My Favourite Social Media Platforms

I love social media and spend way too much time on it! I feel like the bookish community is so contradictory sometimes though, pushing positivity and at the same time being negative and pulling others down.

I love reading negative reviews waaaaaay too much, even for books I love, and I definitely don’t mean ‘negativity’ in the form of reviews – more shaming other people for one reason or another. But enough of that, I just wanted to clear up what I meant. I actually want to talk about why I love social media so much.

Pretty pictures

Instagram is one of my favourite platforms; I can scroll through pretty photos, like them easily, and not have to read the captions or comments. It’s actually a fairly positive place too, from my experience. There are some incredible photographers with accounts on there, and I love to find new recommendations from them. I’m a sucker for the stories, and will happily sit watching through them all. I know some people aren’t so keen, but I definitely am!

New connections

Twitter is my most used platform, probably. I spend far too much time on it, especially when I should be doing something productive. The only downside is that I see a lot of arguing on there – usually political – and whilst I really don’t want to read it in certain moments, I don’t like to silence certain terms because I may be able to learn from someone tweeting about an issue. Those arguments usually come through people I have randomly followed though – not the bookish community! I see a lot of love on Twitter, and people supporting one another, and I genuinely love that. I love the random bookish conversations with people every once in a while.

Reviews and recommendations

Goodreads is such a wonderful site. I love having somewhere to keep track of my reading and I use it as a bible now when book shopping, looking at the average rating if I’m unsure about a book, and often reading some of the reviews. I’m also super nosy, and enjoy seeing what other people are reading. Plus the reading challenge is a bit of motivation! Even if I’m already behind…

What are your favourite platforms? And your accounts? Or maybe you don’t like these ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts!📚


Things That Are Different This Semester

I’m barely two weeks into this semester and for some reason, I’m finding it a lot harder than the last. I thought I’d make a list of some things that are different this time around, both good and bad, to think about it. I desperately wanted to come to uni and wouldn’t change it for anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a walk in the park.

  1. I’m desperately homesick. I’ve never been as homesick before, yes, I’ve missed my dogs and family but now I want to be with them all the time.
  2. I have grades now that count towards my degree (they’re good, but that doesn’t mean I’m entirely happy with them, as I worked so hard for them and completely burned myself out).
  3. I’ve realised how beneficial exercise is. Even half an hour walking offers me a reprieve and a time when I don’t think about anything at all except walking (unless I’m listening to an audiobook). Same for the gym.
  4. I have to actually make life decisions.
  5. I need to plan work experience.
  6. I’m going to write more poetry!
  7. I’m struggling to get motivated, maybe because of the grades, maybe the homesickness, I’m not sure. Last semester I was well ahead of the game for quite a few weeks.
  8. I’m trying to read books for myself and not just for uni.

Do you find that every semester brings new changes and challenges? Each time, something has changed, good and bad. I enjoy the change, most of the time, and I’ll get myself together eventually and enjoy this semester no doubt. Especially writing poetry; I haven’t written much for a while now, and I can’t wait to be writing it again!


Throwback to summer with this picture. I miss these two SO much (but that hasn’t changed a bit).

The Bookish Naughty List Tag!

Okay, so I believe that this is Christmas related but I wasn’t keeping up with tags at that point (not that I’m doing well at keeping up with them now), but it looks fun, so never mind.

Thank you to Hannah for tagging me to do this!💕 I have to tick which ones I am guilty of, and put it this way, I’m not feeling optimistic… oops.

  • Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✅
    • Many… oops.
  • Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley ✅
    • See above. It’s rising with all the blogging I’ve done recently, but it’s still a way away from 60%.
  • Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)
    • I’ve only just started to review on Goodreads, and the blog usually takes priority so I can’t say I’ve done this!
  • Folded down the page of a book ✅
    • Years ago, but I don’t now… Now the thought makes me shudder slightly – bookmarks for the win, whatever that bookmark may be.😂
  • Accidentally spilled on a book ✅
    • Holidays. Books by the pool don’t mix… Especially when there are children around – absolutely not (to the children and the damaged book😂)
  • DNF a book this year✅
    • I finally decided that I was never going to be picking up How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran – I just really couldn’t get into it.
  • Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it
    • I buy pretty books with good intentions to read them, though I can’t say I get to them quickly…
  • Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)✅ 
    • Of course.
  • Skim read a book✅
    • A lot of uni books… too many.
  • Completely missed your Goodreads goal
    • I mean I beat it by 6 books in 2017, after raising it fairly early on in the year from 25 to 75!
  • Borrowed a book and not returned it 

