Reading Challenge 2018

I didn’t quite manage to finish the 2017 reading challenge, I was let down by ‘Epic Romance’ and ‘published this year’ – all the other categories I completed and found a couple unread authors I will be reading more of.  Here’s the link Reading challenge 2017 – update

Now for the new challenge.

  1. A book with more than 500 pages.
  2. A book with a number in the title.
  3. A book by a female author.
  4. A popular authors first book.
  5. A book with non-human characters.
  6. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
  7. A book from your childhood.
  8. A book with a colour in the title.
  9. A graphic novel.
  10. A book by an authors you’ve never read before.
  11. A book you own but have never read.
  12. A book the was originally written in another language.
  13. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read.
  14. A book with bad reviews.

I have a couple of ideas from a few categories but any suggestions are always welcome.

Happy reading.



Where did it go ! The month seems to have flown by and quite a few things happened which kept it interesting.

We started the year with a broken boiler, thankfully it was replaced quickly and without us being without heating or hot water for very long.

The job hunting was still ongoing, applications being sent everywhere, every day and with very little in response. Then one of my old employers died and at the funeral a chance encounter led to a job offer. I met with my new employer and within a couple of hours I was registered for classroom training, online training and my work rota organised. I spent a good few hours doing the online training, thankfully my previous employment had prepared me well for this tedious task.

As well as my old employer we also lost my great uncle, a lovely man who is now reunited with the love of his life.

I spent an evening at the ballet – Giselle – with my mum. Not a ballet either us had seen before, it was very enjoyable. We also bought our tickets to Matthew Bourne’s production of the red shoes for later in the year, super excited !

A few good days out to some new places and some old favourites, mostly alone, the Lady Lever art gallery, Sudley house, World museum, St Georges hall and The Walker art gallery. Not bad for one month.

I’ve also been reading tons, watching films and updating all my challenge lists. more details to follow ….

I hope your January has been a good one x


The Reading Challenge

The book challenge has been selected and I’ve even started, I’ve chosen a book challenge from Instagram #26BOOKSwithBringingUpBurns, although I’m not linking it to or including it as part of the 365 photo challenge.

Here is the list:

  1. A book with water on the cover – Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
  2. A book set on a school campus – The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell
  3. A book with a murder or a mystery – The haunting of Nathaniel Wolfe by Brian Keaney
  4. A book about siblings – Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richelle
  5. A book with a great first line
  6. A book written in the decade you were born. – Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice
  7. A book with a number in the title – 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
  8. A book that will help you grow.
  9. A book from the library – Almost all of my books are from the library. 
  10. A book about a vacation or road trip
  11. A book with food in the title – Soy sauce for beginners by Kirsten Chen
  12. A book based on a historical event. – 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  13. A book you’ve been meaning to read – The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins
  14. A book that has won an award.
  15. A book you read with a friend – Dark by Paul L Arvidson 
  16. An autobiography or memoir – A life discarded (148 diaries found in a skip) by Alexander Masters
  17. A book with a one word title – Room by Emma Donoghue
  18. A book over 400 pages.
  19. A book set in the future.
  20. A book with magic in it. – The ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman
  21. A book you learnt about because of this challenge.
  22. A book based on a true story – The poisoner, the life and crime of  Victorian England’s most notorious doctor by Stephen Bates
  23. A New York times best-seller
  24. A book off the ALA’s banned & challenged classics list. – Lord of the flies by William Golding
  25. A book that will make you laugh.
  26. A favourite book from your childhood. – Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  27. One free swap-out – read any book of your choice.

I love reading and regularly visit the library, now I carry a notebook with this list and as you can see I’ve already completed a few. It makes looking for books more of a challenge, planning what to look for in advance.

Any suggestions welcomed…

Updated from an earlier blog post, so far so good. Only a few months remaining to complete the challenge and it’s looking promising.

J is for ….

Journeys, we’ve made quite a few recently with our holiday to Spain and visiting family in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

I enjoy driving, even with nowhere to go. Just exploring new roads, finding new places. I have driven long distances across the country and love planning new journeys, usually with my little co-pilot by my side.

