Books By Women for Women

new-blog-title12.jpgSo we have done a post featuring books on feminist fiction that Becky and I actually put together when we were last together so now I thought I’d post an updated list, so to speak. These are all books, mostly non-fiction that were written by some amazing, diverse women so hopefully you find something you want to pick up this month!


 

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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
by Vashti Harrison

Essentially a children’s picture book, this non-fiction book tells the story of forty different black women in American history and how they broke boundaries and inspired change. Featuring some well-known people but focussing more on the lesser-known, Vashti Harrison gives these forgotten but inspirational women a voice. Released December 5th.

 

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Nasty Women
by 404 Ink

A collection of essays, interviews and accounts on what it is like to be a woman in the 21st century. Everything from people, politics, pressure and punk and most frighteningly, living in Trump’s America – women share their experiences on sexual assault, racism, pregnancy, contraception and everything in between.

 

 

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by Naomi Alderman

A sci-fi, dystopian novel that is based on a world in which women can inflict pain with a flick of their fingers. What would happen if the tables were turned? Would women use this power for good or evil? Based on the lives of four women, this thriller explores how their world changes with this newfound power and gender rolls being flipped on their head. Also delving into complicated discussions such as systemic oppression, power, rape culture, gender, and religion.

 

 

24611623In Order to Live: A North Korea Girl’s Journey to Freedom
by Yeonmi Park

Written by human rights activist, Yeonmi, her memoir tells the story of her escape from North Korea with her mother in 2007 at the age of thirteen. After two years, she arrived in South Korea and set on becoming ‘free’ but in order to do so, she had to face her past of being sold into slave marriages, finding her missing sister and bringing publicity to the horrors of her former home. This is her survival story.

 

 

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by Margot Lee Shetterly

Now a movie but originally a novel, this book tells the story of a group of female mathematicians known as the ‘human computers’ who by providing and calculating the right science and numbers, made astronauts able to enter space. These are the women who were forgotten when Neil Armstrong was made a hero. These African-American women were the brightest minds of their generation and this is their untold story.

 

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200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See the
World
by Ruth Hobday

Two hundred everyday women are asked a series of questions in this non-fiction biography. All from different backgrounds, races, sexualities and gender identities, these women answer questions such as ‘what really matters to you?’ and ‘what would you change in the world if you could?’ Each interview is accompanied by a portrait of these inspirational women – human right activists, actors and advocates and the people behind the scenes.

 

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Why God is a Woman
by Nin Andrews

A collection of poetry written about a magical island where women rule (think Themyscira) and men are the lesser sex. It also tells the story of a young boy who after being exiled for not agreeing with their sexist laws, looks back with nostalgia for the place he called home.

 

 

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Red Clocks

by Leni Zumas

A sci-fi novel set in an America where abortion is once again illegal and IVF is banned. In a small town in Oregon, five very different women learn to live in a world with these restrictions surrounding motherhood, identity and freedom. One of the women, Gin, brings these women together when she is arrested and put on trial on a modern-day witch hunt.

 


So that’s our featured books and hopefully you’ll find something you like or maybe a gift for this Christmas.
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Christmas Gift Ideas // Bookish Edition

So now we’ve entered the month of November, we have been brainstorming on different kinds of blog posts we can do coming up to Christmas. Although I’ve got my birthday first, I’ve still got into the festive spirit by researching some bookish gift ideas for friends and family. Although the obvious thing to buy a bookworm would be an actual book, sometimes it’s hard to know which one so at least some of these gifts can cater to lovers of all genres.

1. For the Aspiring WritersUntitled-1.jpgOk, so technically these first two items would appeal more to the aspiring writer but seeing as this is also the month of NaNoWriMo, I thought I would definitely add these after seeing them in my local Waterstones. Ready, Set, Novel! is designed to help with the dreaded writer’s block. It guides you through the process of writing – everything from forming your novel’s plot and setting the scene and creating your characters. It is designed to include lists, Q+As and even mind maps so you can pick and choose what activities you complete. 642 Things to Write About is another list-style journal designed to help you find inspiration by writing down prompts such as ‘fixing the plot to the worst movie you’ve ever seen’ and ‘writing a love letter to the person you dislike.’ With a new prompt on each page, it is definitely designed to help you get ideas for your projects. 