    • Nope😇
  • Broke a book buying ban✅
    • Yep. Far too many times. My bank account hates me😭
  • Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about✅
    • I’m putting this post up today as I’m putting off writing a review for a book I can’t remember…
  • Wrote in a book you were reading✅
    • Do ebooks count? Because I definitely did last semester, but I feel like I did a while back too in physical books.
  • Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads
    • I don’t think so, chapters from criticism / journals but nothing that I could add realistically.

Not too bad, I suppose. Plenty to work on this year I think!



2018 Releases I’m Excited About​

All of the release dates are all from Amazon unless otherwise stated!

  • Nice Try, Jane Sinner – Lianne Oelke

This book is honestly so fantastic and I’d highly recommend it – you can read my review here.

Released: 9th January

  • Love, Hate and Other Filters – Samira Ahmed

This book looks wonderful, and I will be getting to it very shortly as I received a copy via Netgalley a few days ago!

Released: 16th January

  • I am Thunder – Muhammad Khan

This is about religion (I think – it’s what I grasped from the synopsis on Netgalley but I may be wrong). It looks so good!

Released: 25th January

  • Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Barnard

I have loved all of the other books by Sara Barnard, and I cannot wait to read this one!

Released: 8th February

  • Piecing Me Together – Renée Watson

Another powerful looking book that I don’t know much about, but I know it talks about racism and I want to read it!

Released: 8th February

  • The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

I’ve started reading this, as I was lucky enough to get an arc at YALC, and it’s so so good! The only reason I haven’t finished it is because it clashed with my writing project.

Released: 8th March

  • Tyler Johnson Was Here – Jay Coles

I don’t know much about this, but the synopsis looks so good (and important), so I want to pick it up!

Released: 20th March

  • The Astonishing Colour of After – Emily X. R. Pan

Again, I’m not too sure what it’s about, but it’s about a character struggling with her mother’s suicide and apparently, it is diverse (or so I hope, anyway!).

Released: 22nd March

  • Clean – Juno Dawson

I haven’t read a book with a main character facing addiction, so I can’t wait to read this. I have an early copy which I am desperate to read once my uni reading has been started!

Released: 5th April

  • The Poet X –  Elizabeth Acevedo

I know it includes slam poetry, though as for the rest I’m not sure – I’ve just heard a lot of good things!

Released: 3rd May

  • On The Come Up – Angie Thomas

I loved loved loved The Hate U Give and cannot wait to read this!

Released: 7th June

  • A Thousand Perfect Notes – C. G. Drews

This honestly looks incredible. I follow the author on social media and I’m ready to preorder it as soon as I know which address I’ll be at on its release date!

Released: 7th June

  • Lost – P.C. and Kristin Cast

This is the sequel to Loved, which is the beginning of a new series that later follows the House of Night series. I love these books – rereading them now I see they’re not the best written, but they’re sentimental and I love them regardless.

Released: 10th July

  • Floored – Various Authors

So many of my favourite YA writers have contributed to this…

Released: 12th July

  • Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft – Various Authors

Witchcraft. Enough said.

Released: 28th August

  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

Wing Jones is an all-time favourite. I am beyond excited.

Expected publication: August

What new releases are you looking forward to?☺️📚

Goals For This Semester

It’s a new semester, which means three new modules, new choices and new experiences. I’ve learned a lot so far in my uni experience, and I want to continue to work on many of these lessons. I’ve made a few goals after last semester, so we’ll see how they go.

  1. Manage my time better and procrastinate less.
  2. Look after myself – take time out to read what I want to read, work on my blog, write, go to the gym, go for a walk, spend time with friends etc. I spent so much time working last semester I burnt myself out completely. My mind was all over the place, and I want to *try* and improve this.
  3. Meditate at least once or twice a week (I guess this links to the above, but it’s more specific).
  4. Eat more healthily, as it makes me feel better.
  5. Get a plan for the rest of my uni career – decide what dissertation I want to do, what masters to apply for, and sort some work experience.

