Category Archives: Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything!

January #40yrs40bks Challenge Update

In January I finished 21 books and am in the midst of another two.

I have ticked 8 books off our #40yrs40bks Challenge. At least 1 from each of our lists.

They are:

9) An Historical Novel – Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

20) A Book you chose solely on the cover – An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – cover art by Charlie Bowater. It had had very mixed reviews. Luckily I loved it.

21) A book where the illustrator is credited on the front cover – I Swapped by Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons illustrated by Nathan Reed

29) A book by an author you’ve never read before – Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

30) A book with an alliterative title – The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snickett

31) A book you spotted on bookstagram – Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

32) A fantasy novel – The Fandom by Anna Day

33) A book set in Space – Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

And I’ve completed 3 for the Better World Challenge 2018

9) A book inspired by a feature film – Blood on Satan’s Claw

10) A book involving magic – A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris

11) An author’s first novel – How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Progress towards using Cineworld card at least 40 times = 7 viewings

The Greatest Showman twice

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Jumanji: Welcome go the Jumgle


Darkest Hour

The Shape of Water

My 40 Things to do: 6 items completed

1) Dreamgirls

2) School of Rock

3) Solo Harry Potter Studio Tour

4) Sunset Boulevard

6) Pierce Brown Iron Gold Tour

38) Make Knight Bus Model (3D Puzzle)

Is February hibernation time? Nope it’s finish the first draft of my middle grade novel or I have to eat celery time!!!


2018 – The Year I Turn 40!!!!

Yes, I know I look, and act, waaaaay too young to be turning 40 in 2018 but I am! I’m not making New Years resolutions but I will be trying to practice better self care, and I am setting myself two ’40’ challenges.

40 Special Things to do for my 40th Year

Dated Events

1. See Dreamgirls

2. See School of Rock

3. Harry Potter studio tour solo trip

4. See Sunset Boulevard

5. Harry Potter exhibit at Poole Library

6. Pierce Brown tour

7. See Cursed Child again with Cath

8. Be Bridesmaid for my sister and do all the hen do fun

9. Blood Brothers musical theatre workshop

10. See Hamilton

11. See Sarah Millican again

12. Go to YALC again

13. New Forest Fairy Festival

14. See Cursed Child again on my actual 40th birthday!!!!

15. Fab and Forty Cake Smash Photo Shoot with besties

16. Visit Prague

17. Harry Potter Studio Tour Halloween

Undated/Dates to be confirmed

18. Read 150+ books again including but not limited to Obsidio, Nevernight Book 3, LIFELIK3, Iron Gold, Dark Age, State of Sorrow, Vengeful, A Court of Frost and Starlight, TOG 7, Queen of Air and Darkness, The Witch’s Blood and #40YRS40BKS Reading Challenge (see below)

19. Reading weekend with Elizabeth and Rachel (to help with above)

20. Finish first draft of middle grade book

21. Complete a polished copy of a novel

22. Submit above novel to Agents

23. Self Publish some Poetry

24. Make excellent use of My cineworld unlimited card (see at least 40 films)

25. Watch a sunrise

26. Watch a sunset

27. Do a bat thing with Steph

28. Go to Chained Library at Wimborne with Stacey

29. Weekend in Cornwall with the family

30. Cornwall Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

31. Bounce Below

32. Actually sit out in garden in summer (i.e. de weed and sort garden) and have birthday BBQ

33. Host Harry Potter Quiz (for Charity)


34. Complete bookcase quilt

35. Make Seraphina Picquery Cosplay

36. Make Hogwarts model for front garden

37. Make a thestral model

38. Make Knight Bus model (3D puzzle now)

39. Host a craftivist event

40. Daily Happiness Journal (to have a lasting memory of the year)

#40YRS40BKS Reading Challenge

A number of my booksy besties all turn the big 40 over the next year so we’ve come up with a #readingchallenge between us that we’d love people to join in with. The rules are simple. There are 40 reading prompts – 10 each from 4 of us. During 2018 you just have to make sure what you read adds a tick against all 40 prompts. Personally I’ll be aiming for 40 separate books but you can count one book for multiple prompts if you like. Now go forth, read and help us celebrate. @kirstyes @catrad @svmitche @jkkenobi (Also feel free to substitute bookstagram for any online forum).

My other booksy aim for this year is to be a lot more on top of my reviews.

What’s on your list of things to achieve/experience/live/do this year?

2017 Booksy Review

I chose to take part in three challenges this year – Goodreads (set at 100), The Better World Challenge and the A-Z Reading Challenge. I completely forgot to plan/keep proper track of what I had to read so that left me scrabbling to read a number of books in the last few days of the year. As I schedule this on the 30th I still have one and a bit to go. I will get there though!

