Let’s Talk Bookish: Why Do You Blog?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is all about why we blog, so let’s hop straight in to the discussion!

When did you first start blogging and why?

I started this blog way back in 2012, which means I’ve been blogging for 9 years now, which I really cannot believe! For the first two years I hardly posted at all, but started posting more regularly in 2014. In 2019, I decided to revamp my blog with a new theme and give it a refresh which reinvigorated my enjoyment of blogging.

When I started my blog all those years ago, I think I was just looking for somewhere to share my love of books. I also loved writing and really enjoyed writing reviews, so that’s what my focus was on to begin with.

In the last two or three years I’ve started to get a lot more involved in the bookish community and I think it’s really made my love for blogging grow, as I’ve felt more part of something. For the first few years, I was basically just posting reviews into the void. I honestly actually didn’t realise there were so many other book bloggers out there too and when I started to discover and follow more and more other blogs, it made blogging so much more enjoyable.   

What keeps you motivated to continue?

Writing novels is my greatest passion. But writing of any kind brings me a lot of joy, so I do get a lot of pleasure from writing blog posts as well. Blogging gives me an avenue to flex my writing muscles away from my main writing projects.

I also love interacting with fellow book lovers and I think I would miss the community aspect of blogging if I were to stop. Since I’ve been more involved in the community, I’ve also discovered so many books and authors that I might not have known about if I hadn’t been reading people’s blogs, so I love that aspect of blogging too.

Have you ever thought about not blogging anymore?

I have had some breaks, for example when I was at uni I had periods where I didn’t post much because my coursework had to come first. I’ve been blogging for so long that I can’t imagine not doing it anymore!

What would make you go on a hiatus for forever?

Probably life circumstances. I can’t imagine choosing to stop blogging completely. I can imagine having breaks from it, whether that be because of health, or just needing a rest from it, or having other life pressures. But I can’t imagine stopping blogging forever unless life got completely in the way and it wasn’t feasible to continue.

Do you have any specific plans for your blog this year, and if so, what are they?

Last year I posted way more than I’ve ever done before, so I would really like to keep that momentum up and keep posting regularly.

How long have you been blogging for and what made you start? What do you love about blogging? Chat with me in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: 6 January 2021

This is my first time taking part in WWW Wednesday! I’ve been looking for some new memes to take part in for the new year and this one looks like fun! This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

RECENTLY FINISHED – A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

I loved getting to see what these characters have been up to since the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin. It was a fun read that made me feel all wintery and festive. You can find my review here.

CURRENTLY READING – A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

I was super excited to get an eARC of this book via NetGalley as it was an anticipated release for me. I’m 85% of the way through so I’m nearly finished! I found the first half a bit slow and hard to get through, but I’ve been enjoying the second half more. Also Nausicaä is one of my new favourite characters.

NEXT READ – The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

Another eARC, this one via Edelweiss. It comes out next week so I’m planning on reading this next so I can hopefully get my review up on or near the release date.

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!

Reading Goals & Books I Want to Read in 2021

It’s a new year so that means it’s time to set some goals! First, I’m going to set myself some reading and blogging goals for 2021 and then talk about some specific books I want to read this year.

Read 40 books

For my Goodreads Reading Challenge I’ve set my goal at 40 books this year. Last year I read 50 books which is a lot more than I’ve read in previous years, and I’m not sure if that’s a level of reading I’ll be able to sustain this year. So, I decided to set my reading goal a bit lower than that this year to something that I think will be a challenge but is also achievable. I don’t want to set a really high goal and be stressed trying to hit it.

Finish some series

I am really bad at finishing series. I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, a lot of which are series rather than standalones, but in the past, I’ve been really bad at picking up sequels, even if I really loved the first book. It’s something I need to try and get out the habit of! Some series I plan on finishing this year which I only have one book left: The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare, Cursebreakers by Brigid Kemmerer, Gone by Michael Grant, Bone Grace by Kathryn Purdie, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman, The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and The Blood of Stars by Elizabeth Lim.

Discover some new debuts

I started doing this more last year and want to continue. For a long time, I would tend to just read books by all the same authors, which meant there wasn’t really much variety in my reading. In the last couple of years, I’ve been more actively seeking out new authors to discover, and especially debut authors. I plan on seeking out more diversity in my reading as well, and picking up more books by Black, LGBTQ+ and disabled authors.

Blogging goals

Last year I started to get more organised with my blogging and plan out what posts I wanted to write each month. So I want to continue doing that. But I also want to try and get even more organised and get a bit ahead with my posts and schedule them in advance, so if I’m busy or unwell, I know I already have some posts scheduled, and I’m hoping that will make blogging less stressful. I absolutely love blogging, but when I leave things to the last minute I hate feeling pressured to get something posted in time, especially for weekly memes.

