read it!

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi  —This historical novel is a family saga following the descendants of two half-sisters, across three centuries, beginning in 18th century Ghana and ending in America, until present day. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I adore family sagas, so I’m looking forward to finally be reading it!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie — I read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie three years ago, so it’s about time I read her other works, Americanah among them. This novel is about Ifemelu and Obinze, who depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West when they are young and in love. Ifemelu heads for America, where she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time, while Obinze fails to join her, plunging into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

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Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea) by Victor Hugo — This French classic was written by Victor Hugo while he was in exile on the island of Guernsey and is about a fisherman on that same island, which is more than enough to get me intrigued, considering how much I love Hugo’s writing and how fascinated I am with Guernsey. As it’s set on an island, it also feels right for me to read it in the summer, so that’s what I’ll do!

Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier — Daphne du Maurier is my favourite author and it’s been some time since I last read something by her, so I intend to fix that! This novel is about Mary Anne, a daring woman who becomes the mistress to a royal duke and provokes a scandal in doing so. This historical fiction is set in Regency England and was inspired by one of du Maurier’s ancestors, which intrigues me so much.

Have you read any of these? Do you have any reading plans for this summer?

lots of love

My #TomeTopple TBR | May 2020 📚✨

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Hello ThereFrom May 9th to May 22nd, I’m participating in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, and I’m super excited about it! This readathon was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and its goal is pretty simple: you have to read books over 500 pages. I’m one of those people who adore big books, so I’m looking forward to dedicating two whole weeks to some tomes I had been meaning to get to for a while.

This readathon has been around for a few years, but if you’re interested, here’s Sam’s announcement video for this round:

I’m being *quite* ambitious for this round of Tome Topple, but I’m not quite sure about how it will go. My initial plan is to read 2,018 pages across three books, but there’s a fourth book I really want to reread, so I *might* try to read 2,545 pages in these two weeks? It’s probably wishful thinking, but uh, we’ll see.

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to during this readathon:

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🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

I’ve been slowly catching up on the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I have all the time in the world though, considering… The Winds of Winter), but it’s been a year since I last picked up a book in the series, so it’s about time I continue it (do I blame season 8 of Game of Thrones? Maybe). I’m reading this series in the UK paperback edition and A Storm of Swords is divided in two in it: weirdly enough, I’ve only read the first half, so I really need to get to the second one and Tome Topple is the perfect motivation to do it!

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🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt when I read it three years ago and have been meaning to get to the rest of Donna Tartt’s works since then, so it’s about time I finally do that! All I know is that this book follows Theo Decker, a young boy who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother, through his teenage and adult years. It apparently goes from “the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld” and focuses on a painting called The Goldfinch, which intrigues me so much!

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👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

I read Furyborn by Claire Legrand last month, really liked it overall, and I’m curious to see where the story is going! Kingsbane will probably be my quickest read for Tome Topple (though it’s 600 page-long) and considering I have some daunting books on my TBR, I’ll need it. This series is set in a world where two queens have been prophesied: one of light, the other of blood, and follows two young women, a thousand years apart, who hold the power to save their world or doom it. So many readers said Kingsbane is better than Furyborn, so I’m excited to get to it!

These three books are my priority for this readathon, but if I manage to get to all of them, I’m hoping to reread my favourite book of the year, which is…

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⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I read The Poppy War back in February, it was in my 5 star predictions for the year… and it became my first 5 stars since March 2019. 😱 It’s a grimdark Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it. It’s definitely not for everyone, it’s quite graphic and has a lot of trigger warnings, but it’s a very powerful story and I so want to reread it.

So that’s it for my Tome Topple TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to get started on all of these books and I’m hoping I’ll manage to read everything, but we’ll see! 📚

Are you participating in Tome Topple? I know we’re already eight days into May, but what are you planning to read this month?lots of love

Magical Readathon 2020 — O.W.L.s TBR 📚✨

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Hello There

April is around the corner, so it’s time for the Magical Readathon once again! 🎉

If you don’t know this readathon, it was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts, which happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is so much fun. This is the third round of the readathon and my second time participating, so I’m super excited about it. Last year, I successfully participated in both the O.W.L.s and the N.E.W.T.s, which means I became a Magizoologist! Here is G’s video, if you want to know more about the readathon:

This year, I’m pursuing a new career & decided I’d be studying to become… *drum rolls*

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A SPELL MAKER!

To become a spell maker, I have to pass seven O.W.L.s, which are Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Astronomy, Charms, Divination, History of Magic and Transfiguration. If I succeed, I’m also hoping to participate in two courses if I can (which are optional, but I’ll be living all for the Magical Readathon in April), Dragon Tamer Training and Merpeople Linguistics (can you tell I became a Magizoologist last year? 😂).