2. For the Candle Lovers

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1. Two Candle Thieves  2. Meraki Candles  3. Hearth & Hammer
4. Book and Glow  5. Alchemy & Ink  6. Wick and Fable

So for those who didn’t know, as well as being book bloggers, Becky and I also own our own bookish candle business called Two Candle Thieves (nothing wrong with a bit of self-promotion.) However, we understand that our candles won’t be for everyone and you may be looking for some bookish candles this Christmas so we have decided to put together a list of our other favourite shops. Of course, there are many more out there but we’ve listed some based in the UK, USA and Europe. Some of these shops (as well as our own) are on a small hiatus but make sure you stay up to date with their products as I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I do believe all of these candles are Soy based, making them vegan friendly.



3. For Between the Pages

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1. TemporaryPlaces  2. Hey Atlas  3. MyBookMark
4. FictionTeaDesigns  5. Ink & Wonder

We couldn’t make this post without including some bookmarks and yes, you can find them anywhere and everywhere but these are some shops that we come across often on social media and we think they deserve all the attention. These bookmarks cover all price ranges and once again, we’ve picked International shops so shipping won’t be a problem. The amount of work and detail these artists put in really do make all the difference and amongst these shops, you will find bookmarks for every fandom. So get marking!



4. For the Book Protectors

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Despite the fact I haven’t yet invested in one of these myself, I have seen them all over Instagram and seen people receive and love theirs so I had to include them. Meet Benita Botello, otherwise known as Book Beau, the designer that creates mini pockets to keep your books and eReaders safe on your travels. They come in so many different designs and are very affordable despite having high-quality materials. We believe these would make an excellent gift (also making it so your friends have no excuse for returning borrowed books in bad condition!)
Website | Instagram 



5. For the Bookish Statement Makers

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Recently I’ve started adding pins and badges to my leather bag and so of course, I’ve been on the hunt for some bookish ones. These are both UK based shops but they are very affordable. Although Punky Pins specialises in pins (hence the name!) Literary Emporium also sells a wide range of bookish items such as clothing, jewellery and much more.


6. For the Tea Drinkers

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Like I could be British and do any gift idea post without adding some tea but this isn’t just any tea, it’s bookish tea! Bookish Teas is a Literary Inspired Tea Shop based in Germany and its creator, Zilan focuses on organic and eco-friendly mixes. You can find tea based on books such as ACOTAR, Six of Crows, The Raven Cycle and many more. Also the blend is customisable – delicious both hot and cold! Riddles Tea Shoppe is a company based in the US and as well as selling tea blends, also creates pins, bookmarks and art prints! As you can tell from the name of the shop, you will find teas based on the magical world of Harry Potter as well as Game of Thrones and others!


And that is it! We hope you find something you like, either for yourself or for a friend and family and all that’s left to say is, happy spending!
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Mini Reviews // Contemporary Edition

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So it’s time for another set of mini reviews! This time we are focusing on contemporary because for some reason my last three reads have been in this genre despite me not normally visiting it a lot. These are all recent releases (bar one which isn’t released yet) so I’m sure everybody is talking about them but here are my thoughts anyway!