Books I want to read in 2021

So in addition to the series I listed above that I want to finish, there are also some series I’m part way through that I want to continue reading – Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Camelot Rising by Kiersten White, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

There are some new series I want to start too that I’ve been meaning to read for a while – Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab, Empirium by Claire Legrand, Legend by Marie Lu, and Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness.

There are a few books I picked up last year that I haven’t got round to yet, so I’d like to read them this year – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones, Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar, and Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz.  

I’d also like to read a couple of classics. I really enjoyed Emma last year so I’d like to read another Jane Austen. And I also want to read some more Agatha Christie.

Plus, there are some really exciting 2021 releases coming up so I’d like to read a few books published this year as well.

I’m a mood reader so I don’t really set myself a monthly TBR and if I do make reading plans, they often go out the window, but I’d like to get to as many of these books as I can this year.

Have you set yourself any reading goals? What books are you most excited to read this year? Chat with me in the comments!

Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Resolutions

2021 has arrived! And my first post of the year will be a Let’s Talk Bookish discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This week’s topic is Reading Resolutions and this was actually a topic I suggested, so let’s get stuck in!

Do you set reading resolutions in the New Year? Are they helpful?

I haven’t set myself any formal reading resolutions in the past. But I usually have a goal of a number of books I want to read and a general resolution to read more which has varying results!

This year though I think I might set some more specific goals, such as finishing or continuing particular series, and identifying some books that have been on my TBR for years that I really need to get round to.

I think resolutions can be helpful, and that’s why I’m thinking of setting some this year. Especially with a growing number of books I want to read and having more time to read at the moment, I feel like I’m just going to end up flailing around in a sea of books (literally and metaphorically).

Do you look back to see if you stuck to your goals?

Although I don’t set a specific TBR for myself, I do usually have some books in mind at the beginning of the year that I want to read, so I do like to look back and see how many of them I actually ended up reading. I also do track how many books I’ve read throughout the year and whether or not I’m going to hit my goal.

Do you ever feel pressured/stressed by these resolutions?

I think I’ve often been put off by the idea of having specific resolutions as I didn’t want to feel pressured by them. This year I think I’ll set some loose resolutions, but not be too strict with myself about it because I don’t want it to become a stressful thing.

Do you participate in the GoodReads challenge?

Yes! I have to admit I do get a bit obsessed with checking my progress and working out if I’m going to reach my goal in time. Sometimes I feel like it could potentially suck the fun out of reading when I’m always thinking about how many books I have left to read in the year. But at the same time, I do enjoy having a goal. I usually set something that is a challenge, but is still actually realistic, otherwise I would get stressed out by it.

Do you like setting reading goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year? I’d love to know what you think so chat with me in the comments!

December 2020 Wrap Up

It’s the end of December and the end of 2020! I can’t believe this year is finally over. It’s been, well, not the best year for many reasons. But I can say that I read 50 books this year, which is way more than I’ve ever read in a year before, so at least that’s one plus to having been stuck at home so much.

I had planned to write a lot more blog posts this month but I ended up being super busy at work and had a migraine at the beginning of the month which took out a few days of productivity. But some good blogging news – I now have 400 followers! I can’t believe so many people are following my blog now. Thank you so much to everyone who reads, likes and comments on my posts. I love interacting with you lovely people.

So on to the final monthly wrap up of the year…

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I loved Aurora Rising so much so I had really high hopes for this one. And while I did enjoy it, I did like Aurora Rising more. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next book…

A Storm of Swords Part II by George R. R. Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I read Part I in November and didn’t want to leave it too long before I read Part II as I didn’t want to forget what happened. There was a lot packed into this book and oh my gosh so many characters died. George R. R. Martin is ruthless.

A Court of Frost and Starlight ⭐⭐⭐ – This festive novella was a fun Christmas read but not much actually happened in it. There wasn’t much of a plot. So I didn’t love it as much as the other books in the series. I’m still excited for A Court of Silver Flames though.

I used up the last of a gift card I had to get Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas and The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White. The Illumicrate Daughter of Smoke and Bone box finally arrived so I got a beautiful hardback edition of one of my favourite books. I also got some lovely presents for Christmas – Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, Little Women and a beautiful edition of Persuasion.

As I finished my WIP at the end of November I took a couple of weeks off writing to give myself a break from the project so I could come back to it with fresh eyes. I’ve been working on some world building things and have a few other planning bits I need to sort out before I can start work on my second draft.

Can you believe it’s actually the end of 2020? Did you read any good books this year? Chat with me in the comments!

