December Book Haul

Sunday, 31 December 2017


I know, I know - I've got a shopping problem! I just like being surrounded by beautiful books, okay? I like to sit in my room and feel the words whizzing through the air. This is probably going to be one of my biggest book hauls (I say that now...) as, at the beginning of next month, I will finally be heading back to good ol'Cardiff which means food and bills and rent and trying to be an adult. (Booo!) Although, a big city - compared to this tiny village and its one bookshop - means more temptation, so we're going to have to wait and see to find out if that plan is actually stuck to.

REVIEW: The Scandal, Frederik Backman

Friday, 29 December 2017

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest. For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together - or pulls them apart. Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner. Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who'll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. No one can stand by or stay silent. You're on one side or another. Which side will you find yourself on?

REVIEW: The Future Won't Be Long, Jarett Kobek

Wednesday, 27 December 2017


It's the tail-end of 1986 and Baby is the freshest-faced, starriest-eyed young homo in all of New York City, straight off the bus from closeted backwoods Wisconsin. Adeline is his rich-art-school-kid saviour with a bizarre transatlantic drawl and a spare bed.
The Future Won't Be Long follows Baby and Adeline as they cling to each other for dear life through a decade of mad, bad New York life punctuated by the deaths of Warhol, Basquiat and Wojnarowicz and the forcible gentrification of the East Village. While Adeline develops into the artist she never really expected to become, Baby falls into a twilight zone of clubbing, ketamine and late-capitalistic sexual excess. As he struggles to find his way out again, Baby will test the strength of a friendship that had seemed unbreakable.

REVIEW: Trump's Christmas Carol, Lucien Young

Monday, 25 December 2017


President Ebenezer Trump, a rich old fool whose heart is as small as his hands and whose words are as false as his hair, sits shut up alone in the White House on Christmas Eve. But he is confronted that night by the ghost of Richard Nixon, who warns him that he will be visited by three spirits, all intent on changing his imprudent and miserly ways.
He meets the jovial Ghost of Christmas Past, Bill Clinton, full of fun tales and memories; the spirit who everyone wishes was still the Ghost of Christmas Present, Barack Obama; and the terrifying Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who shows him how abolishing Obamacare will finish off Tiny Tim.
But will Trump heed their advice, and become a good person?

#2017RoundUp: End of the Year Reading Survey

Saturday, 23 December 2017


Hello and welcome to the first part of my #2017RoundUp! This year has been a big one, both in terms of highs and lows, so I thought I'd take this time to look back at the more positive parts of the year - the books. Sometimes you just need a media and real-life blackout whilst you curl up with a good book and pretend everything is hunky-dory, do you know what I mean? So these are some of the books that have starred in the 2017 slideshow of my bookish life and if you want to check out a more defined list of my least and most favourite books of the year, be sure to keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks!

REVIEW: A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny

Thursday, 21 December 2017


Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as the new commander of the Sûreté Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the Sûreté Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him.
When suspicion turns to Gamache himself, and his possible involvement in the crime, the frantic search for answers takes the investigation to the village of Three Pines, where a series of shattering secrets are poised to be revealed . . .

REVIEW: One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

SPOTLIGHT: Penguin English Library Editions (& Wishlist!)

Sunday, 17 December 2017


Gone are the days where I would buy a book simply for what was inside of it, no matter how shit the copy. Mass market paperbacks, movie tie-ins (although this excludes the new cover for Simon vs the Homosapiens' Agenda because Nick Robinson is really hot), books with torn covers and pages fallen out of them... Wordsworth Classics (*shudders*) - you name it, I bought them all. But over the last few weeks (because that's how quickly these phases/obsession of mine really do appear) I have become a - shall we say - book snob.
Don't judge a book by its cover? Are you having a laugh?!
So now, my one true mission in life - aside from worming my way into the publishing profession and owning a penguin - is to collect all of these stunning Penguin English Library Editions as quickly as I possibly can. Truthfully, each and every one of the hundred books is on my wishlist, but a blog post with that many on it seemed just a little (just a little, she says, fully noting the irony) obsessive, so I thought I would try my hardest and narrow it down to the seven books that score the highest on my need-right-now-o-meter.

REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

Friday, 15 December 2017


Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again...

REVIEW: The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

REVIEW: Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman

Monday, 11 December 2017



Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

2018 A-Z READING CHALLENGE

Saturday, 9 December 2017



So for 2018, I thought I'd challenge myself to do something completely new in the blogging/reading world. New year, new start and all that (lord knows all of my resolutions regarding dieting or going to gym never stick so let's hope that this one will).
So here it is - the announcement of my participation in my first ever reading challenge! 