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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When I was accepted for this on Netgalley, I must admit I shrieked before quickly downloading it and reading it in one sitting (until 2am!) It has all the features of a typical coming-of-age contemporary novel – our protagonist is wondering where to go in life and is also getting closer to her long-term crush. However, Maya Aziz is an Indian-American Muslim and this #ownvoices novel explores the horrific world of Islamophobia and the effect terrorists have on their community. After a local terrorist attack, it is revealed that the supposed bomber was a fellow Muslim with the same surname as Maya and her family – therefore, they are subjected to racism, abuse and violence despite not having any connections. It was shocking and uncomfortable but in all the right ways. It explored the act of terror attacks through the eyes of a teenage Muslim girl which is something I haven’t read before. Maya’s resilience really shone through in this novel, not just through the hate that she endures but also standing up against her parents to pursue her love of filmmaking. This book isn’t released until January 16th, 2018 but I’d definitely recommend picking it up as soon as you’re able to.


It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

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It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Holly Bourne so as soon as I saw this book, I dived on it. Quite literally. Bourne’s previous series (The Spinster Club) remains in my all time top favourites and the one thing I concluded after reading them is that her books should be required reading in secondary schools and after reading her newest release, I stand by that statement even more. Holly takes the idea of a cliche, romance, contemporary novel and turns it on its head by being a brave author! She writes girls who talk about periods, she writes girls who are feminists and proud, she writes girls who don’t compete against each other. In this book, our main character, Audrey and her friend, Alice even have a discussion about losing your virginity and how it isn’t supposed to hurt (which it isn’t!) and how there shouldn’t be a lot of blood (there shouldn’t) and it should be pleasurable for the girl just as much as the guy! I will even admit now that I had no sex-ed classes in school (we had ten minutes of dildo throwing and that was it) so if I had come across this book when I was a young teen, it would have blown my mind because I didn’t know this stuff!! Adding to all this, the story was amazing, the humour was bang on as normal and I just think this is super important for younger teens!


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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I must admit that I wasn’t going to pick this book up but after seeing it getting a few high reviews (and it being half price in my local bookshop) I thought I’d give John Green another chance. I didn’t know anything about this book and I just hoped it wasn’t all about turtles (but of course the title is another ‘metaphor.’) Despite everything, this book for me was pretty run of the mill and as ever, John Green’s teenagers continue to have very unrealistic conversations. I’m not saying teenagers can’t have deep and meaningful conversations, but all of his characters speak the same and therefore, merge into one. Another disappointment was the ‘plot.’ It is pretty much a mystery/missing person case that gets forgotten about for most of the novel. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of crime cases, both real and fictional, but it just all seemed unnecessary to me. However, the one thing that stood out to me was the mental illness rep. Our main character, Aza (yes there’s a meaning behind her name), has an OCD and anxiety disorder and also displays self-harm tendencies so beware of trigger warnings. Aza experiences a lot of invasive thoughts that I found to be very realistic as I live with mental illness myself. Overall, I have a lot more thoughts about this book but I’ll keep this to the mini review it is supposed to be.


Have you read any of these? If so, what were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments!
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Books That Have Changed Your Life Part II (Blogger Edition)

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“Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart.”

After the first part of this post was a hit (much to our surprise!) and bloggers have since contacted us asking if they could take part if we made a second post, we have decided to go for it! Just like before, we’ve asked book bloggers and authors to tell us one book that has changed or influenced their lives in some way, a few reasons why and we will also provide a link to their blog/websites. We hope you enjoy!

 

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Melanie @meltotheany
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher evoked emotions and feelings I didn’t even know my bodywas capable of. On top of the beautiful story, important topics, and being one of the most lyrically written books I’ve ever read, this book taught me how important it is to balance your darkness but remembering to still let your light in, even if you need someone to help you let it in. Mud Vein is not a love story, but it is a story about love and all the dark parts of love that people don’t like to talk about. Yet, those dark parts we harbor inside of us are still valid, and important, and life changing.

 

 

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Lauren @readingwritingandme
The book that changed my life was Looking For Alaska by John Green because I’ve never felt more understood by a story. It asks major questions I’ve often wondered about myself and really assured me that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts and feelings.

 

 

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Carmel @bookablereads
I really hate reading novels when I was in high school but when my bff told me to read I read it. And now all I want to read is to collect and read all the books out there. So the book made me the reader that I am today. I recommend it cause the story has moral lessons and it is good for people who have bffs. The book also teach you how important friends are.

