Category: Features

John Marrs books reading order

Posted February 20, 2023 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

Click on the book name to be taken to the Amazon UK page (his psychological thrillers are available on Kindle Unlimited at the time of writing this). Where I have reviewed I will also link to my review. Where I haven’t reviewed, it’s on my TBR


Although standalone books, they are better to be read in this order due to the occasional “Easter Egg”

When You Disappeared

The Vacation

The Good Samaritan

Her Last Move

What Lies Between Us

Keep It In The Family


All standalone but set within the same world with occasional references and spoilers between books if not read in the following order

The One

The Passengers

The Minders

The Marriage Act


New Book Releases 2nd – 8th January 2023

Posted January 2, 2023 by louisesr in Book List, Features / 0 Comments

I’m starting off the year with good intentions and organisation. Let’s see how long it lasts!

One of the things I would like to do is highlight to you each week a number of new releases that are coming out in the next 7 days. I’m going to try to share a variety of genres so that there is something for everyone. If by some miracle I’ve managed to read them ahead of publication date then I’ll share my review, however, I know my limitations. I may have good organisational intentions but reading to a schedule hasn’t worked well for me in the past!

Code Name Blue Wren by Jim Popkin

The incredible true story of Ana Montes, the most damaging female spy in US history, drawing upon never-before-seen material and to be published upon her release from prison, for readers of Agent Sonya and A Woman of No Importance.

Just days after the 9-11 attacks, a senior Pentagon analyst eased her red Toyota Echo into traffic and headed to work. She never saw the undercover cars tracking her every turn. As she settled into her cubicle on the 6th floor of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, FBI Agents and twitchy DIA officers were hiding in nearby offices. For this was the day that Ana Montes–the US Intelligence Community superstar who had just won a prestigious fellowship at the CIA–was to be arrested and publicly exposed as a secret agent for Cuba.

Like spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen before her, Ana Montes blindsided her colleagues with brazen acts of treason. For nearly 17 years, Montes succeeded in two high-stress jobs. By day, she was one of the government’s top Cuba experts, a buttoned-down GS-14 with shockingly easy access to classified documents. By night, she was on the clock for Fidel Castro, listening to coded messages over shortwave radio, passing US secrets to handlers in local restaurants, and slipping into Havana wearing a wig.

Montes didn’t just deceive her country. Her betrayal was intensely personal. Her mercurial father was a former US Army Colonel. Her brother and sister-in-law were FBI Special Agents. And her only sister, Lucy, also worked her entire career for the Bureau. The highlight of her distinguished 31 years as a Miami-based language specialist: Helping the FBI flush Cuban spies out of the United States. Little did Lucy or her family know that the greatest Cuban spy of all was sitting right next to them at Thanksgivings, baptisms, and weddings.

In Code Name Blue Wren, investigative journalist Jim Popkin weaves the tale of two sisters who chose two very different paths, plus the unsung heroes who had to fight to bring Ana to justice. With exclusive access to a “Secret” CIA behavioral profile of Ana, family memoirs, and Ana’s incriminating letters from prison, Popkin reveals the making of a traitor–a woman labelled “one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history” by America’s top counter-intelligence official.

After more than two decades in federal prison, Montes will be freed in January 2023. Code Name Blue Wren is a thrilling detective tale, an insider’s look at the clandestine world of espionage, and an intimate exploration of the dark side of betrayal.

Amazon | Goodreads

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Could you brave the wilderness with your HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS and UNFAIRLY CUTE ex-best friend?

BRADLEY GRAEME is pretty much perfect: he’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough) and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with CELINE BANGURA.

They used to be best friends, until Brad decided he was too cool for conspiracy-theory-obsessed Celine and abandoned her for the popular kids’ table. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.) These days, there’s nothing between them but insults and academic rivalry.

So when Celine signs up for a two-part survival course in the woods, the last thing she expects is to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win the grand prize, Celine and Bradley must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. As this adventure brings them closer together, they start to remember all the good parts of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Amazon | Goodreads

In The Time of Our History by Susanne Pari

Inspired by her own family’s experiences following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Susanne Pari explores the entangled lives within an Iranian American family grappling with generational culture clashes, the roles imposed on women, and a tragic accident that forces them to reconcile their guilt or forfeit their already tenuous bonds. Set between San Francisco and New Jersey in the late-1990’s, In the Time of Our History is a story about the universal longing to create a home in this world – and what happens when we let go of how we’ve always been told it should look. 

