#SHELFIE + updates

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It’s been a while, huh? Thought I’d make it up to you by posting an updated bookshelf photo (though not really because I took this photo a week or so ago and since then I’ve bought a few books already).

I was a bit MIA this year in all my social media accounts but recently I’ve been posting more and more on my Instagram again. I also took a bit of a forced reading break for a few months but I’m back now – in fact, I read 7 books just this week alone. I call it a forced reading break because I didn’t want it, I just couldn’t read anything. I tried so hard to read but no matter what book I pick, I can’t go more than a couple of chapters. This has happened to me before but not as bad as this, this is the worst reading slump I’ve ever had and I’m glad to be out of it – I’m so relieved to be reading again and to be posting on my Book Instagram again. I missed reading and I missed seeing other people’s book posts.

Also, my family and I received some semi-good news yesterday. Only semi right now because it’s not 100% yet but we’re getting there. I’ve never wanted anything as much as this, my family have never wanted/needed anything as much as this. Let’s just say this is our ultimate goal and we’ll be incredibly thankful if we get this.

Earlier this year, I got a puppy! Her name is Ellie and she’s a Maltese x Shih Tzu and she’s now 8 months old. I first saw her when she was 2 days old and I fell in love, I went to see her once, sometimes twice, a week until she was 8 weeks old and ready to go home with us. When I was young, I’ve always wanted a Shih Tzu and now I have Ellie. She’s not a pure Shih Tzu but I love her. She’s the perfect companion for our Labrador, Riley, because they’re amazing together.

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I’ll try to post more this time, I swear πŸ˜‰

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Happy 2017!

It’s been months since I last posted, I can’t believe I let it be this long. I’ve been occupied with work that I don’t even read as much as I’d like to but I still manage to sneak in a book or two per week. So far, I’ve read 5 books in 2017. I’ve added 10 books to my goal of 60 from last year, so I aim to read at least 70 books this year. I’m going to write a Most Anticipated Reads of 2017 post soon, hopefully before one of my most anticipated reads comes out in two weeks.

Anyway, here’s a little pic of what my shelves look like now (not really since this was taken over a month ago and I have bought a few books since then but this is my most recent pic).

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I counted my books a few weeks back and I had over 400 but I’ve only read 200+ of them, so my goal is to read more of what I have and buy less. This doesn’t count my anticipated releases though.

After Christmas, I also bought a personalised book embosser. I love it so much! It embosses my name to a page in a book, and it’s the greatest thing ever! πŸ˜‰ Here it can be seen on the bottom right of the page.

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I’m so glad I tried it on a few scraps of paper before I stamped it on a book because the first couple of times I used it, I ripped the paper. I would’ve been devastated if I had ripped any pages of any book but after 5 or so tries, I have managed to master how much pressure I have to use, and now I can even tell if it’s on the verge of ripping and when I should stop pressing. You’ll all be glad to know I haven’t ripped any of my books.

My latest read was Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I really enjoyed it – I know some people found it slow, and I suppose it is, but I was engrossed by it from the beginning. I wanted to know what happens, and I developed theories early on that I wanted to see if it would come true – it didn’t by the way, my theories weren’t even close to that cliffhanger. Oh man, that cliffhanger. I didn’t see it coming at all. I can’t wait for the next book; I hope this is only a duology and not a series. It seems more appropriate for it to be a duology.

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Three Dark Crowns is about a set of triplets – Katharine, Mirabella and Arsinoe – and one of them must become Queen. That’s how it’s always been, a set of triplets are born from the current King and Queen – the Queen also having come from triplets – and one of them must be Queen but in order for someone to rise and become Queen, they must kill the other two. Heavy premise right? Yeah, which is why some people expected it to be fast-paced and full of action though through out the book, we see the Queens’ personal growth, and the difference between. The Queens have been separated since they were young and are not allowed to see each other until the festival begins when they turn eighteen, which is when the battle begins. Who will become Queen? At this point, I hope they break this stupid tradition and that all three of them will rule together.

My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017 post is coming soon, and maybe a My Most Favourite Reads of 2016 too.

Thanks for reading!

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Owlcrate September Box: Darkness

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This post is way, way overdue. I know, I know. I have a few posts in store, all long overdue but I’ve been dealing with stuff that’s why I haven’t had time to blog, or to read much even. The good news is that I’m finally seeing a doctor about this next week. Hooray I’m finally seeking help, yay me. Okay enough with the heavy stuff.

