Tag Archives: bookworm

Flaca by Leslie DJ Book Blitz + Review.

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Flaca by Leslie DJ. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 April till 3 May. See the tour schedule here.

FlacaFlaca: an honest account of a Latina with an eating disorder
By Leslie DJ
Genre: Non-fiction/ memoir
Release Date: 20 February 2020

Blurb:
After an intervention during the summer of 2018 Leslie finds herself in a treatment center for an eating disorder she was unaware she had. In her own words, Leslie DJ, author of That Girl and Luz digs deep into her own struggles and battle with anorexia and bipolar II disorder in a brave and sometimes comical account of her life.

You can find Flaca on Goodreads

You can buy Flaca here on Amazon


My thought on the book

In Flaca, the author talks about her journey with an eating disorder and bipolar disorder. Raw and honest are two words I’d use to describe this book. Leslie tells her story with unflinching honesty, highlighting her battle with mental illness. She also talks about her childhood and her obsession with pro-anorexia sites.
The book was easy to follow – even with the heavy subject matter. Nice, short journal-like entries that give readers an insight into what it’s like to suffer from an eating disorder. I appreciated the epilogue – how it showed that just because someone may have recovered, there is always the chance for relapse. I look forward to seeing what the author writes next.

Leslie DJAbout the Author:
Leslie DJ was born to write, photographs of her holding pen to paper can be found within the confines of this book. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School of New York and is an on-air talent at 94.3 FM WBMB Baruch College radio. She is the host of two podcasts including Sinister Girlz a female-centric music podcast that promotes local talents in music and could be found on Stitcher and Apple Podcast. She is a native New York and resides with her pet Chihuahua, Joey and precocious parrots Perry and Cocoa.

You can find and contact Leslie DJ here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Giveaway
There is a tour-wide giveaway for the book blitz of Flaca. One winner will win a signed copy of both “That Girl” and “Luz” by Leslie DJ (US and Canada only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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The Fallout Blog Tour + Review.

The Fallout BT Poster -1

The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton. 

Publisher – HarperFiction.

Release date – 2nd April 2020. 

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

The Fallout Cover

Synopsis

At the school gates, there’s no such thing as yesterday’s news . . .

When Liza’s little boy has an accident at the local health club, it’s all anyone can talk about.

Was nobody watching him? Where was his mother? Who’s to blame?

The rumours, the finger-pointing, the whispers – they’re everywhere. And Liza’s best friend, Sarah, desperately needs it to stop.

Because Sarah was there when it happened. It was all her fault. And if she’s caught out on the lie, everything will fall apart.


My thought on the book3 star book review

The Fallout was different from what I was expecting, but it was still worth a read. It started off interesting and gripping, and I was excited to know what happened. The suspense was great at the beginning, however; the story dragged, and I felt it would have been better being shorter. 

I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. Although they felt believable, I struggled to connect with them. However, I presume that’s because their world is so far from mine, rather than it being a problem with the characters. 

Overall, this book had great potential but parts weren’t to my liking. It gripped me near the beginning but as the story went on; I become bored and my concentration waned. However, still, a great read for anyone who likes books filled with drama and secrets and I’d still like to check out other books by this author.


About the author              

Rebecca Thornton is an alumna of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course, where she was tutored by Esther Freud and Tim Lott. Her writing has been published in The Guardian, You Magazine, Daily Mail, Prospect Magazine and The Sunday People amongst others. She has reported from the Middle East, Kosovo and the UK. She now lives in West London with her husband and two children. The Fallout is her third novel.

For more information, interviews and features, please contact Jennifer Harlow onjennifer.harlow@harpercollins.co.uk / @jenrharlow



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The Forever House Blog Tour + Review

The Forever House BT Poster -1

The Forever House by Tim Waggoner. 

Publisher – Flame Tree Press.

Release date – 26th March 2020.

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

The Forever House Cover

Synopsis

Bram Stoker Award-winner Tim Waggoner consistently delivers the goods when it comes to hard-hitting horror fiction, with compelling characters and dangerous horrors at every turn. This is Horror

In Rockridge, Ohio, a sinister family moves into a sleepy cul de sac. The Eldreds feed on the negative emotions of humans, creating nightmarish realms within their house to entrap their prey. Neighbors are lured into the Eldreds home and faced with challenges designed to heighten their darkest emotions so their inhuman captors can feed and feed well. If the humans are to have any hope of survival, they ll have to learn to overcome their prejudices and resentments toward one another and work together. But which will prove more deadly in the end, the Eldreds . . . or each other?