Twelve months after her younger sister Anahita’s death, Mitra Jahani reluctantly returns to her parents’ home in suburban New Jersey to observe the Iranian custom of “The One Year.” Ana is always in Mitra’s heart, though they chose very different paths. While Ana, sweet and dutiful, bowed to their domineering father’s demands and married, Mitra rebelled, and was banished.

Caught in the middle is their mother, Shireen, torn between her fierce love for her surviving daughter and her loyalty to her husband. Yet his callousness even amid shattering loss has compelled her to rethink her own decades of submission. And when Mitra is suddenly forced to confront hard truths about her sister’s life, and the secrets each of them hid to protect others, mother and daughter reach a new understanding–and forge an unexpected path forward. 

Alive with the tensions, sacrifices, and joys that thrum within the heart of every family, In the Time of Our History is also laced with the richness of ancient and modern Persian culture and politics, in a tale that is both timeless and profoundly relevant.

Amazon | Goodreads

Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood

Three irresistible short stories by the global phenomenon Ali Hazelwood, now available together in paperback for the first time, with an exclusive bonus chapter.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract, and rivals make you burn….

Under One Roof
An environmental engineer discovers that scientists should never cohabitate when she finds herself stuck with the roommate from hell – a detestable big-oil lawyer who won’t leave the thermostat alone.

Stuck with You
A civil engineer and her nemesis take their rivalry – and love – to the next level when they get stuck in a New York elevator.

Below Zero
A NASA aerospace engineer’s frozen heart melts as she lies injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station and the only person willing to undertake the dangerous rescue mission is her longtime rival.

Amazon | Goodreads

Love, Clancy by W Bruce Cameron

From the internationally bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Way Home comes Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog, a deeply moving story with a brand new cast of characters, including one very good dog.

You’ve probably never met someone like Clancy. He’s keeping a diary, he’s falling in love, there are rivals for his affections, he lives with his best friend and his worst enemy – even taken together, these factors are maybe not that unusual, except that Clancy is a dog. His point of view is therefore perhaps . . . different.

Told in W. Bruce Cameron’s signature style, a tremendous cast of wonderful characters find themselves jointly and separately navigating the challenges of life, of love, and . . . other pets, including Clancy’s “worst enemy” – one very disdainful cat. It’s a lot to keep track of, especially when things start to spin hilariously out of control, but fortunately, we’ve got the observations of Clancy, a very good dog, who shares a valuable perspective on what is really important.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.

Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth, has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.

Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world, where she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.

Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she had left behind.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Note: The ebook releases in January but the hardcover isn’t out until February

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

Amazon | Goodreads

Without A Trace by Danielle Steel

Without a Trace is a moving tale of second chances and creating a life worth living from the Number One bestselling author, Danielle Steel.

Charlie Vincent feels trapped in his treadmill of a life. He’s wealthy and successful doing a job he doesn’t want to do, in a marriage to a woman where the romance died many years ago. All that interests Isabelle is his money to fund her extravagant lifestyle. The children have left home and there is nothing for him to look forward to.

One Friday evening he leaves work in Paris after yet another row with his CEO, to head to their Normandy chateau where Isabelle has invited guests for the weekend. He’s been working late every night, he’s tired and he’s not concentrating. Just an hour away from the chateau, his car veers off the road, down a cliff and into the sea. The accident should’ve killed him and he almost felt ready to die. However, he does escape the vehicle and he somehow finds the strength to climb to safety. The area is remote but in the growing darkness he sees a light on in a cottage in the woods. He knocks on the door and is greeted by Aude, an artist who is escaping her own demons.

This fateful meeting will change Charlie’s and Aude’s lives forever.

Amazon | Goodreads


Karin Slaughter books reading order

Posted September 14, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

Karin Slaughter has written a couple of series as well as some stand alone books. I am busy working my way through them all with my F*cked up reads book club. Click on the book title below to be taken to the Amazon page for the book. I will also link to those that I have reviewed on here.


