I posted a few days ago about the O.W.L.s magical readathon, and because I am clearly insane I’m also planning on doing the unsolvedathon in April. This looks really fun, and I’m on holiday this month so I’m hoping that will give me enough time to read all of the books for both challenges.

I have never seen an episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved but I deeply identify with ‘sings ABBA in a haunted house’ so I’ll be following Shane’s path.

There are ten clues (so ten books) to solve in order to solve the case.

The Harrowing Hunt for Bigfoot

Read a book about a mythical creature/monster
Circe – Madeline Miller

The Strange Disappearance of D.B. Cooper

Read a mystery or thriller
I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers so I’m not choosing a book for this in advance. Instead I’m going to wait and see what I’m in the mood for/which of my library holds come in.

The Haunting of the Salem Witch Trials

Read a book involving witches
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare

The Horrific Murders of the Zodiac Killer

Read a retelling
A Whole New World – Liz Braswell

The Secret Society of the Illuminati

Read a book about or involving a secret society
Legend – Marie Lu

The Suspicious Assassination of JFK

Read a book about or involving an assassin
11.22.63 – Stephen King

The Demonic Goatman’s Bridge

Read a book about or involving demons
Wicked Gentleman – Ginn Hale

The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist

Read a book about a heist or thieves
The Tattoo Thief – Alison Belsham

3 Horrifying Cases of Ghosts and Demons

Read a collection of short stories/anthology
The End of the World

The Treacherous Treasure Hunt of Forrest Fenn

Read a book involving an adventure or quest
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

So this is what I’ll be reading next month. Are you signed up for any readathons? What’s on your TBR list?

O.W.L.s Magical Readathon

I don’t usually watch any booktube videos but I saw a post on facebook about a Magical Readathon and was immediately curious. The readathon is explained in this video. I haven’t done a readathon before, I generally don’t pick books to fit a prompt, but I’m really excited about this.

The readathon is based on Hogwarts exams so there are O.W.L.s in April and N.E.W.T.s in August. There is also a wizarding career guide to help you pick which subjects you want to take. The career guide looks amazing and I can’t decide what career I want.

There are 12 O.W.L.s that you can take, and since I haven’t picked a career yet I’m channeling my inner Hermione Granger and taking all of the O.W.L.s.

Ancient Runes

As Old As Time
This is from a series of Disney retellings, I bought a few from this series over a year ago and I still haven’t read them. I had to choose the one based on Beauty and the Beast for this.


Work written by more than one author
I did consider re-reading Good Omens for this prompt, but Murder Games has been on my TBR list for a while. This is a standard crime thriller, which are usually pretty quick reads. They’re enjoyable, but don’t require too much concentration.
James Patterson has several books that are co-wrote with another author, so it was easy to fill this prompt.


“Star” in the title
I’ve had Stardust for years but somehow I still haven’t read it. I love all the Neil Gaiman books that I’ve read, but there are still quite a few I haven’t got around to yet.

Care of Magical Creatures

Land animal on the cover
The Hunting Party looks like a standard murder mystery which I love so I’m hoping this will live up to my expectations. Plus the animal on the cover is a stag so it gets extra Harry Potter bonus points.


Age-line: read an adult work
I haven’t chosen a book for this in advance. Most of the books I read are adult, other than the occasional YA book, so I’m leaving this as a freebie for whatever I’m in the mood for.

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Reducto: Starts with an R
The Rumour looks really interesting. The synopsis is enough to make me curious, but doesn’t give too many details about the plot so I’m not sure what to expect.


Set in the future
This was the hardest prompt to fill. There’s a lot of science-fiction in my TBR, and I’m sure quite a lot of them are set in the future, but it’s not easy to tell which ones these are.
I have chosen The Martian. This has been recommended to me by several people so I’m hoping it’s as good as promised.


Plant on the cover
The Bad Mother is a psychological thriller that sounds really interesting. I’m hoping it will be a good read as it doesn’t have many reviews.

