Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by wonderful blog The Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is ten books on our Spring TBR (To Be Read) list.

I have recently moved out, and most of the books I brought with me are ones I haven’t read yet in an attempt to cut through my TBR list. (Of course some favourites like Fangirl, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, my special boxed Harry Potter set and my gift edition of Ballet Shoes also made the trip!) In that spirit, here are ten books on my shelves that I WILL read over the next few months.

Hidden Figures  – Margot Lee Shetterly

Having seen the fantastic film with my sisters, I am currently reading and loving the book that inspired it. The film was uplifting and entertaining, but the book has a wealth of information and history that didn’t make it to the screen.  I am learning lots, it is very well written and informative. Highly recommended!

The Call – Peadar Ó Guilín

This book has been on my shelf for a while…but I have been a bit afraid to read it. It has been described to me as ‘if the Hunger Games were set in Ireland’ and many of my fellow bookclubbers love it. With its recent shortlisting for the YA Book Prize and the CBI Book Awards now seems like the time to gather my courage and step into its creepy world…

NW – Zadie Smith

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I recently discovered Zadie Smith’s writing and now can’t get enough! A friend lent me NW and I just know I will love it. Next on my Zadie Smith list is White Teeth.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things – Ruth Frances Long

I love Long’s Dubh Linn trilogy, so I can’t wait to check out her earlier YA novel. It sounds like a spellbinding fantasy read, and the main character’s name is Jenny…already a good sign!

The Shadow Gate – Elizabeth Kostova

I was sent this book to review for LoveReading. I adored the spooky and atmospheric The Historian, and while I was less keen on Swan Thieves, Kostova is still always on my reading list!

After the Last Dance – Sarra Manning

I loved Sarra Manning’s Adorkable and have been meaning to read more of her books. While this is a very different book – historical fiction rather than contemporary YA – the premise is intriguing and I know the writing will be good.

Lives Like Loaded Guns – Lyndall Gordon

I am a big fan of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, so this book about her life and her family is right up my street. My great aunt passed it on to me, and the little bit I have read was very good. I am eager to get back to it, and have brought a book of Dickinson’s poetry with me also.

The Wild Air – Rebecca Mascull

This is a proof I picked up in the bookshop I worked in. The gorgeous cover and intriguing blurb were irresistible! It’s about female pilots in the Edwardian era. (Release date: April 2017)

The Lotterys Plus One – Emma Donoghue

I was intrigued to see Emma Donoghue has written a book for children (9-12 age group I believe) and couldn’t leave this proof behind in the shop. (Release date: April 2017)

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julie Israel

Another proof, this time from the Eason event with Ally Carter, Alwyn Hamilton and Marie Lu. I have been told by a trusted fellow bookclubber that I will love it! (Release date: June 2017)

Leave a link to your TTT in the comments, I would love to discover more great books. And follow me on Goodreads to see how I get on with this pile of books.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Galentine’s Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by beautiful blog The Broke and the Bookish. For the day that’s in it, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the romance. However, in the spirit of Leslie Knope and Galentine’s Day (13th February) here are some of my favourite book friendships!

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The Spinster Club by Holly Bourne

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Cover image from Goodreads

If you’ve read this blog before, you will have seen me rave about these books before. I think Holly Bourne is one of the best voices in contemporary YA, and I just adore the girls of the Spinster Club. While each protagonist has a boyfriend at some point in the series, what is most important is their friendship, how they support each other through everything.

Iron Cast  – Destiny Soria

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I really need to give this book a full review on the blog, it’s brilliant! Set just before the Prohibition era, this book focuses on a strong female friendship, mixed in with magic, mobsters and just a hint of romance. As Corinne and Ada, the unlikely best friends in the book, would say: it’s the cat’s miaow!

The Primrose Leary trilogy by Deirdre Sullivan

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I adore this trilogy. Prim’s diaries made me laugh and cry, her voice is wonderfully strong and distinctive. One of the things I loved most about these books was Prim’s friendships – Prim and Joel are just hilarious together (mustachioed babies!) and I really enjoyed seeing Prim’s friendship with Ella develop.

