#TopTenTuesday: Best Books I Read in 2021

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Best Books I Read in 2021

I’m always terrible at answering prompts that ask for my “best” anything 😂 I know I’ve read some amazing books but it’s also been a very weird reading year? I’ve read a lot but I’ve had a hard time retaining much of what I’ve read but also, I’ve had a hard time focusing on reading, in general, this year! I’ve only had a few 5-star reads this year so it is a bit surprising that I’m having trouble picking a top 10… but in the end, I decided to not include series’ on the list and now, before I keep waffling on, let’s get to it!

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#WWWWednesday: 23 December 2021

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish six books.

The One Night by Meghan Quinn ★★★★☆
I had such a fun time with this book! I have to say Cooper’s quirky parents really stole the show with their wingmen act 😂 I couldn’t stop laughing even though I’d probably be as mortified as he was if my parents did that to me IRL. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Cooper and Nora after that ending! RTC.

Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey ★★★★½
This was probably one of the more festive holiday romances that I’ve read in a while! It definitely gave me the cosy and happy Love Actually vibes and I wanted to join this mixed family in their yearly holiday festivities because it sounded like so much fun! Mae was a fun heroine and Andrew was a swoonworthy hero and although things got a bit cheesy towards the end, it didn’t fail to warm my heart! My review

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#TopTenTuesday: My Bookish Wish List

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Top Ten Books on my Wish list!!

Although my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, that never stops me from dropping hints to them about the books that I *so desperately* (😂) want to add to my overflowing bookshelves. I obviously have way more than ten on my wishlist but here are a few that I’d be thrilled to get as we ring in the new year!

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#WWWWednesday: 15 December 2021

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish five books. Most of them were holiday romances but I also finally read The Love Hypothesis and holy wow, I am smitten with this romance! Olive and Adam 4EVER! 🥺❤️

The Naughty, the Nice and the Nanny (Holiday Brothers #1) by Willa Nash ★★★½
This little novella was a fun and quirky holiday romance with characters that had great chemistry and a story with a good dose of touching family moments. While ultimately the romance ended up being very insta-love, it didn’t feel like it initially as our H/h built up a good foundation of trust and respect through their bond with the hero’s “angel” of a daughter, Violet. RTC.

In a Holidaze by Christina Loren ★★★★☆
This was probably one of the more festive holiday romances that I’ve read in a while! It definitely gave me the cosy and happy Love Actually vibes and I wanted to join this mixed family in their yearly holiday festivities because it sounded like so much fun! Mae was a fun heroine and Andrew was a swoonworthy hero and although things got a bit cheesy towards the end, it didn’t fail to warm my heart! RTC.

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#TopTenTuesday: 2021 December Possibilities…

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books on My Winter 2021 To-read List (or summer if you’re in the southern hemisphere)

As a mood reader, the majority of my “possibility piles” throughout the year remain possibilities, but seeing as it’s already mid-December(👀!) I really hope that I can get more than a few of these books read! Some are ARCs, others are popular titles that I’ve heard so much about this year that I can’t resist wanting to pick them up, and others are holiday romances that I’ve been enjoying a fair bit lately! There might be more than 10 and this pile might be more than a little ambitious, but maybe giving myself more options will also lead to the possibility of some books being read?! 😂

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#WWWWednesday: 08 December 2021

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish five books. As usual, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag of romances from the romcoms to the paranormal reverse-harem erotica! 😂

Chef’s Kiss by Hank Jones & Jarrett Melendez; Illustrated by Danica Brine ★★★★★
I’ve found a new favourite graphic novel! This was simply too cute, too relatable, and basically, everything I love! We’ve got realistic friendships, a slow burn M/M romance, an awesome restaurant setting with lots of foodie goodness and a really endearing main character. I loved this so much! 😍 RTC closer to pub date!

A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn ★★★½
This started off really well for me—I liked the rom-com vibe and the cheeky and slightly antagonistic banter between Grace and Noah. Sadly, as the story progressed I found myself getting a little bored and I never felt fully invested in their romance. Though I did like their individual character development! RTC.

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#TopTenTuesday: Holiday Romances I Want to Read

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Freebie.

I was a little undecided about what to do for this freebie so I went the easy route and decided to share the holiday romances that I want to read this month! I’m not a big seasonal reader but in the last two years my list has (unsurprisingly) grown considerably 😂 I still don’t manage to read many of them each year but I try(!) and this year, these are the themed romances I’m hoping to read.

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#WWWWednesday: 01 December 2021

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish six books! I’ve been steamrolling through Brighton Walsh’s Havenbrook series and I’m sad that I’ve finished the series but undoubtedly had a fantastic time with the Haven sisters and their loves! 🥲

Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan ★★½
This was my first Tijan so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I liked how the friendship developed between the H/h but I found the heroine too manic-pixie and she spent way too long vacillating on her feelings over her douchey stepbrother. I also didn’t feel like we got enough of the hero for me to really care about him, plus this was very angsty and I didn’t like the girl-girl hate over idiots! Overall, I don’t think this was for me. Mini RTC!

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan ★★★☆☆
This started off really well for me—I liked the rom-com vibe and the cheeky and slightly antagonistic banter between Grace and Noah. Sadly, as the story progressed I found myself getting a little bored and I never felt fully invested in their romance. Though I did like their individual character development! RTC closer to pub date in Jan 2022.

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#TopTenTuesday: Strolling Down A Bookish Memory Lane!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Bookish Memories (Share stories of your reading life as a child, events you’ve gone to, books that made an impression on you, noteworthy experiences with books, authors you’ve met, etc. Reminisce with me!)

Oof, I love this prompt but knowing my blabbery-ness, it could also end up being a very long post, though I’ll try to keep each book memory short. If you’ve been on the blog before you’ll know that my memory isn’t the best but there are books and moments that have always stood out to me for one reason or another. It’s funny how some moments feel like they just happened yesterday and these ones feel like that to me! I’ll be going from my youngest memories to my more recent ones in the past few years. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

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Let’s Talk Bookish: Keeping Up With New Releases

It’s been a hot hot minute since I’ve done a LTB so I’m sorry if I’m a little rusty and more rambly than usual! 😂

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on November 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

DO YOU KEEP UP WITH NEW RELEASES?

(SUGGESTED BY PIPPIN @ THE PIGEON)
Prompts: How current is your reading? Do you tend to read recently published books or pick from the publishing backlog, and why? Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype? How has book blogging changed your habits on this front? And, in the future, are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way? 

How current is your reading? do you pick from the newest releases or from the backlist?

Ever since I discovered the book community I think my reading has been pretty current as I’ve been reading a lot more ARCs compared to backlist titles. I don’t think I purposely search out the newest titles but because a lot of what I’m reading has started to revolve around blog tours, especially in the last year+, I’ve definitely prioritised these newer titles. Taking a quick look at the books I’ve read this year, I do notice that there’s a difference between the genres I read too. For example, I tend to read newer titles when it comes to contemporary fiction and fantasy while I tend to read a mixed variety of mostly old and some new titles when it comes to romances! I think this is because I tend to join blog tours that are for contemporary/fantasy titles and when it comes to romance I randomly trawl through Romance Twitter to find out what authors/titles are being mentioned and catch my eye! 👀 But I don’t pick books specifically because they’re frontlist or backlist titles.

Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype?

I mean, I think there’s definitely merit to keeping up with the current releases but I also think it’s a personal preference? I feel like keeping up with the latest books and jumping on the hype wagon keeps you in a certain spotlight because, of course, you’re featuring titles that are hot right now and that everyone else is talking about too. Being part of that hype and being able to join in the current discussions about popular books is a boost for you especially if you engage in various platforms; but I also think there’s a lot of pressure to keep up with new books which can get overwhelming, especially if you’re based internationally and don’t have access to the same resources as those based in the US/UK/Canada.

What I love about a lot of newer releases is that it’s easier to find more diverse and representative reads. It’s so great that more people have the chance to see themeslves reflected in stories, whether it’s in fantasies and (for me especially) in romances, while with a lot of backlist titles that’s not always the case. It’s been said before, and I’m sure it’ll keep being said, but I wish that a lot of these reads had existed for younger me because I would’ve felt *so* seen, and I’m happy that more people (especially younger readers) will get that experience now!

How has blogging changed your habits on this front?

Ever since I started blogging I’ve noticed a shift towards reading newer titles. Looking at my reading journey through a “before and after” lens, I honestly can’t remember how I ever discovered “new” titles prior to joining the community! Being international, it’s not as if the local bookstores that sell English books always have the latest titles (or if they do it takes a good long while to appear in store!), but then again, I have to be honest and say that I never really paid attention to publication dates prior to starting up this hobby! 😂 Now that I’m more aware of upcoming releases it’s easy to get caught up in the hype (even though it makes me nervous in equal measure) and I (mostly) want to read what everyone else seems to be reading, too! 🙈

are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way?

I can see my reading habits shift to more backlist titles if I choose to stop doing as many blog tours in 2022, which is a possibility, and if I decide to pursue my “re-read project”! Though I wouldn’t necessarily say that I want my reading to shift either way because I don’t really—I’m happy to read both newer titles and backlist titles and at the end of the day, what matters is that you enjoy what you read, right? 😉

Do you keep up with the latest releases or are you more of a backlist reader? Do you prefer one to the other? Does the hype entice you or nah?