You can read either series first but there is some cross over of characters so I would recommend starting with the Grant County series.

Book 1 – Blindsighted

Book 2 – Kisscut

Book 3 – A Faint Cold Fear – review to come

Book 4 – Indelible – see my review here

Book 5 – Faithless – see my review here

Book 6 – Skin Privilege – review to come


Although this is a separate series one of the main characters appears in both and so you should read the Grant County series before the Will Trent Series

Book 1 – Triptych – see my review here

Book 2 – Fractured

Book 3 – Undone

Book 4 – Broken

Book 5 – Fallen

Book 6 – Criminal

Book 7 – Unseen

Book 8 – The Kept Woman

Book 9 – The Last Widow

Book 10 – The Silent Wife


Cop Town

Pretty Girls

The Good Daughter

False Witness


Book 1 – Pieces of Her – review to come

Book 2 – Girl, Forgotten – review to come


Jessica Redland books reading order

Posted September 10, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 1 Comment

If you click on the book name it will take you to the Amazon site, all of these are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Where I have reviews I will link to them as well. Most of the books I’ve not yet added reviews to this site but I’ll try to get them transferred across.


Book 1 – Making Wishes at Bay View

Book 2 – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms

Book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove

Book 4 – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage

Other books set in Whitsborough Bay

Book 1 – All You Need is Love

Book 2 – The Secret to Happiness

Note: Although technically these are stand alone, they are better to be read in order as there would be some spoilers where characters overlap


Book 1 – Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop

Book 2 – Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes

Book 3 – Starry Skies over the Chocolate Pot Cafe


Book 1 – Snowflakes over the Starfish Cafe

Book 2 – Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe – review to come

Book 3 – Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe (coming April 2023)


Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 4 – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – review to come

Book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – see my review here

Book 6 – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow – see my review here


September 2022 – My most anticipated releases

Posted September 2, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesDouble or Nothing by Kim Sherwood
Published by HarperCollins on September 1, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


James Bond is missing. 007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown. Meet the new generation of spies...

Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.

The fate of the world rests in their hands...

Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Time is running out. The start of a brand new trilogy following MI6’s agents with a licence to kill, that blows the world of James Bond wide open!

Wondering what to add to your TBR in September? Here are my top 5 books I’m looking forward to getting my hand on

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesStone Blind by Natalie Haynes
Published by Pan Macmillan on September 15, 2022
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

'So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’

Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.

Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesA Sliver of Darkness by C. J. Tudor
Published by Random House Publishing Group on November 8, 2022
Pages: 256
Buy on Amazon

The debut short-story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, hailed as “Britain’s female Stephen King” (Daily Mail), featuring eleven bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Time slips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In “The Lion at the Gate,” a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends. In “Final Course,” the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In “Runaway Blues,” thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In “Gloria,” a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a coldhearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in “I’m Not Ted,” a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen fatal consequences.

Riveting, macabre, and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesThe Winners by Fredrik Backman
Series: Bear Town #3
Published by Atria Books on 27 September 2022
Pages: 688
Buy on Amazon

wo years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?


September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesFairy Tale by Stephen King
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 6 September 2022
Genres: Horror
Pages: 592
Buy on Amazon

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.

Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.


Who Would You…. Will Trent

Posted July 20, 2022 by louisesr in Discussion, Features / 1 Comment

I’ve decided to do a new series called Who Would You. No this isn’t snog, marry, avoid! It’s who would you get to play one of the lead characters in the current book you’re reading. It was inspired by 2 of my bookstagram bestie’s who are arguing over who should play a character from one of the books they’ve been reading.

As I’m currently reading Triptych by Karin Slaughter (the first of the Will Trent novels) it got me thinking about who I would want to play Trent. I’m half way through and although he’s not had a major role so far in the novel what we do know is – he’s tall and blonde, strong and silent, kinda geeky, doesn’t look like an action hero.

Now, the suggestions that were brought up in our book club discussion were

Jake Gyllenhal, Zachary Quinto and Eric, sorry Alexander Skarsgard.