REVIEW: The Twelve-Mile Straight, Eleanor Henderson

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Cotton County, Georgia, 1930: in a house full of secrets, two babies-one light-skinned, the other dark-are born to Elma Jesup, a white sharecropper’s daughter. Accused of her rape, field hand Genus Jackson is lynched and dragged behind a truck down the Twelve-Mile Straight, the road to the nearby town. In the aftermath, the farm’s inhabitants are forced to contend with their complicity in a series of events that left a man dead and a family irrevocably fractured.
Despite the prying eyes and curious whispers of the townspeople, Elma begins to raise her babies as best as she can, under the roof of her mercurial father, Juke, and with the help of Nan, the young black housekeeper who is as close to Elma as a sister. But soon it becomes clear that the ties that bind all of them together are more intricate than any could have ever imagined. As startling revelations mount, a web of lies begins to collapse around the family, destabilizing their precarious world and forcing all to reckon with the painful truth.

REVIEW: Killer Fashion, Jennifer Wright

Tuesday, 5 December 2017


A darkly comic book about some surprisingly lethal garments. Featuring stories like the untimely demise of dancer Isadora Duncan caused by her signature red scarf and the bloody riot that greeted the appearance of the first top hat, among many others, these bite-size accounts will frighten and delight. Killer Fashion includes over twenty of these short tales along with beautiful full-page illustrations. 

TRAVEL: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK

Friday, 1 December 2017


It is the first of December and snow is dusting the pavement so that means that it is a more appropriate time than ever to look back on the tropical temperatures of last summer. At its essence what this post is, is my continued rhetoric of how much I adore the country of Wales and all that it has to offer. And, despite how much I pledge my hate for exercise and anything that is not a major city, on one sweaty day last May, I fell head over heels for one of the country's national parks, the Brecon Beacons.
And, thinking about that day right now, whilst hugging my penguin hot water bottle with the heating on full blast, is pretty damn close to a daydream.

REVIEW: Violent Delights, Victoria Namkung

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


At Windemere School for Girls, one of America’s elite private schools, Dr. Gregory Copeland is the beloved chair of the English Department. A married father with a penchant for romantic poetry—and impressionable teenage girls—he operates in plain sight for years, until one of his former students goes public with allegations of inappropriate conduct. With the help of an investigative journalist, and two additional Windemere alumnae who had relationships with Copeland as students, the unlikely quartet unites to take him down.

REVIEW: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew J. Sullivan

Monday, 27 November 2017


When a bookshop patron commits suicide, it’s his favorite store clerk who must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.
Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the 'BookFrogs'—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.
But when youngest BookFrog Joey Molina kills himself in the bookstore’s upper level, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions: Trinkets and books, the detritus of a lonely, uncared-for man. But when Lydia pages through his books, she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?
As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago—and never completely left, as she discovers. 

22 Goals for 22

Saturday, 25 November 2017



How am I already 22? Honestly, it doesn't feel like minutes since I could legally drink and now here we are - four years later and definitely not feeling like any more of an adult. I thought that by 22, I'd have my life sorted out and already have on my foot on the career ladder towards my dream job. But my dream job has changed four times this year and life hasn't turned out quite the way I thought it would be (which makes the incorporation of Deaf Havana in this post even more appropriate). So here are 22 goals to get me back on track and to make 22 the best year yet!

REVIEW: 147 Things, Jim Chapman

Thursday, 23 November 2017


In 147 Things, Jim takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the best bits of everything, from the mind-blowing to the ridiculous. As with his videos, no subject is off-limits and he’ll lift the lid on his life and his relationships, sharing embarrassing stories and things he’s learnt along the way. If you’ve ever felt weirded out by the fact we’re seven billion (mostly) hairless apes spinning around a giant ball of flaming gas, or that we all begin as tiny humans INSIDE our mothers, or that many of us keep slightly-less-dangerous wolves in our homes, then you need this book in your life. Jim wants to inspire you with the sheer unlikelihood of us all being here and equip you to feel just a little less overwhelmed by the small stuff. 

REVIEW: All the Wrong Chords, Christine Hurley Deriso

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam, dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn't exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy--a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can't pass on an opportunity like this, and she can't take her eyes off the band's hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother's death?