There are many other things that I want to improve on through the coming semester, but  I have to narrow it down somehow or I’ll just have a list of things that I’ll never achieve because I’ll feel so overwhelmed!

Natalie Cotterill - Instagram: @nats_cotterill

Have this cute picture of some seals I saw on a trip with my housemates. They were adorable (the seals, that is)!

Talking About My TBR

Natalie Cotterill

I feel like TBRs cause such a controversy on social media nowadays, with people shaming themselves or even others for the size of them. Mine is huge, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I feel so much pressure because of it, but at the end of the day, I love it.

If I’m honest, I couldn’t tell you how many books are on my TBR. I don’t count any that I don’t own in some form as being on my TBR either, so any I get from the library or I have on my wishlist are just ‘books I want to read’, rather than ‘books on my TBR’. The list would be never-ending otherwise. I do have, essentially, a whole bookshelf dedicated to my TBR, but having books at uni too makes it difficult to keep track of numbers… not that I really kept count in the first place.

Part of me envies those who manage to contain their TBRS, having only like, 12 books unread on their shelves. I’d love to be that minimalist (and my bank account would definitely appreciate it too). But it’s just not me. I’m an untidy person, permanently surrounded by stuff, however hard I try to be otherwise – minimalism is just not me!

Personally, I love having such a selection of books at my fingertips, though it does sometimes make choosing my next read slightly challenging. Especially at the moment, as I’ve received so many titles that I am desperate to read for Christmas and my birthday! But I do like it. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, and I’ve run out of space in my bedroom, but I wouldn’t change it.

I do wish I could read quicker and more, so I could actually get to these wonderful titles as well as clear down the number of unread books I own. I’m challenging myself this year to read 100 books, so fingers crossed that helps keep me motivated and reading! I’m a procrastinator and frequently find myself spending hours on youtube or social media doing absolutely nothing. If I could get this procrastination under control, that would be incredible…

I find clearing out books such a difficult task, so unhauls are usually a no for me. If I do them, they’re of books that I have read, so my TBR keeps growing and is beyond a ‘maintainable’ size. Oops.

TBRs are such a personal thing though, I love to see how other people arrange theirs. Some people on social media seem to shame those with a large one (I have no one in mind particularly – it’s just something I’ve seen around) and that’s not fair. People have different preferences and others cannot afford / don’t have space for a large TBR, there are a whole number of reasons why people choose to have things a certain way and it’s not fair to judge them on these.

I’d love to know what your TBR is like! Do you have a lot of books, or do you prefer to keep it minimal? Do you include books you don’t own but would like to own / get from a library etc? What about ebooks? For some reason, I always forget about them in my attempts to count my TBR (though that’s probably my brain going “don’t make things worse”!)



The Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Hannah for this tag! This award is named after its creator and was formed to give smaller blogs and bloggers recognition.


The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well (Okoto Enigma!)
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me:

  • I love 19th Century literature (particularly French and Russian).
  • I rarely read one book at a time.
  • I’m currently reading Winter by Ali Smith, as well as Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

Questions Hannah Asked Me:

  1. What is your favourite thing about blogging? I love talking to people about books. It’s not something I’d done before at home as my friends weren’t big readers so blogging was a way of talking about things I loved with others who didn’t think me weird!
  2. Twitter or Instagram?They’re both fab, but I use Twitter a lot more, so probably Twitter.
  3. What was the last film you watched? (Bonus: Did you enjoy it?!)The latest Pirates of the Caribbean film… I think. I can’t remember the title properly – something about revenge! I only half watched it though, as it was my parents’ choice – pretty sure I was out of the room for a lot of it and doing other things for the rest. But it seemed okay? Not a huge fan of certain actors in it…
  4. Do you have any pets?Two dogs – my furbabies Stella and Luna❤️
  5. How long have you had your blog?Since 2013… But I only really started using it for book blogging in 2015, when I changed the name to what it currently is.

People I nominate:<<
ominate Eve at Eveee_Reads because I love her blog, but I also tag anyone else who wants to do it!

My Questions For You:Which book do you find yourself wanting to talk about again and again?