Here is what I’m planning to read for the O.W.L.s:

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❤️ Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

For this prompt, I’m planning on reading DC Comics Bombshells, vol. 5: The Death of Illusion. This comics series is about DC Comics’ female characters fighting in different countries during World War II, it’s so empowering and it makes me so happy to see them team up together. It’s one of my long-time favourites, it’s about time I finish it (it’s taking me forever because well, comics understandably cost a lot of money) and as there are little hearts all around Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy on the cover, it’s the perfect excuse to read it during April!

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2️⃣ Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside of your favourite genre

For this prompt, I thought I’d go with a non-fiction book, as I don’t read that many of them. My favourite genre being fantasy, I guess non-fiction is *quite* far enough. My pick is a biography of Berthe Morisot by Dominique Bona, which is about a French painter, who was part of the first Impressionists and is considered to be a founder of the movement. I fell in love with her paintings a few years ago, then saw an exhibition about her in the Musée d’Orsay last year and picked up this biography about her then. I’m so excited to rediscover her life through this biography, even if it might take me longer to read than the rest of the books on my TBR (it’s in French though, so it might be alright).

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🌙 Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

I made a list of the books I wanted to read the most at the moment for the Divination prompt (see below!) and decided I’d pick one of the remaining books for Astronomy, as I mainly read at night anyway, so I decided I’d read Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. It’s the first book in an adult fantasy series about a young woman who is part of a convent training young women to become assassins and that’s all I need in my life. I adored the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers which had a similar prompt and I’ve wanted to try Mark Lawrence’s books for a while now, so now is the time! I’ll probably read most of it during the Magical All-Nighter, a 24 hour readathon organized during the month.

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✨ Charms – Lumos maxima: white cover

For Charms, I’m hoping to read House of Names by Colm Tóibín. This is a Greek mythology retelling focusing on Agamemnon, who sacrificed his daughter to the gods so they’d grant him a favoured wind for his fleet of ships to sail to Troy, and his family. After the Trojan War, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, plots revenge against him. While I know the story in passing, I’m really curious to see Tóibín’s take on the story, and I’m always there for a good Greek mythology retelling, so.

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🔮 Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read

For this one, I made a list of the books I was most excited to read at the moment and my choices were Red SisterEmpire of Sand, Children of Virtue and Vengeance and The Shadows Between Us (which I ended up picking for Astronomy!).

My third eye decided Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri would be the one I’d read (it’s actually the one I most wanted to read, so well-done, third eye!). This Mughal India-inspired fantasy novel is about Mehr, the illegimiate daughter of an imperial governor, who inherited the magic of her exiled mother, who is part of the Amrithi, nomads descended from desert spirits. When her power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s mystics, she will have to resist their cruel agenda, or the gods may awaken. I also know it has my favourite romance tropes in it, so I’m super excited to get to it!

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🧙‍♀️ History of Magic – Witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards

I’ve been eyeing out Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer for a while, as it came out recently, so this prompt is the perfect opportunity to get to it! This novel is about Dayna, a young witch who was recently outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town and has to deal with the aftermath of that. She is about to ascend and join a coven when another coven arrives in town with premonitions of death and it all goes down from there. It is said to be a blend of modern witchcraft and ancient Celtic mythology, so I’m super excited to read it!

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🐺 Transfiguration – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting

For this one, I’m going with Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. This trilogy follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and one of her fellow prisoners. To escape prison, she makes a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years, which means she can’t get revenge on the one who imprisoned her. Juliet Marillier’s books are filled with folklore and feel like fairy tales: the first one in this trilogy featured a transformation and considering there is a howling creature in Tower of Thorns, I’m thinking there will be some sort of transformation. 👀

and for my two optional courses…

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🐉 Dragon Tamer Training – Read an extra book with dragons

Ever since I saw an exhibition about Tolkien back in December, I’ve been dying to finally read The Hobbit by him, so now is the time! It’s about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly gets involved in a company of dwarves’ quest in search of dragon-guarded gold. I know bits and pieces of the story (plus my 12 y.o. brother read it last month for school), but I cannot wait to finally experiment the story for myself at last!

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🧜🏻‍♀️ Merpeople lingustics – Herbology, Mimbulus mimbletonia: title starts with an M

Last but not least, I’m planning on reading Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Lu. I’ve had my eye set on this comics series for a while now, as it got a lot of praise a few years ago. It’s set in an alternate 1900s Asia, in a world of art deco-inflected steam punk, and follows a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. I’ll probably read this one during the Magical All-Nighter and I can’t wait!

There you have it: I am beyond excited to read all of these books and to participate in this readathon, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, as always!