 

 

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Haley @teacherswhoread
The book The Border changed my life-or more accurately, how I view my life. It’s about teens who illegally immigrate to the US. Nothing is more important than empathy. I will never again look at an immigrant-legal or otherwise- in the same way.

 

 

 

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Shaine @wandererinneverland
The book that changed my life is It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. It changed my perspective in life in a whole different level. Her book tells about bravery, loving and accepting yourself. Actually mosts of Colleen Hoover has a big impact in my life but It Ends With Us stands out.

 

 

 

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Joel @descendantofposeidonreads
Book of Ernest Cline, Ready Player One has changed my life. Because it shows me the things that 80s do have good year and songs and games that are too good to reminisce and bring back. Be flood with oldies tracks and play the classics, fundamental to what modern improvements we had right now. Though, the virtual reality thing that portrays in the book is the best scifi idea I want to be realistically invented in the near future. You should read this if you got a knack in classic games and 80s songs.

 

 

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Meg @betweenthepages13
My book is Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, it helps me because it made me realise that I’m not alone in suffering with mental health. It gave me hope that it does get better, and the light at the end of the tunnel exists! It also has some beautiful quotes in that I remember on every tough day.

 

 

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Marwa @wordsfallhere
The book that changed my life was When Breath Becomes Air. I know most bookworms are absolutely in love with this book because of the gorgeous and captivating writing style, and it was definitely why I dropped a few tears here and there whilst reading it. But I could personally relate to Dr. Kalanithi’s struggle when he was trying to find answers and life meaning in Literature but could only find them in Medicine. I’ve just started out university and this book was a main factor in changing my mind about working in the medical field.

 

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Julianna @blotsofinkandwords
The book that changed my life was Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke: and the reason it changed my life was because it was the reason I got into fantasy and more advanced books, basically.

 

 

 

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Maja @bookishaddict
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – 1. the book was available for free on Wattpad, because the author wanted to try and release a book, hoping it’d entice readers to check out his other works. In my case, it worked. Not only did I enjoy that book – and many others by him – but I also learned quite a bit about writing from looking at his revised drafts with notes (available in his website) 2. It was also the first time I saw a quote that equally scared and soothed me. “You see, the great thing about madness is that it’s all in your head.” For someone struggling with mental health problems, this was a reminder that I was in control. I’d recommend it because it’s an epic tale of two sisters, magic, adventure and love.

 

 

Wren @whatwrenreads27774758
The book that changed my life was An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and the Ember series as a whole. I owe a lot to Ember, It was the book that got me back into reading after way too long of falling out of love with it. After hearing about this book, I immediately fell in love with the story and the characters, I was obsessed, and I still am. I’m also so thankful for it because it introduced me to the YA blogging and instagram community, where I have met so many amazing people. I really could never thank Sabaa Tahir enough for her amazing series that continue to inspire me.

 

 

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Beth @iambookmad
The chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. Just one damn thing after another. The book is about a strong female character who becomes a kickass tea-loving time traveller and historian. I think everyone needs to read this series because it’s under appreciated and I just really need more people to fan girl over it with.

 

 

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Naima @violettebooks
Though many books have been influential in my life, Uprooted has probably had the biggest impact in my reading because it was the first fantasy novel that completely enchanted me with its magic and writing, and made me discover many more incredible fantasies. It’s a very special book and I wouldn’t be reading a lot of fantasy right now had I not read that book.

 


And that’s all for this feature! We have loved receiving these from our blogger friends and hope to do a few more of these posts in the future! Let us know if you want to be involved but for now, we hope you like this edition and find something you like!
Lots of Love,
Angharad & Becky @
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The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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“Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.”