This is my first Owlcrate and I’m pleased about the contents of the box. I used to worry that I may already have the book that they would include but thank heavens this book was still in my wishlist, that I haven’t ordered it yet. All the inspirations of this box I either love, or have heard of – well except the short story book on the right.

Contents are:

  1. Book: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – I adore Kendare Blake. I enjoyed her duology (is that even the right word for a two-book series? Apparently not because it has a red underline) Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. So naturally when I heard she has a new book, it immediately went on my wishlist. I did plan on ordering it but fortunately, the box came before I could. Also includes a letter from Kendare Blake and a signed book plate.
  2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children pouch – I have just finished reading Miss P a week or two before the box came so this is good timing.
  3. Scented candle called Celaena’s Cake – I love Celaena (Aelin), I love Sarah J Maas. I am very sensitive to smell though, the first time I took a whiff of this, I sneezed a few times in a row but I still love it, I just won’t use it.
  4. Six of Crows book mark featuring their infamous line: “No mourners, no funerals” – The box came while I was reading Six of Crows and I already fell in love with the series. Honestly, a couple of chapters in that book and I knew I was a goner. I knew I’d obsess over this book for a while. Blog post about Six of Crows and Crooken Kingdom coming soon πŸ˜‰
  5. Passport PreviewΒ from P.C. Cast’s new book Moon Chosen – I’ve read the first five book in Kristin and P.C Cast’s House of Night series but I stopped there. Not sure if I would check out Moon Chosen.
  6. Fortune-telling Bath Bomb
  7. Short story book: Remade

I’m more than happy about the contents of this box, everything in it (except the book) went straight to my display cases. This box is gifted to me by a friend, I want to subscribe monthly but it’s more than I can afford because I live in Australia and the shipping is too much, almost the same if not the same price as the box itself plus I love/hate the idea of getting random things or a random book. I don’t know what I’d do if there’s a box that I received with things in it that I’ve never even heard of. Hopefully sometime in the future, the delivery cost with be lower. As far as first time goes, I loved the experience.

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I added a third bookshelf!

This post is late because I actually got the third bookshelf a couple of weeks ago but oh well, better late than never. I’ve needed a third shelf for a while because my books are getting too heavy because of me stacking the new books I got wherever they fit. Then finally hooray, I bought one! My dad put it together and he also helped me organise my books alphabetically by author’s surname.

This photo is what it looked like before (actually a month or two before, I didn’t have a photo of the actual before. Before dad put together the third shelf, I was already double stacking the bottom shelves and I had more books on the middle shelves):

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After dad assembled the third bookshelf, as you can see there are more books on the middle shelves and bottom shelves:

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This is after we organised the books I had above alphabetically, this is mid-August:

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And this is what it looks like now (first week of September) because I bought more books:

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I absolutely love it! Before I go to sleep, I always spend a few minutes staring at my bookshelves and also after I wake up. My bed is just on the left of the photos. you can see my pink sheets. I think before long I’d need a fourth bookshelf πŸ˜‰

I’m thinking of maybe writing a blog post about my August Book Haul but I’ve been feeling lazy because I bought over 40 books HAHA so we’ll see how we go.

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PS.Β Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas came out today!! I’m waiting for my pre-order to arrive then I’ll get started immediately. There are some spoilers that came out last week or the week before and I managed to avoid it for a day but it sneaked up on me. I’m still looking forward to reading it of course!

PPS.Β My birthday is on October 4 and my family and I, along with some friends, are spending it out of town for a whole weekend. I can’t wait!

PPS.Β The illustrated version of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets comes out on my birthday! Yayyyyy!

A little update

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while, I’ve been busy with work + my Macbook broke down! A Macbook I’ve had for over 2 years! I had at least 7-10 unfinished reviews on it, and silly me, I don’t have a backup so when it broke down, it wouldn’t turn on again and I lost all those reviews. I don’t have it in me to re-write them at the moment, which is why I haven’t posted anything. I’m really sorry, I’ve been very lax with anything reading-related. Boo! I promise to be back soon with some book hauls (I’ve gone Op Shop shopping quite a few times), and some TBRs.