My thought on the book

The Forever House centres around a new family who move into a quiet neighbourhood. Little do their neighbours know that they are actually demons who feed on the negative emotions of humans, and they plan to lure them into their house to feed on them.

The human characters in this book all have very complex lives and things going on that the Eldred’s love to feed on. The tension was spot on during this book and it was hard to put down once I got into it. It took me a while to become interested, but once I did, I couldn’t stop reading.

This was such a unique horror story. It was creepy, gory, and mind-bending. There were some scenes in this book that were hard to read in terms of their content, so I don’t recommend this for the faint of heart.


About the author

Tim Waggoner’s first novel came out in 2001, and since then he’s published over forty novels and five collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. His novels include Like Death, considered a modern classic in the genre, and the popular

Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction for Supernatural, Grimm, the X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, and Transformers, among others, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Kingsman: the Golden Circle and Resident Evil: the Final Chapter. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Workshop of Horror, and Where Nightmares Come From.

In 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. His fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year, and in 2016, the Horror Writers Association honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award. In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College.

 


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Tales Of Unexplained Mystery Blog Tour + Book Review

Tales of Unexplained Mystery BT Poster -1

Tales of Unexplained Mystery by Steph Young.

Paperback: 247 pages

Publisher: Independently published (2 Dec. 2019)

Publication Date: 2nd December 2019.

Language: English

ISBN-10:1670675947

ISBN-13:978-1670675941

You can purchase this book on Amazon here. 

Tales of Unexplained Mystery Front Cover

Synopsis

Tales of Mystery Unexplained….What happened to Elisa Lam, found dead in a water tower atop a hotel roof? Who were the two men who came to see her & what was in the mystery box they gave her? Why did the location of her gravestone match the zip code of a Bookstore, miles away?

Why was a man found in the same spot he disappeared, but 4 years later, with a hole in his head that no surgeons could explain? And what did this have to do with a séance, doppelgangers & the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? Why did a man write the Fibonacci sequence as a clue & tell a stranger he was “Looking for the Beast,” before he disappeared in the barren plains of a desert? Plus many more Tales of Mystery Unexplained.

Steph Young has appeared on national radio shows & podcasts including the UK’s The Unexplained, and Coast to Coast Am, talking about many of these mysteries.

You can also hear some of these Unexplained Mysteries on her podcast on iTunes ‘Tales of Mystery Unexplained.’


My thought on the book

I’ve always been a fan of strange, unexplained mysteries and so this book didn’t disappoint me. Some of these tales I’d heard of but most I hadn’t. There was a couple I wasn’t a fan of but most of the stories gave me food for thought and got my brain working.

I was worried I would become irritated with this book because of my need to know how things work and how they end. However, that didn’t happen and instead, I found myself interested and attempting to put the clues together to try and figure out what happened.

The authors writing style was engaging and kept me reading. Some of the information was repetitive but I only found that a small problem. You could tell the author had done her research, allowing us to follow deeply thought out and well put together cases.

The only thing I didn’t like was some of the stories dragged on. A couple were only a few pages, whilst others seemed to go on forever. This is my own opinion though and it might not bother other people.

I will be checking out Steph Young’s other books as this book piqued my interest, and I’m excited to delve more into unexplained mysteries.


About the Author.

Steph Young Author Picture

Steph Young has been a guest on National Radio shows including ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ as well as many more…

Steph’s Podcast on iTunes; “Tales of Mystery Unexplained” discussing Creepy Mysteries of the Unexplained.

Website: Stephyoungauthor.com

Twitter @StephYoungAuth

Instagram @authorstephyoung

 


 

ARC Book Review | Little White Lies by Philippa East.

little white lies

little white lies book cover

Title – Little White Lies.

Author – Philippa East.

Expected date published – 4th February 2020.

Publisher – HQ.

Series status – Standalone.

Add to Goodreads. 


Synopsis

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…


My thought on the book

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book*

An intense web of secrets, a mysterious lie hanging over them. Little White Lies was a riveting read showing how complex trauma is, and how it destroys not only the victim but also their families.

The two different perspectives worked well and the voices were distinct. I found Jess naive and somewhat childlike and I felt sorry for her. I didn’t connect well with Anne but only because I knew she was hiding something and I couldn’t trust her.

It was intriguing to see what could happen when a missing child is returned after so many years. How it can tear families apart and change not only the kidnapped child but also the ones closest to them.

I quickly realised that all was not as it seemed and some of the characters were hiding things. Anne’s reaction to her daughter coming home was somewhat strange and angered me at points. I couldn’t understand why she reacted the way she did, however, it all becomes clear at the end.

Overall, this book was riveting, exciting and kept me engaged. I had so many questions and I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know the whole truth. A great debut novel and I’m so excited for the author’s future books!


Have you read Little White Lies? If so, what did you think?

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Book Review | Lock Me In By Kate Simants.

book review | lock me in by Kate simants | Charleigh writes

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – Lock Me In.

Author – Kate Simants.

Date published – 3rd October 2019.

Publisher – Killer Reads.

Series status – Standalone.

Add to Goodreads. 


Synopsis

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…


My thought on the book

5 star book review

I am in awe of how good this book actually was. The premise of this book intrigued me and I found myself gripped from the very first chapter. Interesting, thought-provoking, and full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

I loved that we got to have some insight into Ellie’s therapy sessions, how it allowed us to work through her issues and to think about what might have caused her problems. The author did a fantastic job of trickling information throughout the book, rather than telling us everything at the beginning. The two POV’s were interesting. I liked reading from the investigator’s POV as well as from Ellie’s. It added a whole new dimension to the story.

Overall, this is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. I couldn’t put it down, the storyline was unique and I was excited to find out what would happen next. I recommend this book to everyone, absolutely brilliant!


How you read Lock Me In? If so, what did you think?

lock me in Pinterest graphic

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The 5 Books I Enjoyed Most This Year

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again where I share my favourite reads. I’ve had a great reading year for the most part. I’ve been in a slump for about a month which sucks, but I’m still on track to complete my Goodreads challenge! I have read some great books this year and some not so great. In today’s post, I’ve picked out the 5 I’ve enjoyed the most!


You/poet by Rayna Hutchinson and Samuel Blake.

the 5 books I've enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – You/poet.

Author(s) – Rayna Hutchinson and Samuel Blake.

Date published – 4th September 2018.

Publisher – Adams Media.

Add to Goodreads. 

Synopsis

Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative voice, sharing your work online, and honing your writing skills, You/Poet shows you how to express yourself creatively through the art of poetry.

You may think that writing poetry requires a specific set of skills. You may have read books on writing poetry that were stuffy and full of strict rules and regulations. But You/Poetproves that all you need to be a poet is the desire to share your inner thoughts and emotions with the world. Let HerHeartPoetry—an online poetry community, Instagram, digital zine, and poetry press—take you on a journey of self-discovery and surprise, and show you how to embrace the world of writing poetry with arms wide open.

Writing poetry is an act of bravery. It’s just you, your thoughts and feelings, and the words you choose to express them. You/Poet can help you do just that. With encouragement and advice on poetry writing basics, how to identify your unique creative voice, and prompts and exercises to help you channel your thoughts and emotions through writing, this all-in-one guide will help you share your talent with the world.

This year I’ve really been working hard to improve my writing skills. One of the areas I wanted to focus on was my poetry. This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read on writing poetry. It offers up advice on voice and the basics of poetry. However, my favourite part was the prompt section. It’s divided into single-word prompts, word jumble prompts, image prompts, micropoetry prompts and thematic prompts. It’s well worth a read if you’re looking for inspiration or wanting to improve your poetry skills. 


Lock Me In by Kate Simants.

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

Title – Lock Me In.

Author – Kate Simants.

Date published – 3rd October 2019.

Publisher – Killer Reads.

Add to Goodreads. 

Synopsis

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I’ve really been loving psychological thrillers recently, so I requested this on Netgalley and was pleasantly surprised. Look out for a review coming soon!


Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer.

Aphrodite made me do it

Title – Aphrodite Made Me Do It.

Author – Trista Mateer.

Date published – 1st October 2019.