 

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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These fantasy heist novels are not only cracking page turners with head-spinningly intricate plotting, they feature a motley crew of fantastic characters. It’s not always friendship as such, but I loved seeing the bonds develop between the characters throughout the books, and they make one hell of a team!

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

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Oh these books. I have read them many, many times and it’s been interesting to see how my opinions on the different characters have changed (I’m much more of a Bridget fan now than I used to be, for example). I think they offer a very real picture of how friendship can change as you grow, but also how wonderful a true friend can be. Must (finally) watch the movies this year!

The Real Rebecca series by Anna Carey

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A series of books about three friends who set up a band (Hey Dollface) together. Told through diary entries these are really fun reads with a strong message about being yourself. Again they show friends don’t always get on or agree, but when it matters they are there.

Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes

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My favourite Marian Keyes book. Tara, Fintan and Katherine are wonderful and memorable characters and while they all have their own romances, struggles and dramas to deal with in this book, their friendship is what makes it.

 

 

 

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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I have stated many a time how happy the romance at the centre of this book makes me,  I won’t spoil the mystery of Simon’s boy Blue for anyone here. However, another thing I really enjoyed was Simon and his friends. The dynamics of the friend group are explored well, and Abby is a fantastic character.

The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhán Curham

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The Moonlight Dreamers is a secret society, inspired by an Oscar Wilde quote, is for girls who don’t quite fit in, girls who dare to dream. The four girls are very different, and this book is a very empowering read about going your own way.

 

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

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Boarding school murder mysteries? Yes please! Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends and amateur sleuths, and can’t wait to read more of their cases!

Post a link to your TTT below, let’s share the book love!

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend as a Bookseller

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the wonderful Broke and Bookish that combines the joys of books and lists. This week was a freebie, letting bloggers chose their own topic…

When not blogging, I work as a bookseller. Like all booksellers, I have my favourite books to recommend. I specialise in children’s/YA but there are a couple of books for adults here too!

Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

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I adore this book. I describe it as a book for book lovers, and I think readers young and old alike should read it. The idea of characters being read out of books is enchanting, and I love the book quotes at the beginnings of the chapters. It is pure magic.

The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale

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I love fairytales, and this retelling is gorgeous. It’s one I love to return to for its magical world and strong heroine. It is the first in the Books of Bayern series, all of which are great reads. But this is the best!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg

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This delightful children’s classic has been a successful staff pick of mine, and I’m delighted that this story is still being enjoyed by young readers as it is a hoot. It’s about a sister and brother who run away from home and take up residence in the Met Museum…

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

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Most people have probably read this book already, but it is so beautifully written that I don’t want anyone to miss out on the experience!

The Improbability of Love – Hannah Rothschild

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This is a book I think deserves more attention. It’s about a painting being rediscovered and the ripples this sends through the London art world. I was enthralled!

 

One – Sarah Crossan

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A beautiful verse novel about sisterhood, identity and love. I read it in one sitting, I cried and now I recommend it all the time. A very deserving winner of the Carnegie medal.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark – Dave Rudden

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I recommend this to the many, many Potter fans in the shop looking for a great new  fantasy read. I am delighted that it has been chosen as the Dublin Citywide Read for 2017 and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Am I Normal Yet?  – Holly Bourne

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If ever there were a series I wish had been around when I was a teenager, it’s the Spinster Club. Great characters, strong voices, humour, feminism, friendship, mental health… Holly Bourne is one of the best voices in contemporary YA at the moment and I love her books.

The Ministry of Suits – Paul Gamble

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For kids looking for a slightly mad and very funny read, this is my new go-to. It’s rare that I will find myself properly laughing out loud at a book, but this did it. Gloriously zany.

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

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Fantastic writer, fantastic concept. This gripping novel is one of my favourite YA recommendations. Really anything by Patrick Ness comes highly recommended from me though!

Leave a link to your TTT below, looking forward to seeing what everyone has come up with for Freebie week.

