2017 Wrap-Up

Muslim Shelf Space 2017

I can’t believe it’s 2018 already! I’ve now had this blog for almost a year and I’m so proud of myself for not giving up on it, indeed this blog has definitely helped me so much in both the amount I read and in increasing the diversity in what I’ve read.

People may have noticed I stopped doing Monthly Wrap-Up posts for the past few months and I completely apologise for that, life got in the way a bit and I felt I’d focus on the reviews and just wrap everything up now.

So, the first thing is naturally to talk about all the amazing books I read this year!

The Books

So, I’m not going to list all the books because I read a grand total of 210 books this year. However, for those that want to know then you can easily look at my Goodreads because I always keep that up to date (after getting home this morning, one of the first things I did before going to sleep was setting my 2018 challenge on there)

A lot of the books I read were fantastic so I’m also really struggling with trying to narrow it down to just a top 10 or top 20 or even top 50. I always struggle with picking favourites though so I just won’t. I did want to post some book covers here so you had some nice pictures to look at but honestly I’d feel bad at leaving out so many great books so instead I’ll provide you with some nice stats.

Of the books I read this year, 98 of them were by women, 3 were by a non-binary author and several (forgot the number) were collections of short stories by multiple authors which is something I’m quite pleased with.

I’ve not made an exact count, however a lot of these books were also by POC (indeed in February I exclusively reviewed books by black authors for Black History Month) as I made a significant effort to try and increase the diversity in my reading and I also actively sought out translated literature too for even more diversity. I read 6 books by Muslim authors, as mentioned in my last post, and I’m hoping to read even more this year.

I’m pretty pleased with everything I read and most of the books were all fantastic, which contributes towards it being difficult to choose favourites.

The Blog

So, I started this blog back in January 2017 and honestly had no idea that so many of you wonderful people would enjoy reading it so much! I really enjoy looking at my stats and seeing all the different ways you find my blog and where you all come from.

I’ve learnt that my most popular posts are the recommendation ones and those are definitely the best way to promote my blog on other sites, but my reviews are still read more than I’d expect which means a lot (I know I end most of my reviews going “I recommend this!” but honestly I really do recommend almost all of the books I read)

One thing I really enjoyed last year was the two “themed” months I did where in February I focused on books by Black authors for Black History Month and in November I took part in SciFi month on twitter. I think I might do the same thing again this year because they were a lot of fun and definitely helped motivate my reading.

I’ve ended the year just short of 200 followers and so my goal is to hit 250 which hopefully shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve!


So, despite the lack of pretty book covers I hoped you enjoyed my wrap-up and continue to keep reading this year! If there are any types of posts you’d like to see then please let me know, as I’m always happy to get more feedback. I’ve got a lot of reviews of books from last year to write so should hopefully be pretty active this month trying to catch up on everything.


August Wrap-Up 2017

May Wrap-Up (1)

It’s wrap-up time again already! Again, this one is a bit late because I’ve been very busy with work and my spare time has been spent applying for new jobs as my contract ends this month. However, that does mean I’m about to have a lot of free time again so I can focus a lot more on this blog and on catching up on all my review copies!

For those that don’t know, I live in Edinburgh and in August the city literally doubles in size and we have a whole bunch of festivals taking place.  That means I have a lot of fun seeing lots of strange and fun shows (one was literally just a guy playing Mario Maker and it was brilliant) but not so much time for reading or posting. Still, despite all that I managed to read a total of 10 books so I’m rather pleased about that.

So, here are the books!


I’m quite pleased with the books I read last month as I feel I managed to stay quite diverse even with just 10 books and I managed to get several books off my to-read list. I’ve reviewed a couple of these books already, and I plan on reviewing quite a few of the rest soon so those should be up throughout this month.

For those who regularly read my blog, you’ll notice I’ve stopped doing the “Down the TBR hole” tag as I felt that I’d got rid of quite a lot and I was getting too obsessed with getting it to a low number that I wasn’t adding new books to it. So, I’m taking a break from it and increasing my TBR again with all the wonderful books I see other bloggers reviewing and discussing.

So, I hope everybody else had a great August and got more reading done than me! My goal this month is to catch up on all the review copies I have so I shall mostly be focusing on that which means lots of Sci-Fi and Fantasy reviews coming up!

July Wrap-Up 2017

May Wrap-Up

So, this post is very late and I apologise. As mentioned last time, I’m now working and I was still in the middle of moving and so I’ve not had much free time. However, I have now fully finished moving (still some unpacking to do, but that’s mostly just books) and cleaned the old place so should have much more time now that I don’t have to keep travelling across the entire city all the time.

