The Big Bookish Update: January-August 2018

Aug 30, 2018 | Books, Thoughts & Chats

I’ve decided that I want to start posting some different content on this blog. I’ve been inspired by some other book bloggers – I know a good number of bloggers who post multiple times a week, and I wondered what they post other than book reviews. So I did some investigating and I’ve got a few ideas!

One of the posts I enjoy reading on other people’s blogs is a bookish update post. They write all about the books they’ve read that month, their upcoming TBR, and more. I love this idea to keep my reading in check and keep me accountable, so I’m going to start writing these posts too!

This will be a bit of a long one because I’m going to cover this whole year until now, but the posts after this will be shorter when I just have one month to write about.

Books I’ve Read

I really haven’t read as much as I would have liked this year. I’ve been so busy with multiple things, and it doesn’t help that for several months I’ve been in such a big reading (and blogging) slump. Because this is my first time writing one of these posts, I’ll write about all the books I’ve read this year so far. Now you’ll be able to officially see how little I’ve read.

Get Fit, Get Happy by Harry Judd

One of my goals this year is to start taking care of myself more, and that means improving my health and fitness. I’ve been a McFly fan since I was a kid, so this book was perfect for me! It’s got Harry’s story about how exercise and getting fit helped his mental health, and then there are a ton of ideas for simple at-home exercises. I’m yet to do any of them yet, though…

The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy

This was another one that was part of my mission towards self-care. I’m not the best at prioritising myself over my work and other things, so The Self-Care Project gave me some great ideas!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

As you might be able to tell by now, I started off this year on a bit of a non-fiction, self-help spree. They’re not usually the kind of books I read, but I really liked them at the start of the year – maybe I was in a ‘new year, new me’ mindset or something. I wasn’t a big fan of this book, even though people rave about it. I need to write a blog post on it! I have one saved in drafts from ages ago that I need to finish. But yeah, spoiler alert – I didn’t love it.

Satellite by Nick Lake

I loooved this book, so much that I asked my friend Beth to get me a pretty American copy of it when she was in NYC. It’s in my favourite genre – space-themed YA – and I loved the story. You can read my full review here!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ha. Haaa. This was one of my most all-over-the-place books for me in terms of my opinions on it. I liked it, but didn’t like some of it, and then saw the film and had exactly the same opinion of that, too. It was very confusing for me. If you want to read my muddle of confused thoughts, my review is here, and my thoughts about the film are here.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Suchhhhh a good book and one that I think pretty much everyone loves! I haven’t seen anyone yet who didn’t like this book. It’s just so fun and it has great LGBT representation! I reviewed the book here and the film here.

Legendary Ladies by Ann Shen

This is one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen! Legendary Ladies contains a whole load of amazing illustrations of women from all sorts of myths and legends, and explains a little bit about them. I read and reviewed this as part of a blog tour – you can see that here.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is one of my all-time favourite authors and Scythe was incredible, so I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, Thunderhead. It was just as jaw-droppingly amazing as I thought it’d be. If you haven’t read this series, please do! Here’s my review.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Another great book! I met Laura Steven at YALC this year (and also told her jokes once on Instagram while she waited in A&E… long story) and got the book signed. I still need to review it on the blog – look out for it soon!

Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart

One of my favourite books last year was A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart, so I was happy to be asked to join the blog tour this year for his second book, Days of Wonder. It was just as emotional and wonderful as the first and it’s one of those books, as well as A Boy Made of Blocks, that I’d urge everyone to read. My review is here!

Clean by Juno Dawson

SOOOO GOOD. I read this before I went to YALC and I loved it. I’ve recommended it to a few others since then who have read it and also loved it. It deals with so many themes, so many of which are important for young adults to read about. It’s definitely the higher end of YA and not for younger readers, so it was great to read some more mature YA. Full review here.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish is by far one of my favourite books of the year so far! I got it as a Christmas present from my friend Sophie and it was already on my Amazon wishlist, so I’m glad she got it for me. She had already read it and adored it, so she wanted me to read it too. Thanks Sophie! My review of Starfish is here.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I’m surprised I hadn’t read this a lot earlier, and I wish I had because it’s incredible. It’s definitely, I think, a modern classic and one of those books that everybody should read, no matter what age. I read it before YALC this year because we went to see the stage adaptation on the same weekend. You can read my review of the book and the stage adaptation here.

Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Melinda Salisbury, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

This was one of my most anticipated books this year – so much that I pre-ordered it about 2 months before it came out! I found out that all 7 authors would be attending YALC, so I had to read it before I went. It’s so different to anything I’ve read because it’s co-written by so many authors, and they did it so well! Full review here.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Man, I’ve read SO many good books this year. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is definitely one of my favourites, and another space-themed YA! I read most of it in about a day and I loved it. I also got this one signed at YALC! I’ve now added the rest of Lauren James’ books to my TBR and I can’t wait for her next book to come out. My review of this will be up in a few days!

Immediate TBR

It doesn’t seem like I’ve read a massive number of books this year considering it’s almost September already, but I’m reading a lot more at the moment, thank goodness. Here are the books that are on my immediate TBR for the next month or so. These will probably change and I might end up reading different books to the ones listed here, but these are the ones I definitely want to try and read soon…

  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (currently reading)
  • Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman (currently reading)
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
  • Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanna Fletcher


Bookish Events & Meetups

Another thing I’m loving recently is making more of an effort to meet with other bloggers and attend local bookish events. Recently, I met with some wonderful book bloggers in Cardiff and it was one of the best days I’ve had in a while! We met in Waterstones cafe and had a big bookish chat, then moved onto The Grazing Shed for lunch. It’s SO NICE and I’m definitely going to be returning soon!

Then we went our separate ways and I went back to Waterstones with Amy and Kelly to do some writing, some more chatting, and some more book browsing. I’d definitely recommend trying to find bloggers in your local area, because it was so much fun and we’re going to meet up a lot more regularly from now on!

Next month, I’m going to be attending the Waterstones YA meetup in Swansea. The last meetup looked like it was a lot of fun, so I can’t wait to experience it for myself and meet up with all of my new blogger friends again! There’s also Cardiff YA Lit this month, which I can’t wait for.

The Wonderfully Bookish Podcast

I’ve made some good progress on the podcast this month. In case you don’t know, I’m currently planning a brand new bookish podcast where I’ll chat to bloggers, authors and readers all about anything to do with books!

I’ve got a few potential guests lined up, so now I’m looking into the important bits like hosting, the organizing of Skype calls to record the episodes, a microphone, and some other bits. It’s getting very exciting and I can’t wait to start!

If you want to keep up to date and be first to know when the podcast will launch, who will be on the show, and when new episodes are released, sign up for email updates here.


This month has been SO wonderful. YALC last month gave me so much inspiration to get stuff done and be a more active blogger, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I also had a week in (mostly) sunny Cornwall, where I got to relax and spend a lot of time doing some blog post writing and podcast planning!

I’m hoping this motivation will last and I’ll be the proper active blogger that I hope to be. It can be difficult to find time and motivation to fit it in alongside a full time job, especially one where I’m sitting in front of my laptop all day, but I’m going to try out the routine of reading as much as I can throughout the week, and then blogging, podcasting and meeting up with other bloggers on weekends.

See you next month for another update!

What have you achieved this month? Have you read anything great?


⭐ Charlotte ⭐

I'm Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I'm a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me...

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