I realised I don’t follow many of you lovely people on social media. So, if you’d like to connect with me, feel free to drop your handles/links in the comments. You can find me @mtwilsonwrites on Twitter and @m.t.wilsonwrites1891 on Instagram.

Books That Surprised Me in 2020

I love writing these end of year posts! It’s fun to look back at what I read during the year. Today I’ll be talking about some of the books that surprised me in some way.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This is the first book in the Illuminae Files series which is written in an unusual epistolary format. The story is told through emails, messaging, security camera footage, and files, which are knitted together to tell the narrative. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the format, but I actually loved it! It was such a unique way to tell a story and I was hooked all the way through. There’s plenty of action and I was completely gripped. I gave this book 5 stars and I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

This book wasn’t on my radar at all but I received it in Fairyloot’s February box. Having read the blurb, I wasn’t sure it was really for me, but decided to join in the readalong and give it a go. So, I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it! I loved Alessandra’s character, the scheming and the romance, even though some of it was a bit predictable. I gave it 4 stars as it wasn’t flawless, but this was unexpectedly a new favourite read for me. I wouldn’t have picked up this book if not for Fairyloot, so I am really glad I got that box!


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I looked at this book in Waterstones so many times before I eventually picked it up (that cover and shimmery spine definitely catches the eye!). There was a lot of hype around this book and I’m not massively into Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I wasn’t sure I’d like this one. However, I was surprised to find that I loved it. Harper is one of my favourite characters. She’s so fierce and fearless, but also kind, and I really appreciated the disability rep as she has cerebral palsy, and there aren’t many disabled characters in books, especially ones who go on adventures in YA fantasy. This book is also surprisingly dark at times which I really liked.  


Burn by Patrick Ness

I was expecting to like this book. I mean, it has dragons in, so I was already sold. But Burn was surprising in the sense that I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, and it was even more amazing than I had imagined. I don’t want to say too much because if you haven’t read it yet I feel like this is the kind of book you want to go into not knowing too much. Dragons in Cold War era America sounds really bizarre, but it really works. Patrick Ness did a great job with this book and I would thoroughly recommend it.


What books surprised you this year? Did you read any you weren’t expecting to like but ended up loving? Chat with me in the comments!  

Books I Want to Read in 2020 – did I read them?

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a blog post about what books I wanted to read in 2020. So now I’m going to look back and see how many of them I actually read!

Links will take you to my reviews!

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas – I wanted to make some progress with this series as I loved the first two books. I read The Assassin’s Blade and Heir of Fire this year, so this one is a definite yes.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas – I also wanted to continue this series and I did, as I read A Court of Wings and Ruin.

Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse – I read Crooked Kingdom, which I absolutely loved! But I still need to read King of Scars.

Fear by Michael Grant – It seems to have been taking me ages to get through the Gone series. Fear is the fifth book and I had planned to read it in 2019 but didn’t get round to it. But I did read it in 2020!  

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – I really wanted to finish this trilogy but just didn’t get round to reading this one. It’s high up on my list for 2021 though.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – Yep I read this one and loved it! And I also read the sequel, Lord of Shadows.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – Another yes, and I’m looking forward to reading Unravel the Dusk next year.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – I read this one and the sequel, A Heart So Fierce and Broken too.  

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zao – Yes, I read this at the beginning of the year, though I don’t remember it that well now.

The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman – I really enjoyed The Devouring Gray but didn’t get round to reading the sequel this year.

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh – No didn’t get round to this one either. I also decided I want to re-read The Beautiful first.

I’m quite happy that I managed to read quite a few of the books from my list! Hopefully I’ll get to the rest in 2021!

How about you? Are there any books you planned to read this year but didn’t get to?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading & Blogging – Their Effect on Writing

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion.

This is a really interesting topic but I’ll probably only be writing a short post as I’ve had a really busy week and had a migraine at the weekend so I’m feeling a bit behind on everything!  

Have you sometimes felt that as a reader, you should also be a writer or vice versa? Do you think that a desire to write is connected with a love of reading? What motivates you to write?

I’ve actually been a writer way longer than I’ve been a blogger! I started writing short stories when I was about 10 and by the time I was 12/13, I was planning out epic fantasy series! And I’ve never looked back. I’ve written six novels now and I’m hoping to start sending one of them out to agents next year, fingers crossed!

I do think there’s a weird expectation, especially from people who are more outside the book world, that people who read will also like writing too. Which isn’t the case. Maybe people who love reading love writing too, but not everyone.