Best Red Carpet Looks from the 2017 American Music Awards

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Everyone knows that there is nothing I love more than a celebrity red carpet. And sure, it may be more than a little materialistic and bourgeois, but I get a special kind of joy from clambering to see the fashion highs and lows of the evening. 
The AMAs are a little low-key compared to some of the other shows of the season - not crazy-fancy like the Oscars or the Grammys, and not crazy-(well)crazy like the Video Music Awards. Instead, it is one of the only award ceremonies where it is acceptable to show up in jeans or trainers, but with the amount of clothes these celebrities have to hand for the event, you know that casual is never going to be an option.

Caleb McLaughlin 

REVIEW: Tale of a Boon's Wife, Fartumo Kusow

Friday, 17 November 2017


A young Somali woman defies convention and clan to marry the man she loves, but must face the consequences. Despite her family’s threat to disown her, Idil, a young Somali woman, rejects her high Bliss status to marry Sidow, a poor Boon man. Her decision transforms her life, forcing her to face harsh and sometimes even deadly consequences for her defiance of a strict tribal hierarchy. 

REVIEW: Last Lullaby, Alice Walsh

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Set in the fictional town of Paddy’s Arm, Newfoundland, Alice Walsh’s debut mystery novel is at once harrowing and homey, equal parts police procedural and diner gossip. When Claire and Bram's only child dies suddenly, it at first appears to be a case of crib death. But when the real cause of death indicates homicide and Claire is arrested as the number-one suspect, her friend, lawyer Lauren LaVallee, promises she’ll do everything she can to prove Claire’s innocence.
As Lauren combs Paddy’s Arm for suspects, amid department politics and small-town talk, leads abound. Why are professors Frances and Annabelle being so secretive about their adopted daughter? What’s behind a troubled student’s sudden disappearance? And who is the mysterious platinum blonde observed at the scene of the crime? Meanwhile, Lauren’s own secret–a case that almost cost her her career back in Montreal–and sudden the return of an ex-lover who wants back in her life, threaten to overwhelm the investigation altogether.

REVIEW: Off the Deep End, A History of Madness at Sea, Nic Compton

Monday, 13 November 2017


In the eighteenth century, the Royal Navy's own physician found that sailors were seven times more likely to suffer from severe mental illness than the general population.
On the high seas, beyond the rule of law, away from any sight of land for weeks at a time--often living in overcrowded and confined spaces, where anything that goes wrong could be fatal--the incredible pressures on sailors were immense. The ever-present fear drove some men to faith in God and superstition--and drove others mad.

REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng #BLOGTOUR

Sunday, 12 November 2017


In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned -- from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. 
Enter Mia Warren -- an enigmatic artist and single mother -- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. 
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

REVIEW: Women Within, Anne Leigh Parrish

Thursday, 9 November 2017


With themes of reproductive rights and feminism, this multi-generational novel presents three women whose paths cross at the Lindell Retirement Home. Constance Maynard, fierce, independent and proud, reflects on her long life promoting women’s rights through her career as a professor of history. Eunice Fitch, the perfect caregiver, is often unlucky in love, yet even in middle age refuses to give up searching for the perfect man. Sam Clark is a young aide with a passion for poetry, and small beautiful things, but at war with her own large, ungainly physique. All together they weave a tapestry as rich and complex as the female experience itself.

REVIEW: The House, Simon Lelic

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake. Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door. And now the police are watching them...

REVIEW: Silent Lies, Kathryn Croft

Friday, 3 November 2017


Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished. Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will. Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself. 
Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says? Mia must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth – even if she risks losing everything she loves. 

TRAVEL: Oxford, UK

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Oxford is truly the place in the United Kingdom that feels the most British. Surrounded by the smell of cold stone of the university colleges and the ye-old-architecture, I finally began to understand the portrayal of British people in films, in television programmes and in books from around the globe.
Oxford is the epitome of the British stereotype.
The accent, the lawns and the red telephone boxes all meld together to create the Britain of the world's dreams. In fact, the poet Matthew Arnold once called Oxford, "the city of dreaming spires" in attempt to describe its atmosphere to a friend, which casts a sort of ethereal glow to the city that only comes from historical links to religion and great knowledge.
And, such knowledge has walked those streets! 28 Nobel Laureates, 27 British Prime Ministers, 30 International Leaders, 32 Nobel Prize Winners, 12 Saints... It is frankly so amazingly ridiculous that it almost boggles the mind just thinking about the sheer number of Oxford University alumni, who have left a lasting stamp on the world.
I think you feel that when you enter this city: the possibility to do great things, it hangs overhead like the eyes of all of those that have come before you are looking down and expecting something brilliant.