History of Magic

Published at least 10 years ago
Dean Koontz has a huge back catalogue of books that I want to read so I immediately went to him to find a book published more than ten years ago. I chose Demon Seed, a dark thriller/horror about artificial intelligence.

Muggle Studies

For Muggle Studies I have chosen We Were Liars. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, it’s been recommended in a lot of different places, and I finally bought a copy earlier this month.


Next ingredient: sequel
For We Are Many if the sequel to We Are Legion (We Are Bob). I really love this book, but I didn’t have the sequels at the time I finished and if I don’t start the sequel straight away I tend to get distracted and forget about it.


Sprayed edges or red cover
I love all things related to fictional serial killers so I’m hoping that I am Not a Serial Killer will be a fun read. It seems to be a mix of different genres so I’m not quite sure what to expect.

So this is what I’ll be reading for my O.W.L.s.

Are you taking part in the readathon? And if so what are your picks? Are you doing all of the O.W.L.s or have you already chosen your career?

Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobooks

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 topic is Audio freebie so I’m listing my ten favourite audiobooks.

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – Another list with Good Omens on it. The BBC radio adaptation was released a few years ago now and was amazing. At the time I was incredibly excited about this after many delays and cancellations of a TV adaptation, five years later there’s finally going to be one.
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells – I love the novel and musical version of The War of the Worlds so when audible released a version that combined the two it was perfect. This is the original novel, with some of the instrumental music from Jeff Wayne’s musical version. I’d recommend this whether you’re a fan of The War of the Worlds, or if you’ve never read it before.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) – Dennis E. Taylor – This is an amazingly fun science-fiction. It’s full of other sci-fi and pop culture references and the science is pretty accurate. The descriptions of space and other planets and wonderful and I found myself getting excited and nerding out so many times while listening to this.

The Soulbreaker – Sebastian Fitzek – I’m a fan of Sebastian Fitzek, and there’s a couple of books now that have only been made available on audible, rather than translated into English. This is a gripping thriller even though parts of it are quite disturbing. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good thriller.
DI Jackman Series – Joy Ellis – I started listening to these in January, and have already listened to all four in the series. They’re amazing crime stories and Richard Armitage does a wonderful job of narrating them. I’m waiting for the next one in the series to be narrated.
Kill Someone – Luke Smitherd – This was a really interesting book. The basic premise is that the main character has to kill someone in order to save the lives of five kidnapped women. It really made me think about what I would do in this situation, whether I could do it, and who I would kill.

Horrorstör – Grady Hendrix – This is a great horror story set in an IKEA type store.
14 – Peter Clines – This was an interesting science-fiction/horror. Parts of it were a bit too farfetched but overall I enjoyed it.
The Worldship Humility – R.R. Haywood – This is a sci-fi/space opera written exclusively for audio. It follows the basic plot of a space adventure but it’s a really fun listen. I love sci-fi and I think sometimes you need to read/listen/watch something just because it’s fun without any deeper meaning.

Evil Has a Name – This is an audible original rather than an audiobook but it was really interesting. I’m a huge fan of crime dramas but I haven’t read/watched much true crime. Parts of the story were very disturbing, but it was fascinating to hear the story of the investigation and how they finally caught the Golden State Killer.

What are your favourite audiobooks?

Reading This Week: 25 March 2019

Last week was incredibly busy at work and the first half this week doesn’t look like it will be much quieter

I only finished two books last week, both on a work trip south of the border. I’m hoping to have more time to read near the end of the week, after all the work deadlines have passed.

I started In Bloom at the weekend so I’m hoping to finish that early this week so I can make a dent in my library books. I’m also reading The Passengers by John Marrs, through The Pigeonhole. This is my first book through The Pigeonhole and it’s an interesting way of reading. I have to wait for the next part to be released rather than racing through the entire book.

I have Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty and Roadwork and The Running Man by Richard Bachman (a pseudonym of Stephen King). I also have an audio version of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn so these week seems to be exclusively thrillers.