Do you like taking part in readathons? Are you participating in this one? Do you have any reading plans for April?

lots of love

My 5 star predictions for 2020 📚❤️

july-2019Hello There

Over the years, like many people, I’ve tried to figure out what my rating system was and it has changed a few times. As time passed, I’ve become *quite* peculiar with my 5 star ratings: recently, I’ve only given 5 star ratings to books I consider to be my all-time favourites, which is why… I haven’t rated a book 5 star since March 2019 (I know, it’s been almost a year… 🙊). It isn’t to say that I haven’t discovered amazing books and series since then, as I’ve discovered some I really love, yet when the time comes, I just end up rating them 4.5 stars.

Let’s face it: I’m just being weird about my 5 stars, it looks like I’m overthinking it a lot and have some sort of commitment issues when it comes to those. 🤷‍♀️

That being said, I’m really hoping that it will change this year and I feel like I might discover more new favourite books in 2020. Because of that, I thought it would be fun if I tried to guess some of my potential new favourite books and do a 5 star predictions post! I feel like I’ll have read all of these books by the end of the year, so I might even reflect on this post when the time comes.

Side note: I haven’t included any new/upcoming releases in this post, as they’re not out yet and I’m more anticipating them right now than thinking about whether I’ll give them 5 stars, if that makes sense?

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the books I’m hoping I’ll give five stars to this year:

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The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Honestly, I can’t believe The Poppy War was released two years ago and I still haven’t read it, considering I’ve been excited about it since its early reviews? 😱 I was waiting for the paperbacks to be released, but I can’t wait anymore (I’ll probably regret it when I have to wait for the paperback of The Dragon Republic, but it’s a problem for another day)! This book is a Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school. I also know it’s pretty dark, considering it’s very military-oriented and I’ve read somewhere that it’s a villain story (sign. me. up.). I’m actually going to start reading it this week and I’m so excited!

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The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

This year, I really want to start reading Edith Wharton’s works: I don’t know too much about post-World War I American literature (except for Fitzgerald, I guess) and I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Wharton’s works recently, so I’m quite curious about her. This one is set in New York society where the return of the beautiful Countess Olenska sends reverberations throughout the upper reaches of society, especially for Newland Archer, who was about to announce his engagement to the Countess’ cousin, May Welland. This one is so many people’s favourite, so I can’t wait to know what all the fuss is about!

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The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

This book is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, it’s about warrior bards and I need it so much in my life. I started reading Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series last year and she quickly became one of my favourite authors thanks to it, so I want to read anything she writes. The Harp of Kings is a Celtic-inspired fantasy which is about two siblings who have unique magic skills and want to join an elite warrior band, which they’ll have to compete for. While they’re there, they join on a mission to retrieve a mythical harp, which will need to be displayed at an upcoming coronation. This book is right up my alley and I can’t wait to get to it soon!

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Last but not least, I really want to read more sci-fi novels this year and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is at the top of the list! I’ve seen so many people rave about it for years and it got me super excited to read it. I don’t know much about it,  just that it’s a character-driven space adventure, has a diverse cast of characters and has the found family trope… it’s pretty much all I need! 

Are there any books you’re hoping to read this year that you feel like might become a new favourite?

lots of love

My TBR for the #Gilmoreathon ☕🍂

gilmoreathon
Hello There

October is finally coming tomorrow and I am so happy, as autumn is truly installed in the northern hemisphere now. The season of fallen leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, rainy days and so much more is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited, as it’s my favourite season. Like a lot of people, autumn also reminds me of Gilmore Girls, one of my all-time favourite TV shows and it is the perfect season to rewatch it (though I already do that all year, but nevermind).

That being said, a few weeks ago, Olivia @ Liv’s Library, Desi @ Pastel Pages and Mackenzie @ Mackenzie Lane announced they were hosting a two week long readathon based on Gilmore Girls, so of course I had to join in! This readathon is happening from October 1st to October 15th and there are two ways to join: you can either read books based on challenges or read as many books as possible from the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. On top of that, the hosts chose a group book to read all together, Lauren Graham’s memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can. 

What am I planning to read for this readathon?

Well, I have to admit that I’m in a bit of a reading slump at the moment, so I’m hoping this readathon will help me to get out of it. I decided to plan my TBR according to the challenges created by the hosts and tried to make some of my autumn TBR fit them. So without further ado, here’s my TBR for the Gilmoreathon!

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  • read a book with a school setting: in honor of Yale and Chilton.

For this challenge, I am planning to read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, which I think is the perfect choice, as it is set in Yale. As it is coming out during the readathon, I won’t be able to read it straight away, because I have to wait for my copy to arrive, but I’m so excited about it, as it’s a dark academia novel all about secret societies.

