The Liebster Award

liebster 2017

I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by the lovely Natalie who blogs at The Owl on the Bookshelf, and if you aren’t a follower of Natalie’s blog, then you should go and check it out.  I love the variety of books that Natalie reviews as well as the gorgeous Owl that makes a regular appearance.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person/blog who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions they wrote for you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Give them your set of 11 questions to answer

Without further ado, here are the questions that Natalie posed:

What was the last book you bought?


The last book I bought was Devotion by Ros Barber, a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Set in the near future where religious fundamentalism is on the verge of being classified as a form of mental illness, Finlay Logan is a criminal psychologist who must assess the sanity of April, a young woman who has blown up a bus and killed fifteen teenagers, citing religious reasons as her primary motive. At the same time, Logan is grieving over the death of his daughter who died in a terrible accident. When Logan comes across the radical psychological practices of Dr Salmon, he feels her controversial techniques may be able to help him understand April’s behaviour. But when he discovers that Dr Salmon is able to communicate with the dead, his own life begins to unravel, especially when he begins to suspect that a former romantic rival might have been involved in his daughter’s death. Weaving together a moving story of grief with a gripping and topical narrative about religion, science and the role that psychology plays to bridge the gap, Devotion is an ambitious and highly readable novel that asks fundamental questions about the nature of reality when balancing the emotional and rational sides of human experience.

What book(s) have been on your TBR the longest?

long dark dusk

The book that has been on my TBR the longest (I bought it in April 2016) is Long Dark Dusk by J. P. Smythe.  I bought it when it was first published as the first novel in the series, Way Down Dark, was one of my favourites of 2015, but I decided to wait until the third and final instalment, Dark Made Dawn, was published before reading it.  Big mistake, as I’ve not managed to read either of them yet!  These titles are both in my Beat the Backlist Challenge, however, so I definitely will read them soon!

What is your favourite book of 2017 so far?

It’s so difficult to pick just one, so I’m going to cheat (sorry, Natalie!)

Narrowing it down to three, I would say:

  • The Dry by Jane Harper – a riveting read about a small Australian town which follows an investigation into an apparent murder-suicide
  • The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown – a stunning debut giving a ficitional account of infamous Witchfinder, Matthew Hopkins
  • The Wanderers by Meg Howrey – a beautiful novel about the experiences of three astronauts and their families as they are picked for the first manned mission to Mars

Three very different novels, but all exceptional.

What book are you most looking forward to that is being published this year?


There are quite a few that I’m looking forward to this year, but the standout one is Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel, the follow up to Sleeping Giants, one of my favourite novels of 2016.

Luckily for me, it’s being published on 6 April, so I don’t have too long to wait now!  😃

What book do you want to re-read the most, if any?

I don’t do a lot of rereading, but I will reread George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series when the next novel in this series, The Winds of Winter, is released.

What book would you recommend as a perfect book to join you on holiday? (Looking for inspiration for my forthcoming holiday!)

For me, holiday reads tend towards dystopian, post-apocalyptic, fantasy, and psychological thrillers i.e. the books that I typically read when I’m not on holiday.  I like something that you can absolutely lost in, be it a new world, or a narrative that it is utterly gripping.

I’m going on holiday later this month (woo hoo!), and my current plan is to read:

  • The Revenant by Michael Punke
  • The Method by Shannon Kirk
  • Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick

This is subject to change, however – I find it really difficult to plan what I’m going to read in advance, as I always feel differently once I’m out there.  Hurrah for Kindles and being able to take as many books as I want with me!

What is your favourite book that is a sequel/part of a series?

a conjuring of light

I’m thoroughly enjoying V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series that began with A Darker Shade of Magic and continued in A Gathering of Shadows.  I do have the final instalment, A Conjuring of Light, which thinking about it now, I may also try to read on holiday!

What book do you wish had a sequel/was part of a series?

I’m going to cheat a little here, as these books are part of a series, but I’m still waiting on the next instalment in Patrick Rothfuss’s The Kingkiller Chronicle, which started with The Name of the Wind and continued in The Wise Man’s Fear.  There has been a novella published in this series, too – The Slow Regard of Silent Things – but Kvothe’s tale is not yet complete!

What book would you love to see adapted for film/television?

My stock answer for this has always been The Handmaid’s Tale, but it feels as though I’d be cheating to say that now that it HAS been made into a TV series (which I am extremely pleased about, even as it seems to be getting closer to being a documentary given recent events).

Slade House

As such, I would love to see David Mitchell’s Slade House brought to life (although not by whoever produced the film Cloud Atlas, which did nothing for me whatsoever, despite it being one of my favourite books!)

Time to judge a book by its cover! What book features your favourite cover art?

There are quite a few options for this, but one that sprung to mind (and if you ask me on a different day I’ll probably give you a different answer) was Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes.look who's back

I just love the simplicity of the design, but how it says quite a bit about what the book is about.

Who is your favourite fictional character, and why?

My favourite fictional character is Susan Sto Helit from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series – Death’s granddaughter, no less.  I can’t really tell you why, she just is!

I nominate:

And my questions are:

  1. A nice easy one to start you off – what are you currently reading?
  2. Who is your favourite author?
  3. What was your favourite book of 2016?
  4. Where do you like to read?
  5. Are there any fictional characters that share your name?
  6. What books did you like to read as a child?
  7. What is your favourite bookish quote?
  8. What book would you recommend to someone who doesn’t enjoy reading? (Yes, I believe that there are such people out there!)
  9. Why did you start your blog?
  10. More generally, what do you like to do when you’re not reading?
  11. If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?



    1. Noooo! It’s when, definitely when. I can’t bear the thought that it might not happen 🙈

    1. Ha ha! 😂 It takes me ages to think of answers for things like this – some of Natalie’s questions were a bit of a struggle

    1. Thanks, Drew. Hee hee – that’s my inner optimist coming out! Gotta believe it’s going to be released at some point 😃

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