Being brutally honest about books

Sunday, 10 September 2017


Hi everyone, hope you're doing well.

I haven't felt like blogging much over the past few months and I don't want to keep forcing myself to do it. I'm also going to try and cut down on how much time I spend online/on social media. I've had a Blogger account for 10 years! Hence I'm going to take a blogging break so I can focus on other things. 

You're welcome to read my previous posts and continue to leave comments, but I won't be posting any new content for the next wee while. I don't know how long this hiatus will last, but hopefully I'll come back refreshed and ready to get back into blogging more regularly. 

Thanks for reading. I'll see you all later!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

August Wrap Up



  • August has been very busy in terms of uni work and family stuff, but I don't feel like I accomplished much.
  • But I'm currently on a two-week break - thank goodness for that! 
  • Two things I hate: winter and being sick. Spring starts tomorrow, so I hope I feel better and more productive then!



Covers go to Goodreads.
28820006  30956356  18209339  21226144
35819365  21853621  32758901  27398389 

Around the blogosphere

Skyuni123 at I Review Things posted A Foray into Bad Erotica. (Warning: NSFW but in a funny way.)
Cait at Paper Fury discussed unrealistic things in YA books.
CW at Read Think, Ponder recommended historical fiction about invisible narratives.

How was your August? Busy? Productive? Did you read lots? What's your favourite time of year?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Micro Reviews: August

In which I review the books I've finished reading this month in one sentence.
Covers link to Goodreads.


Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by
I especially adored the humorous style of this collection of badass women from history and mythology around the world.

Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) by
Another venture into the dangerous world of the Great Library series, and while it ends on a cliffhanger like the previous books, I didn't find it as exciting over all, perhaps because the stakes haven't been fully built yet.

The Word Exchange by

Gingerbread by

The Clockwork Dynasty by
 A very cool steampunk story, but the male/female dual POV and first person, present tense didn't do it for me.

The Nightingale by

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Top 10 Historical Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre. Since I read so much historical fiction, I decided to list some underrated historical books you might not have heard of.
Covers go to Goodreads.

The Janna Mysteries series by
Curse of the Bond Riders series by
Destiny's Path series by
The Salt Roads by
 More historical-fantasy or magic realism, this time about three women in three different settings and how an African goddess connects them.

Despite The Falling Snow by
Goddess by
Gladiatrix series by

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by

Shaken to the Core by

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan by

Have you read or heard of any of these? Do you know of any other historical hidden gems? What historical setting would you like to read more about?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

3 Authors I've Been Meaning to Read

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. This week's question is: Who are some authors you have been meaning to read?

I'm sure there's a long list of authors I've been meaning to read but haven't yet for some reason or another. At the moment, I can only think of three, but there are definitely more. Links go to Wikipedia.

The first author that came to mind is Agatha Christie, known for her many detective novels. Her work is so famous, and references get made all the time (I'm thinking of two Doctor Who episodes in particular... If you watch the show you'll know what I'm talking about). Though it's not my main or favourite genre to read, I'm not averse to mystery/crime/detective stories, and I would love to cross Agatha Christie off my imaginary literature bucket list. The reason I haven't read any of her books yet is very simple: I don't know where the heck to start. If you have a suggestion, please let me know!

Another author I keep meaning to read but haven't is Neil Gaiman. I've had one of his books, Stardust, on my TBR for years, and I just haven't read it. I still want to, and I'm sure the library will have it, so I don't know what I'm waiting for. He wrote Coraline, so he must have a pretty good imagination. I should find out for myself.

Mary Renault is the third and last author I can think of that I keep meaning to read. She was known for her novels set in Ancient Greece and for writing about same-sex relationships in a time when it was probably illegal in most parts of the world. Ancient Greece and LGBTQ characters are two things I love to read about, so there's no reason why I shouldn't read her books as soon as possible. I plan to start with Fire from Heaven, her first novel about Alexander the Great. I'm such a nerd help!

Life is short, so I ought to get on to reading these three authors. I don't want to reach my deathbed and regret that I never read a Agatha Christie novel, for example, when I always intended to. Next time I'm wondering what to read, I think I know which authors to start with...

What authors have you been meaning to read? Why haven't you read them yet? Are there any authors you'd like to read but they've written so much you don't know where to begin?

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Footnotes in Novels: Yea or Nay?

The novel I'm reading at the moment includes a feature I hadn't noticed I disliked so much: footnotes. In fact, I'm ignoring the footnotes, they're annoying me so much. This annoyance leads me to this post, which I believe is on an original topic.

Footnotes can be useful in non-fiction, as they allow the author to provide more details or context for a point made in the main text. I absolutely understand the point of them in non-fiction, where the more information there is, the better the reader's understanding. Footnotes in non-fiction are fine. No complaints from me.

I keep repeating the word "non-fiction". Know why? Because I don't believe footnotes have a place in fiction, or in novels.

When you're reading a novel, there's a story there, which takes place within a certain world, and the writing should flow. Things should make some sort of sense. Footnotes interrupt the flow of the writing; they disrupt the story by making you take your eyes away from your place on the page. The last thing I want when I'm getting into a story is to be interrupted. What I want is for it to flow and be easy to read, and I don't want interruptions of any sort, even if it's to add more context or details about the sentence I just read. Especially not if it means I have to leave a paragraph, read a footnote, and find my place and get back into the story.

Not only that, but footnotes in novels are plain unnecessary. All the information you need in order to understand the story and the world in which it takes place should be there in the main text. In the book I'm currently reading, I found early on that the extra information in the footnotes confused me further, rather than explained things. There is such a thing as too much detail, and footnotes in novels just go to prove once again that concise is always better. As I said earlier, I'm ignoring the footnotes in the book I'm reading, and I don't think I'm missing out on anything important. This means that the footnotes are not needed, and therefore shouldn't be there.

This is a short post, but I've made my stance clear: when it comes to novels, footnotes are unnecessary and annoying. In some cases I might even say that footnotes are lazy writing - if you can't fit all the essential information in a paragraph, rewrite it so you can, rather than relying on footnotes. Thank goodness this technique is rare in fiction, and years could pass before I encounter it again.

So there you have it. I'm a firm believer that footnotes in novels do not need to be. But what do you think? Are footnotes in novels ever a good idea? Or are they a waste of everyone's time? Are there exceptions?

Monday, 31 July 2017

July Wrap Up



  • I've read almost as many books this year as I read in the past two years combined. 
  • Back to uni! The new semester is going pretty well, and I'm loving my new timetable.
  • I watched some more TV. I watched Harlots with the family and binged Black Sails, which were both extremely cool period dramas set in the 1700s.
  • It's been really cold for the past week and my hands are permanently freezing.



Covers go to Goodreads.
34207030  19826252  17344567
30659  29851992  16098855 

Around the blogosphere

MJ at Howdy YAL! discussed the worst books they've ever blogged about.
Kai at Quartzfeather wondered if reviewing gets in the way of reading.
Cait at Paper Fury suggested 10 improvements for Goodreads.

How was your July? Are you keeping warm? How many books have you read this year in comparison to previous years? Did you read any classics this month?

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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