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Angharad’s Thoughts
I have never been one for fairytale stories. I spent my childhood years reading both the Goosebumps series (seriously what happened to those books??) and any crime thriller that my mother brought home from the library and because of this, my knowledge of them is shaky. I just know majority of them take place in the woods. However, when I found out that my favourite author was writing a collection of fairytales with the ‘dark’ edge only Leigh Bardugo can create and they take place in the Grishaverse, I preordered the hell out of it. I was not disappointed.

The collection is split into six tales and each is paired with its own beautiful, amazing illustrations – both as page decorations and a final art spread at the end of each story. Despite loving them all, my favourite would have to be a tie between Ayama and the Thorn WoodWhen Water Sang Fire and my least favourite was Little Knife. Like Leigh states in her author’s note, these stories are loosely based on the fairytales that we all know but despite their dark tones, they are more realistic – the idea that the prince isn’t always the good guy and what makes a monster a monster? Another theme that I found to be very strong throughout these tales was Leigh’s feminist beliefs. This book was full of so many diverse and complex female characters and female friendships. Classic tales such as The Little Mermaid and The Nutcracker are turned on their heads and reimagined in new and spectacular ways and despite being short stories, they were still full of twists and turns and you never knew who was going to be the hero or villain of the story. What was constant, however, was the message that each story contained. You can just imagine our beloved Grisha characters reading these stories as children and growing up with their messages instilled.

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Overall, I think I never fell in love with fairytales because they never seemed real enough – even to my young mind. As we all unfortunately learn, life isn’t a fairytale, the bad guy isn’t always the bad guy and the hero isn’t always what they seem and this little collection that I will cherish for years to come just shows that. These stories cater to the people who look just that bit deeper into these stories and see the darkness that peeks from within. What if the children didn’t wander from the path and find danger but actually find solace? What if the monster was actually the victim and the prince only thought of his greed? What happened to the girls who chose their own destiny over those that were decided for them? All of these questions are answered within the pages of The Language of Thorns and they are all brought to life by Sara Kipin’s illustrations. Truly a full five stars from me.

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Becky’s Thoughts
Unlike Angharad, I have always absolutely adored fairytales (although, especially these days, I do tend to root for the villain – even when I know what’s going to happen to them). Leigh states in her author’s note that the six stories in The Language of Thorns are inspired by fairytales that are known around the world, but turned on their heads – and I have to say, I was way more invested in Leigh’s versions of these classic tales.
My favourites were also Amaya and the Thorn Wood – a story which took inspiration from Beauty and the Beast and to an extent, A Thousand and One Nights, it focused on the ideas behind what makes someone a monster; and When Water Sang Fire, an absolutely enchanting story inspired by The Little Mermaid (and also a sort of origin story for one of my favourite villains – and featuring another of my favourite villains, but I won’t say any more on that). I also really liked The Too Clever Fox and The Witch of Duva (a retelling of Hansel and Gretel) which both included clever twists that I definitely didn’t anticipate.

I would say that the underlying theme throughout all six stories is definitely the idea of what makes a villain evil, what makes them monstrous, and it was definitely all about looking beyond outward appearances to the monster hidden beneath the princely face or the seemingly caring father figure. The stories in The Language of Thorns are how fairytales should be written in a feminist world that understands that happy endings aren’t all that they seem, that the hero of the story isn’t always beautiful, and that those who are called monstrous are often not the ones you need to fear. I absolutely adored this anthology of fairytales set in one of my favourite fictional worlds, and honestly would opt to read these to my future children over the classics that they’re based around.

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What did you think of this collection?
Let us know in the comments!
Love,
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WWW Wednesday // October 11th

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme that was previously hosted by Should Be Reading and is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

To play along you just had to answer the following three questions:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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I was kindly sent I Danced With Sorrow through email but its very talented author, Alicia Wright. It is a collection of short-verse poetry split into five sections that explore heartbreak, abuse and finally, liberation and is very reminiscent of Milk and Honey and Salt. Some were short and to the point and raw and others flowed lyrically and they all came together, almost like a tale. I’d definitely recommend this collection of poetry either if you are new to the genre or a frequent reader of it. It is clear that Alicia put her heart and soul into this book and I’m honoured to have been given the chance to read it.