Top Ten 2016 Releases (so far!)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by The Broke and the Bookish in which bloggers make bookish lists. This week’s theme is our top 2016 releases so far.

Needlework – Deirdre Sullivan

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Nothing Tastes As Good – Claire Hennessy

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Knights of the Borrowed Dark – Dave Rudden

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How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne

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Shrill – Lindy West

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Children’s Children – Jan Carson

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Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld

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Nina is Not OK – Shappi Khorsandi

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Making It Up As I Go Along – Marian Keyes

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Underwater – Marisa Reichardt

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and Bookish. It is a joyous combination of books and lists, with a different theme each week. This week is about most looking forward to in the second half of 2016. So, without further ado…

What’s a Girl Gotta Do? – Holly Bourne

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I am a big fan of Holly Bourne’s Spinster Club trilogy and cannot wait to read the third book, from Lottie’s point of view.

Holding Up the Universe – Jennifer Niven

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I loved All the Bright Places, and I am sure Jennifer Niven’s second YA novel will be another brilliant read.

…And a Happy New Year? – Holly Bourne

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More Spinster Club! This novella, set after the trilogy, will be released in November.

A Darkness at the End – Ruth Frances Long

Dubh Linn

The third book in the Dubh Linn trilogy, fantastic urban fantasy books melding real and mythical Dublin. The cover for book three hasn’t been released yet, so I’ve used the first two here instead.

And I Darken – Kiersten White

And I Darken (Conqueror's Saga, #1)

I have heard brilliant things about this book at bookclub and I really want to read it!

Nina Is Not OK – Shappi Khorsandi

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I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book to review. It’s such a powerful read, I’m glad it will be out in the world soon!

Vinegar Girl – Anne Tyler

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Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series in which contemporary writers tackle the Bard’s plays. I can’t wait to see what Anne Tyler does with this controversial comedy and its gender politics in her modern retelling.

Gold – Geraldine Mills

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I love the sound of this dystopian adventure for readers aged 9+, and the cover design by Lauren O’Neill is gorgeous!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

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How brilliant does this sound?!

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Things We Know by Heart – Jessi Kirby

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A love story with a twist, and a great cover. Really looking forward to this one.

Roll on the rest of 2016!

Happy reading, and leave a link to your TTT below 🙂

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Really Love, But Don’t Talk About Enough

I wrote this post on Tuesday, bur I forgot to post it. So here’s a Top Ten Tuesday for your Wednesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they come up with a great topic for book bloggers to make lists about. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I Really Love, But Don’t Talk About Enough. This was a tricky one, as I tend to gush a lot about books I have enjoyed, but I thought back to some of the books I really enjoyed growing up, or books I often return to, that I haven’t necessarily blogged about.

 

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

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Look how beautiful this hardback edition is! (cover image from Goodreads)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a favourite book of mine growing up, and I have lost count of how many times I have read it. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that it is a story about sisters (I have three sisters myself, and Little Women is another sister story I love). A few years ago one of my sisters gave me a beautiful cloth covered hardback edition of this book, such a wonderful present. My old paperback version of the book is very well-read!

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Cover image from Goodreads

 

I have written a lot on this blog about how wonderful I think Rainbow Rowell is, but I haven’t fully expressed my love for Attachments. Rowell’s first book, it has a very sweet romance but what I really love is the friendship between Jennifer and Beth. Moving and funny, and I loved the use of emails in the narrative. I’ve lent this book to so many people – I think eight people have read my copy so far!

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series by Ann Brashares

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Cover image from Goodreads

I re-read this series every couple of years, I think the characters are all so strong and that Brashares writes very well about their friendship and how it changes as they grow older. Interestingly, I have come to identify with different characters and understand their point of view more as I have grown and changed myself.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Cover image from Goodreads

Another book I return to again and again. I wish I had read it sooner, it is such a powerful coming of age story and one of the most moving books I have ever read. ‘I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.’

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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Cover image from Goodreads

I didn’t read The Bell Jar until I was 21, but I think that was quite good timing as I really connected with Esther’s sense of uncertainty about her place in the world and where her life was going. Like Plath’s poetry, this novel is painful and poignant. When I tried to re-read it a few months ago I had to put it down, it was just too much. I still think on quotes from this book from time to time.

