Category Archives: books roundup

Books Bought and Read April 2019

Slowly catching up with these!

Books Bought


The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris. This was for May book club. I ended up not getting around to reading it, and not being able to attend the book club. ūüė¶

And that’s it! I’m doing very well with the not buying books thing. Shame I’m also reading the slowest ever, so hardly shifting any of the tbr!

Books Read

Click on the book title to go to my review of the book.


Cold Bath Street by A. J. Hartley







The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt            darkdark3








I’m reading sooooooooooo sloooooooowwwwlllllyyyyyy this year!

Other Blog Posts

The Jhalak Prize Longlist.

I wrote about this great prize because it was won last year by the great Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (my review here). It’s a prize for writers of colour, and two of my favourite books from last year, were on the longlist. Happily one of them won, In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne (my review is here).

20 Books of Summer 2019 – The Plan

I love the 20 Books Of Summer Challenge (Hosted by Cathy at There’s a link to other blogs of people taking part here too). I’m not always great at completing it, but I like this mid year focus to read a bit more. I really need it this year because my reading habits have just been really off this year.

I love the ritual of choosing the 20 books, knowing full well I won’t read half of them – mostly because I’ll swap some out for books I feel more like reading. I’m not good at planning my reading in advance – I much prefer to read whatever I feel like a the time!


the books


So here goes: My 20 Books of Summer that I will read between 1st June and 1st September 2019:

iliad The Iliad РHomer

I read 2/3 of this last Summer. I will finish it this Summer. Oh yes I will.






invisiblewomen2Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias In a World Designed for Men – Caroline Criado Perez

I’ve read a little bit of this already and god, I LOVE IT. Of course I do. This is one of my all time favourite types of book. Anyone who talks to me over the next 6 months is going to hear something about this book. So seek me out ūüėÄ


anyothermouth1Any Other Mouth – Anneliese Makintosh

A short story collection that was recommended on the short story writing course I’m currently doing. When I heard my tutor’s description of it, I knew I had to read it. From the back of the book: “a visciously funny, gut-wrenching and shockingly frank account of sexual misadventure, familial disintegration, loss, hope and self-discovery.” Yes, please.


sarahSarah – J. T. Leroy

I’ve had this one hanging around for about a year. Recommended to me by a friend. The friend has seemingly been and gone, but the book remains. I wanted to read it, then when I heard about the associated documentary about the author, I really really wanted to read it. Then I can watch the documentary film too.¬† (Author: The JT Leroy Story)



I Hate The Internet – Jarett Kobek

I have heard this recommended on the Bookshambles podcast. I like the sound of it, but honestly, this is probably a prime candidate for getting bumped off the list.






Nina Is Not OK – Shappi Khorsandi

I’ve had this for a few years and it just looks like it would be a really good, hopefully funny, read. I’m never going to get round to it unless I put it on a list like this.






transcription1Transcription – Kate Atkinson

My first Kate Atkinson book! I’ve already started it because it’s the next book for the Continental book club. I will finish it after June 1st though, so it counts. ūüėÄ Plus I’m only 30 pages in so far.¬† Absolutely missed opportunity to take a photo of this book with this dress, that I wore twice last week, once when my hair also matched. D’oh. I’ve had a serious haircut since I took this picture too!









At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails – Sarah Bakewell

Honestly, this is probably another bump book. I really want to read it, but it’s soooooo big. We will see…






itsnotabouttheburqa1It’s Not About the Burqa – ed. by Mariam Khan

I’ve read a few essays from this already. All the essays are by muslim women talking about faith, feminism, sexuality and race. It’s a really interesting book.




Why I Am so Clever – Friedrich Nietzsche

I’m always putting Nietzsche as the hopeful answer to quiz questions. So maybe I should read something by him and I might start being able to answer ‘Nietzsche’ for the answer to the right questions.¬† I don’t want to dive right in with some giant book by him, but I do have this neat little Penguin Classic as a starter. The tiny size is a bonus to me that means it is likely to actually get read.



xenofeminist1The Xenofeminist Manifesto – Laboria Cuboniks

My mate said I’d like it, and she reads ace feminist books. Plus it’s tiny!





