Top Ten Cosy/Wintery Reads To Curl Up With

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s prompt is all about cosy reads. There’s nothing better than curling up when it’s cold outside, with a blanket and a warm drink. Perhaps the fire on too? Mm. I’m now dreaming of a snow day. These books are those that are good for reading in one sitting! They’re not necessarily deep reads, but they’re either heart-warming or atmospheric. Perfect for a cosy read, I say!

As ever, book images go to Goodreads!

The Snow Child

A perfect winter’s tale. 🙂 I really love this book and don’t see it around often enough for my liking!

Sister

I think this is an incredibly gripping read. Perfect for curling up with.

The Gift

This is one of my favourite books!

Let It Snow

I enjoyed these cute holiday romances.

Bittersweet

This sort of book is so easy to read all curled up and warm!

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

I wasn’t the biggest fan of all of these stories but there’s some good ones to get stuck into. That’s why I like anthologies.


A Christmas Carol

I think this book is perfect for near Christmas time!

Eleanor & Park

A book like this I could easily see being read in a day!

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

This book was so easy to read. It could easily be devoured within a few hours.

The Ice Twins

Thrillers are great to curl up with and this is a brilliant one!

What did you put on your list this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by.

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Top Ten Books I’ve Read For The ‘Talking About’ Feature With My Sister, Bibliobeth!

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books that we’ve been recommended by others. I decided to feature some books that my sister and fellow blogger Beth, have discussed in our ‘Talking About’ feature. You can see our reviews if you click on the title of the book!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

Dear Thing- Julie Cohen

Dear Thing

I really enjoyed this heart-warming read. It was a struggle to read at times but that was due to subject matter, not because it was a bad book.

Before We Met- Lucie Whitehouse

Before We Met

This book was the perfect example of why sometimes you should give a book another go. I enjoyed this book the second time around. It wasn’t the most amazing read, but I did enjoy reading it.

The Memory Book- Rowan Coleman

The Memory Book

This is another story that warmed my heart. I thought it was a stunning, emotional read.

The Book Of You- Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Ooh this was a good one. I adore a psychological thriller and this book was right up my street!

I Let You Go- Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

Another wonderful book. This book has turned up on so many of my Top Ten lists since reading it in 2015. I adored it.

A Song For Issy Bradley- Carys Bray

A Song for Issy Bradley

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. However, I thought it was a beautiful read!

The Ice Twins- S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins

This book is incredibly compelling!

Life After You- Lucie Brownlee

Life After You

Another sad one, but so beautifully written and heartfelt.

The Girls- Lisa Jewell

The Girls

I had heard a lot about Lisa Jewell, so was excited to pick up this book. It didn’t take me long to devour at all.

The Last Act of Love- Cathy Rentzenbrink

The Last Act Of Love

A stunning memoir. Another book that I devoured!

What are your favourite books that you’ve been recommended? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

British Books Wrap Up 2015

The British Books Challenge is something that I’ve really enjoyed doing since I began blogging almost 3 years ago. Every year I try to ensure I’m reading British writers because they are awesome and deserve recognition! This year I read 73 British writers. I’m SO proud of that total.

Linked below are my reviews for the books I’ve read by British writers. Feel free to take a look!

I will be participating in the British Books Challenge 2016. Link can be found on the page I dedicate to it.

 

End of Year Survey 2015

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This is one of my favourite surveys to do, by one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish. For some reason, I hadn’t noticed her post this year, but was pleased to see another blogger do the tag, so of course I jumped on board.

The links either go to my review of the book or Goodreads if I haven’t reviewed it already!

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Number Of Books You Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Simon Versus The Homo Sapiens Agenda– Becky Albertalli. This book warmed my heart. I can’t speak highly enough for it!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. After devouring her debut, I really wanted to like her sophomore novel. I didn’t. I was very disappointed.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

I didn’t expect to like Cruel Beauty as much as I did. I had heard so many bad things about it that I was expecting not to like it.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Still Me Before You. I will ALWAYS push that book.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Sequel: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E.Pearson

Series Ender- Winter by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Becky Albertalli!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green. My second graphic novel of the year.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I Let You Go– Clare Mackintosh

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not so sure I’ll re-read a book so soon. I tend to leave it a while in-between!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Simon (from Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda). I’m totally the heart emoji over that.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I really resonated with this book!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Reasons To Stay Alive– Matt Haig

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Rites of Passage– Joy N.Hensley

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” – Err… Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (again, sorry!)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Dream A Little Christmas Dream by Giovanna Fletcher- 69 pages

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer- 824 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Ice Twins– S.K Tremayne

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I’m sorry not sorry- Simon and Blue- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m going for friendship and I adore the friendship in The Ladybirds series by Jenny McLachlan

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Ensnared by A.G Howard

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Last Leaves Falling– Sarah Benwell. I’m not sure this book would’ve been on my radar otherwise.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I don’t have one! Sad times.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon Vs…. you get the idea!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I’m loving the worldbuilding in the Throne of Glass series. I read Queen of Shadows this year.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Lily and The Christmas Wish– Keris Stainton. All the cuteness.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Last Leaves Falling- Sarah Benwell