The Princess Diaries (books 1 to 3) by Meg Cabot

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Cover image from Goodreads

I grew up reading these books, and really connected with Cabot’s awkward and unlikely princess. I think the first three books are the series at its best.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

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Cover image from Goodreads

A really brilliant fairytale retelling, and one of the books I remember being completely entranced by as a young reader. Whenever I spot this book on my shelves at home, or on the bookshelves at work, I get an echo of that excitement.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Cover image from Goodreads

In general I don’t talk enough about Jane Austen, and it was tough to choose between Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion for this list, but in the end I went for the latter as it gets less attention and should be spoken about more!

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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Cover image from Goodreads

I was struck by Woolf’s writing style when I read this book, and the way she lets the reader into the heads of her protagonists is really striking.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott

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Cover image from Goodreads

I loved this series of books when I was growing up, and eagerly awaited each new installment. They are fantastic fantasy adventures, and Scott brings characters from myth, legend and history into the books in very interesting ways.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely ladies at The Broke and Bookish, which combines books and lists. This week’s topic is ten books on your Spring TBR (To Be Read) List.

Plain Jane by Kim Hood (currently reading)

I loved Kim Hood’s debut novel Finding a Voice and so far I am really enjoying her second book, about a girl who is overlooked as her sister battles cancer. It is a very moving read, review coming soon!

Oasis by Eilis Barrett

I am very excited about this dystopian debut by a teen Irish writer!

The Curious Tale of the Lady of Caraboo by Catherine Johnson

I hadn’t heard of this book before it was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, but it sounds like a very gripping read.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

This has been on my TBR list for a long time and as it is the March choice for my bookclub, and shortlisted for the YA Book Prize I am hoping to get to it soon.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

I enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma and am looking forward to this modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

I loved the earlier books in this series (retellings of Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel & Gretel) so I am looking forward to this title, based on The Little Mermaid.

Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Pearce’s final fairytale retelling, based on my favourite fairytale The Snow Queen.

Fallen by Lia Mills

I have heard great things about this book and it is the 2016 One City One Book choice, and set in 1916 so it is definitely the right time to read it!

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

It’s been a while since I read a good mystery, and I am looking forward to this book. Robin Stevens kindly signed my copy at the Mountains to Sea Book Festival!

The Shadow Prince by Melinda Salisbury

I enjoyed The Sin Eater’s Daughter and am looking forward to reading the sequel!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are discussing the top ten books on our autumn reading lists. Without further ado, here are the books I am excited about reading over the next couple of months:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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I LOVED Fangirl and I am so excited about this fantasy spin off. Rainbow Rowell’s books are so fantastic, and I am keen to see what she does with Simon Snow’s characters.

Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

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My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece and Ketchup Clouds were both striking and original reads, Annabel Pitcher is now a must-read author for me.

Once upon a Place edited by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P.J. Lynch

I am very excited about this anthology of poems and stories by Irish writers, especially as it is illustrated by P.J. Lynch!

Magic edited by Siobhan Parkinson, illustrated by Olwyn Whelan

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Magic is a collection of newly composed fairy tales by Irish authors and illustrated by Olwyn Whelan. It looks utterly enchanting!

Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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I cannot wait to see how the incredible Jim Kay reinterprets Rowling’s magical world. Look at that beautiful cover!

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

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I think Mindy Kaling is hilarious. I loved her first book, and I know Why Not Me? will be another fun read.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

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Before I Die was a very emotional and powerful read, and I have heard great things about Jenny Downham’s new book.

Pugs of the Frozen North by Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve

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Pugs! And the dynamic duo that is Reeve and McIntyre. What’s not to love?

All of the Above by James Dawson

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I have been meaning to read James Dawson for ages, and this exploration of identity and friendship sounds like an excellent read.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I heard about Six of Crows at bookclub, and it went straight on to my TBR list. It sounds very exciting!

Happy reading! 😀