I had a quick look on Goodreads, where this has also been discussed and again, Zachary Quinto was mentioned as well as

Gabriel Macht, Joel Kinnamon and Charlie Hunnam

I’m going to disagree with all of these! For me there is a perfect actor… Seann William Scott (yep, Stifler).

Have you read any of this series? Who would you cast as Will Trent?


Top Ten Tuesdays – Comfort Reads

Posted May 31, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 9 Comments

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 of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hmm so, this kind of works on the assumption that as readers we reread books when we’re looking for comfort. I NEVER reread books. I tried it a couple of times and was really disappointed. Two books which I’d previously loved and they were both DNF for me the second time round. Maybe I just don’t like knowing how something is going to turn out.

There are however authors that I class as “feel good fiction” these are the books that I know are going to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. If I’m a bit down and I need a lift then these are the authors that I turn to, in no particular order

  1. Jill Mansell
  2. Milly Johnson
  3. Lucy Diamond
  4. Cathy Bramley
  5. Heidi Swain
  6. Carole Matthews
  7. Sarah Morgan
  8. Trisha Ashley
  9. Veronica Henry
  10. Jenny Colgan
  11. Sue Moorcroft

I know it’s top 10 Tuesday and there’s 11 of them but I couldn’t cut any of them out.


How I read ebooks

Posted May 30, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 1 Comment

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer at  Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop starts on a Friday and ends the following Thursday. There is a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

This weeks question was “Do you use the Kindle app on your phone or ipad to read books?” and it was submitted by Elizabeth over at Silver’s Reviews.

I love ebooks, they’re so handy, I can carry multiple books with me wherever I go and, more often than not, they’re a lot cheaper than a physical book. I mainly use the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. Why did I go for the all singing, all dancing version? It has extra storage space, a longer battery life and it plays audible books! I have a serious book buying obsession and if I had to limit myself to physical books I’d need a bigger house!

However, I do still use the app on my phone for reading books. There are 2 main reasons for this

  1. I ALWAYS have my phone with me so if I find myself waiting at the doctors, for my daughter to finish school, in the chip shop. I can just whip out my phone and continue my book from where I left off. It’s amazing how many slots of 10 minutes you get throughout a day and if you read a chapter of your book rather than scrolling Bookstagram you get through a lot more books.
  2. Test To Speech. When you go into the accessibility section on your phone there is the ability for the phone to speak aloud whatever text is on the screen. Now, it is a robotic voice (think Siri or SatNav) but if I own an ebook and I’m sat in work doing data entry then rather than having the radio on, I would have my book playing.

Do you use the Kindle app?


Around the Blogosphere

Posted May 29, 2022 by louisesr in Discussion, Features / 2 Comments

My reader has been particularly busy this week. Book blogging is all about the community and I loved reading other people’s opinions on books. I get so many recommendations from reading other book blogs, not just from reviews but from lists and opinion pieces as well. I’m trying hard to make this blog a mixture of posts so that there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a look at some of the posts that I’ve enjoyed this week.

  • Once Upon a Time reviewed The Daughters by Julia Crouch as part of the Bookouture Tour. Look out for my post on the tour coming tomorrow.
  • Reading Between The Dunes has some alternative beach read selections, these were all books that I’d never heard of before
  • Stephanie at Adventures of a Bibliophile has been reading Japanese fiction, this includes one of the books that I’m really excited to read over the summer (Before The Coffee Gets Cold)
  • Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books has recently celebrated her 5 year blogivesary and asked the rest of the blogging community if we had any questions for her. She has answered these this week
  • Lotus Writing Therapy has reviewed The Midnight House by Amanda Geard, the cover of this reminded me of an Eve Chase novel, who I love so I was excited to see what she had to say
  • Janet at From First Page to Last has interviewed Jinny Alexander, I love hearing about a writers process and how they get from initial thought to published book
  • Jen Med’s Book Reviews has reviewed The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean, while I loved his most recent work, First Born, The Last Thing to Burn was a DNF for me (although I’m in the minority) so I wanted to share what someone else thought of this novel
  • Dedra at A Book Wanderer is taking part in 20 books of summer and has some great looking books lined up to read

What are your top blogs to follow? How do you find blogs to follow?

When I first started blogging I googled “top book blogs” and “top uk book blogs” which provided me with links to a variety of posts. It was quite frustrating that posts over 12 months old often featured blogs which were no longer active. The fact that someone had enjoyed a blog enough to put it on a top blog list but then the blogger had given up made me kinda sad. It also led me to Feedspot, which aggregates active book blogs and looks at their current traffic, how active they are, their social media presence, domain authority and freshness. This is their list of the Top 100 UK Book Blogs – guess who managed to rank at number 27?!?!


Stacking the Shelves

Posted May 28, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 5 Comments

I was trying to be “good” this week, honest I was. I really thought I was going to have a quiet week book wise. It didn’t quite happen

Esme King messaged me at the start of the week to tell me about her novel Reasons to go Outside. This looks like a fabulous read, I’ve already shared the epilogue here on Thursday as I loved it so much. I’m also recommending this one to my irl bookclub.

I then got a message from Charlie King to ask if I’d like a copy of her book Wolfgang and the Baby Lunatic, this is one I wouldn’t have considered based on the name but having read the synopsis, and all the glowing reviews it’s had so far I’m really eager to read this, I’m thinking it might be like a mummy banter type book, funny but covering the serious issues affecting mothers. As my irl book club is formed from a birthing group I’m part of from when I had my little monsters, I figured they might like this one as well. I’m sure when they formed the group they had no clue how much I was going to bombard them with options!

I’m trying to read more independently published and debut novels so when Sarah Bell shared about her book, The Murder Next Door, on Twitter I went and had a nosey and downloaded that via Kindle Unlimited.

Georgie over at Penguin RandomHouse kindly sent me an audio copy of With A Mind To Kill by Anthony Horowitz, read by Rory Kinear, I’d actually already downloaded A Line To Kill (Horowitz’s previous book) last month and haven’t got round to listening to it yet.

I did manage to limit my NetGalley books this week, I only got two – Hooked by AC Wise, a feminist take on what happened to Wendy and Captain Hook after Neverland and One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke, I read The Castaways earlier this month and loved it so I’m excited for this.

I was reading Years of Reading Selfishly on Wednesday and there were a few books on their that caught my eye, I added them to my wishlist and then they just somehow got added to my cart, I’ve no idea how it happened 🤷‍♀️ A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon, Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart and The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson


How I Track My Reading

Posted May 27, 2022 by louisesr in Features, Let's Talk Bookish / 3 Comments

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani at Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022.  Aria at Book Nook Bits has been the host since the beginning of April 2022. Let’s Talk Bookish is a meme where participants discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. Topics for each month will be posted a month in advance on Aria’s blog.

This weeks topic on Let’s Talk Bookish is tracking reading, and I have such a lot to share with you about it!

Last year I failed miserably at tracking what I was reading. I couldn’t even tell you how many books I read. When I reached the end of the year and everyone was providing updates on how much they’d read during 2021 I got increasingly frustrated and decided that this year would be different.

From the start of the year I have been tracking my reading in Goodreads, I have set a reading challenge of 100 books as I would hazard a guess that this was somewhere close to what I read last year.

However, since I started this blog I have a new way of tracking my reading that is internal to the blog and I’m in love with it.

The plug in that I use is called Book Library and is provided by Nosegraze you use it in the same way as you would the Goodreads book tracker but there is so much more information available. Being part way through the year it’s taken quite a lot of time and effort to get it set up (I’m not 100% complete yet) but it’s so going to be worth it at year end. Once I’ve got all my previous books logged then just adding them as I read them will be easy enough to keep on top of. You’ll be able to see this in action in my monthly wrap up posts but I’ll give you a couple of examples of what it includes here.

Book Library

Here you can see a list of the books that I’ve added so far, I can add display this either as a list or by month. I can filter on a particular book or on format read, whether or not I’ve read them and whether I own them or not. Being perfectly honest, things like whether or not I own them and the format of them isn’t something that I’m particularly interested in so I haven’t been updating these areas. One thing that I particularly like is that you can include the series, the no of pages in the book, whether you have a signed edition etc. It’s a great way of keeping track of all the books that I own.

Now the exciting bit! The analytics 😁 You’ll see I have this filtered on ‘This Month’ but I could choose Last 30 Days, Last Month, This Year, Last Year or All Time. It’s crazy but I’m really looking forward to being able to see how this changes moving forward.

Analytics Overview

I’m sure you’re looking at this and going “hang on 7 different series read and 10 standalones doesn’t equal 18 books” this is because I’ve read 2 books from the same series, so although I’ve read from 7 different series, I’ve read 8 books from those series.

You’ll also see I’ve only written one review. This isn’t strictly true. I’ve concentrated on getting posts up on to the blog and I’m updating this when I have a bit of free time. This plug in doesn’t automatically update blog posts into here, you have to manually update them (you literally add the book id from when you input it and the post id) I just haven’t got round to doing this yet.

Analytics – library

Now we’re on to the library. If I was up to date with this and just adding books as I was purchasing/loaning them then this would be slightly more exciting but as I’m doing a mass data dump it’s not entirely accurate at the moment. When looking at the pie chart if you hover over a ‘slice’ then it will tell you the actual numbers that you’ve added. Looking at this it’s pretty obvious what genre I read most of. One of my goals that I’ve set is to read across more genres so I’ll be interested to see how this changes over the course of this year.

The amount of stats available for this is brilliant, what was my longest book read, my shortest book read, how many of each genre did I read, when were they published? As you can see most of them have been published in the last 12 months, except for 2 rogue books where I’ve been reading Karin Slaughters back list.

I’ve not included format in here, but you can also report on the format of books read, mine isn’t accurate as I haven’t been adding it in when logging books.

Although there’s a lot more this plug in can do I’m only going to show you one more thing. Ratings.

Analytics – Ratings

Obviously I’m a new blog and I haven’t added all my books yet. I started with the books that I’ve read this month (so I’ll be able to share my stats in full at the end of the month) and I’ve had a really good reading month with some fantastic books so this is all looking very positive at the minute. It will be interesting to see what this looks like at the end of the year.

So, there you go. Tracking reading. I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum (not tracking at all) to the other (tracking with loads of analytics). Do track what you’ve read?


25 New Releases for Your Vacation

Posted May 25, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 4 Comments

There are so many amazing books releasing over the next few months, here are some of the ones I’m most looking forward to hunting down in the airport. Most of these are from authors who I have previously read and loved.


Top Ten Tuesday – Book Quotes

Posted May 24, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 5 Comments

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 of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is book quotes, there are so many ways that this could go – my favourite quotes from in books, my favourite quotes about books, I’ve decided to share with you my favourite quotes about books and reading. I’ve been a reader all my life, I love that books take me to a different world, even if that world is one of serial killers.

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”

Napoléon Bonaparte

I’m hopefully raising a family of readers. My children think it’s a great afternoon treat to head off to the library and my 6yo has just discovered the libby app. Although she is a very capable reader we take it in turns to read books, some nights she will read them herself and other times I will read to her. My son is 4, he can’t read yet but he’s working on recognising his letters (he gets so excited if he sees a word that includes the letters in his name), he gets 2 stories read to him every night.

“I guess there are never enough books.”

John Steinbeck

When I was a child there just wasn’t enough books for me, before I’d finished primary school I’d read all of the books in my school and all of the books in my local library. Now, I read daily but I’m pretty sure I’m never going to run out of books again.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

JK Rowling

I think this is so true, there is a book for everyone. I know people who can’t understand why others would read fiction but they will immerse themselves in autobiographies or books on sport. My brother always said he hated reading, and then he discovered Terry Pratchett and devoured them all.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr Seuss

Who does’t love Dr Seuss, he has so many great quotes. One of the things that I love about books is that even if you’re reading fiction you can learn from them. Not just the best way to dispose of a body but I recently learn about ALS and depression. I’ve found that the books that used to be known as Chick-lit, which are now normally labelled Women’s Fiction often have some of the deepest topics in amongst the humour.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

CS Lewis

My husband laughs at me for the size of my cups, the only dainty cup that I possess is a cup and saucer that I got in this months Illumicrate box. If I’m having a cuppa I want to know that it’s actually going to be big enough to quench my thirst. In all honesty, I never really check the length of a book any more, I have a lot on my kindle so I’d have no idea how many pages they are until I come to post a review. When I was younger I always used to gravitate to the longer books, I thought I was getting more for my money with them 😁

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”

George RR Martin

I read such a wide variety of books, I’ve gone to different worlds and lived different jobs, I’ve lived through a zombie apocalypse and world wars. When I’m reading a book I get so immersed in the world that I’m living in for that short time.

I can survive well enough on my own—if given the proper reading material.

Sarah J Maas

I’m an introvert, I don’t tend to go out very much, I’m quite happy sitting inside on my own – as long as I have a book to keep me company. Even if I go out I usually have both my kindle and a paperback with me, if I get stuck in a queue or have 5 minutes to myself, I’m not going to get bored if I have a book with me

A room without books is like a body without a soul.


I drive my husband crazy as I have books everywhere (I have so many I couldn’t possibly limit them to my bookcases). We have 2 huge bookcases in our study which are stacked full, there is always a paperback on top of the placemats in the middle of the kitchen table, my bedroom has a couple of books on the bedside table and a book trolley on the other side of the room

It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others – even my nearest and dearest – there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.

Maureen Corrigan

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’d almost always rather be reading a book.

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.

Paul Sweeney

I finished Lessons in Chemistry a couple of days ago and I honestly felt bereft when I was no longer living in the world of Elizabeth Zott. It was one of those books that could never have been long enough.

What is your favourite book related quote?


Around the Blogosphere

Posted May 22, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 1 Comment

As well as writing blog posts I spend a ridiculous amount of times reading other blogs. Here I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite blog posts from the last week

What posts have caught your eye this week?


Stacking The Shelves (1)

Posted May 21, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 7 Comments

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! And audiobooks. Don’t forget audiobooks! In other words, if you can read it or if it can be read to you – no matter how you got it – it belongs in Stacking the Shelves. The Stacking the Shelves meme was originally hosted at Team Tynga’s Reviews. For the last few years it’s been co-hosted at Team Tynga’s and Reading Reality. Reading Reality became the one and only host of Stacking the Shelves when Team Tynga’s Reviews closed its virtual doors in 2021.

My May LoveMyRead box arrived on Monday with Elektra in. LoveMyRead was taken over by Fane last month so I had high hopes that this would be extra special. I posted my unboxing yesterday if you want to check out this post.

I have also just received my Illumicrate box, this is always the highlight of my month. Want to see what’s in it? You’re going to have to wait a few days, I’ve not had chance to take any photo’s yet. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that the book for this month is The Book of Night by Holly Black, one that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on as I love her writing.

I had a lovely surprise from HarperCollins this week when I received The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho. I’ve read Eyes That Kiss In the Corners with my 6yo daughter so was interested in this which is aimed at a slightly older age group. I’ve already read the authors note in the front of the book and will hopefully be able to pick this up soon, it’s out on the 14th June.

I received three books on NetGalley this week – The Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis, A Sliver of Darkness by CJ Tudor and Keep It In The Family by John Marrs (if you’re not already following him he has a fantastic Insagram account). I’m trying not to order as many books through NetGalley but it’s hard! When I first got my account I assumed that I wouldn’t be accepted for many books so I requested loads, BIG MISTAKE. At the start of this year my review percentage was 40% and it was not improving. I’ve made a big effort to review more books this year. This week I finally hit 50%, it’s taken me nearly 5 months. I don’t think I’ll make the elusive 80% by the end of the year but I’m hoping I can maybe get it up to 70%.

I also went on a library binge this week, I managed to max out 2 library cards! I tend to get audio books out of the library as for some reason in the UK you can’t read them on your kindle, functionality that I believe is available in the United States. I love getting to “read” while I’m preparing dinner or doing the cleaning.

It’s not like I don’t already have a huge TBR but it seems that no matter how fast I read, I receive books quicker than I can possibly read them, there’s just too many books out there that I want to read.