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Boy In The Tower- Polly Ho-Yen

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman. Highly intriguing but it made such an impact.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman. It totally lives up to its title!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Hmmm… Those Girls by Lauren Saft. This book just really didn’t sit right with me. At all.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I haven’t discovered many new book blogs this year, but I need to get on that. I’m looking forward to seeing how Outlook on a Book grows.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I liked how I did Reasons To Stay Alive.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Unhauling Books. I need more discussion posts this year!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

YA Shot by far. I loved being part of a blogger workshop.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Continuing to blog even though my life got a hell of a lot busier.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Balancing it with teaching. I had one day where I almost forgot to schedule a post.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Books For Readers That Like Plot Twists.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Gracefully Grayson– Ami Polonsky

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I haven’t really discovered much bookishness this year. A goal for next year?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I’ve read more of the series that I wanted to and I think by 31st December I should have completed my Goodreads challenge. Fingers crossed!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

When We Collided by Emery Lord

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

A Court Of Mist and Fury– Sarah J Maas.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Find some sort of schedule that I can keep to for visiting other blogs.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

This Is Where It Ends– Marieke Nijkamp!

Feel free to leave me a link to your survey if you’ve done it too. I love reading these!

Talking About ‘The Ice Twins’ with Bibliobeth

The Ice Twins

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

CHRISSI: What were your first impressions of this book before beginning?

BETH: I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis! I love contemporary fiction with a bit of a psychological or thriller edge and this story seemed to tick all of the right boxes. I hadn’t read anything by the author before (I think!) and I really enjoy finding new people to add to my “must read in the future if they bring out another book” list. It’s a book that is on the Richard and Judy Autumn Book Club list here in the UK and as you know, we always try to read the books that they recommend so I always look forward to those and, to top it all off, this book is set on a remote island in Scotland! As a proud Scot, I get stupidly excited about books that are set in the beautiful parts of my country.

BETH: Discuss if you think the relationship between Sarah and Angus has any effect on Kirstie’s well-being.

CHRISSI: I do think the relationship had an effect on Kirstie’s well-being. From working with children, I know that the smallest (and biggest) effect them massively. I don’t think we realise how much children are drinking in at times, even when we they’re busy, they’re still soaking up so much information. With Sarah and Angus, their marriage was crumbling right from the start. It would take a strong marriage to not be affected by what they were going through.

CHRISSI: There is a terrible dilemma at the heart of this novel that leads to the question- what would you do?

BETH: Ooh, this is so hard! Okay, so the dilemma is that after the horrific death of Lydia, one of the twins, the surviving twin Kirstie suddenly turns round and tells her mother that they made a mistake and she is in fact Lydia. The twins are identical, even their DNA would match and the twin that died has been cremated so there is no way to check which twin is which in retrospect. I’m actually a scientist and I think if I was the twin’s mother I would have desperately tried to find a scientific way in which we could check which twin had died and which one survived! It’s not a nice situation to be in and I think Sarah does a good job with how she deals with the situation. It is obvious her first priorities are with the mental well-being of the child left behind.

BETH: Do you think the photographs in the novel contributed anything to the atmosphere of the story?

CHRISSI: I always think it’s interesting when author’s include photographs. It doesn’t always work, but I think it did with this particular story. I feel like photographs don’t always work because sometimes they’re not how we imagine things in our heads. However, with this story I certainly got a sense of loneliness from the photographs. They matched the story perfectly.

CHRISSI: Unless you have read about the author before, the reader isn’t aware if the author is male or female. Do you think this matters? I personally thought it was a woman!

BETH: As I mentioned before, I haven’t come across the author before and it’s always interesting when they choose to use the initials of their first and middle name to keep us guessing as to their gender. I found out the gender of the author before I read this novel quite by accident but if I had to guess at a gender from the writing I would probably guess that they were female too! I hate to presume these things but sometimes there seems to be a certain style associated with male and female authors – however, I love being surprised and proved wrong.

BETH: There is a suggestion of a supernatural element to this story – do you believe in ghosts?

CHRISSI: Ooh, interesting question. I definitely believe in all things supernatural, even though it scares me sometimes. Well… all the time. I don’t know whether I’ve just got an overactive imagination, but I definitely think there’s SOMETHING there, and the hint of supernatural in this story was fascinating and so well done!

CHRISSI: Discuss the ending of the novel without spoilers if you can! What do you think life holds for the characters?

BETH: Oh dear. The ending of the novel provides a resolution of sorts I guess but I have to say I was extremely surprised by the way in which the author took it. I wasn’t expecting it at all and it was a bit more interesting than the resolution you might expect from this sort of novel. As for what life holds for the characters, it really could go either way. There are still a lot of issues within the family and perhaps follow up issues to come as Kirstie/Lydia is still quite young. I would actually love a follow up to this story – please S.K. Tremayne?

BETH: Would you read another book from this author?

CHRISSI: I certainly would. I was really impressed by S.K. Tremayne’s writing and would love to read more, especially in the psychological thriller genre. I LOVE the genre!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!