You’ll hear from me again soon πŸ˜‰

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child: Book Review (spoiler-free)

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was released worldwide yesterday, 31st of July, on J.K. Rowling’s and Harry Potter’s birthday. Upon the announcement that there’s an HP play with a new and original (ish?) story, the fans all over the world rejoiced…. for a short moment. Things took a dark turn when it was said it would only be be played in London. Yep, how unfair. Harry Potter have fans in every corner of the world, and to say it’s unfair it will only play in London was an understatement. Bless Dumbledore, a few months later it was announced that the script will be published! Hooray! Let the rejoicing continue. I pre-ordered my copy in February, yep that’s how keen I am for it. How could I be not? This is another Harry Potter story, I, along with everybody else, have wanted this for years. Of course, it’s in script format not an actual book so it’s not for everybody but I didn’t mind, I actually liked the format because it was fast-paced and easily followed – they paint the scene properly and swiftly.

When the show opened, there were mixed reviews. Some thought it was disappointing, some loved it – I started this book with caution, but I started it blindly. I didn’t read anything about the play, I didn’t read the reviews or the recaps available online. I stopped myself because I wanted to be immersed in this book just as much as I was with the original series. I actually enjoyed this book. I liked the story and the execution and I especially loved the appearance of old characters.

From the first page, I was tearing up. It felt so good to be back in this world I love so dearly. It picks up from the last chapter of The Deathly Hallows – the train scene with Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and their children. Draco and his wife, Astoria, were also there with their only son, Scorpius. It’s Albus Severus’ first year at Hogwarts and he’s worried that he’ll be in Slytherin, Harry repeated his line, “Albus Severus Potter, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

The next several scenes passed by in a blurΒ – years flow by without much happening, it’s simply to show us that time has passed and the children (Harry and Ginny’s, Ron and Hermione’s, Draco and Astoria’s) has grown.

Several old characters make an appearance, characters we’ve known and loved for a while and that made my heart swell to 4 times its normal size. A certain character or two or three or maybe even more (no spoilers) especially made me sob even harder that I had to stop because I couldn’t read anything with the tears in my eyes.

The big “reveal” was a tad predictable. I literally called it the first time it/he/she/they (no spoilers) made an appearance. I don’t particularly love this reveal and I felt they probably could have come up with something more plausible or something with a little more history and honestly, this reveal has been used by several fanfic writers so get ready to get some strong fanfic-y feels.

Overall, I don’t have any complaints. The script made me feel warm, fuzzy and nostalgic especially the sorting ceremony because once upon a time it was Harry, Ron, and Hermione that was getting sorted but now it’s their kids.We get to see what the trio does now, all these years since the Battle of Hogwarts. Yes, they’re still very good friends, no surprise there. Of course, it’s not perfect, there are flaws but it’s so much fun to read it and experience it again.

I can’t say much without spoiling the story so I have to stop here. Just know that I enjoyed this and that it will surely make you feel nostalgic if you’ve been a fan for a while.

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^ That’s me! πŸ˜‰

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June Book Haul

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This month is a slow-reading month for me, I only read and finished Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. I started a couple of books after that but I never got around to finishing them.Β I’m just not in a reading mood this month, I’m not sure why. This means I didn’t read any of the books on my June TBR. Sigh. I’m hoping July will be better.

About halfway through June, I decided to put myself under a book-buying ban. I really need to save money, and I already have a lot of books on my shelves that I haven’t read so I want to cut back on my book-shopping and read those I already have. Although, I allow myself to buy books from op shops, or through some facebook book buy and sell pages.

The books on the left are the ones I got from an Op Shop, while the books on the right are from Book Depository or Dymocks.

Hardcover:

  • Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre by The Bronte Sisters in one book – I got this from an Op Shop for only $3. I love it because the edges are gold, and the cover is that soft leather things.
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas – I got this from Dymocks. I have had the first, second, and fourth book in the series for months but for some reason Dymocks had a hard time getting this one in so I waited a couple of months for this one. I breezed through it very quickly, that’s also the case with Queen of Shadows. Sarah J Maas is one of my top 5 favourite authors.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses + A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I got these from Book Depository. This is my second favourite series ever, next to Harry Potter of course. The first book I finished in 3 hours, the second I finished in 5 hours. It’s such an amazing series.
  • The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I’ve heard plenty of good things about this and the sequel so I decided to get it and see if I’ll like it. I haven’t read it yet but I will as soon as I feel like it. I got this from Book Depository.
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – This completes The Raven Cycle series, this is the fourth and final book. I’ve had the first three books since February but I decided to wait for The Raven King before I started the series. I’m reading The Raven Boys now.