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  • read a mother/daughter relationship book: in honor of our favorite mother/daughter relationship ever.

For this one, I am planning to read Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. I struggled a bit to find a book that fitted that prompt, but Cassidy travels around the world with both her parents, so it totally works! Besides, I was planning to read it in October anyway, as it’s partially set in the Catacombs in Paris, so it’s perfect for the season. 👻

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  • read any cozy book set during fall/winter: in honor of beautiful Stars Hollow and Lorelai smelling snow.

I started watching Anne with an E this month and I’ve been loving it so much, so I decided it was time for me to finally read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery! I’m sure it’ll make for a cozy read and it has that famous quote about October, so it’s perfect for this prompt. I found an audiobook version of the whole series (I’ll be there for 73 hours I guess 😂) I really liked on Scribd, I can’t wait to get to it. 🍂

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  • read a book with complicated love interests: in honour of Rory, Dean & Jess

In which we will not mention how big my crush on Milo Ventimiglia is (though it started because of This Is Us and not Gilmore Girls). 🙈

I’m not too big on romance, but my favourite romance trope is hate-to-love, so I decided to go with Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. With the release of The Rise of Skywalker in December, I thought I’d try to read at least one Star Wars novel per month and I’ll go with this one for October! It’s set in the Clone Wars era and about one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress, who has to pair up with her former Jedi Master Quinlan Vos to eliminate Count Dooku and they have *quite* complicated feelings for each other (hate-to-love helloooo).

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  • read a book by an Asian author or has Asian representation: in honor of our favorite best friend, Lane.

For this challenge, I’m planning on reading Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, which is a Mulan retelling about a young woman who has to pose as a man to compete for the role of imperial tailor and sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars (doesn’t it sound amazing?). I’ve been in a huge fantasy mood, so I’m really excited to read this one and I know Samantha Shannon loved it, so that’s enough for me!

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  • read the next book in a series you haven’t finished yet: in honor of A Year in The Life.

For this one, I’m going to read A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin, which is the second half of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (talk about being in the middle of a series 🙈). As I was saying before, I’m in a huge fantasy mood at the moment, I’ve missed these characters so much and as I’ve planned to read a lot of short books for this readathon, I can allow myself to read one bigger book.

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  • read a book with food on the cover or is a crucial part of the storyline: in honor of Luke’s Cafe.

I struggled a bit for that prompt as well, but I decided to go with Pumpkinheads, written by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, which is a graphic novel about two teenagers working at a pumpkin patch every autumn. It will be the perfect autumnal read, and it’s about pumpkins, so it’ll be very fitting for this challenge.

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  • read the group book

Last but not least, I’m planning on rereading Talking as Fast as I can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham, which is the group book for the readathon. I read it earlier this year and adored it so much, but I really wanted to reread it via audiobook as Lauren Graham is narrating it herself! It has two chapters all about Gilmore Girls and seeing the pictures always makes me really emotional.

So that’s about it for my TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, so I can get started on the Gilmoreathon!

Are you participating in this readathon? What are you planning to read in October?
lots of love

Magical Readathon 2019 — N.E.W.T.s TBR

magical-readathon

Hello There

I am beyond excited that August is around the corner, because with August, the Magical Readathon is coming back and it is time to sit for my N.E.W.T.s!

The Magical Readathon was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts, which happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is so much fun. I already participated in April for the O.W.L.s and adored it, so I’m really excited to pass my N.E.W.T.s. I’d recommend to check G’s video announcement for the N.E.W.T.s, it has all the information you need.

Without any surprise, I am studying to become a Magizoologist and I need to study Care of Magical Creatures (I need an Optimal to pass), Charms (I need an Exceeded Expectations) and Herbology (I need an Exceeded Expectations as well). Overachiever as I am, I really want to try to get an Optimal in everything, so we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, here’s my TBR for the N.E.W.T.s!

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A: book title that starts with a letter AArchenemies by Marissa Meyer

I read Renegades last year and absolutely adored it: I loved that it was about people with superpowers and the two main characters are amazing. I had been aching to read its sequel, but hadn’t found the perfect occasion to do so yet (so many books, so little time), so when I saw this prompt, I knew I had to finally get to it. I am so looking forward to going back into this world and well, at least I won’t have too long to wait until Supernova‘s release.

♡ E: book under 300 pagesThor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder  by Jason Aaron

I’ve been planning to read these comics for the longest time, but now that they have announced that Natalie Portman was coming back to the MCU to become the Goddess of Thunder, I have to. In this 2014 comics run, Thor is unworthy and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted, until… a mysterious woman grasps it and takes Thor’s mantle! It sounds so good and I mostly read comics about superheroines, so it’s perfect for me!

