Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten All Time Favourite Authors

I actually found this weeks TTT really difficult. I am a mood reader, so only pick up books when I fancy reading them. This means that although I may have really enjoyed a book by an author, I may not read another one by them for a few months, or even sometimes a year!

When the following authors release books, or I see one in a bookstore, charity shop or at the library I know that I am going to enjoy it. Although I may not have read all of their works – the ones that I have read I loved!

  1. Sophie Kinsella – my go-to chick lit author. I have such good memories of reading I’ve Got your Number whilst sipping a cocktail in Mexico. All of her books are fun and make perfect beach/holiday reads!
  2. Sarah J Maas – only discovered in the last year or so. I love the Throne of Glass series, it really got me back into fantasy. I need to get on to Heir of Fire now.
  3. M J Arlidge – also writes Silent Witness (a UK crime drama). His books are just so easy to read, gripping from the first page. I have The Doll’s House on my kindle waiting for me to read it.
  4. J K Rowling – do I need to explain?! I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy or The Robert Galbraith books.
  5. Louise O’Neill – a relatively new addition. I read Only Ever Yours this year and loved it, seriously loved it. Even though this was a debut novel I’m really excited to see what Asking for It is like, due to be published in September 2015.
  6. Roald Dahl – a childhood favourite. I still love all of his books now, I hope Parker will one day too.
  7. Sara Gruen – I have only read Water for Elephants but it has stuck with me since I read it a few years back. I am desperate to read some more of her work as I am sure I will love it.
  8. Lucy Diamond – I picked up one of Lucy’s books in January this year. Again, the perfect chick lit author and perfect for reading at the beach. I am so pleased that there are so many more books to read.
  9. Neil Gaiman – Now, I have only read three books by Neil Gaiman. Two children’s books and a YA/Adult Novel. I enjoyed all three of them, and I’m sure that when I manage to pick up some more I will feel the same.
  10. Brandon Sanderson – I read Steelheart last year and really, really loved it! A fantastic fantasy book that I read in a few sittings. I have Book 1 in the Mistborn Trilogy on my kindle and am yet to read it, but I am sure that I will love it.

Happy Reading!

Stacie 🙂



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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books that I’ve added to my TBR recently

Again, this Top Ten Tuesday has been a little rushed this week. I’ve been so busy that I actually forgot all about it. I’ve simply picked the last ten books that I’ve added to my TBR pile via Goodreads.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Liar Liar by M J Arlidge
The Doll’s House by M J Arlidge
The Asylum for Fairytale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory
The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory
This Book is Gay by James Dawson
Say Her Name by James Dawson

Sorry for the short and sweet post, but it has been a manic few days!

Happy Reading!


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Book Review // Charm by Sarah Pinborough


Format: Hardback
Published: 18th July 2013
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 224

BUY: Amazon | Book Depository

This book will count towards my British Book Challenge.

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

CHARM is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Cinderella story which takes all the much-loved elements of the classic fairytale (the handsome prince, the fairy godmother, the enchanted mouse, the beautiful girl and, of course, the iconic balls) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires.

This is fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.

My Thoughts:

I actually enjoyed this novel more than the first in the trilogy, Poison. The second instalment tells a reworked version of Cinderella, with appearances from characters who appear in the first novel.

The plot worked well for me, it was fast-paced and actually only took me just over a day to read. Again, Sarah Pinborough has shown her talent as a creative storyteller. The way in which she has created new, modernised characters and reinvented a well-known fairytale is truly commendable. I really enjoyed how the story went along, I was engaged throughout.

I liked the dark, slightly twisted edge that these retellings have. They aren’t all sweetness, light and ‘Disney-esque’. There is a particular scene involving a little toe, which definitely isn’t part of the Disney version – it was quite gory. I actually liked the darker side to them, it became rather refreshing!

The imagery and descriptions throughout were so vivid, the prose was so well-written and flowed beautifully. Sarah Pinborough writes so effortlessly. I didn’t find the sexual scenes so awkward this time either, which was a plus for me.

The epilogue of this one surprised me. Strange, yet it worked and I definitely didn’t see it coming.

I will read Beauty to finish of the trilogy (and tick another goal off of my 2015 Reading Challenge).

StarRating4 out of 5 stars

Twitter: @SarahPinborough




Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books I would classify as all time favourites from the past 5 years

I had to throw this post together really quickly this week – sorry about that. I have been teaching most nights so ‘free’ time is limited.

These are the books I would consider to be my all time favourites, from what I’ve read over the past 5 years. There is a real mixture here – fantasy, dystopian, romance, historical and crime/thrillers.

1. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

2. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

4. Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

5. The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

6. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

9. Pretty Little Things by Julianne Hoffman

10. PS I love you by Cecelia Ahern

Have you read any of these?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


My 10 favourite book/TV/Film Heroines!


Celaena Sardothien – Throne of Glass


Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games


 Hermione Granger – Harry Potter


Tris – Divergent


Agatha – The School for Good and Evil



Zoe Saldana as Cataleya in ‘Columbiana’ (Film)

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Olivia Pope – Scandal (TV)

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Michonne – The Walking Dead (TV)

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Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’

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Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

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I loved thinking about this topic, I had so many more – it was hard to choose only 10.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Ten book related ‘problems’ I have..

1. I want to BUY all the books. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.
I’m sure this is a common problem that most book lovers or book bloggers have. I just can’t help it. I just love them and their prettiness. Doesn’t matter whether they are physical or digital.

2. I have more unread books than I will probably ever be able to read.
I have tried so many times to bring my TBR pile down, with no success. I don’t know whether to just admit defeat, I like buying books too much.

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3. I can’t stop requesting books on NetGalley.
I have so many to read (some that have been published a long time ago, shame on me) – I just haven’t got around to them all yet.

4. I am a sucker for a beautiful cover.
I tend to judge a book by its cover unfortunately. If I’ve never heard of a book before but the cover looks good, I will probably buy it.

5. I want book quotes plastered all around my house.
I want them on my walls, in frames, on mugs – everywhere. Especially Harry Potter ones. Standard.

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6. I desperately want my son to LOVE reading as much as I do.
Even though he is only 3 months old I always read a book to him before he goes to bed. I don’t see this one as a problem per se, just something that I want to happen and can only control to a certain extent.

7. I find it difficult to understand how people cannot enjoy reading.
My husband is a non-reader. In the eight years we have been together I have known him to read two books, and that was because we were on holiday – both times. Reading is such a passion of mine that I just feel like everyone should enjoy it.

8. I want to talk to people about books all the time.
I want to talk to my ‘real-life’ friends about books all the time, but none of them are big readers. This makes me sad. That’s why I love the book blogging community so much!

9. I’d always rather be reading.
Self-explanatory really. Nothing beats a good book, comfy sofa, pj’s, fluffy socks and a diet coke or hot chocolate (I don’t drink tea or coffee!).

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10. I don’t make use of my local library enough.
I know that I have a big TBR pile, but the library is such a fantastic resource – not just for reading. It’s completely free and I can reserve books using an app on my iPad. I really need to start using it more, for baby groups and to read those books I am dying to purchase – that I don’t really have the money to buy.

P.S Have you heard of OverDrive? It is a fantastic app that allows you to borrow eBooks on your devices, for free! I love it, use it quite frequently. I believe that they have most libraries available – in most countries. Check it out – did I mention it is free? I may do a separate post/review on it soon.

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Book Review // Poison – Sarah Pinborough


Format: Hardback
Published: 18th April 2013
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 200
Series/Standalone?: Series (#1 Tales from the Kingdoms)
Genre: Adult Fantasy: Fairytale Retelling

BUY: Amazon | Book Depository

This book is counting towards my 2015 Reading Challenge & British Book Challenge.


Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It’s fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Snow White and the Huntsman and more.

My Thoughts:

I was SO excited about this book. I am a real sucker for fairytales and modern retellings, so was excited about this. And the cover is pretty! I discovered it whilst looking up Sarah Pinborough’s latest novel ‘The Death House’ on Goodreads, then realised I could use it towards my 2015 reading challenge.

I enjoyed parts of this book but parts of it didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either. Firstly, I really liked how the author has given these fairytale characters more depth, more human traits. The novel encompasses desire, greed, envy, isolation, depression and manipulation. The characters are more human, as opposed to just ‘fairytale creatures’. Snow White is a modern, independent girl – no longer doe-eyed and soppy. I liked this, she was gutsy and could drink the dwarves under the table, a great twist on the original.

Secondly, I enjoyed the integration of different characters, to create an entirely new tale. This really is creative storytelling in my eyes.


I was confused at times as to who the author was writing for. In some parts it could have been for a teen or young adult audience. Then a few pages in we get quite a explicit scene between two characters. I know this is labelled as an adult fiction, clearly due to the erotic scenes and swearing, but some of it could have easily been a YA novel.

The thing that really bothered me was purely down to my personal taste. I don’t enjoy reading particularly erotic and explicit sexual scenes in books. I don’t know why, maybe I haven’t found the right one? I find it very uncomfortable. This novel has a few scenes like this in, luckily not too many. I just found these awkward, I know they may be realistic but they just don’t sit well with me. I maybe should have guessed from the synopsis that it would include scenes like this, but I like to take risks with books sometimes.

So, although I did enjoy elements of this book I didn’t love it. I am hoping that the second novel Charm, may improve slightly – I really want to like this series. I have reserved book #2 from the library, and have already borrowed book #3. I will definitely pick up The Death House, as it has a completely different premise and I was impressed by the authors creative storytelling in Poison.

StarRating3 out of 5 stars

Have you read any books by Sarah Pinborough? Any you would recommend?

Twitter: @SarahPinborough