Paperback:

  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes – I read Moyes’ Me Before You and After You, and I liked it so I thought I’d give this one a try.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – In the months I spent working at Dymocks, The Alchemist is one of our best sellers. I probably sold at least one every day so I bought one for myself.
  • Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo – I read this book two years ago in iBooks and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure why I never bought it in hardcopy but yay I have it now.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – I saw the movie a few years back, so I thought I’d read the book.
  • Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally – All of the stories I’ve read or movies I’ve seen about The Holocaust leaves a mark on me. I saw the movie a couple of months ago, I thought I’d read the book too.

That’s it! I’m not sure if I should bother writing a July TBR post. I’d just be disappointed if I don’t read anything from it this month, as is the case with last month’s TBR.

I think I’ll be blogging about the season finale of Game of Thrones season six soon. I’m full of feelings because of it.

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Book review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

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How do I even begin to explain just how much I loved this book? It’s full of action, friendship, camaraderie, twists and turns, excitement, and intensity. There was never a dull moment – though with any of Maas’ work, there never is. I recently read Maas’ other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses + A Court of Mist and Fury, before I started Queen of Shadows and I thought there’s no way Maas’ can top the brilliance of A Court of Mist and Fury but I was wrong. She’s full of surprises, that woman. You’d think that this being the fourth book in the series it’ll be dragging and parallel to the twists and turns of the previous books but this is the farthest thing from that. How Maas creates such outstanding and exceptional world-building, I’ll never know.

In Heir of Fire, the book before this one, we were introduced to a handful of new characters with storylines just as crucial as Aelin’s is and there’s an obvious line between all the new characters. In previous reading experience, I found that I became saturated when authors introduce a lot of new characters at the same time as there’s so many and yet they never make a mark on me that I immediately forget who they are or what they’re supposed to be there for but not in this one. I loved the new characters: their individuality, diverse back story, and possible role in the future. The chapters’ main view is not only Aelin, but it jumps from one character to another and it fascinates me to read more about the other character, and not just the main’s and I think Maas has done a marvellous job of making us care for the new characters, of making us like them.

I tried to hold out on reading this series. I wanted the whole series to be out before I start one because I know I’ll die from waiting but I couldn’t hold out any longer, I wanted to be part of this world and now I’m glad I am. I’m glad I started reading Maas’ books, just another series, or two, to add on my long list of obsessions.

So far, Maas’ work gets better and better with each new book and I couldn’t be happier. Reading one makes you want more of her work. Upon reading Throne of Glass, her first book, she immediately became one of my most favourite authors. At the moment, I can honestly say she’s in my top 3 favourite authors.

Empire of Storms, the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, is being released on the 6th of September and I honestly can’t wait.

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Next read: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Thank heavens all four books are out and I own them so no waiting period.

Bookshelf Tour! June 2016

Yayyyy bookshelf tour! Well, sort of. It’s not a video but it’s photos of my bookshelves, three shelves at a time. My books used to be organised alphabetically by author’s surname but since I have more books than shelves, I had to improvise to make them fit. It is still mostly alphabetical, the A’s are where they’re supposed to be right down to the Z’s, except the hardcovers – I had to put most of them on the middle shelves because my shelves are bending (middle shelves are the only ones nailed to the back so they’re sturdier).

So, I have two bookshelves with 6 layers each. My books are a mix of bought books, given books from friends, parents or publishers, books I won from competitions, or books I got from when I used to work at a bookstore. I’m not going to write each and every book because that’ll be too long (should I though? because I now realise the photo may be too small for you to see each book).

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First bookshelf are A’s to beginning of M’s, except the 3rd shelf which are all hardcovers.

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Second bookshelf are the rest of the M’s to Z’s except for the 3rd shelf which are all hardcover series’ and the last shelf which are Danielle Steele, Jodi Picoult, some movie companions, and some extra Harry Potter books.

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The Danielle Steeles on the bottom shelf are my mum’s, they’re from a friend, but my mum doesn’t have her own shelf so she has asked me to just keep it on mine. I’m so close to giving them to her because I need the space haha. The Jodi Picoult books I got for free of a book buy and sell facebook page while the book on top of the Jodi Picoults are on loan from a friend, it’s Voices of Evil by GM Hague.

As you can see, I need a new bookshelf because most of it are bending from the weight. Ooops. But I can’t afford a new bookshelf at the moment so this will have to do.

If you have any questions about any of the books, or if you would like to know what book is which, please let me know in the comments. πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

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Currently reading: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas