Reading Goals – 2015

Author – Laura

Reading Challenge image

Amazingly, despite being a member of our fabulous Book Club for over 2 years, I’ve never set myself a reading goal.

2015 is the Year of the Book, at least for us here at The Bookspa, so I am going to have a go at the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge. There are 52 items on the list; the equivalent to one a week (and that is maths, people) which should be quite achievable. There are a million other challenges available, but this particular list really appealed to me because it’s going to encourage me to diversify. Although my Goodreads list is pretty varied I will always go back to my beloved Historical Fiction and Fantasy if I’m feeling lazy or unimaginative, which happens more often than it should.

If you want to join in, or if you’re just looking for a bit of inspiration to kickstart your own 2015 reading list, you can download a copy of the challenge here – DOWNLOAD

2014 was a pretty amazing year in my reading life. I discovered The Night Circus, fell in love with Karou and Akiva and became slightly obsessed with The Black Dagger Brotherhood. I also joined our local library, which led me to gems like Shiver, Carnival of Souls and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Our Book Club has outdone itself as well, with some really diverse choices across many different genres. Thanks girls!

I’ve just started The Luminaries by Eleonor Catton, and at 848 pages it’s a bit of a tome, but I will definitely be able to tick off the first item on the challenge!

If you’ve set a 2015 goal of your own we’d love to hear all about it!

Laura x




Book Tag!



Author – Kiera


To break up the Friday Favourites a little bit, and because we couldn’t decide who got which book boyfriend, (there was a heated discussion) we’re doing a Book Tag. I know that I like finding out people’s reading habits, so here are a few questions we answered about ours.


What is your favourite book?

Laura – Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I don’t really even know why. It just makes me happy.

Kiera –  Book…Singular? Really? Ummmmm…. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Shhh don’t tell the other books!


What genre do you prefer?

L – Wow. Second question and I’m already umming. Probably Fantasy but I like Thrillers as well. Fantasy Thrillers?

K – I’m going to go with Fantasy.


What is your favourite book series?

L – Harry Potter. An obvious choice but they are all so magical. (Pun intended).

K – Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor


What books did you hate reading in school?

L – We studied Daz 4 Zoe for English GCSE – it was pretty bad.

K – I can’t remember hating any of the books we had to read at school.


What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

L – We had the Ladybird book collection – I loved the Cinderella edition with her on the front wearing a pink dress. I always wanted a dress like that *sigh*.

K – The first books I remember reading myself were probably Enid Blyton Books. It would have been either The Famous Five or The Faraway Tree, but I can’t remember which one I read first. Oooh! Or The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.


Bookstores or libraries?

L – Kiera you buy books from libraries! I would say Bookstore. Especially the really old ones that smell amazing and have wonky floors. Mr B’s anyone?

K – Both? If I had to pick one, could I cheat and say libraries and then still order books online?


How many books do you own?

L – Nowhere near as many as I would like.

K – Almost 400. Plus 200ish kindle books.


Do you read before bed?

L – Absolutely.

K – Every night.


What is your most comfortable reading position?

L – Curled up in a blanket on the sofa with my book on my knees.

K – Sat in bed with my book resting against my knees.


What is the most recent book you read?

L – I’m reading Half Bad by Sally Green.

K – I’m currently reading Outpost by Ann Aguirre


What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

L – “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter Series. I love that you have to declare your naughtiness before the magic will work 🙂

K‘We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it‘ – DoSB  (there is a pattern here…)

I just think it can be applied to everyone in a personal sense and in the wider sense of global issues.

Science Fiction or Fantasy?

L – Fantasy.

K – Fantasy please!


What books do you regret reading?

L – I don’t regret reading books. I have been disappointed by a couple of highly acclaimed books recently (no names) but I don’t regret reading them.

K – I don’t think I regret reading anything. There are a few book I wouldn’t read again though!


On average, how many books do you read per year?

L – Maybe 3 or 4 a month? I’m a reader, not a mathematician.

K – It varies, depending on what games are out. I can’t read a book and play RPG at the same time, as I find the stories get muddled. As an average I’m going to say 52 full books.


What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

L – Twilight. Please don’t shoot me.

K – The Hobbit.


Do you like to read outside?

L – Yes, in my garden with a cold drink and a big hat.

K – No. There are bugs and other people outside :p


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

L – It might sound terrible, but I read to escape, and I don’t generally take much more than feelings back to the real world…

K – Probably to speak out. A lot issues are left not spoken about because they are taboo or sensitive subjects. I think that a lot of problems could be solved if they were just spoken about. Knowledge is power.


Of the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

L – The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern.

K – Half Bad by Sally Green


Bookmark or a random piece of paper?

L – I have a lovely magnetic Batman bookmark, but it’s normally a receipt or something.

K – I have a pack of cards I use as bookmarks. I used to buy bookmarks all the time, and lose them just as often, so I started using cards. 52 for the price of 1.


Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, ect.?

L – I normally stop when I can’t keep my eyes open any more!

K – I like to at least finish the page, but I can stop reading at any point. It’s a skill developed over years of falling asleep reading, and having no choice but to find the point you can last remember reading.


Do you eat or drink while reading?

L – Yes.

K – Drink, yes. Eat, no.


Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

L – Yes. Although I wouldn’t choose to.

K – Sometimes. It depends what I’m reading and what is going on around me. I have to start new books on my own in quiet, but once I get into the book I can read through most things. I don’t tend to put music on to read though.


One book at a time, or several at once?

L – I quite often have at least 2 on the go.

K – I have on very few occasions read more than one book at a time. I get the stories muddled easily, so generally I read one at a time.


Reading at home or everywhere?

L – Duh – everywhere!

K – Everywhere!


Do you read ahead or skip pages?

L – I try really hard not to.

K – All the time. If the characters are having a conversation I always read through the dialog and then go back and read the rest. I don’t know why, I have tried to stop doing it, but I’m just too impatient.


Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

L – Lets just say I am more careful when I borrow other people’s books…

K – New, new, new…. Please.


Do you write in books?

L – Who does that?

K – No. Why would you!? That’s what sticky pads or note books are for 😉



We weren’t tagged by anyone, but questions were found at –



Friday Favourites

Laura's top 5


This week it’s Laura’s turn to share her top 5 favourite books of all time…

“Love them or hate them, these are the books that make me feel. Be it sad, happy, excited or just plain old comfy, these stories have a very special place in my heart.”

In no particular order…

Laura's Top 5

Stephenie Meyer

I know, I know! I can hear the collective groans from here. But this book is beautifully written, regardless of what you think of the content or subject matter. It’s emotive and has real depth – this is a YA book dealing with some pretty dark themes; forbidden love, power struggles and death, and you still come out the other end unconditionally, and irrevocably, in love with a vampire.Although in my case it was Jasper, not Edward. But still…
Good Omens
Neil Gaiman

I’ll just throw this out there – this is probably my favourite book in the whole wide world. I’m not even sure what it is that I love so much – I can’t decide if it’s the characters, the storyline or the setting. It’s probably a combination of all three. As well as the sarcasm and dry humour that is abundant throughout. It just makes me feel good when I read it, like a big snuggly jumper that you still wear in summer because it feels so comforting.This was the first time I’d read anything by Neil Gaiman, and it sparked a bit of a fangirl sitch. I hope I never meet Neil Gaiman. It would be embarrassing for both of us.
Lost at the Fair
A.J. MacGregor

This is a childhood favourite for me and my brother and sister. We had a small hardback Ladybird edition, which was read to death. Even now we can still recite the lovely rhyming story. “Fast asleep was Dormouse Cottage, up on silent Sunny Hill…”Beautiful, innocent storytelling at its best.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling

I’ve picked a specific HP book, rather than the whole series, because as much as I adore all of them this one has always been my favourite. It’s the first time you really feel that the fight between good and evil is much bigger than just Harry and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It’s also the first time Harry is really a part of a family, fighting for a cause with wizards who were there with his parents the first time round. It’s full of mystery, heartbreak and raw determination, which makes it the first really dark Potter book. I love it.
The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

If you read my review a couple of weeks ago here on the bookspa, you’ll know that I have a warm, gooey place in my heart for this beautiful book.Read my reviewJust read the book. You’ll see why for yourself.

Book Review – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Author – Laura

You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.
You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.

The Night Circus Book CoverThis book creeps under your skin and, like the titular circus, comes alive at night to invade your dreams.

The Night Circus is full of beautiful description and vivid imagery, which is no mean feat when you consider the circus is entirely black and white; a stark palette which contrasts with the scarlet of the scarves and boutonnières of the people who follow it around the world. But for all the beauty and elegance there is a sinister undertone that one never quite escapes from…

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a dreamer. There is not. But dreams have ways of turning into nightmares.”

The plot centres on a terrible wager made by two old conjurers, which develops into a deep and fragile relationship between the two main characters, Celia and Marco, both of whom are vital to the continuation of the circus. Supporting Celia and Marcus is a host of unusual and unlikely characters, whose stories are all well developed and add both humour and gravity to the tale.

I loved this book. It is luxurious and nostalgic, but with pace and depth that only comes from great writing. Not only is this a great book, but it’s one of the best I’ve ever read.

So I will make a wager of my own with you – I wager that you will fall in love with the Circus, and all it’s mystery. Your move…

Toujours un rêveur x

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