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212652304.jpgI must admit that Sleeping Beauties was both a cover-buy (I got the exclusive edition from Tescos that also has an engraved front cover) and the fact that it was written by Stephen King. Despite not having a read a lot of his books, there’s a reason everybody knows his name and this time he is joined by his son. This is a very loose retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale – in this world, an epidemic is causing women to fall asleep and enter cocoon-like states. This book is filled with characters and luckily, isn’t just about men running about being men but also about all these different types of women – criminals, mothers, police officers. I’m about half way through so far and despite it being a huge block of a book (700+ pages,) it is incredibly enthralling.

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212652304.jpgYes, you may be wondering what decade I’m in to have Fahrenheit 451 as my next read and where have I been for the past few years but I just haven’t got around to it. However, lately my local Waterstones has had a display dedicated to this book so I just went for it. I probably don’t have to tell you guys the synopsis of this classic but it just tells the story of a fireman whose job it is to burn books as they are forbidden in this world. My idea of hell, thank you very much. I’m sure I’ll love it as much as everybody else does so I’m super excited to get into it.


What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments.
Lots of love,
Angharad @
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October Recommendations

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So I have been trying to think of a blog post to welcome in the month of October that wasn’t just the same as our one last year – our recommended spooky reads. I was hit with inspiration when I came across a new podcast that fits the whole horror, October vibe and then decided to pair it with book, movie and song recommendations for you, guys. So of course these cover the whole month of October, not just Halloween specifically so I hope you see something you like!

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Autumn leaves under frozen souls,
Hungry hands turning soft and old.
My hero cried as we stood out there in the cold,
Like these autumn leaves I don’t have nothing to hold (x)
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But if I know you, I know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once
The way you did once upon a dream (x)

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So we have chosen two new releases and one quite old release. However, these books all have an equal amount of witchiness, magic and creepiness. Language of Thorns has added atmospheric illustrations to pair up with their short stories. Frankenstein is a classic for a reason – despite primarily being the birth of the sci-fi genre, it also explores the world of horror and human nature. Wicked Like A Wildfire just screams Autumn with its beautiful, colourful cover and the story is equally as atmospheric and magical.

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As soon as I asked Becky to recommend an Autumnal/Halloween esque film, she basically bit my head off with her answer which was Beetlejuice. She told me to say that Winona Ryder is in it, need she say more? I chose Fantastic Mr. Fox because despite seeing this movie years ago, I still love it to this day and I distinctly remember the autumnal scenes throughout the movie. One of these movies is very cute and the other is a bit more creepy so I like to think we chose both something from both sides of the October period.

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So, you may recognise one of these Podcasts, and the other not so much. Trace is a fairly new podcast which I’d definitely recommend if you’re a fan of true crime and Buzzfeed Unsolved. It follows the case of Maria James who was stabbed to death in 1980 and to this day her killer has never been found. Welcome to Night Vale is definitely a much-loved podcast that is quite frankly bizarre, crazy and amazing. It follows Cecil, a radio broadcaster who tells us the strange events that happen in his small, fictional town of Night Vale. There’s a lot of episodes already out in the world so get started!


 

So that’s it! I hope you find something new for October and even if you don’t, have a Happy Halloween and a lovely, cosy month!
Love Angharad & Becky @
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WWW Wednesday // September 20th

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme that was previously hosted by Should Be Reading and is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

To play along you just had to answer the following three questions:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

a-book-i-have-read212652304.jpgI read Good Me, Bad Me in one sitting whilst on a train journey, I wasn’t going to put it down for anybody. It hooked me from the very beginning, the very end line of the prologue gave me chills and I knew I was going to love it. The story follows Milly, previously known as Annie but then was when she was the daughter of her serial killing mother. This book delves into nature vs nurture and if blood really is thicker than water. It doesn’t have a main plot but exploring the mind of Milly who had an horrific childhood and has survived abuse whilst struggling with still being somewhat loyal to her mother is so interesting. It’s definitely a chilling thriller and I’d recommend it 100%.