I had a friend staying with me for a while and I’m currently enjoying the Edinburgh Fringe so that’s also eating a lot of my free time. The Book Festival has also just started and so I’m very excited about going to see a show soon with two authors I really love (and I imagine once I read books by the others at the show, I’ll love them too).

Anyway, because I was so busy throughout July it meant I didn’t have much chance to read either. Without further ado, here are the books I read for July!


Of these, three of them were ARCs so I’m pretty pleased about that – still need to write reviews for two of them (Skyfarer and The Last Namsara) which are both excellent. Hustlers, Harlots and Heroes was my read for the non-fiction square on Fantasy Bingo so although I’ve not read that much, I have at least still moved further forward on my goals – especially as The Man with the Compound Eyes is also a read for my Around the World challenge and is also just beautiful.

In good news, I also completed my Goodreads challenge last month! I’ve now hit 150 books for the year which I’m super pleased with. I’m not going to increase it any further though because well I’ve already read way more than I did last year and so I’m just going to see how much over 150 I can get.

Anyway, my goals for August are to get the number of books read into the double digits again and to work more on my blog. I’ve got a few days off this week now so should definitely catch up on the blog side as I have a bunch of books to review and I’ll probably also make some posts about the book festival too. For those that follow me on Twitter, apologies that my feed is now very focused on the Fringe rather than books, but well that’s what happens during August!


June Wrap-Up 2017

May Wrap-Up

It’s that time again! It seems like June has just flown past for me as I’ve been so busy. This post is a little late, as I currently don’t have internet this month and so can only update sporadically.

The main news I have this month is the fact that I’ve moved! Hence, the lack of internet. My new flat is really nice but there’s less storage space so I’ve been doing a lot of culling of books to save space. I’m planning on taking most of them to a swap-shop and then plan to release some onto Book Crossing along with giving away others to friends. I’ve made good progress so far – I think I’ve found almost 50 books to get rid of. We haven’t fully moved everything yet as I’ve basically just been going back and forth on the bus with a suitcase, backpack and shoulder bag but I have moved almost all my board games and clothes and enough books to keep me busy for a while (plus my Kindle which will keep me busy for a long time)

I’ve also got a job now! It’s pretty cool although very tiring as I’m not used to being on my feet for 8 hours at a time (especially since I need to get supportive shoes as mine as not the greatest) – one of the best parts is that I get a commission so I can pick something I want and then aim to get enough commission to buy that. My first goal is the current Humble Book Bundle!

As for blog news, because I’ve been so busy with job hunting, moving and working I’ve not posted as much as I’d like. However, there is a coffee place near my new flat so I plan on going there at least once a week on a day off to write some posts for the week – I already have one queued up and hopefully can get a few more done to make sure I still post semi-regularly. My phone isn’t the greatest otherwise I’d write posts using that.

Anyway, it’s time for the books!


I read 20 books this month which I’m pretty pleased about! 4 were the Giver quartet as I read the first one and just had to know what happened, then I read Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton for the Fantasy Bingo and fell in love with her writing so read a couple more by her (and have more on request at the library)

Quite a few of the books I read were also ones from my TBR list as I’m making good progress on that. I’ve missed the TBR tag but plan on doing it again once I have regular internet. I also haven’t had the chance to start my Sunday book posts as again that’ll wait until I have the internet so this month will mostly be a mix of reviews and some challenge related ones as I meant to do that last month but never got around to it.

Anyway, hopefully, I can still maintain a semi-regular presence for the rest of the month and in August I should be back to being much more regular plus I’ll have more money for books which is always great!

May 2017 – Wrap Up

May Wrap-Up

It’s that time again already! Time for my May wrap-up post!

This month has been pretty good, I’ve managed to read quite a few books for Bingo, I’ve started doing the “Down the TBR Hole” tag which has really helped me reduce my TBR pile on Goodreads and I’ve also started managing to get rid of some books from my overflowing shelves.

In blog news, I’ve started the Down the TBR Hole tag as mentioned above and it’s doing really well. I didn’t do one last week as I was busy applying for jobs and didn’t have the time. I’ve stopped doing my Travel Thursdays for now as I felt they weren’t really getting any views and so it didn’t seem like something people were interested in. I might do them again later if I get more interest, but I think I might instead focus on general recommendation posts instead. I’ve got quite a lot of book reviews up this month and my views are around the same as February and March which I’m very happy about. I’m getting a decent amount of views from a variety of sources and I think my goal for June is to try and use Instagram more and get some new readers from there (and also because it’s just fun taking book photos)

As for the books I read this month, here they are!