♡ O: read a book with a bird on the coverOnce Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale is one of my favourite books of this year and I am so looking forward to reading more by Diane Setterfield. Once Upon a River is her newest release and follows the discovery of a girl’s lifeless body, who later returns to life and is claimed by three families. It seems to be quite dark and atmospheric and it combines folklore and science, so I’m really intrigued about it.

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♡ A: read a book that you think has a gorgeous coverThe Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of last year and helped a lot to get me into a huge fantasy slump, because I loved it too much. This fantasy book is inspired by Middle East folklore, set in 18th century Cairo, and follows Nahri, a con woman who accidentally summons a djinn. The Kingdom of Copper is the second book in the trilogy, its cover is stunning (it’s the UK cover if you’re wondering, it wins!), and I’ve been rereading the first book to be able to get to it, so I’m really excited!

♡ E: read a comic/graphic novel/manga — Thor, Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron

Of course, after reading The Goddess of Thunder, I will have to finish reading this comics run, as there are only two volumes! It is perfect for a month-long readathon, as I have longer reads like The Kingdom of Copper to get through.

♡ O: read a paperback book — The Door by Magda Szabó 

I won this book in a giveaway hosted by my friend Anna @ AnnaofBookingham on Instagram and I’m so curious to read it, because I know she adored it! This Hungarian novel follows Emerence, a domestic servant, that young writer Magda takes in, and the relationship they develop for the next twenty years. I can’t wait to discover it and to chat with Anna about it!

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A: listen to an audiobook — King Lear by William Shakespeare

I’ve been trying to read one of Shakespeare’s plays every month this year (I’m two plays behind though, oops), so I definitely have to read one of them in August and I adore to listen to them via audiobooks, as they have entire casts and sometimes background noises. They also are really quick to go by, as the audiobooks usually last three hours, so it’s perfect for a readathon. This time, I’m giving a try to King Lear and I’m really excited, I’ve heard amazing things about it!

♡ E: read a book between 350-390 pagesA Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

To be honest, the second I heard this book was set in Cornwall, I knew I had to read it. I’m fascinated with Cornwall (thank you for that, Daphne du Maurier) and I’m always really excited to read books set there. A Sky Painted Gold is also set during the 1920s and is about Lou, a young woman who stumbles into the world into the glittering world of the Cardew family. Lucy @ Lucy the Reader has been raving about it for months and she said it was perfect for summer, so I’m all about that!

♡ O: read a book with a flower on the cover The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

I read The Bone Season earlier this week and I really liked it, I found the world to be fascinating and I can’t wait to get back into it, because the second book, The Mime Order, sure sounds promising. This series is about Paige Mahoney, who is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, in 2059. Her job is to scout information by breaking into people’s minds, a power… which is illegal. I am so excited to get more into this series!

So that’s it for my TBR for the N.E.W.T.s! My Optimal reads for Charms and Herbology aren’t my top priorities, but fingers crossed I can get to them and maybe other books. In any case, I’m so motivated to prioritize reading in August.

What are you planning to read in August? Are you participating in this readathon?

lots of love

Pride Month TBR 🏳️‍🌈

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Hello There

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! 🏳️‍🌈

As you might remember, I dedicated all of June 2018 to reading LGBTQIA+ books to celebrate Pride Month and I had such an amazing time doing that! So this year, that’s what I’m doing again.

A few days ago, my best friend and I were talking about Pride Month and she told me that we should do a 24h readathon for Pride Month, which is an amazing idea, as I haven’t been reading as much as usual this year. I also discovered Eloise @ Eloise Writes‘ blog recently and she’s doing a Pride Month readathon called Reading it queer, so I got really excited about that and made a whole TBR for it (what a surprise). The goal is to read at least one book with LGBTQIA+ representation, but you can also pick what you want to read based on nine reading prompts, which is what I’m doing!

So without further ado, let’s talk about the books I’m planning to read this month!

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» f/f relationship – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

I really wanted to read this book for Pride Month last year, but I ended up running out of time and being quite intimidated by it, so I really want to get to it this year. Tipping the Velvet is a historical fiction novel set in the Victorian era and follows Nan King, an oyster girl, who is fascinated by music-all phenomenon Kitty Butler and eventually meets her, which lead them to start having feelings for each other. I’ve seen so many people rave about Sarah Waters’ novels and I cannot wait to finally discover her debut, it sounds absolutely amazing.

