Running 100k in the month of May for charity

I decided I’d do something with my time and raise some money for the charity which rescued Gigi – Barking Mad Dog Rescue. With Covid-19, they’re becoming overwhelmed with the influx of dogs they have and the fact that no dogs can be rehomed at the moment isn’t helping them at all.

Barking Mad Dog Rescue are a charity that rescues dogs in Romania and finds them loving and caring homes in the UK and Germany. Not only that, but they help locals who don’t necessarily have the education on how best to care for their companion. They do amazing work and are incredible people. But as I said, they need help desperately.

Food, vets bills, and other pet supplies don’t come cheap. I promise you even one dog can be expensive!

So this month, I’m challenging myself to run 100 kilometres throughout the month of May. As of today, I’m on 39.11k, actually slightly ahead of schedule!

This challenge is really hard, and it is pushing me to my limits, but knowing I am helping more dogs like Gigi is really motivating.

Gigi is my world. She gets me out of bed in the mornings, offers unconditional love, and never fails to make me smile with her antics.

If you can donate, even the smallest amount, my JustGiving link is this:

If you have instagram, you can follow my progress at @natalierunsforbmdr

If you can’t donate, please share this so that it might reach someone who can. Everything helps at the moment, and myself, BMDR, and the dogs are all so grateful.

Thank you.



Hello… It’s me again

Well, yes, you could say I have my tail between my legs. I’ve not posted anything in the longest time but ANYWAY. I’m back.

There are a few changes around here! You’ll notice the name/domain change, I assume, but the content will be different too. More varied, I suppose.

Since my last post, I’ve graduated uni and moved to the coast. I prefer it here. It’s a fresh start, in my favourite place. I really didn’t want to go back to my hometown after uni – too many faces to avoid and unwanted memories – and my family had been debating moving anyway. So here we are.

I’m now learning about dog behaviour, so I’m sure some of my posts will cover dogs. My Romanian rescue Gianna is my life. I dote on her, so no doubt she’ll make appearances.

I’ll still be talking about books. But other things too: coastal life, countryside living, dogs, writing, mental health, crafts, Lucy Spraggan, and dogs.

I’m excited to get cracking again writing posts. Recently I’ve realised I’ve missed it. I let things hold me back from posting when really I need to block them from my life and carry on with doing this, something that makes me happy.

Speak soon.


Book Unhaul – Round Three

And here I bring you my third unhaul of the summer. Considering I never really get rid of books, I’m doing exceptionally well I’d say!

They are all for sale on my depop shop, but if you’re interested but don’t have depop, feel free to leave a comment or message me on Instagram (@bookographic) or Twitter (@nats_cotterill).

  • Ketchup Clouds – Annabel Pitcher
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher
  • Ashes – Ilsa J. Bick
  • One Day – David Nicholls
  • A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
  • After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
  • Relativity – Antonia Hayes
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  • Legend, Prodigy, and Champion – Marie Lu
  • The Girl With All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
  • The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
  • Zac & Mia – A. J. Betts
  • The Letter – Katheryn Hughes
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year – Sue Townsend



A Post of Rambling Thoughts

I just felt like writing this post, though I have no clue where it is going to go. I’m unwell; after about two years of no major flares, my autoimmune condition has decided to rear its head again and I’m feeling all round a bit meh.

I’ve been in a weird mood all day: floating through motions but refreshing every social media site in the hope of someone saying something or something happening. I don’t know what. I don’t think I even care.

Days like this are tough. On the outside I look absolutely fine, but I’m, well, not. It could be nothing; I could be worrying about something that will be completely gone tomorrow morning and I’ll get up, go to the gym and feel great. Or I could need prescription strength painkillers to simply walk out of my room. At this point, I don’t know, and that’s the worst bit.

I guess one way of describing it is like the feeling you get when you’re coming down with a cold. You mentally note to add more tissues to your bag and stock up on flu medicine. Except it’s worse. Because a cold is normal – I can say to someone ‘oh I have a cold’ and they get it. When I say ‘I have a crap immune system’ they go ‘same’. But what I mean is every so often it literally attacks itself, but hey. It’s easier just to nod.