Most writers probably also love reading. I mean, it makes sense right? I often see advice that says to be a good writer you need to read a lot. And while that is one of those generic pieces of writing advice that doesn’t feel that helpful, I have actually found my writing has improved so much over the last couple of years as I’ve started reading a lot more. Reading more has really helped me grow as a writer.

What I love about writing is getting to use my imagination, to come up with stories and worlds. I love to disappear into the worlds I’ve created. I’m not sure I can say what motivates me to write, I think it’s just that love of stories and using my imagination. When I write I’m transported to another world, and everything around me just fades away, and I get totally in the zone. Writing is like breathing for me, I really couldn’t imagine life without it.

As a book blogger, do you ever feel discouraged about publishing a book because you know how readers & bloggers can react to books/authors?

Like I said above, I’ve been writing and dreaming of being an author since before I became a blogger and part of the book community! So that’s not something that discouraged me. I think it’s important to remember that not every person is going to love every book. Your book might not be for one person, but it will be a favourite of someone else.

Do you think that authors can be book bloggers as well, or that they’ve crossed the imaginary line between authors and bloggers and therefore are not like other book bloggers anymore?

I hope authors can be book bloggers as well! I so desperately want to be an author, but I’d love to continue with this blog as well when I hopefully one day reach that dream of becoming an author!

Are you a writer as well as a reader? Have you ever thought about writing a book? Or are you happy to stick with being a reader? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Let’s Talk Bookish: The Writing Styles of Classics and Contemporaries

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is all about rereading books!

Today’s topic is all about the writing styles of classic and contemporary works. This is such an interesting topic! I did English Literature with Creative Writing at uni and had to read a lot of classics as part of my course.

Do you prefer reading classics or contemporaries? What differences do you notice between the two?

I generally prefer reading contemporary books. They often have a faster pace and are more relatable. I’m also a big scifi and fantasy fan, and those genres have grown a lot over the years. But I do like reading a classic from time to time.

Classics can feel slow and hard to get through, and the language can feel archaic to us, because we don’t speak or communicate in the same ways. Language and the way we use it has changed.

Literature has evolved both in terms of content and style over hundreds of years, and the way we read and consume books now is very different from in the past. Literature is informed by the times in which it is written, whether consciously or subconsciously on the author’s part. I think some of the reason people can struggle with getting into classics is partly because of the writing style, but also because they can be hard to connect with. They were written for the people reading them in that present time. Someone three hundred years in the future was not the author’s target audience. However, many classics explore themes and issues that we can still relate to today, and that is part of what makes them a classic.

Classics are also seen as kind of ‘highbrow’, old and stuffy. But that’s just the style of the times they were written in, and many of them were popular books of the time.

‘The classics’ also incorporates such a wide range of literature. I have read a couple of Dickens and they weren’t for me. But I loved Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and am also a fan of Jane Austen’s works. Then there’s the plethora of classic science fiction and horror. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a brilliant classic. Then there’s the modern classics from the 20th Century like 1984 by George Orwell and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. It’s okay not to like classics, but it might just be that you haven’t found the right kind of classic for you. There are so many of them out there!

Read More »

November 2020 Wrap Up

November ended up being a pretty good month for me. I managed to stay well and got LOADS of writing done! I only read 3 books but two of them were really long so I’m still happy with that.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This is the second book in the Dark Artifices series and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it quite as much as Lady Midnight which was just absolutely brilliant.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Holly Bourne’s books are just so good. This one picks apart clichés in romance films and portrays teen life in a way that was funny but also really realistic.

A Storm of Swords Part I by George R. R. Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I don’t know about other countries, but here in the UK the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series is split into two volumes because it’s so long! It was really weird how the book just finished in the middle of the story, so I will definitely be picking up Part II soon.

I had two amazing special editions arrive this month. Illumicrate’s book for October was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and their edition is just so beautiful! I also couldn’t resist a special edition of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo as her Grishaverse is one of my favourite series. I got the Fairyloot edition which has exclusive stencilled edges. As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE dragons, and I was so excited when I saw the premise for Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz, it sounds amazing!

So… I did it!! I finished my WIP! In my October wrap up I didn’t think I would be able to finish it by the end of November, but I ended up having such a good month for writing. I wrote 22,000 words in November and managed to finish my YA Arthurian legend retelling. I am so so excited to have finished my first draft! The final word count is 75,674 which I am pretty happy with. My first drafts are usually quite short and then get longer as I redraft. Now I’m going to have a bit of a break from it before I start working on it again. But I’m so excited about it, I probably won’t be able to resist coming back to it in a week or two. I’ve just really connected with this project and I’m really looking forward to continuing working on it.

Have you read any good books this month? Did anyone take part in NaNoWriMo, how did you do? Chat with me in the comments!