» own voices author –  Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This book has been all over the book community in the past few months and it got me quite intrigued! Girls of Paper and Fire is an Asian fantasy about Lei, who is chosen to become one of the King’s concubines and is being trained in the palace in order to do so. However, she does the unthinkable and falls in love with another girl and this forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that could shake the foundation of her country, Ikhara. I cannot wait to finally know what the hype is all about!

» bisexual character – The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I read Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek two years ago and I really enjoyed it, so it is time for me to continue reading her books. The Brightsiders is about Emmy, a bisexual teen rockstar, who has to pick her life back together after being labelled the latest celebrity train wreck. This is my first read of the month and while I haven’t read much, I’m really enjoying it so far!

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» asexual or aromantic character – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I was waiting for the perfect occasion to read The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and at last, I have found it! This novel is a follow-up to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but follows Felicity Montague, a young woman in the 18th century, who wants nothing more than to enroll in medical school. When  possibility opens, Felicity leaves on a ship for Germany with a mysterious girl and becomes part of a perilous quest. Mackenzi Lee is one of my favourite YA authors and one of my biggest writing inspirations, so finally reading this one is going to be amazing, I already know it.

» recommended by a friend – The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

I read The Abyss Surrounds Us a while ago, but never got around to continue, probably because I don’t read post-apocalyptic novels very often. One of my uni friends recently read and adored the duology, so she motivated me to continue and it’s happening this month! I mean, this is a f/f post-apocalyptic duology with lesbian pirates and sea monsters, what else do you need?

» a book with additional rep – The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

This novel set in 1826 follows Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, as she goes on trial because she was accused of her employers’ murder, but no one really knows the truth. Frannie then tells her story, which starts in Jamaica and continues with a forbidden romance in England. It sounds like such a gripping novel, so I cannot wait to dive into it and figure everything out!

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» a genre you don’t normally read – Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

It might not look like it in this post, but I rarely ever read YA contemporary novels. The last one I read was Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel and that was in… November 2018, so that’s why Going Off Script fits in this category. As I was saying, I’m trying to catch up on Jen Wilde’s books and the blurb for this one is “A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character”, so basically, yes, YES, I am reading this. I love the settings of Jen Wilde’s novels so much.

» m/m relationship – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This is everyone’s newest favourite book and I need to know why, it is everywhere. Red, White & Royal Blue is about Alex, the son of the President of the United States, who is forced to become friends with his nemesis, Henry, Prince of Wales, as it could help British/American relationship as well as his mother’s reelection bid. However, they end up falling for each other. *gasps* So we’re talking about enemies to friends to lovers, which is my favourite romance trope, I hope I’ll love it!

» trans or non-binary character – I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

Last but not least, I’m really excited to discover I Wish You All The Best, another book I kept seeing everywhere even before its release! This one is an own voices novel about Ben, who comes out to their parents as nonbinary and is thrown out of their house afterwards. Moving in with their sister, Ben wants to go by unnoticed, but meet Nathan, who becomes their friend, then their feelings for each other change as they grow closer. It’s been said to be both heartbreaking and joyous and has such amazing ratings on Goodreads so far, I can’t wait!

What are you planning to read in June? Are you participating in any readathon?

lots of love

Magical Readathon 2019: O.W.L.s TBR

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Hello There

Happy April! It’s time for the weather to feel like Spring, to wear lighter jackets, to see flowers in bloom and to participate in the Magical Readathon 2019: O.W.L.s, a Harry Potter inspired readathon! It was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts and it happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is really cool and that’s one of the reasons I had to participate. I’d totally recommend watching her video announcement of it if you want to know more/participate, because it’s truly going to be amazing! For this readathon, I decided I wanted to become…

*drum rolls*

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A MAGIZOOLOGIST!

(what a surprise, I know, everyone knows how much I love Newt Scamander).

To become a magizoologist, I have to take four O.W.L.s and I *might* take other ones if I have the time, so I get better grades, we shall see! In the meantime, I have to pass care of magical creatures, charms, herbology and potions. Here is what I’m planning to read:

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Care of Magical Creatures (land animal on the cover) – Circe by Madeline Miller

I was supposed to read this one last month, right after The Song of Achilles, but once I heard about this readathon, I decided it could wait until April, especially since Madeline Miller is coming to Paris to talk about it tomorrow! This novel is based on Greek mythology and is a retelling of Circe’s myth, which I’m really excited about. I’ve read a few Greek myths retellings in the past few months and I’ve been loving it, so this one is totally my priority for the readathon and I’m hoping to finish it before seeing Madeline Miller. *fingers crossed*

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Charms (age-line: read an adult work) – The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

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I read Kate Morton’s The Lake House last summer (because it’s set in Cornwall, of course) and adored it, so I’ve been meaning to get to more of her works. The House at Riverton is set in 1924 on the eve of a glittering society party, when a young poet takes his own life. The only witnesses, two sisters, will never speak to each other again. Decades later, a one-time housemaid at Riverton opens up about her memories of that time and the mystery of what happened unravels. It *might* have been blurbed as for fans of Downton Abbey and I’m so intrigued by this synopsis, so I’m looking forward to discovering what it’s all about.

