“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too."

Hello book lovers and new followers,

I’m so excited to have gained some new followers over the Christmas and New Years holidays, you have no idea how much this means to me.

I know I should have done the Christmas book haul and 2021 summary in 2021 but as most of you probably know, it can get a bit hectic seeing family and friends and sometimes time gets away from you. But better late than never!

Let’s start with my Christmas book haul…

I am, I am, I am – Maggie O’Farrell


A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. This is a memoir with a difference: seventeen encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal to us a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots.

Why? Honestly, this book (along with others on this haul) that is being raved about in the book blogging community. This book is there to make you realise what it means to feel alive in ways you couldn’t have thought possible.

Unnatural Causes – Dr Richard Shepherd


Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd. He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death. He’s a detective in his own right. And he has one, ultimate and pressing question to answer: How did this person die? Unnatural Causes is an unputdownable record of an extraordinary life, a unique insight into a remarkable profession, and above all a powerful and reassuring testament to lives cut short.

Why? Yet another book that I see plastered all over my bookstagram! I love watching crime shows on tv and I enjoy reading thrillers too. This is a book that brings those stories to life.

The Mind of a Murderer – Dr Richard Taylor


In his twenty-six years in the field, Richard Taylor has worked on well over a hundred murder cases, with victims and perpetrators from all walks of life. As Taylor helps us understand what lies inside the minds of those charged with murder – both prisoners he has assessed and patients he has treated – he presents us with the most important challenge of all: how can we even begin to comprehend the darkest of human deeds, and why it is so vital that we try?

Why? Like I said above, I can’t help but love a thriller or a crime show and murder mysteries. This again is a book which brings the tv to real life and the true reality of what lies in the mortuary and the thoughts of those left with the bodies.

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series

Blurb of the first book:

When a peculiar advertisement appears in the newspaper for children to take part in a secret mission, children everywhere sit a series of mysterious tests.In the end, just four children succeed: Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. They have three things in common: they are all honest, all remarkably talented and all orphans.They must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules. There they must work as a team to save not only themselves, but also the world outside the walls …

Why? I watched this series on Disney+ during the first lockdown and I really enjoyed the series. It was brilliantly worked and dealt really well with orphans as well as dealing with autism. It wasn’t until the third or fourth episode that I saw that it was based on a series of books and when I see that, then generally I have to have the books!

Once Upon A Broken Heart – Stephanie Garber


Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well. But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Why? This book was all over my bookstagram and my twitter and comes highly recommended. Can’t wait to get stuck into this fantasy novel.

This Much Is True – Miriam Margolyes


Miriam Margolyes is a national treasure. Now, at last, at the age of 80, she has finally decided to tell her extraordinary life story. And it’s far richer and stranger than any part she’s played. Find out how being conceived in an air-raid gave her curly hair; what pranks led to her being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had; how she ended up posing nude for Augustus John aged 17, being sent to C oventry by Monty Python and the Goodies and swearing on University C hallenge (she was the first woman to say F*** on TV). This book is packed with unforgettable stories from why Bob Monkhouse was the best (male) kiss she’s ever had to being told off by the Queen. With a cast list stretching from Scorsese to Streisand, Leonardo di C aprio to Isaiah Berlin, This Much is True is as warm and honest, as full of life and surprises, as she is.

Why? As a Hufflepuff and Harry Potter fan, I first met Miriam Margolyes as my head of house, Professor Sprout. And I loved her. Since the I have indulged myself with watching her on tv and even just watching interviews she cracks me up. I can’t wait to read her autobiography and see what made her, her.

And that’s a wrap! That’s my Christmas book haul. As you can tell, a lot of them are non-fiction and for those of you who have been on my blog for a while – will know that non-fiction books don’t feature very much in my repertoire. Well needless to say that in the upcoming future, that may be about to change!

Now for the 2021 summary:

  • I mean first and foremost, I finally completed my yearly reading challenge. I read 30 books out of 25! I’m going to set this years to 30 and see how I do! Wish me luck!
  • In those 30 books I read a total of 12,946 pages. On average, I read about 431 pages.
  • The shortest book at 241 pages was Help the Witch by Tom Cox
  • The longest book I read, unsurprisingly was Les Misérables which stands at a whopping 1,234 pages.

So that’s 2021 all wrapped up, all be it a day or two late! I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for me and my bookish friends!

Happy new year everyone!

Until next time,

Keep reading,

D x

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