Here are the books I read for each challenge

A-Z of Reading

A All the Good Things

B The Bookshop Girl

C Caraval

D Days of the Bagnold Summer

E Eliza and her Monsters

F The Fandom

G Geekerella

H Heartless

I Ink

J Just One Damned Thing After Another change

K Kindness

L The Last Namsara

M My Best Friend’s Exorcism

N The Night Circus

O Otherworld

P The Power

Q The Midnight Queen

R The Reader

S Storm

T Tower of Dawn

U Unconventional

V The Vile Village

W We Can Me Mended (Divergent 3.5)

X MoXie

Y The Yellow Room

Z Zenith

Better World

A Collection of Short Stories – The Language of Thorns

A Young Adult Novel – Truth or Dare

A Book with a Colour in the title -The Taste of Blue Light

A book that’s more than 100 years old – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

A book you picked based on its cover – Anna Dressed in Blood

A book set in a place you want to visit – Night of Cake and Puppets (Prague)

A book based on a fairytale – Hunted (Beauty and the Beast)

A National Book Award Winner – Holes

A book that takes place in a forest – Spellbook of the Lost and Found

A romance that takes place during travel – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (travel in space)

A book under 200 pages – I Am Bat

A book over 400 pages – Ink & Bone

A banned book – The Hate U Give

A non-fiction book about nature – Jeremy & Amy

A fantasy novel – Strange The Dreamer

A book by a person of colour – Out of Heart

A book by a female writer – The Witch’s Tears (by two actually )

A book of poetry – hummingbird

A book set in Asia – Flame in the Mist

A book about immigrants – The Bone Sparrow

A book about a historical event – The entire Chronicles of St Mary’s series!!!

A book with a child narrator – Wonder

A book translated from another language – Maresi

A book that’s been adapted into a movie (bonus watch the movie and compare) – Everything, Everything


Will be 209/100 – slightly off last year’s pace, once again boosted by audiobooks. I did write 50,000 words in Nov though (Yes I achieved Nanowrimo for the 3rd time).

Worst Read – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Borian!!!)

Best Reads – lots of 4.5/5 star reads but these new to me reads of 2017 were my ultimate favourites:

Godsgrave, Nevermoor, Strange the Dreamer, Heartless, Forever Geek, Geekerella, Ink, The Night Circus, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, A Court of Wings and Ruin, Moxie, Tower of Dawn, It Only Happens in the Movies, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Lord of Shadows, Night of Cake and Puppets, The Language of Thorns.

And I was lucky to read these 2018 releases which made the list too.

How Do You Like Me Now? and The Fandom

Other booksy highlights of the year

YALC with my besties, and winning the bookish quiz as part of #TeamBarnard.

Talking at a local school about book blogging and having author of Days of the Bagnold Summer Joff sketch me doing it and draw Harry Potter in my book.

Meeting and getting writing advice from Joe Hill at Gollanczfest.

Sarah J Maas event and continuing my LeakyCon LONDON 2013 friendship with Elizabeth and Rachel – and meeting Brittany.

Meeting and interviewing lots of fab authors at Waterstones Castlepoint and introducing Jacqueline Wilson – loved seeing the excitement of the next generations of readers (Thanks to Louise for the opportunities).

Introducing my sister and mum to Rhysand and making my own ACOMAF Chapter 55 funko pops!!!

Also LeakyCon in Dublin was awesome – “actually” staying in the Leaky Caulron! meeting film actors, getting Chris Villain to sign my Teddy Lupin custom funkopop as he was dressed in the same outfit! Running a Cursed Child (aka Scorpion King fan club) session with Janine and Kathleen. And wonderfully re-meeting a person I had randomly sat next to at my first trip to The Cursed Child. Johanna thanks for having the better memory and saying hi. And seeing all my fellow Potterheads again.

And I was a book fairy and gave out free kids books at the New Forest Fairy Festival.

I also added to my booksy tattoo.

I’ve become a lot more involved in Bookstagram – here are a few of my fave pics and I luckily won a free month’s Fairyloot with the yellow picture.

And I met my cat nephew who has joined my bookstagram making it about cats too. He may even have made me a cat person or a Denny person at least!

I finally finished my Hogwarts painting and pottered up my house a bit more including half of the Christmas tree.

And I got round to replacing my custom Phoenix patronus shoe that I lost of the London tube and had a purple book patronus with Nevernight quote one made to go with it.

It’s been another excellent bookish year for this Hufflepuff. What have your highlights been?

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my “reading and doing” hopes for 2018 but just a note about my reviews.

I’ve started not adding star ratings to my blog reviews because I’m a qualitative fan. You can see my star ratings on Goodread if you really want to. I give half stars all the time. Sometimes I change my mind. On a re-read ratings can go up and down. I’m much more about writing what a book makes you think and feel and admiring the craft than allocating a number.

%d bloggers like this: