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07 September 2019

Window Shopping: The Tartan Blanket Co.

Window Shopping is where poor little me fantasy shops on various websites, because I may be skint, but there's a lot on my wishlist and it's too beautiful not to share. I am not in any way paid or compensated for this post, it's just me sharing things I covet.

I can't remember quite how I stumbled on The Tartan Blanket Co, but they're now one of my favourite Instagram accounts to follow. Their account is just so full of love and family and adventure, and it makes me happy to look through. Also, it has all of the colsie feels, and it's seems to be the driving force behind them.

Colsie (kol-zee)/ Origin: Old Scots word for 'Cosy'
The act of slow living and making time for the people and things that soothe our souls.

They are probably best known for their tartan blankets, and as a Scottish gal I grew up with tartan blankets everywhere. There was always at least one in the car and I have many memories of being snuggled up in one as the Lead Hills zipped past the car windows, pulling one from the back of the couch for snuggles with my mum as she read me a story, spending hours picking the dried grass off of them following picnics (we didn't have such fancy things as picnic blankets, a regular blanket would do).

So, my wishlist is a little vast. But here are my highlights.

This blanket just gives me such Hufflepuff feels, and it looks so bloomin' cosy. I want to be curled up in this with a cup of tea and a good book, while the rain beats down on the windows outside. I want it rolled up in my backpack to wrap around myself whenever the fancy takes me.
The Tartan Blanket Co. - Recycled Wool Blanket in Mustard Stripe
Image copyright The Tartan Blanket Co.

I love me a picnic, and I would love to picnic on this blanket. It just looks absolutely delightful, and the customisation options kind of blow my mind a little. I'd definitely go for the grey leather picnic strap, it looks so soft and lovely. It'd be perfect for autumn and winter picnics.
The Tartan Blanket Co. - Recycled Wool Waterproof Picnic Blanket in Light Grey Check
Image copyright The Tartan Blanket Co.

Scottish Made Lambswool Scarf in Persevere Flint Grey Tartan
It's a bit chilly and it's raining as I write this, and honestly I just want this scarf draped around me? It sounds divine and looks gorgeous and effortlessly stylish, plus it's grey so will match my 80% black wardrobe.
The Tartan Blanket Co. - Scottish Made Lambswool Scarf in Persevere Flint Grey Tartan
Image copyright The Tartan Blanket Co.

Basically, it's adorable and I want to drink my tea out of this on long autumn and winter evenings, please. I'm imagining myself drinking something strong and smoky and slightly sweet like my At Home in Elorin blend inspired by Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
The Tartan Blanket Co. - Colsie Mug
Image copyright The Tartan Blanket Co.

I would get this for my sister and my wee nephew who's still brewing. It's just so cute, and I love the idea of natural teething toys. I'd pick the fawn herringbone as it's so gorgeous, perfect for snuggling up for reading time with my nephew.
The Tartan Blanket Co. - Little Dreamer Gift Box with New Wool Baby Blanket
Image copyright The Tartan Blanket Co.

Do you have a favourite blanket?
What would be on your wishlist?

06 September 2019

Book Beginnings #78

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young.
The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

"Give me the child." 
Turonn's hands reached for the girl cradled in his wife's arms and she looked up, her swollen eyes glistening. 
"They're waiting, Svanhild."
First off, the cover is stunning. I've been staring at it at least once a week since it was revealed because I Have A Problem. As soon as I got my hands on this book I took it to the beach for a photoshoot. I sat and stared at it so much. It's just so visually stunning, dramatic and eye-catching. I love the colours and the drama and the depth and the strength just in the images.

Interesting first lines, and although it doesn't give much away but it's still pretty poignant. I can see what's going to happen next and it's a little bit heart-breaking.

"When I was your age, I watched my friends die in the fighting season." His voice turned sharp, his eyes narrowing, and Halvard relented. The only thing worse than standing chest-deep in the icy fjord was invoking the disapproval of his brother.
This is a direct reference to the events in Sky In The Deep and I love it. You don't have to have read Sky In The Deep to read The Girl The Sea Gave Back, but it will give you a bit more of the history behind clans like the Aska and the Riki and there are lots of familiar faces. That's all covered in this book though, so you won't be missing out.

Honestly I am just so happy to be back in this world. It's rich and vivid and brutal, and there's something about it that gives me goosebumps.

What are you reading this week?

05 September 2019

Release Day Review: The Liars by Jennifer Mathieu *AD Gifted

BKMRK sent me a free review copy of The Liars by Jennifer Mathieu.

After being introduced to Jennifer Mathieu when Moxie was a Zoella Book Club pick, I instantly fell in love. Her books tackle difficult issues, from feminism and sexism to cults and discovering yourself. I knew before starting The Liars that it would be good - how could it not be? But I didn't expect to be blown away quite as much as I was.

The Liars by Jennifer Mathieu coverAdd to Goodreads button

Their truth will tear them apart.

It's the summer of 1986. Joaquin and Elena, two teenage siblings live in a toxic environment with their alcoholic mother on an island off the Texas Gulf Coast.

Elena falls for a new boy who has just arrived from California. Joaquin must wrestle with his decision to stay on Mariposa Island to protect his sister or flee from his mother's abuse.

As both teenagers struggle to figure out who they are and want to be, they are caught in a web of family dysfunction and secrets from their mother's past.

Source: Review Copy

5 Words: Family, friendship, secrets, lies, love.

Content Warning: Alcohol abuse, drug use, child abuse, family separation.

The Liars was much more complex than I first expected, and almost like a psychological thriller at times. The story had me hooked, the unreliable narrators had me second guessing everything. And yet, I still didn't see it coming.

I really enjoyed the different narrative perspectives, how it cast a different slant on the story. Each character had their own motivations for the lies they told. And Elena was the most fascinating and it was a little bit chilling how naturally it seemed to come to her.

As much as I loved being inside Elena's head as the story unraveled, I think my favourite character was Joaquin. He is so full of love and anger and frustration and resentment and a desperate need to care for his sister. He's so torn up about wanting to help himself too and I found it so endearing. I loved how much of an excellent big brother he was, even if Elena resented it at times.

Caridad is a wonderfully complex character and my opinion on her switched back and forth with what the story revealed about her life. Sometimes I hated her almost as much as some of the other characters, other times it felt like my heart could break over what happened to her.

The Liars is also known as The Liars of Mariposa Island in the US.

Read my reviews of Jennifer Mathieu's other books:

04 September 2019

My Blog’s Name In Books 2019

I saw this on Book Hooked Nook Blog and I just couldn't resist, it seems like so much fun.

My Blog’s Name In Books

Spell out your blog’s name.
Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter.
NOTE: You cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodreads TBR. Don’t cheat my friends!

My Blog’s Name In Books

My Goodreads TBR is... Extensive. Every year in the end of December lull I ruthlessly cut it down by at least 100. And now I'm regretting this because there are less than 500 books and there are a lot of letters in my blog name.

I am not counting "The" at the beginning of titles, same as Goodreads, and to make it even harder I've tried to keep it down to books that I actually already have copies of.


T - Tradition by Brendan Kiely
E - Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
A - All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle


P - Poison Study by Maria V.Snyder
A - Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff
R - Rhubarbs and Circuses by Sally Winter
T - These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
Y - Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay


P - Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodríguez McRobbie
R - Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
I - Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew
N - The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
C - Collision by Victor Dixen
E - The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
S - Sanctuary by V.V. James
S - Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld

Could you spell your blog name in books?

01 September 2019

My September 2019 TBR

I'm trying something a little different with my September TBR. I sat down and sectioned off my books with page tabs, and I'm going to aim to read one of those sections a day. They vary in length, with longer sections for the weekend (hopefully) but are generally 5-chapter chunks.

I'm going to be reading a lot of books that I am very excited about.

My September 2019 TBR

The Books On My September TBR

I was very lucky and I was sent a lot of books in August. So now it's time to tackle them.

The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo
The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
The Liars by Jennifer Mathieu
Sanctuary by VV James
Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld
Slay by Brittney Morris
Wonderland: An Anthology edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane

What's on your September TBR?

31 August 2019


I was very late to the Magical Readthon party and only did my OWLs in July, but I was ready for my NEWTs. Or so I thought.

I'd planned ahead with my OWLs and so I only had three books to read. So how did it go?

Seer Career Path

NEWTS - Divination

Acceptable - White Cover

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Exceeds Expectations - Short Story or Collection

Letting Go by Cat Clarke

Outstanding - Most Recently Acquired

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

Although I only needed to read three books for my NEWTs I really struggled. Part of this was because one of my books was over 1000 pages, another part of this was that I kept rereading the pages in Nevernight over and over and it took me about three times longer to read than normal because of this. I fell into a slump and it felt like I was getting nowhere. It was almost a relief when I picked up Letting Go by Cat Clarke and read it in a single sitting, and I finished up all three books only yesterday. Definitely cutting it close.

That said, I did read a little outside of the readathon. I rage-read some truly trashy and problematic romances (a whole series of 5 books in fact) in an effort to get myself out of my funk, and I got through the entirety of The Boys comics. But overall August was a pretty sucky month for me reading wise, and I'm now further behind than ever with my reading challenge.

What did you read in August?

30 August 2019

Book Beginnings #77

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Letting Go by Cat Clarke.
Letting Go by Cat Clarke cover
Never make a promise at a funeral. It's my new motto. it's pretty specific as mottos go, I know. But I think it will serve me well.
First off, I can't stop staring at the cover. It's absolutely breathtaking, so beautiful and striking. I really want it as a print! I love the atmosphere, the beauty of the stars and the mountains, the desolation of the landscape. I love it so much.

I love this first line - it's instantly intriguing, it makes me want to read on, it gives me a taste of the narrator's personality, and from just this I have a feeling I'll like Agnes.
The sun is setting over the mountains to the west, and I don't think I've ever seen anything so beautiful. I can finally see the lochs below, but they're now pools of inky blackness. 
I love the evocative language, how even in such a short story Cat Clarke manages to perfectly capture the surroundings.

And oops I finished it in a single sitting as I was typing this post. It's a gorgeous wee story that I'll definitely pick up again. I loved the ending.

How far should you go to keep a promise?

Barrington Stoke is a company dedicated to making reading accessible. They specialise in super-readable, dyslexia-friendly fiction, and everything from the font to the paper is carefully considered to make it easier to read.

I have Multiple Sclerosis, and sometimes I just can't read and it breaks my heart. The cog fog just takes over and I sit staring at the page taking nothing in. When this happens, Barrington Stoke is pretty much my saviour. The same things that make the stories so accessible to people with dyslexia (like my sister) help me when my brain refuses to cooperate. There's no shadowing through the pages to distract, each letter in the font is unique, the stories themselves are engaging and written excellently, and they have a lot of books by my favourite YA authors like Kate Cann, Bali Rai, Cat Clarke, Holly Bourne, Kevin Brooks.

What are you reading this week?