There’s a rare book fair in Edinburgh on Saturday so I’m planning to go along for a couple of hours and probably spend too much money on books

Here’s a picture of my little boy Dominick, looking particularly photogenic, on a walk on Saturday. This was taken approximately 45 seconds before the tiny moron tried to catch a bee and was subsequently stung.

Review: Witness

Ten years ago Rebecca testified against her abusive fiancé, Solomon, and he was locked away for murder. Since then Rebecca has rebuilt her life, she now lives in the Welsh town of Pontyferry with her husband, Sean, and four year old daughter, Lottie. However Solomon has spent the last ten years plotting his revenge. For each year he spent in prison Rebecca must witness a crime, and choose the victim. She only has 30 seconds to give him a name, or it will be someone Rebecca know and cares about. As the crimes become more violent, and the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she thought she’d left behind.

Witness is the first book I’ve read by Caroline Mitchell and I really enjoyed it.

The majority of the book is told from Rebecca’s point to view, set in the present, and excerpts of her journal from ten years ago when she first met Solomon. Through these flashbacks we learn how Rebecca and Solomon met, and why she’s so scared of him. At first I found it hard to understand Rebecca’s actions, but Mitchell does a wonderful job of expressing Rebecca’s thoughts and fears, making the reader sympathise with her.

Solomon has spent the last ten years meticulously planning his revenge and he’s determined to make Rebecca pay for her betrayal. In the chapters from his point to view we learn how twisted and manipulative his character truly is. What makes Solomon so terrifying are the chapters in which we get a glimpse into his thoughts about Rebecca, and how realistic this is. His thoughts of how Rebecca belongs to him and how he will make her the perfect wife are something we see too often in real life, and never get less disturbing.

My rating: 4 stars
I’ll definitely be reading more books by Caroline Mitchell.

Review: Take Me In

When a stranger saves their son’s life, Tessa and Marcus owe him everything. After they return home from their holiday they see Dave Jepsom everywhere. He’s at their house, they see him when they’re out. Is he stalking them, and what does he want?

I didn’t enjoy this book. I really liked the premise, but I just didn’t connect with the story.

The story alternates chapters from Tessa’s and Marcus’ point of view, but neither of the characters are likeable. They’re thankful to Dave at first, but they soon begin to resent him and suspect he’s not as nice as he seems. The parents don’t want to be reminded that they failed to protect their child, and Dave’s presence serves as a reminder of this. Without the references to the fact that something terrible was going to happen, all of Dave’s actions would seem perfectly innocent.

The ‘twist ending’ was predictable, and was dragged out far longer than necessary. It seemed like it was going to be revealed several times, only for the chapter to end. I assume this was to try to build suspense, but instead it felt annoying. The story came to a sudden end shortly after and felt unfinished.

My rating: 2 stars.
I didn’t enjoy Lie To Me either, so I think this will be my last Sabine Durrant book.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

There are always hundreds of books on my TBR list, because I have a problem and can’t stop buying books, so here are ten books I’m looking forward to reading in the next few months.

In Bloom – C.J. Skuse – This is the sequel to Sweetpea, a dark comedy about a female serial killer. I didn’t realise that there was going to be a sequel, so I’m excited to find out what happens next, and how many more people are murdered.
Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus – I loved One of Us is Lying so I’m really looking forward to this.
The Silence Between Breaths – Cath Staincliffe – The Girl in the Green Dress was one of the best books I read last year, so when I saw The Silence Between Breaths I immediately bought a copy and added it to my TBR pile. It sounds like a tense thriller and I can’t wait to start reading it.

Don’t Turn Around – Amanda Brooke – This sounds really interesting, but also really emotional.
Lost Daughter – Ali Mercer – I was so excited to read this book, I posted that I was planning on reading it last week, not realising that it isn’t actually released until May.
I Know Who You Are – Alice Feeney – I pre-ordered this back in 2017 and it’s finally due to be released in May.