When travelling long distances, especially to somewhere we’ve never been before, I have 3 rules I always follow….

  • Pre-set the sat nav with postcodes of all places in the area we are going, hotels, tourist destinations, places to eat.
  • I always check the directions manually, usually google maps or AA route finder.
  • I write easy to follow bullet points for my co-pilot to watch for, mostly motorway junctions numbers for leaving/joining and place names.

My co-pilot is a reader, like myself, he doesn’t go far without a book, and he loves reading parts out to me usually things he finds hilarious or doesn’t understand, however on long journeys we also play games in the car, making phrases from car number plates, car bingo (printed beforehand) and I-spy, these all keep us chuckling along the way.

My favourite journeys so far have been to Warwick, where we stayed in a tiny retro caravan on a camp site and any trip to Yorkshire, I love the countryside and all the little villages along the way. I am currently in the process of planning some new adventures for us.

More blogs to follow …

B is for ….


Books, I love reading and I’m never very far from a book. I alway read before sleeping but enjoy reading at other times too.

I don’t have a type or genre that I stick to, I read pretty much anything but I’m not a magazine/celebrity reader. I try not to read too many reviews about books as I find this clouds my judgement about them before I’ve read them but also negative reviews have turned me away from books that I’ve later read and enjoyed.

Reviews are subjective, just because one person doesn’t like a book doesn’t make it rubbish. I enjoy spending time at the library just looking at covers and reading snippets before choosing anything.

I only keep books that I know I will re-read. The one thing I’m most proud of is passing my love of books and reading on to Oscar, he never goes anywhere without a book and loves writing stories. He has mild dyslexia and understands it makes it a little more challenging but doesn’t stop him or his enjoyment of books.

Although I’m doing my own book challenge as part of my 50 before 50 list, I don’t often recommend or review them. I do update the list as I go so feel free to look and comment on any you think I would like.

I’m currently reading Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs as the title and cover seen on reviewing central blog appealed.




I was chatting about ideas for the blog and this one was put forward, I liked it so here it is.

Reading – Lord of the flies by Williams Golding, it’s part of my reading challenge for the year and my 50 before 50 list.  

Watching – Bates motel, 11.22.63, Limitless, Catfish, I tend to binge-watch programmes rather than watch each episode when it’s on t.v and sometimes I’m a series or two behind everyone else. I love quirky shows and scary/weird ones. American horror story is a favourite series. 

Listening to – Mostly local radio (bbc radio merseyside) with a bit of radio 2 thrown in. 

Eating – A little difficult without a kitchen, but we’re enjoying our homemade soups. I love spicy food, curries and chilli. 

Needing – More money ! (ha ha) mostly a new job and a holiday.

Wanting – More Doc Martens, I got a pair for my birthday last year and it has re-ignited the passion. 

Missing right now – My soul mate, Phil and my beautiful boy.


What about you….

The art of (not) reading

This week I’ve developed a super power. Every time I have opened a book someone speaks to me, family, friends, colleagues and even strangers !

It started just over a week ago on an empty train, I sat down opened my book and started to read. Within minutes a lady got on the empty (apart from myself) compartment and sat next to me. Then she began. ‘Oh it’s lovely to see someone reading a real book and not staring at an electric thing’ I smiled and nodded, then went back to reading. Not a chance, She never stopped, ‘what book are you reading?, what made you choose it? do you like it?’ then she went on to tell me of all the books she had read recently and enjoyed. After 20 minutes it was time to get off. I sadly put away my (unread) book.

Then it happened again, later the same day. I stopped to get a drink, pulled out my book and another lady started chatting to me from another table. Nothing to do with reading or my book, just general chit-chat. Lovely but I just wanted to read !

The theme continued over the next few days, in fact in the last 7 days I’ve managed roughly 3 pages in 6 hours due to interruptions and conversations. I’m tempted to invest in some ear plugs just for reading.