REVIEW: Conjuring Affection, Elizabeth Davis

Monday, 30 October 2017


Alison Conner is your average Minneapolis-based twenty something: she likes beer, indie bands, and wine nights with her best friend Linnea. Oh, and she’s a witch. But not, you know, a useful witch—she can cool the air with her mind, but only if there’s a ghost around. It’s not exactly a power they make movies about. She’s a party-trick-only witch, and that’s fine.
Also fine? Linnea’s brother Erik. Which is a problem, because Linnea has made it clear she’s not okay with that. 
But when Erik is around, Alison can’t exactly help herself.

Movies You Should Watch this Halloween

Friday, 27 October 2017

Hi! It's your resident Wednesday Addams here, ready to give you enough movie recommendations to make Halloween (and probably the entire week after it) scary enough to put your hair on end. And no matter what you like - whether it be slasher classics, creepy animation or subversive horror - I can guarantee that this list will have something for you.

IT
Do I even need to explain why? IT is the official horror movie of the year thanks to its loveable protagonists, its creepy as fuck killer-clown and its status as a Stephen King classic. There is nothing better that the King of Horror does than villains, and Pennywise is sure to be a feature in many a nightmare this year.

REVIEW: Autonomous, Annalee Newitz

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Autonomous features a rakish female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who traverses the world in her own submarine. A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work. On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Joe and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.

REVIEW: The End We Start From, Megan Hunter

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Winter 2017) – Progress Report

Saturday, 21 October 2017


Here we go, here we go, here we go.

My Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon TBR - Winter 2017

Friday, 20 October 2017


Obviously I don't expect that I will read all of these books in the 24-hour time-limit, but I get bored! I need variety; I need books to switch between if I'm just not feeling it. An entire day is a long time to be focussed on a single setting or bunch of characters, so the more choice I have; the more likely it will be that I will read for the entirety of the timeslot. 
I've also already started a majority of these books so the readathon will hopefully be an opportunity that will motivate me to push on with some of those that I found... less than compelling - to get them finished, and checked off of my extremely (extremely!) long TBR.
So do you want to find out the books that I'll be racing through this Saturday? Then keep reading and be sure to follow my updates on Twitter throughout the readathon on the handle @_changingtime 

REVIEW: The Girl in the Fog, Donato Carrisi

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


A man is arrested after a road accident in the small town of Avechot. His shirt is covered in blood. Could this have anything to do with a missing girl called Anna Lou? Detective Vogel is on the case, but his unconventional means of investigation end up unsettling the locals. Also looming over Vogel is a case from his past that nearly destroyed his career. Determined not to lose again, he will do anything to solve the mystery surrounding Anna Lou's disappearance. Then, a media storm hits the quiet town and Vogel is sure that the suspect will be flushed out. Yet the clues are confusing, perhaps false, and following them may be a far cry from discovering the truth at the heart of a dark town. 

REVIEW: The Naturalist, Andrew Mayne

Monday, 16 October 2017


Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop. As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue…or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?

This is Halloween: 2017 Costume Inspo

Saturday, 14 October 2017

If you haven't noticed by now, Halloween is my favourite holiday. But unfortunately, this year I'm in the throes of the worst of my chronic illness and I'm probably not going to have the chance of dressing up and embarrassing myself.
But has this stopped the costume planning? Hell no, it hasn't. Just because I'm not going to be able to dress up, that doesn't mean that I can't daydream (not going to lie, at this point I am probably going to buy one just to wear in the house).
So here are my top picks of costume inspiration for Halloween 2017.

Daenerys Targaryen from 'Game of Thrones'
With her move to the harsher climate of Dragonstone during season seven, her new winter-appropriate wardrobe lends itself to entirely new interpretation of Dany this Halloween. With ice-blonde hair and pale furs, you will be the most icily eye-catching (and more importantly, the warmest!) at any party this Halloween.