a-book-i-have-read3.jpgI was kindly sent The Red Thread in exchange for an honest review during a blog tour (my review will be up on Friday!) Despite just hitting the 100 page mark, I’m unfortunately not enjoying it. Although the descriptions are so unique and atmospheric, the entire book is dedicated to them. However, I will say that delving into the world of 1830s Singapore is very interesting as it’s an era I’ve never read about either in fiction or otherwise. More in-depth thoughts will be in my main review!

a-book-i-have-read2.jpgDespite having so many good books in my current TBR, I’m most excited for The Girl with the Red Balloon and have been since it was announced. It just sounds perfect for me, historical fiction mixed with fantasy and magic elements. It sounds both heartbreaking and beautiful and I’m so excited to get into it. I also believe it features both a Romani character and a Jewish-American character so it gets extra points for being diverse. Despite not reading it yet, I’ve heard raving reviews from bloggers I trust so definitely go and check it out if you haven’t already!


 

What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments.
Lots of love,
Angharad @
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The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

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Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for sending me an early copy

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.
Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.
One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.
She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.


So this book means a lot to me. I admit that I requested it without knowing much about it, I don’t think I even read the proper synopsis. I was approved, I started reading and just by reading the author’s note at the beginning, I knew I was in love. Then, the best thing happened. I found out that the book was set in Wales. An actual fictional book set in my country featuring the name of my city (in Welsh!) I could have cried. This is something I haven’t seen before and I immediately took to Twitter to thank the author. Another aspect that made this book super important to me was the fact that both the author and the main character, Bethan (Welsh name!!) have a very close relationship with their grandmother. My nanna is sadly no longer with us but she was my best friend and my mentor, not in witchcraft, but in life. Regardless of whatever happened in this book, I knew that it would always have a special place in my heart.

As the synopsis suggests, we follow the story of Bethan, a Romani who lives with her grandmother, Drina and is training to be her ward. Alarm bells probably started ringing when you saw that this book was based on the Roma, but it is done very respectfully (and the author speaks about this at the start) and the word ‘g*psy’ is challenged in text as being a slur and is only acceptable amongst Romani people. Whilst selling her grandmother’s herbs and spells in the nearby market, Bethan meets Martyn, a half-Roma guy who immediately makes her feel something she hasn’t felt before. However, one night, Bethan is raped by fellow Romani, Silas and his sidekicks. The rape happens ‘off-screen’ so it isn’t in detail. The author also mentions this at the beginning so you aren’t surprised and triggered by this. During this event, Martyn is also beat to death by the boys and Bethan decides to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and delve into a world of dark magic to bring him back whilst wrecking revenge on the boys.

Bethan was everything to me. She was strong, she had strong morals (especially to her people) and she’s just desperately human. Seeing her character develop from start to finish was amazing. Her assault changes her massively. Not only because sexual assault would obviously affect you but amongst her people, she is worried she will be seen as impure. Bethan also has a birth mark covering half of her entire body and is encouraged to hide it so outsiders won’t curse her. What meant the most to me, as I’ve mentioned, is her relationship with her gran. It reminded me a lot of the relationship I had with my nanna (although my nanna wasn’t as scary as Drina.) They support each other throughout the book. This isn’t a novel where our protagonist kind of decides she doesn’t need a parental figure and does her own thing. There’s a huge amount of respect in their relationship and it’s clear that despite Drina’s hard exterior, she loves Bethan unconditionally.