Publisher – Central Avenue Publishing.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisBestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite makes you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

This is one of my favourite poetry collections I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It touches on subjects such as mental illness, LGBTQ+, forgiveness, and love. It’s such a beautiful read and I highly recommend it. 


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

knife of never letting go

Title – The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking Trilogy Book 1).

Author – Patrick Ness.

Date published – 22nd July 2014.

Publisher – Candlewick Press.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisTodd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Another book I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. I am in love with Patrick Ness’s writing and I am so excited to read his other books. This was such a unique and exciting read. 


Finale by Stephanie Garber.

finale

Title – Finale (Caraval Trilogy Book 3).

Author – Stephanie Garber.

Date published – 7th May 2019.

Publisher – Flatiron Books.

Add to Goodreads. 

SynopsisA love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Although I am beyond sad this series has come to an end, I absolutely loved the final book and thought it was a fitting ending. Caraval has become one of my all-time favourite series and I’m so excited to see what the author writes next. 


What were your favourite books this year? 

the 5 books I enjoyed most this year | Charleigh writes

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4 Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

popular books i haven't read yet but want to | charleigh writes

With so many books out in the world, it’s no surprise there are so many popular books I haven’t read. I don’t have the best track record with popular books, so I tend to avoid reading them until the hype dies down. I’ve heard great things about all of these books so I’m excited to read them very soon.

*All book titles go to Goodreads*


The Raven Boys Series.

popular books i haven't read yet but want to | charleigh writes

Synopsis

“It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”

I haven’t read any of this author’s work before but I’ve heard good things. This series has been on my shelf for the longest time but I’ve never been in the mood for it. With so many great reviews how could I not want to pick this series up?


The Book Thief.

popular books i haven't read yet but want to | charleigh writes

Synopsis

“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.”

I first started reading this back when the film was released, however, I never finished it. It wasn’t because it was a bad book, in fact, it’s far from it, but I either wasn’t in the mood for it or my concentration wasn’t great. Either way, I did enjoy what I did read and I’d love to get back into it. 


Children of Blood and Bone.

popular books i haven't read yet but want to | charleigh writes

Synopsis

“They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.”

This is a relatively recent addition to my TBR, but I’ve heard amazing things about this book. After reading the blurb and other people’s reviews, it sounds like a fresh and exciting addition to the YA world. 


Red Queen Series.

red queen

Synopsis

“This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.”

This is another series I’ve had on my shelf forever, however, I have a pretty valid reason for not having read it yet! When I first purchased Red Queen, the series was close to been finished so I decided to wait (because let’s face it, who here hates having to wait for the next book?!)


What popular books haven’t you read yet but want to? 

popular books

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Ultimate Gift Guide For The Book Lover In Your Life

I’m here today with another gift guide – this time for the book lover in your life! It can be hard to think of ideas that aren’t books, so this guide is centered around things other than books. Of course a bookworm would love books (clue is in the title!), however, it can be hard to pick books they’ll enjoy or to know what books they already have. I hope you find the perfect gift!


Bookmarks!

Bookmarks are a book lover’s best friend. Nothing is worse than having nothing to mark your page, heaven forbid that someone might dog-ear a page! Bookmarks come in all shapes and sizes – woodmarks (like from Ink and Wonder), magnetic bookmarks, metal bookmarks, leather bookmarks, the choice is yours.


Bookish pins.

I for one love collecting book-related pins. It can be a good idea to think about what books they love to read and try to find pins based on them. For example, is your loved one a Harry Potter fan? – then these from Ink and Wonder are perfect.

Expecto Patronum pin.

Lumos pin.

Mischief Managed pin. 


Candles.

Candles are a wonderful present for a bookish loved one. You can even find candles based on your loved one’s favourite book. Some great places to find bookish candles are;

A Court of Candles.

Bookish Burns.

Amelia Kitchen Candles.


Book sleeves.

Personally, my favourite bookish gift. I didn’t even know these were a thing until a few years ago when I received one in my Fairyloot subscription box. They are perfect for keeping books safe when out and about. They help protect from spillages, knocks, and creasing of covers/pages. They come in beautiful designs too! Here are some great places to find them;

Grumble Bums Crafts.

Artisanal Ane.


Reading journal.

Reading journals are perfect for the book lover in your life. It’s great having online sites like Goodreads to track books, but it’s nothing like having a journal to record your thoughts. This one is from Amazon and it includes a book log: with space for thoughts, as well as information like title, author, date read, stars given, etc.