Classic Stories 1 – Ray Bradbury

As I’ve already mentioned at least a few times, I’m doing a short story writing course at the moment. So I’m reading more short stories. I’m afraid the boring ones about everyday life don’t really do it for me – I prefer the weirder ones. So I’m confidently putting this Bradbury collection on my to read soon list. Look at the cover, the sun is tiny and having a brew.




Four Bare Legs in a Bed – Helen Simpson

Another short story collection to read. I’ve read some Helen Simpson before (Motherhood, reviewed here, and I really liked her writing). It’s another fairly small book too – trying to build in the ability to pass this challenge!





antisocialfamily1The Anti-social Family – Michele Barrett and Mary McIntosh

From 1981, a quite academic book on why the nuclear family isn’t all that. I just like reading stuff that reaffirms my life choices.





milkman1Milkman – Anna Burns

Originally I was going to read this for a book club that I think isn’t going to happen. But I’ve started, so I’d like to finish (I’m on p18). I’ve heard soooo much about this book and really want to get in on some of the discussion (I’ll be there when everyone else has long moved on).




Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

Another one I’m very late to, but I wanted to include a poetry book on my list. I’ve read some of it already, but didn’t then use a bookmark so I’ve no idea where I got to.






Callthembythe1Call Them By Their True Names – Rebecca Solnit

Anyone who has read a little bit of my blog must know how much I love Rebecca Solnit. Her writing is so good. I have a few of her books waiting to be read, but I don’t just want to binge through them all in a few months, so I’ve been gently pacing them. This is the one for this summer.



Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy – Lynne Segal

Probably need to read this book a lot more than I realise. From the back of the book: “In an age of increasing individualism, we have never been more alone and miserable. Leading feminist thinker Lynne Segal believes we have lost the art of radical happiness – the capacity for transformative, collective joy.¬† Radical Happiness is a passionate call for the rediscovery of the political and emotional energies that emerge when we learn to share our lives.” A lot of that sounds a bit terrifying to me, but probably useful and good. Can’t wait to review it!



Storm in a Teacup: the Physics of Everyday Life – Helen Czerski

I feel like I’ve been chipping away at this for years, and yet I really enjoy it. It’s a great book about different areas of physics and how they apply to everyday phenomena. Guess I just struggle to read about physics for fun, when physics is work too.




Artemis – Andy Weir

I loved The Martian, and have heard very mixed reviews about Artemis. I want to read it and see where I fall with it! I expect I’ll love it!







all the books together

So that’s the list! Wish me luck!

Books Bought and Read – February 2019

Books Bought

This year I’m not buying any new books. There are a few exceptions though, and this month it might seem like it’s all got a bit out of hand. I am starting a short story writing course – one session a month over the next six months. So, for academic purposes you understand, I bought a lot of short story books. But it’s ok, because I had to ūüėÄ

I’ll just list them all:

  • The Elephant Vanishes – Haruki Murakami
  • What We Talk About When We talk about Love – Raymond Carver
  • Unthology 7 – edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones
  • Dear Life – Alice Munro
  • Any Other Mouth – Anneliese Mackintosh
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Overcoat and Other Short Stories – Nikolai Gogol
  • The Collected Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield¬†
  • Dubliners – James Joyce
  • My Oedipus Complex: and Other Short Stories – Frank O’Connor
  • The New Yorker Stories – Ann Beattie
  • Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales – Margaret Atwood
  • Bradbury Classic Stories 1: The Grand Master Editions – Ray Bradbury
  • Four Bare Legs in a Bed and Other Stories – Helen Simpson


Plus Cold Bath Street by A. J. Hartley for book club.


And I got a book voucher and so pre-ordered a couple of books I really wanted!

  • It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race edited by Mariam Khan
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men –¬†Caroline Criado Perez


Books Read

I seem to be really struggling with reading this year. I’ve only been reading a book every two weeks, rather than my usual book a week. Just gonna go with it! Probably just a symptom of stress associated with an imminent house move.