As you can see, I read a total of 22 books! Of those 22, 12 were by women and 10 by men so I’m quite pleased with that ratio. Several were from different countries helping me with my Around the World Challenge and quite a few of these were for the Fantasy Bingo so I’m making very good progress on that. I’d been ignoring the Book Riot challenge recently so I read Gulliver’s Travels for that (an all-ages comic) and I might try and do a couple more of those this month too. As it’s now halfway through the year, I’m planning on doing several challenge-specific posts to see how I’m doing and to plan out my reading a bit more for the rest of the year.

I’ve discovered that getting books from the library makes me much more likely to read them (the stress of the deadline to return them really helps) and so I’m going to make TBR lists and then request those books from the library as I feel that will work much better than my usual “I want to read these books” and then I don’t touch them for ages.

In life news, I’m moving this month! I’m very excited about that as it means I can hopefully finally get a cat. I’ve also been busy applying for jobs and so I’m hoping that goes well (and more money to spend on books is always good!). One particularly impressive thing I’ve done recently is start being very strict on myself with regards to books and so I’m making a huge pile of books to donate instead of taking with me to my new flat. I’m very bad at this usually so it’s a pretty big deal to me that I’m managing to do this. I’m also going to be pretty busy this month as I have plans for almost every single weekend day now so I’m going to have to be extra organised to keep up with my blog but that shouldn’t be a problem as I have plenty of good books to review and a bunch of post ideas so will just set aside a couple days to schedule some of those up in advance.

What do you think of the books I read? Are there any you think I’d like based on what I read? Any books you’d like me to review from those I mentioned? Let me know!

April 2017 Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up.png

So! This post is a bit late because I spent the past few days reading the Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb and that just took up all of my time.

As far as blog news goes for April, I’ve not been as active as I’d have wanted however that’s mostly due to the fact I’ve been reading a lot more instead and so I’m still happy enough with that. My views aren’t as high as previous months however I’m still getting a decent amount, even when I’ve not posted for a couple days, which I’m very happy about. I’m planning on spending a few days catching up on Book Reviews and trying to schedule them for the next month or two so that I can then focus on other posts.

Since I’m taking part in the /r/Fantasy Bingo, I plan on making recommendation posts for a lot of the squares and so you can expect to start seeing more of those. We’re almost halfway through the year now too so there will probably be several posts on the various challenges I’m doing and how I’m getting on with them. I’ve not posted much lately on my read around the world challenge so I’m going to try and focus my reviews on those.

So yes, I apologise for the lack of posts last month but I’m determined to be way more regular this month and try and beat last months views!

Anyway, on to the books I read in April!


As you can see, I had a very good month! I read a total of 25 books (A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee is missing from this image as I realised I hadn’t set the read date on Goodreads) and I’ve managed to read all of the Bailey’s Prize shortlisted books except one (I’ve got a reservation at the library and just waiting on a copy to be available). I’ve managed to read quite a few for the /r/Fantasy bingo squares and have kept my reading as diverse as possible. I’m starting to read a lot more SFF again and so there will probably be a lot of reviews of that coming up soon.

I’m not going to discuss each book individually as there are so many, but again I had a very good reading month and enjoyed almost everything I read and am looking forward to writing my reviews so I can share my enjoyment of them.

I added a life update last time as I know I enjoy learning more about the bloggers I follow but nothing too noteworthy has happened other than going on a nice long-weekend away with some friends where I spent a lot of time reading and playing board games. I applied to an awesome job but I won’t hear back for quite a while so fingers crossed (I think I’ve got an interview to another, less awesome, job so that’s cool too. Now to make sure I have interview clothes!)


March 2017 Wrap-Up


March Blog Wrap-Up

So! As you can see from the image above, I read a lot less this month than I did last month. I read a total of 15 books which I think is pretty good considering that the new Zelda game came out this month and I’ve spent a lot of time playing it. I really enjoyed most of the books I read and I’m still trying to read as diversely as possible. 10/15 books I read were written by women so I’m doing really well on my goal of reading more books written by women and several of these will count towards my various reading challenges which is also great. I plan on doing a ReadHarder quarterly wrap-up post soon, I just need to finish my reviews first!

I’m not doing a book haul for this month because I had almost no views on my last one so I feel it’s something people aren’t interested in. However if people would like me to do one, I’d happily do that as I keep all my new purchases for each month separate (as I have a goal of trying to read at least one of my new books each “haul”)

Blogging wise, I’ve started my new Travel Thursday feature which I really enjoy. I’ve not had that many views on them yet so I’m only going to do them every other week but so far I’m really enjoying writing them and they’re a big help for my “Around the World” challenge. I’ve almost hit 100 followers so I’m very excited about that and I now have 300 followers on Twitter. I’ve not had as many posts this month, again mostly due to Zelda, and I’ve started setting aside time on Tuesday and Wednesday for blog hopping so that I can also spend more time reading other fantastic blogs. I’ve managed to slightly increase my views from February which is good given that I made less posts and I’m also quite happy to see that I’ve got views from across the world which is really cool. (I’ve also decided that for my “Around the World” challenge I’m going to focus first on the countries that my visitors are from so if you have a recommendation then please let me know!)

Finally, I’m about to start a new reading challenge/bingo focused on Fantasy books that I’m very excited about. I’ll be making a post about it soon and I expect I’ll be making a couple recommendation posts for a couple of the squares. I’m contemplating joining in on Diversity Bingo too, just because through my reading I’ve already completed a fair amount of the squares – I think I’m going to set aside a day to go through and see just how many squares I’ve completed as if it’s more than a quarter then I’ll definitely join (and if not, I probably will anyway but will wait until I’ve finished one of my other challenges first)

Life Wrap-Up

So, I didn’t do this last month but I know I’m certainly curious about the lives of the bloggers I read so figure you might be curious about me so I’ll add in a monthly feature to update you on my life (especially for those who don’t follow me on Twitter)

I’m currently unemployed but I’ve made good progress with job applications this month and I’m hopeful that I’ll find something soon. I currently volunteer for a fantastic charity while I job hunt so that’s really helping build my skills and they’ve said that they’ll write me a fantastic reference and asked me if there’s anything they can do to help which is so lovely of them.

As I mentioned above, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the new Zelda game as it’s just so fantastic. I’m a big fan of video games and if I’m not reading or playing board games (another hobby of mine) then I’m probably playing a video game. I just completed Zelda a couple days ago but there’s still so much more to do so I’ll probably still be playing it for quite a while. I’ve also started a game of Fire Emblem so I’ll probably be spending a lot of time on that this month.

My writing has been a bit slow lately as my mental health hasn’t been that great so I’ve put it on hold to have one less thing to stress about but I plan on returning to it this month and trying to hit 10k words on my Novella.

Goals for April:

  • Read at least 4 books for each challenge I’m doing
  • Get back to scheduling more posts in advance
  • Write reviews for all the ARCs I’ve finished
  • Make more recommendation posts
  • Get more views than last month
  • Eat healthier
  • Apply to more jobs
  • Start doing yoga again
  • Write at least 10k words


So! How was your March? Were you able to achieve your goals or was it a slow month for you? I love reading wrap-ups so if you have one, please comment with it so I can go check it out!


February 2017 Wrap-Up


So, February is the first full month of blogging I’ve had and it’s been excellent! I’ve managed to get more traffic than January, more followers and discovered lots of excellent new blogs to follow myself!

As some of you may know, I was only reviewing books by Black Authors because it was Black History Month and that went really well! I even squeezed in a couple extra posts too as I had so many reviews to post. If you want to check those out, they’re all under the “Black History Month” category. I mixed my reading for that between some free classics which I made a list about here and between Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels focusing on authors from my list here. I did also read plenty of books by other authors and so I’ve got a lot of reviews to catch up on now! I had planned on making a second Sci-Fi/Fantasy post focusing on male authors this time but I ended up not having time although I do plan on doing that eventually. Maybe later this month!

I noticed that I was nominated for a couple awards and I’d like to thank all those that nominated me! That’s lovely of you. As I’m still really new, I don’t really know anybody well enough to tag them so I’ve not responded to any of those yet.

A lot of the posts I make are currently book reviews and so I’m thinking of starting doing a couple of the weekly posts I see floating around since I always enjoy reading those on others blogs. I haven’t decided which yet but if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Anyway, on to the books read!


I read a whopping 26 books this month so I’m not going to list and link them all individually as that would take forever! However, you can just go view my Goodreads profile if you want to look up any of them in more detail.


It’s really hard to focus on highlights because I enjoyed so many of these books! I have reviews up for quite a few of them and am working on reviews for several more. I managed to make quite a bit of progress on several of my challenges too, so I’m thinking about adding another one as thanks to my focus on black authors this month, I’m pretty certain I’ve managed to achieve my POC reading challenge goal already (or am only a few books away from completing it). I’m thinking about starting the Diversity Bingo Challenge although if there are any other interesting challenges out there, I’d love to hear about them.

So! Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think! Are there any you’d like me to discuss more? Are there any books you’d recommend for March based on what I read? Let me know below!