Rosewater – Tade Thompson – This seems like a different science-fiction. I haven’t read any sci-fi set in Africa before s0 I’m looking forward to this.
Exile – Glynn Stewart – It’s been a while since I read a space opera and this one sounds really interesting.
The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley – This looks like a classic murder mystery

Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness – This is sort of cheating as it’s a trilogy, but I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for this and it sounds really interesting.

What are you most excited to read this Spring?

Review: I Thought I Knew You

Jules and Holly have been best friends since university. When Jules’s daughter Saffie accuses Holly’s son Saul of rape, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.

I Thought I Knew You alternates between Jules and Holly’s point of view. Jules believes her daughter, but Holly is convinced that Saul could never do something like this. The story shows the deepening divide between the two characters, as both are desperate to protect their child.

My immediate instinct in this was to believe Saffie, but as the book progressed I began to doubt parts of her story and I wasn’t sure who to believe. There was clearly more to the story and my mind went through several possibilities, as I tried to fit the pieces together.

I wasn’t sure how I felt after finishing this book. It brought up a lot of emotions, but it is definitely a worthwhile read.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Lost Boy

Once I was young, and young forever and always, until I wasn’t. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.
Peter will tell you that this story isn’t the truth, but Peter lies. I loved him, we all loved him, but he lies, for Peter wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun.
Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I was never his friend.
But I told you already. Peter lies.
This is what really happened.

Lost Boy, Christina Henry

I really enjoy story re-tellings from the point of view of the ‘villain’, explaining why they’re really misunderstood. Lost Boy is told from the point of view of Jamie, when he’s one of Peter’s lost boys, explaining how and why he became Peter’s enemy, Captain Hook.

From the very start of this book, it’s obvious that Peter is the real villain of the story. We see how Jamie cares about all of the boys, while Peter sees them as toys, there to entertain him and be discarded. If boys have to die so that Peter can have his fun, Peter can always get more from the other place.

These boys will never grow up because they’ll never have the chance to.

Jamie has been on the island for years with Peter, he was the first lost boy, but throughout the story we see Jamie become slowly disillusioned with Peter and Neverland, ageing as he does. Through Peter’s impulsive actions and indifference to the lives of the boys he ‘rescues’ we see Jamie’s love for Peter slowly turn to hatred and gain an understanding of Captain Hook.

Henry’s version of Peter doesn’t contradict the Peter created by J.M. Barrie, or the version we see in the Disney film. It’s very easy to see Peter’s actions in these as selfish and uncaring, rather than those of the kind hero we thought.

My rating: 4 stars

Book Haul: 13 March 2019

I went to The Works this week and got a huge stack of books. Going to any bookshop is dangerous, as I will leave with at least one book, but The Works is particularly dangerous as it’s so cheap. I got 23 books for a total of £35.30. The fact that some of them will likely sit on a shelf for six months before I get around to reading them is irrelevant.

Chaos Walking – I’ve seen a lot of good things about this trilogy so I’m really excited about reading it. I’m going to try and set aside a weekend to read all three.

Murder Games – I tried watching the TV show and wasn’t a fan. I thought the plot was interesting, but the TV show felt quite rushed, so I’m hoping the book will be better.
James Patterson and Ian Rankin are usually pretty enjoyable mysteries so I almost always buy the books that I haven’t read yet.

We Were Liars – I’ve seen a lot about this and been considering reading it for a while, so I’m glad I can finally add it to my TBR pile.
The other four don’t have many ratings on Goodreads so I’m excited to find some books that I don’t have any expectations for. The Girl in the Green Dress by Cath Staincliffe was one of my favourite reads of 2018 so I’m hoping that The Silence Between Breaths will be almost as good.

The rest are a mix of thrillers and mysteries.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – I watched the TV adaptation earlier this year and enjoyed it and I’ve been wanting to read the book for a while now.
In Bloom – This is the sequel to Sweetpea which I read a couple of years ago. I wasn’t expecting a sequel so I’m interested to see how this measures up.

What was your most recent book haul like? Do you plan what books you’re going to buy or do you just go to a bookstore and see what takes your fancy?