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’m Looking Forward to in the First Half of 2017

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish, combining the joys of books and lists. This week’s topics is releases we are excited about in the first half of 2017. I have arranged my list by month of release.

January

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (have an ARC)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

February

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan (read & loved an ARC)

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

May

Release by Parick Ness

Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

June 

Once & For All by Sarah Dessen

Looks like a very exciting year of books! Link to your TTT in the comments so I can make my TBR list even longer…

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors 2016

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An ever-so-slightly belated TTT, the best new-to-me authors of this year! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature combining lists and books, run by the lovely folk at The Broke and the Bookish

Leigh Bardugo

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I loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom – intricately plotted fantasy adventures with fantastic characters.

Zadie Smith

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I have been meaning to read Zadie Smith’s work for a long time, and I have just finished Swing Time. I adored it, Smith’s writing certainly lived up to my expectations.

Laura Ruby

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Bone Gap was one of the best books I read this year. I’m delighted that it is being released in Ireland and the UK this month (I received an ARC, and it is already available in the US). Stunning magical realism, I was enchanted by it.

 

Hannah Rothschild

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I adored The Improbability of Love, it is one of my staff picks in the bookshop now. Set in the London art world, and featuring a mix of mystery, history and romance, this book is perfect for art lovers.

Curtis Sittenfeld

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I really enjoyed Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s spirited retelling of Pride & Prejudice, and I also read her novel Prep – an engrossing coming-of-age story.

Samantha Ellis

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How to be a Heroine is part literary criticism, part memoir and I loved it. Ellis’ life is fascinating, and her love of reading leaps right off the page.

 

Dave Rudden

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Knights of the Borrowed Dark was a cracking fantasy adventure, and I am excited about the second book, due out in 2017. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will love KOTBD, and Dave Rudden is certainly a writer to watch!

 

Melissa Keil

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Melissa Keil is an Australian author, and her book The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was released in the UK and Irish market this year. I adored Alba and her story, and I am keen to track down some of Keil’s earlier books.

Jan Carson

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Jan Carson’s short story collection Children’s Children is full of strange, moving and memorable stories, and I loved that they were set in Northern Ireland. Her novel Malcolm Orange Disappears is on my TBR list.

Frances Hardinge

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Frances Hardinge is another writer who has been on my list for some time, and when I read the Costa award winning Lie Tree, I was enthralled. I will be catching up on the rest of her novels for sure.

Post the link to your TTT below, point me to more amazing authors 🙂

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

How Hard Can Love Be

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: My Ten Most Recent 5* Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish, combining lists and books. This week’s theme is My Ten Most Recent 5* Reads. I don’t star the reviews on my blog, but I went back through the ‘Read’ shelf on my Goodreads page and picked out the last ten five star reviews.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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This is very recent, I finished it in the early hours of this morning and completely loved it. The characters are believable and totally sympathetic, and Williamson creates an interesting story while also exploring the experience of being transgender. An important and moving read.

Plain Jane by Kim Hood

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A moving book about growing up, illness and sisterhood. I really enjoyed it, and think Kim Hood is a real rising star in the Irish YA world.

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

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Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors, and I was sad to reach the end of her Walsh family series. This is one of her best books, deftly mixing humour and darkness.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

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A cracking fantasy adventure with a compelling narrative, intriguing magic and monsters that are properly creepy. Believe all the hype, and read it!

Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes

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Another Marian Keyes book! I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of essays and articles, it made me laugh out loud at points and is a great book to dip in and out of.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

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Rainbow Rowell’s World Book Day title is a very sweet read. I can’t wait for her next book!

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

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A very atmospheric read, with memorable characters and a strong mystery plot. I was delighted to see a YA book winning the Costa award!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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I can’t speak highly enough of this book, it was so beautifully written and I have only heard praise for it from friends, colleagues and customers alike. Doerr’s protagonists are strong and he offers a very interesting perspective on WW2. A book to savour.

Spinster by Kate Bolick

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A cross between memoir and literary criticism, I found this book really interesting and (for the most part) quite empowering. I am looking forward to reading more work by the various women Bolick discusses.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

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A great fairytale retelling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Little Red Riding Hood. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

All cover images from Goodreads.

Do leave a link to your TTT in the comments, I’m always glad to get new book recommendations 🙂

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: Ten Bookish Resolutions for 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for the first TTT of 2016 is resolutions, so here are my ten bookish resolutions for the new year.

  1. Read 100 books this year.
  2. Write more, and complete my second NaNoWriMo.
  3. Read all the bookclub books, and make it to the meetings.
  4. Read more poetry (recommendations welcome!)
  5. Read more short stories.
  6. Read books that are outside my comfort zone/my usual genres.
  7. Interview more authors for my blog.
  8. Use the library more!
  9. Collaborate with other book bloggers (let me know if you would be interested!)
  10. Blog regularly, at least one post a week.

A very happy new year to you all, and thank you for reading my posts and supporting me in 2015.

Top Ten Spooooooky Books

Hallowe’en is almost upon us, so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is perfect. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely ladies at The Broke and Bookish, which combines books and lists. My list covers children’s books and Young Adult and the books are in no particular order. I was surprised I could come up with as many spooky reads as I did, I thought I would struggle with this topic. Read on…if you dare!

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Boxed Set (Harry Potter, #1-7)

Unrest by Michelle Harrison (review here)

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Demon Road by Derek Landy (review here.)

Cover image from Goodreads

The Nightmare Club by Annie Graves

Help! My Brother's a Zombie!

A series of spooky tales for young readers. Titles include ‘Help! My Brother is a Zombie’, ‘The Demon Babysitter’ and ‘Brain Drain Baby’. Read them, if you dare!

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Room on the Broom

The Awesome by Eva Darrows

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A friend of mine described this book as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Princess Diaries’ and I really don’t think I can top that!

Goth Girl by Chris Riddell

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Goth Girl, #1)

Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz

Groosham Grange

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson

Which Witch?

Cover images from Goodreads, gif from Photobucket.

Let me know what BOOks you would recommend for Hallowe’en in the comments, please leave a link to your TTT if you took part this week 🙂