Click on the book title to go to my review of the book.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris


A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Other blog posts

review of my 2018 Reading Challenge

My 2019 Reading Challenge

Books Bought and Read – January 2019

Books Bought

I ordered The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid for book club. Although it still hasn’t arrived! So I have just cancelled the order and ordered it from elsewhere. Hope it turns up soon…


It did eventually turn up! but not until near the end of february!

Also purchased The Rough Guide to the USA in preparation for a trip. I can’t travel unprepared, so this gets an exemption from the not buying books rules.


Books Read

I only finished two books in January. But I did spend most of the month reading a quite dense history book! I just didn’t finish it until February. Click on the book title to go to the review:


Marching Powder by Rusty Young

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Other Blog Posts

I published a few of my 2018 wrap up posts in January:

My 2018 Reading in Statistics

2018 Reading Bingo

My 2019 Reading Challenge!

This year my challenge is… *drum roll* … to try not to buy any books.

I do feel a bit like this might upset some people, after all as a reader I want to support authors by buying their books. But trust me, I’ve done a lot of buying. I have bookshelves full of unread books, but the new ones keep distracting me. There are books I own that I’ll simply never get round to reading if I don’t do something drastic.

There are some rules I need to set to be able to complete my challenge:

  1. I can purchase the books for book club. I am in two book clubs and I’m not giving them up!
  2. I can try and make people buy books for me (I’ll only save this for desperate times, family!) and I don’t mean I can give someone money and they buy the book for me.
  3. I can get book vouchers as gifts and spend them.
  4. I can request books from places like netgalley – though I will minimise this because, surprise surprise, I am behind with reading previous requests anyway.

I’m going to need to work very hard to meet this challenge. Wish me luck!

Books Bought and Read December 2018

Ooooh I’m doing this a bit late! Also, to warn you, I bought 25 books this month. You were warned!

Books Bought

A friend alerted me to a great sale over at Verso books and I ended up with:

  • The Rights of Man and Common Sense¬†by Thomas Paine
  • White Riot¬†Edited by Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay
  • A Book of Migrations¬†by Rebecca Solnit
  • The Anti-Social Family¬†by Mich√®le Barrett and Mary McIntosh
  • Straight Sex¬†by Lynne Segal
  • The Beautiful Struggle¬†by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • October¬†by China Mi√©ville
  • Out of the Wreckage¬†by George Monbiot
  • Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo¬†Edited by Verso Books, digital (delivered electronically)
  • A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things¬†by Jason W. Moore and Raj Patel,¬†
  • Radical Happiness¬†by Lynne Segal
  • The Xenofeminist Manifesto¬†by Laboria Cuboniks


Kindle sale got me:

  • Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
  • Small Island¬† by Andrea Levy
  • Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies): Amazing women on what the F-word means to them by Scarlett Curtis

December is ‘buy all the books in the sale now because you’ve decided not to buy any next year’ month:

  • The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (turns out I meant to buy The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this looks good too! Sevens and Evelyns.)
  • Milkman by Anna Burns
  • Quattrocento by James McKean


I also bought Marching Powder by Rusty Young, The Tattooist of¬† Auschwitz by Heather Morris, and I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell. Both for future book clubs.


And a last minute, December panic buy:

Call Them By Their True Names – Rebecca Solnit



Books Read

I didn’t do badly with four books in December. Considering I spent about half the month looking at Christmas recipes.

Calypso by Davis Sedaris (review here)


Wild by Cheryl Strayed (review here)


I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell (review here)


New Erotica For Feminist: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay by by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer (review here)


Other blog posts

December always a time of yearly wrap up posts. Click the blog title to be taken to the post.

Books Bought and Read – October 2018. I was well late with this one too!

Books Bought and Read – November 2018

My Top Fiction Reads of 2018

My Top Non-Fiction Reads of 2018

My 2018 Reading in Statistics

2018 Reading Bingo