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Herbology (plant on the cover) – The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

I’ve been super excited to get to this historical fantasy novel, because it is written by none other than G. Willow Wilson, who also wrote the Ms. Marvel series (the Kamala Khan version!). This novel follows Fatima, concubine to the sultan, and her friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker, who can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. It is set in 1491, during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, and the two of them have to run away with the help of a jinn, as they realize that the new Spanish monarchy might see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian rule. This one sounds absolutely amazing and as I have studied this time period, I’m intrigued to see what it will be like in fiction form.

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Potions (next ingredient: sequel) – The Wicked King by Holly Black

Last but not least, I am planning to read The Wicked King by Holly Black, one of my most anticipated releases of the year, which I still haven’t read, because I was waiting for a discount of Book Depository (I was right to wait, haha). It is the sequel to The Cruel Prince, the story of Jude, who has been stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie with her two sisters. Ten years later, she wants nothing more to belong there, despite her mortality and as she gets caught up in palace intrigues, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. I adore the way Holly Black writes faeries and their wickedness and I’m so excited to get back into this world!

So that’s basically it for my TBR for this readathon! I’ll probably end up reading more than that during the month and to fit more books in different prompts, but that’s where I’m at for now.

Are you participating in this readathon? Are there any books you’re planning to read in April?

lots of love

#Victober 2018 TBR

Hello, beautiful people!


October is almost there, and with that, Victober is well on its way. I first participated in this amazing event last year and I was so excited for it, I’ve been making lists of books I really wanted to get to for months. If you don’t know what Victober is, it’s a month-long readathon hosted by Katie (Books and Things), Ange (Beyond the Pages), Kate (Kate Howe) and Lucy (Lucythereader), where the goal is to read Victorian literature. While you don’t have to read a certain number of books for this readathon (read one book? You did it!), there are challenges for those interested and that’s what I based my TBR off. Still, the whole point is to have fun and to share our love for literature of the period. 

Here are the challenges for this year:

  • Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  • Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e. a place name or person’s name) in the title.
  • Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period ‘i.e. 19837-1847 or 1891-1901).
  • Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  • Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.


1. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887) 

It won’t come as a surprise to you that Thomas Hardy is my favourite Victorian author, I’ve said it enough, so I’m beyond happy I had an excuse to pick up some more of his works. This time, I really wanted to read The Woodlanders and will do so with my friend Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame. This novel narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a loyal woodlander and a sophisticated outsider. According to the Penguin Classics edition, The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas. It sounds amazing, as all of the works of Thomas Hardy that I’ve read so far, I cannot wait to read it.


2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853) 

I am so happy I still have some of Gaskell’s works to read, because the last two novels I have left both have a proper noun in the title; I picked up Cranford, which title’s comes from the name of the town the story is set in. It was first published in several instalments in the Household Words magazine (edited by Charles Dickens!), before being published in book form two years later. Cranford is considered to be an affectionate and moving portrait of genteel poverty, as well intertwined lives in a nineteenth-century village. It also is a very short book, so I’ll be able to read it very quickly and I’m so curious as it’s one of Gaskell’s best-known works.


3. The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (1891-1895) 


I am beyond excited to finally get to Oscar Wilde’s plays, this edition featuring The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome, An Ideal Husband, which have all been published between 1891 and 1895 (during the end of the Victorian period!). I’ve been meaning to read more plays for a while and as I adore Oscar Wilde (I still haven’t recovered from the exhibition about him in Paris two years ago), I thought it would be a great place to continue with his works. I’m particularly excit
ed about The Importance of Being Earnest, as it’s so famous, but also about Salomé, as it was written in French (and I’ll read it in my language, of course <3). I'm really curious about other readers' picks for this challenge, and if I still have enough time to read more books, I'll try to pick up a book from the early Victorian period!

4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860) 

I’ve been meaning to try to read George Eliot’s works for ages and this year… I finally read Middlemarch and adored it! George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, so the fourth challenge is giving me an excuse to continue reading more of Eliot’s works, starting with The Mill on the FlossI have heard from several readers that The Mill on the Floss was more approachable than Middlemarch, but I got through that one, so I’m confident I’ll enjoy it as well. This one follows Maggie Tulliver, who is always trying to win the approval of her parents, but her personality often brings her into conflict with her family. It is said to have an interesting portrayal of sibling relationships, which is something I adore in literature and that it’s considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel. Moreover, I’ve heard such amazing things about the heroine of this novel and I cannot wait to meet her. 