‘You don’t look ill’ is always a classic. I remember someone saying that to me when they came around to my house with my boyfriend at the time to drop off some work, as I was off school for two weeks after an entire summer of being stuck inside, ill. I feel embarrassed explaining, so I don’t. But then I feel embarrassed when I don’t.

With something like this, and I guess it’s similar for many chronic illnesses though I’m only talking about myself here as everyone is different, a mental note to add a packet of tissues or paracetamol to my bag isn’t enough. During one flare I made it around my uni applicant day, I even made it into school (though it was sixth form and I was doing half days and mum bless her came and picked me up / dropped me off). After that applicant day though, I couldn’t move for three days straight. That’s what I need to prepare for.

A week tomorrow, I’m supposed to be heading back to university. I’ll be driving myself, which leads me with my first issue: do I want to drive for three hours pumped full of various medicines? Medicines that make me so sleepy one consultant even asked how I managed to stay awake in the day (energy drinks and caffeine – lots of caffeine. And naps). Then there’s the question of how I will actually cope alone at uni – I’ve never been on my own for a flare before, all the little jobs that I am simply unable to do are done by my mum.

I guess I’m writing this post as it’s a way of getting thoughts out without burdening or ranting at anyone in particular. I don’t seek sympathy, just a place to exercise my thoughts. If this does end up as a full flare, I’ve been through worse ones.

If you’ve made it this far, I can only thank you, and maybe hope you’ve taken something from it.

So I’m going to plan a reading list or something, maybe reread a favourite book to lift my mood. If you have any recommendations of books that talk about chronic illness – maybe have the main character with something, for example – please let me know! I’d prefer YA, but anything is okay really. ☺️




Book Unhaul – Round Two

So I’ve got the bug now and I’m going through all of the books in my house. I haven’t had a clear out in the longest time, hence why there are so many! I thought I’d do a second post with all of the ones that I’ve added to my depop shop since.

  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  • The Hostage, The Rescue, Hunted (The Medusa Project) – Sophie McKenzie
  • Blood Ties and Blood Ransom – Sophie McKenzie
  • Dragon Rider – Cornelia Funke
  • Before I Die – Jenny Downham
  • The Electra Brown series – Helen Bailey (5 books)
  • Carbonel the Prince of Cats, and The Kingdom of Carbonel – Barabara Sleigh
  • Kelly Ann trilogy – Liz Rettig
  • Where We Are – One Direction
  • The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan (6 books as some are volumes)
  • Love and Kisses, Star Crazy Me!, Fortune Cookie, Ice Lolly – Jean Ure
  • Underworld – Cathy Macphail
  • Breathing Underwater – Julia Green
  • Secrets at St Jude’s Series – Carmen Reid (4 books)
  • Newes From the Dead – Mary Hooper
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  • Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  • Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
  • The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

That’s another 42 spaces created in my house (undoubtedly for more books). A clear out this big and thorough has been a long time coming I think, I mean the fact that I’m selling a load of books I grew out of years ago says it all! 😂

I’m Unhauling Books!

I’ve finally had a sort out of all my old books and I’m getting rid of so many! Admittedly, a load of them are children’s books I should’ve parted with a long time ago, but never mind. Most of them are up for sale on my depop now, but if you don’t have an account on there and see something you’re interested in, just let me know either on twitter (@nats_cotterill) or in the comments on here. I’m just going to get listing as there are a lot!