REVIEW: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

Thursday, 12 October 2017


At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

REVIEW: Onwards Flows the River, Caroline Windsor

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


It is 1971. Hannah Matheson, whose affluent Quaker family lives in Devon, moves to a hostel in London to study for a degree. Her extravert and exuberant personality initially brings her into conflict with the hostel’s caustic deputy warden, Jo Ackroyd, whose abusive upbringing was very different from her own. In desperation Hannah persuades her old schoolfriend, Kate Deveraux, who, following the death of her parents, is often lonely living in her London flat, to come and live with her at the hostel. Kate, a hospital receptionist, has long been valued by Hannah’s family as a calming influence upon their daughter and she is a regular visitor to their home. Kate’s unspoken affection for Hannah’s solicitor brother, Aidan, has grown over the years and she longs for him to notice her. Jo and Kate get on well from the start and Kate is determined to help Hannah overcome her antipathy to the deputy warden. At Christmas Hannah invites Kate, Jo and Jo’s younger sister, Beth, to stay with her in her family’s holiday cottage in Devon. Beth, unlike her atheist sister Jo, has a deep spiritual awareness which is something she finds she has in common with both Kate and Aidan. Kate, however, soon realises, to her dismay, that her love for Aidan is clearly not reciprocated. Hannah, meanwhile, resumes her close relationship with Daniel, a friend of Aidan’s, who is also a solicitor in the family firm – Mathesons. Her passionate nature, however, is constantly frustrated by him and she is driven to look elsewhere to satisfy her needs. 
The book follows the relationship between the three women, as their inter-twining lives and loves threaten to destroy the friendship that unites them.

This is Halloween: TV Shows To Get You Hyped

Sunday, 8 October 2017


Christmas? Eh. Easter? Over it. Bonfire night? My nose goes numb.
After my birthday, Halloween easily wins the award for my favourite day of the year and, like many over-excited and obsessed young adults every year, that one day has turned into an entire month of spooktacular festivities. So here are the television shows that will be dominating mine (and hopefully your) screens for the next few weeks.

REVIEW: Beneath A Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan

Friday, 6 October 2017


Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share. 

REVIEW: Her Last Tomorrow, Adam Croft

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


Could you murder your wife to save your daughter? On the surface, Nick Connor's life is seemingly perfect: a quiet life with his beautiful family and everything he could ever want. But soon his murky past will collide with his idyllic life and threaten the very people he loves the most in the world. 
When his five-year-old daughter, Ellie, is kidnapped, Nick's life is thrown into a tailspin. In exchange for his daughter's safe return, Nick will have to do the unthinkable: he must murder his wife. With his family's lives hanging in the balance, what will Nick do? Can he and his family survive when the evil that taunts them stems from the sins of his past? 

TRAVEL: Caerphilly, Wales, UK

Monday, 2 October 2017


Verdict? Caerphilly definitely was not worth the 7.5 mile journey that it took to get there from Cardiff.

My Spotify Time Capsule Playlist

Saturday, 30 September 2017


As it has been made very clearly evident today, nobody knows me as well as Spotify's algorithm.

REVIEW: 180 Seconds, Jessica Park

Thursday, 28 September 2017


 After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.
One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.
When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

REVIEW: The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Tuesday, 26 September 2017


Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

A-Z Book Tag

Saturday, 16 September 2017


Books have always been a safety-blanket for me, a source of freedom from the troubles of day-to-day life. During my nearly twenty-two years on Earth, and I truly believe that every book, every character, every plot-point has stuck with me and helped me form the person that I am today.
Over the next month or so, I am going to be starting posting book reviews on Reminders of the Changing Times but I thought, right now, I should kick it all off with the A-Z Book Tag.
So here we go...

#UniAdvice: 10 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Fresher's Week

Sunday, 10 September 2017


Is it September already? 
Ever since starting university, I've realised that time just seems to be going quicker and quicker. And I don't know if that is related to the constant action that university always seems to be, or just a feature of impending adulthood. Either way, it has taught me to appreciate every single second of the university experience because, for the majority, it is only three years of a person's life and those years can go by so fast when you're surrounded by the right people.
So here are my tips on the first part of the university experience: Freshers Week.
A time for first times, throwing yourself into the unknown and forging your first step of the next part of your life.

133 Thoughts I Had Whilst Watching the Game of Thrones Episode, "Beyond the Wall"

Monday, 21 August 2017


 As the greatest warriors that Westeros has ever seen go beyond the Wall to take the first step in the worst plan that I have ever seen, I am having to ignore more and more errors to continue watching the drama of Game of Thrones. It is almost becoming like one of those absolutely terrible movies that I have to watch, in which I have to not pay attention to certain aspects of it, in order to continue in my enjoyment of it. Although of course, even now in season seven, Game of Thrones is far from bad. It is just that, once you have dealt with near-literary perfection, it is difficult to watch it being warped into something unrecognisable.

88 Thoughts I Had Whilst Watching the Game of Thrones Episode, "Eastwatch"

Monday, 14 August 2017


 As Jaime's survival hangs in the balance, I was more than anticipating the arrival of this week's Game of Thrones episode. Over the past seven seasons, we have watched this man go from arrogant villain who pushed a young boy out of a window, to someone we can all feel for. As more and more much-loved characters get thrown into life-or-death situations, it is proof that the stakes are ever-rising in the kingdom of Westeros. And that just makes me want to never look away.