5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

Vanity Fair is quite an intimidating novel because of its length and how famous it is, but I’ve been meaning to get to it for so long. There is an adaptation of it currently airing in the UK, and as the last challenge is to read a Victorian novel and watch its adaptation, I thought it would be the perfect time to motivate myself to read it. I’ll be buddy reading this one with my friend Anna, I’m sure we can do this! Vanity Fair follows the lives of two women: Becky Sharp, an alluring and ruthless woman from an impoverished background, who wants to clamber up the class ladder, and Amelia Sedley, who comes from a wealthy family and longs for a soldier. We’ll see how it goes!



Are you participating in Victober?


Lots of love,
Lucie

Books I really want to get to this Fall | Top 5



Hello, beautiful people!


As you may know by now, Fall is my favourite season and there are so many books I always want to get to during that time of the year, that I add on Goodreads specifically for that purpose. It’d be great if I could read twenty books per month to get to them all, but well, that’s not going to happen. Today, I wanted to share with you the top 5 books* I want to get to this Fall**.

*it started as a top 10, but as I don’t know how much I’ll be able to read in the next few months, I kept only half of that list, I don’t want to be too ambitious and to limit myself to the books I picked. I also have a TBR coming up for Victober very soon, as well, so that also explains it.
**fun fact: I started writing this post in July, because I am that excited.


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Last year, I discovered Shirley Jackson’s writing with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I adored it so much. Since then, I’ve been quite interested to read more of her works and thought they would be great for Fall, especially The Haunting of Hill House, which is a supernatural thriller. This novel, considered a modern classic, was published in 1959 and tells the story of four characters who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”, his assistant, a young woman well acquainted with poltergeists, as well as the future heir of Hill House. Their stay first seems to be a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but the house is simply gathering its powers… and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. This seems like such a Halloween read and as I haven’t read a lot of American classic literature, it’ll be good for my literary culture as well!

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

The Diviners series is absolutely perfect for Halloween as well, I actually recommended it around this time last year. The third book came out in 2017, but I have yet to read it, considering that I did reread The Diviners last year, but have oly started my reread of Lair of Dreams this week. Anyhow, this series is set in 1920s New York and follows several characters, most of them being Diviners, aka they have different types of powers. This time, the Diviners have to fight against ghosts, while cases of possession and murder are everywhere in New York City. This series is so much fun to read, because it’s beautifully complex, has a chilling but glamorous atmosphere and the characters are so much fun. I cannot wait to finally know what happens next.


If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

During the Fall, I also love to reach for mystery thriller novels and If We Were Villains fall in that category. It’s about a man who spent ten years in jail and after all that time, he’s finally ready to tell the truth about what happened ten years ago. At that time, Oliver was one of the seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. On and off-stage, they played the same roles over and over, until the balance of power shifted in their fourth year and real violence happened on opening night. In the morning, the students have to convince the police, each other and themselves that they are innocent. Apparently, it’s been compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt (!!) and I really want to read more of Shakespeare, so maybe this one will motivate me in a way, we shall see.


The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman 

Fall also is the perfect season to read about witches, it’s a known fact. I am particularly excited to get to The Rules of Magic, because I saw many people raving about it a few months ago on Instagram. For the Owen family, on which the book focuses, love is a curse that began in 1620, when an ancestor was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Centuries later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, Susanna Owens knows that her three children, Franny, Jet and Vincent, are dangerously unique, so she sets down rules for them: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no cro
ws, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. 
But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. Apparently, it’s a prequel to Practical Magic – that I haven’t read yet, but will give a try after it – and it sounds right up my alley!



The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


The Thirteenth Tale keeps intriguing me, it follows an enigmatic writer who spent decades creating outlandish life histories for herself, which brought her fame and fortune, but have kept her past a secret. As she gets older and is ailing, Vida Winter wants to at least tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, and who takes the commission (okay, it has nothing to do with it, but THAT kind of reminds me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, even though they sound like completely different books). It turns out that the story of Vida is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire, but Margaret remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity, which will lead to the real story. This novel is also said to be a love letter to reading, with amazing storytelling and as it has gothic elements, it sounds perfect for Fall (there is a trend in this TBR now, isn’t it?).

Et voilà, those are the books I am the most excited to get to this Fall, but there are so many more I’d love to read: we shall see how it goes! I’m also planning on doing a Halloween 24h readathon at some point and to have a TBR focused on that, then of course there is Victober happening in October.

Have you read any of these books? 
Which books are you most excited to read this Fall?




Lots of love,
Lucie