  • Landline – Rainbow Rowell
  • Lobsters – Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • Maybe One Day – Melissa Kantor
  • Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan
  • Everyday – David Levithan
  • All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  • Matched – Allie Condie
  • Gone – Michael Grant
  • The Vampire Diaries books 1-5 – L. J. Smith (three books in total as two include two books!)
  • The Black Book of Secrets – F. E. Higgins
  • Girl, Missing – Sophie McKenzie
  • The ‘All About Eve’ trilogy – Sophie McKenzie
  • I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend – Cora Harrison
  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith
  • Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
  • Pretties – Scott Westerfeld
  • Splendour – Anna Godbersen
  • Small Steps – Louis Sachar
  • Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles – Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black (five books!)
  • Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman (four books!)
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick
  • Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • The Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead (six books!)
  • Tender – Eve Ainsworth
  • Midnight Sun – Trish Cook
  • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman
  • Stargazing for Beginners – Jenny McLachlan
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
  • Sir Thomas More – Multiple authors
  • The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
  • The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
  • On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
  • Notes on a Scandal – Zoë Heller
  • Lolly Willowes – Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • The Graduate – Charles Webb
  • Books 1-4 of the Gallagher Girls series – All Carter
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • Awful Auntie – David Walliams
  • Ingo – Helen Dunmore
  • Remember Me volumes 1&2 – Christopher Pick
  • Chain Letter – Christopher Pike
  • Withering Tights – Louise Rennison
  • Infinite Sky – Rebecca Maizel
  • Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
  • The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue
  • L’Auberge – Julia Stagg
  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater – Thomas De Quincey
  • Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  • Some Tame Gazelle – Barbara Pym
  • The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Paul Torday
  • The Lady Grace Mysteries Assassin – Grace Cavendish
  • The Go-Between – L. P. Hartley
  • Blitzcat – Robert Westall
  • Hitler’s Canary – Sandi Toksvig
  • Hitler’s Daughter – Jackie French
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
  • The Revenger’s Tragedy – Thomas Middleton
  • The Wife of Bath study guide
  • Hamlet study guide
  • The Storyteller – Jodi Picolut
  • Ally’s World series – Karen McCombie (13 books!)
  • Stella etc series books 3-7 – Karen McCombie
  • The Fix – Sophie McKenzie
  • Sadie Rocks! books 1 and 2 – Karen McCombie
  • Truth Dare Kiss Promise series – Cathy Hopkins (8 books!)

There are, I believe, 115 books in total. I may have miscounted. But, needless to say, I now have a lot of free space!!



I Want to Read 10 Books in a Week?!

I’m challenging myself here, and I’ve already started this challenge, as of this morning. I really want to try and make a dent in my huge TBR, and so I’m prioritising some of the shorter books that I have and also really want to get to.

I’ll have to average around one and a half books a day, which is very ambitious for me. But if I do pull it off, I may be on track again with my Goodreads goal, which is a bonus. Here is my TBR for this challenge I have set for myself:

  • Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  • What Girls Are Made of – Elana K. Arnold
  • Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Dreamology – Lucy Keating
  • Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu
  • Soundless – Richelle Mead
  • Hope Is Our Only Wing – Rutendo Tavengerwei
  • The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson


If I’m not feeling one of these and I want to swap it out for something else, I probably will! I’ll update you when I’ve spent the week reading and let you know how I do!


YALC Haul 2018

Last weekend I went to YALC with my best friend, and I bought far, far too many books. I had an absolutely wonderful time, however, and I have no regrets as I’m so excited to read all of the ones that I picked up. I managed to meet a load of my favourite authors, pick up new releases I was am excited about, and just all in all have a great time.


Books I took with me and got signed:

I took a fair few with me for signings, and I actually managed to get most of them signed! There were a couple I didn’t, but I did well overall I think.

  • Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Barnard
  • Clean – Juno Dawson
  • Big Bones – Laura Dockrill
  • In Your Light – Annalie Grainger
  • Half Bad, Half Wild, Half Lost, and The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
  • White Rabbit Red Wolf – Tom Pollock
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven
  • The Summer of Us – Cecelia Vinesse
  • In Paris With You – Clementine Beauvais
  • Floored – Various Authors
  • It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
  • Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • Skylarks – Karen Gregory
  • Editing Emma – Chloe Seager
  • A Sky Painted Gold – Laura Wood

Books that I purchased there and got signed:

  • The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting – Holly Bourne
  • Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? – Holly Bourne
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Katherine Webber

Other books I purchased there:

  • Moon Chosen – P.C. Cast
  • The Love That Split the World – Emily Henry
  • The Sacred Lives of Minnow Bly – Stephanie Oakes
  • Edgewater – Courtney Sheinmel
  • Bookish Boyfriends – Tiffany Schmidt
  • Gabriel and the Swallows – Esther Dalseno
  • Final Draft – Riley Redgate
  • Sweet Black Waves – Kristina Pérez
  • Valley Girls – Sarah Nicole Lemon
  • A Taxonomy of Love – Rachael Allen
  • Hello Me, It’s You – Various authors
  • Hope is Our Only Wing – Rutendo Tavengerwei
  • The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
  • All Those Beautiful Strangers – Elizabeth Klehfoth
  • Grace and Fury – Tracy Banghart

ARCs I picked up:

  • Devoted – Jennifer Mathieu
  • The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik – David Arnold
  • The History of Jane Doe – Michael Belanger
  • Lives You Never Told Me – Jennifer Donaldson
  • Sadie – Courtney Summers

I was doing so well with restricting myself on the Friday and Saturday, but I definitely went overboard (what a surprise) on the Sunday. Sunday afternoon means amazing offers that are too good to pass up, and I bought five in the few minutes in between my best friend leaving and me having to go too. Oops.

I had such a great time though, and I have no regrets (my shoulders disagree but hey ho). I’m utterly exhausted now, as it’s a very intense weekend and we were constantly on the go, but it was so, so worth it.

Books I’m Not Interested In Reading

I am struggling to find inspiration for posts at this moment, for a whole number of reasons, but I was scrolling through youtube earlier and saw multiple videos along these lines… I thought it’d be fun to do my own. If you love these books, I apologise! You are more than welcome to love them and rave about them to me, I just personally have no interest in reading them myself.


Anything by Richard Yates

I loathed Revolutionary Road – I only finished it because I had to for school. It was horrific in so many ways I just can’t make myself read anything else by the same author.

How To Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

This is one of the few books that I have consciously DNF’d. It wasn’t for me.

Zenith – Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Controversial, I know. I’m not really interested in science fiction generally anyway, and I was reading a little bit Sasha had shared on her Instagram story (I think), and the writing is just… not great.

Anything by Stephen King

I’m scared of my own shadow and so would have no hope with Stephen King.

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

I’m not really a fan of high fantasy, and these books are massive.

The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, but the bad aspects definitely outweigh the good.

The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

It’s been out such a long time now, and I’ve never particularly wanted to read it.

If you love these books / authors, honestly that’s great! I’m not going to blab on about disclaimers etc. I’d like to think everyone can have their different opinions and share them in a nice manner. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list!


What I Am Currently Reading

I have so many books on the go at the moment, especially on Goodreads, far too many… I like having multiple books on the go, but it is getting a tad ridiculous now! My aim is to shorten the list this year… we hope!

These are the books I currently have on the go:

  • There But For The – Ali Smith
  • Hawthorn and Child – Keith Ridgway
  • Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare
  • Richard II – William Shakespeare
  • Evening Primrose – Kopano Matlwa
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • The Refugees – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Sunshine – Melissa Lee-Houghton
  • American Gods – Neil Gaiman
  • The Divine Comedy – Dante
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

Believe it or not, there are more listed as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads, but I’m not really. I haven’t picked them up in ages and I don’t really intend to. I mean, some of those in the above list I haven’t picked up in a while and won’t for a while yet (my copy of The Divine Comedy is at home so I definitely won’t read any until Easter at the earliest) but I have good intentions. I’m sure there are other too that I have started and not added to Goodreads, and hence forgotten I have started!

What are you currently reading? Do you prefer to read one book at a time or have more than one (maybe not as many as me because my list is a bit too long to be honest!)?