Bookish mugs.

How about a bookish mug to sip their favourite drink whilst reading. Hot drinks go wonderfully well with reading so this is a great gift. You can get mugs with quotes, favourite book images or anything that looks cute! Here are some Etsy shops that do great bookish mugs;

The Story Gift.

Sweet Sequels.


TBR jar.

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Lastly, if you’re on a budget or fancy being creative why not make them one of these TBR jars (you can check out my post on that here). It’s a really simple and fun gift that any book lover will love!


What other ideas could someone gift their bookish loved one?

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Make Your Own TBR Jar (Fantastic Gift)

Today I’m going to be showing you how to make two different TBR jars. They make fantastic gifts for Christmas. They’re super simple and hardly take any time at all, and you can decorate/personalise them however you like! If you’re on a real budget you can even use old washed out jars or ice lolly sticks.


Starry night sky TBR jar.

What you’ll need.

  • A plain glass jar (I got mine from Wilko).
  • White Acrylic Gesso.
  • Paintbrushes/water pot/palette.
  • Dark blue paint (I used Docrafts Artiste Acrylic Paint Night Blue) but you can use any sort of paint as long as it paints over glass.
  • Ultra-Fine pin tip Posca paint pens (White and Gold).
  • Mod Podge (or any kind of water-based sealer).
  • Plain paper.

Step one.

First, give the jar a few coats of the gesso. I ended up giving it 3 coats – to be sure I couldn’t see any glass left through it. This gives the jar a good base for the paint to go over. I chose not to paint the rim where the lid covers so it wouldn’t cause the lid to stick, but it’s up to you if you want to paint it or not. I would recommend leaving it overnight to make sure the gesso is completely dry.

Step two.

Next, it’s time to put the paint on! I used a midnight navy blue colour and a flat paintbrush. Make sure you cover the entire jar. Wait for it to dry (this will vary depending on what paint you use) before giving it another coat to make sure there’s no patches or streaks. Now, depending on what brand/type of paint you’re using you may need to give it another coat. The paint tends to look different when it’s wet, so it’s best to wait for it to completely dry before judging if it needs another coat or not.

Step three.

Next, it’s time to decorate! I used the ultra-fine gold Posca pen to draw some dots and stars onto the jar. I then went back and added some white dots using a white ultra-fine Posca pen to break up the gold.

Step four.

Once the paint has dried (again I would it leave overnight before completing this step), give the painted jar a coat of Mod Podge (or any water-based sealer). This will seal everything in and make the jar last longer! You can use gloss, matte or whatever you prefer your finish to look like.

Step five.

The last step is to add in your TBR books! I cut up plain paper but you can use post-it notes or anything to write them on! Now, whenever you don’t know what to read just pop out a slip of paper and there you go! (obviously, if you’re gifting this to someone else you won’t be able to complete this step (unless you have access to their TBR books), but you can always add in some of your favourite reads to get them started!.


Simple polka dot TBR jar.

What you’ll need.

  • Plain glass jar (I used this one from Wilko).
  • Coloured lollipop sticks (I used these from Amazon).
  • Colours of choice Posca pens (any tip size you want!).
  • Post-it note/paper.
  • Pens to match your lollipop stick colours
  • Shredded coloured paper (optional).

Step one.

Choose a genre/category for each coloured lollipop stick (I used red for Fantasy, orange for Mental Health, green for Sci-fi, blue for Contemporary and yellow for a surprise).  Write on your TBR books with a black Posca pen (or any other pen that will write and not smudge on wood) and leave to dry.  I added simple sentences to my surprise sticks such as ‘a book you love the cover of’ or ‘the book you’ve been meaning to read for ages’ for when I don’d mind what to read. Don’t forget to create the coloured key so you know what each colour means!

Step two.

Next, add your different coloured polka dots to the outside of the jar. You can use whatever colours you like. I mainly used PC-5M thickness Posca pens, but you can use thinner tips if you prefer.

Step three.

When everything is dry, pop your lollipop sticks into the jar and you’re done (it’s that simple!) I also added some shredded paper into the bottom to add more colour and to make the sticks easier to grab out.


Remember these are only two designs, let your imagination run wild!

Let me know if you create any designs, I’d love to see your creations 🙂