The story itself is marketed as a horror/paranormal and yes, this book was super creepy. There’s a scene that really gave me goosebumps (warning if you’re creeped out by scarecrows) but it is so well-written and visceral. I’ve read quite a few books about witchcraft so I’m not going to say this is anything original but I was still super invested and seeing what Bethan and Drina were capable of was really amazing. All of the people respect and fear Drina, even the Chieftan but he’s a different bloody story. I loved the domestic moments between Bethan and her grandmother and their little funny moments, especially when Bethan is eavesdropping and Drina finds out and pours water through the window and onto Bethan’s head.

I’m going to bring this review to an end because I know I’m rambling. Finding a book set in your country is always a nice feeling and I’ve finally experienced it and I freaked out (as my Twitter and Instagram followers know) but even taking away that aspect, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and read it in one sitting. I messaged the author asking if it’s a standalone and she said yes. I’m sad because I loved this book so much but satisfied because everything ended the way I thought it should have. Overall, I’d recommend this book if you like horror/paranormal, lovely familial relationships, revenge best served cold and a look into the Welsh Romani culture.

*This book will be released on October 10th, 2017*
Goodreads|Amazon

 

Love Angharad @
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September Releases // 2017 Edition

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So can you guys believe that we have arrived at the month of September? Ok, so September isn’t the most eventful month (unless it is your birthday then Happy Birthday!) but that means October is next (Halloween), then November (my birthday!) and then CHRISTMAS! Let’s focus on September first though and it is guaranteed to go quickly with all of the upcoming releases. Here are a few that we’ve found and are looking forward to! If the book is diverse then I have added the information but if some of it is incorrect or missing, then let us know in the comments!

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The Girl with the Red Balloon 
by Katherine Locke
– Releases September 1st –

Plot: Centres around time travel during the war. Our main character enters 1988 Berlin where she meets an underground guild who use balloons to help people escape over the wall.
Diverse Aspects: Jewish-American MC, Romani MC and a lesbian side character

 

 

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Releases September 5th –

Plot: Two strangers, Mateo and Rufus, come together through an App hoping to make a friend on their last day on Earth.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MC and bisexual MC

 

 

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: A feminist Snow White retelling featuring a F/F relationship.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MCs

 

 

 

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I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: An epistolary novel detailing the experiences of two best friends as they head off to colleges on different sides of the country.
Diverse Aspects: Mental Illness Rep (OCD, depression and anxiety) and a bisexual MC

 

 

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The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: From playing it safe and being homeschooled, Emilie is suddenly thrust into the world of public schooling and to make matters worse, she hasn’t told anybody about her epilepsy.
Diverse Aspects: MC with epilepsy

 

 

 

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Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
– Releases September 12th –

Plot: A coming-of-age story about two boys who fall in love whilst attending a writing class despite being from very different backgrounds.
Diverse Aspects: Bisexual MC, Mormon MC

 

 

 

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Warcross by Marie Lu
– Releases September 12th –

Plot: Teenage hacker, Emika lives in a world of virtual reality and when she accidentally enters herself into the Warcross Championships, she becomes an overnight sensation.
Diverse Aspects: Asian MC

 

 

 

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
– Releases September 19th –

Plot: A teenage student starts a feminist revolution in her high school after distributing anonymous Zines.
Diverse Aspects: Intersectional feminism rep, LGBTQIA rep

 

 

 

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Release
 
by Patrick Ness
– Releases September 19th –

Plot: Torn between his religious family, his demanding boss and an unrequited love for his ex, Adam’s life is going to change. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MC

 

 

 

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Starfish
 
by Akemi Dawn Bowman
– Releases September 26th –

Plot: Aiming to keep her head down and get accepted into her dream art school, Kiko’s life changes for the worst when her dream doesn’t come true and her abusive uncle returns.
Diverse Aspects: Japanese-American MC, anxiety rep

 

 

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Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
– Releases September 26th –

Plot: An atmospheric collection of short stories and takes on fairytales filled with revenge, betrayal and love. All set in the Grishaverse.
Diverse Aspects: Characters of multiple ethnicities

 

 


So those are the releases we are most looking forward to this month!
What is your most anticipated read?
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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