  1. What is your unpopular bookish opinion?
  2. What song did you last listen to?
  3. What is your favourite quote? (Bookish, motivational, song lyrics, it doesn’t matter)
  4. What are you excited about in 2018?

I’m also going to copy Hannah and link a couple of posts here and here. 😋

Let me know if you do this tag because I’d love to read your answers!💕

The Epic Riordan Readalong

I’m so, so excited to be writing this post! Hannah over at Sprinkled With Words is hosting a read-along of ALL of Rick Riordan’s books, and I am helping her (kind of).  There are a lot of them (my bank balance is not best pleased with me for all my recent shopping oops), so it’ll be going on until July as we work our way down the list.

I have never read anything by Rick Riordan before, but I started Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief for this event and it’s SO GOOD. Why on earth I didn’t read these books sooner? I do not know. If you haven’t read them before, please do. I know you hear longtime followers of these books going on about them, but I’m beginning to see why.

The Readalong begins with the Percy Jackson series (from the 1st of January), then the Heroes of Olympus, then the Kane Chronicles, Magnus Chase, and finally Trials of Apollo. We will then move onto all of the additional books that accompany the various series.

If you are in the UK, both the and The Works have boxed sets for great prices (that’s where I’ve got three of the complete series from). I’m certain libraries will also have them in stock, as they’re really popular – I know my local library in Norfolk, where I live during term time, even has audiobooks and ebooks to be borrowed.

I genuinely cannot wait to be getting into Rick Riordan’s books after putting them off for such a long time! I’m loving the first one, and I’m hoping they only get better (he’s certainly proved a success after all). Please join us with our Readalong, all the links will be shared at the end of this post. There will be regular videos on the Youtube channel, both updates and more creative works. It would be wonderful to have more people involved!

Anticipate update posts on here, talking about and reviewing the books I’ve read, what’s coming up, and exciting videos on their way. Probably once a month, but this is me, so who knows. As I said (many times), I’m so excited for this (Hannah’s enthusiasm is infectious I swear) and I hope we have more people join us!☺️

Epic Riordan Readalong links:

My Top 17 Books of 2017

I read a lot of great books in 2017, and this list could have been a lot longer than it is! These are some of my absolute favourites that I would highly recommend! They’re not in any order of preference (I went down my Goodreads and selected them in the order I read them).

  • A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  • Seconds –  Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac
  • Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  • Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn
  • Countless – Karen Gregory
  • Stranger, Baby – Emily Berry
  • The Winner’s Trilogy (Don’t make me choose which one!) – Marie Rutkoski
  • The Girls – Emma Cline
  • Wing Jones – Katherine Webber
  • Moonrise – Sarah Crossan
  • Loved – P.C. and Kristin Cast
  • Hope – Rhian Ivory
  • Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky


18 Books I Want to Read in 2018

I have a few goals for 2018, which I’m going to talk through first, before getting into the specific books I want to read. There are many more that could be added to this list, but I had to narrow it down to some. I have even more at uni that I haven’t let myself consider including as I’d never get this post written if I did.

  1. I want to read 50 books. Ideally, I’d love to read 100, but I have to be realistic. In 2017 I finished 81, and I read some pretty hefty books through that year… so 82 would be nice…
  2. Read more 19th Century literature. 19th Century literature is definitely a passion of mine, and I just want to read it all.
  3. Read more variety. I started in 2017 by reading more graphic novels, more plays etc. I want to continue this, as I’ve really enjoyed reading different forms.
  4. Read more philosophy. One of my potential paths I want to follow in academia is 19th Century literature, and it is heavily influenced by philosophy. So I want to read the work of those philosophers who were read widely at that time, to help me enjoy and understand the novels better.

The 18 books I want to read in 2018

  • the sun and her flowers – Rupi Kaur
  • Dear Boy – Emily Berry
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven
  • Girl in Pieces – Kathleen Glasgow
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Agenda
  • Change is Gonna Come – Multiple Authors
  • It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
  • The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  • The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (I want to finish this – I have about 300 pages left)
  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • Autoboyography – Christina Lauren
  • The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia
  • The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell
  • Turtles All the Way Down – John Green
  • The Fate of the Tearling – Erika Johansen