Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Reading Over Winter.

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! This week, it’s the top ten books on my winter TBR list. This list in general is longer than a Disneyworld ride queue, so it’ll need a cold snap of Game of Thrones proportions for me to make a dent in it, but these are the ten books that have come out on top.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

six of crows

I bought Six of Crows as part of my pre-holiday haul, and promptly fell asleep on the red-eye flight home with the book open. Not a commentary on the book, more a commentary on my ability to handle gin in the middle of the night.

I’ve heard nothing but heaps and heaps of praise for Leigh Bardugo, so I’ll be drinking a few “special” hot chocolates (add Baileys liberally) and getting stuck in.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky – Lisa Lueddecke

a shiver of snow and sky

Oh man, the cover for this one. I judge books by their covers all the time, and just LOOK at it. Have you ever seen a more wintery book? I’m pretty sure if you lick it it’ll taste of brandy, posh cheese and the way pine smells.

I need it, and the next time I bundle myself up in more wool than a sheep and head into town I will have it.

The Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman

northern lights

I’m preparing for everyone to windmill slam the “Unfollow” button, but I’ve never read any of His Dark Materials.

I know. I can hear my mother preparing the emancipation papers as I type.

I’m going to “acquire” them from the bookcase in my parents’ house over Christmas and read them in order to rectify this situation. Plus the Book of Dust hype is real at the moment. My mum has that too. Bingo.

The Gift – Alison Croggon


This is a reread, but I’m including it because it’s long overdue. I love these books. I talk about them whenever I can. I’m sure everyone’s sick to death of me talking about them but I don’t care. They’re awesome and I could read them again and again. So I’m going to. Sorry TBR list.

Knots and Crosses – Ian Rankin

knots and crosses

I am slightly ashamed that I’ve never read any of Ian Rankin’s books, given that he’s so local I’m surprised I haven’t bumped into him. Crime fiction isn’t a circle I usually move in, however given my taste in comfort TV (as I talked about last week) I’m starting to think that I should explore it. And what better place to start than a local legend?

Killing Floor – Lee Child

killing floor

My dad’s a massive Lee Child fan and has all the books in hardback. In the spirit of widening my horizons, this is another one I’ve picked up. I read Killing Floor years ago and never got round to getting to the rest of series, so let’s whack on some Slade and go for it.

The Cost of Living – Rachel Ward

cost of living

I was turned onto the Cost of Living through the Sunday YA Twitter chat. Reading everyone’s reviews and hearing (or reading!) Rachel Ward talking about it has hyped me up, plus after years and years in retail I’m so ready for some retail worker sleuthing. Gimme.

Blackbird – ND Gomes


Um hello, mystery novel set on Orkney. I am already obsessed. I’ve seen this one all over Twitter and had resolved to read it before I realised where it was set, and as someone who loves Scotland and loves books set in Scotland and thinks there should be more books set in Scotland…

Plus the cover is awesome and I love mysteries. Sold.

Daughter of the Empire – Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts


This is a Sean book. High fantasy really isn’t my thing at all, and I got less than a quarter into Magician by Raymond Feist before I had to admit defeat, but this was recommended to me as being “sort of entry level” by Sean, so I’ll give it a go. I’ve already read a few pages but I sort of…drifted away and read something else, so I really need to go back to the start and slog past the slow start and hope that I can be persuaded!


A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens


I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m not a fan of the classics. I never have been. I’m trying to read more widely, even though they don’t particularly inspire me. Dickens is a bit too old and dusty for me, but since it’s Christmas, this seems appropriate.

Also the Muppet movie version. Obviously.


What are you reading over Christmas? If you’re sitting going “Oh my GOD she’s not reading my favourite winter book” let me know. Scotland is cold and I don’t go outside, so I have plenty of time.

Rapid-Fire Book Tag

Good evening friends old and new,

In an effort to distract my brain after being ravaged by food poisoning (shout out to the pork belly I had at the Harvester last night, you weren’t even that good anyway) I’ve pinched this rapid-fire list of book related questions from Grace Latter, who has an A+ blog and you should read it.


E-book or physical book?

Physical book. E-books are great for travelling and getting a bargain but my iPad looks much less cool on a shelf than twenty books.

Paperback or hardback?

Eh, paperback. Party because “Hardback Punk Rock” doesn’t sound as good and partly because I generally just…don’t buy hardbacks. It’s nothing personal.

Online or in-store book shopping?

In-store. Particularly if there’s coffee involved. The downside of this is that I go into Waterstones looking for one particular title and come out with six books, a bookmark and some badges. If I exercise some self control.

Trilogies or series?

Trilogies are neat and nice but I don’t really have any strong opinions either way. As long as it’s a series with a purpose and not just putting out books for the sake of it.

Heroes or villains?

Heroes. I’m boring.

A book you want everyone to read?

I’m not going to bang any of my usual drums this time. Read On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Just because it’s cool.

Recommend an underrated book?


The Pellinor books are SO GOOD and occasionally I find other people on Twitter who’ve read them and it’s the best. Where are you Pellinor fans?

The last book you finished?

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard, which I wish I could send back in time to fifteen year old Kirsty.

The last book you bought?

These three from the Edinburgh Book Festival – I talk more about them in this blog post.

blog 2

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

My friend’s business card that he gave me the week after he’d been elected as a councillor. What else was I going to do with it? I don’t live in his ward and I’m hardly likely to ever send him an email asking if he wants to go to the pub.

Top 3 favourite genres?

YA. And…er. Crime and contemporary probably.

Borrow or buy?

Buy, because I’m a hoarder and I like to covet shelves of books like some sort of dragon.

Used books: yes or no?

Yes! Charity shops are the best.

Characters or plot?

Characters. I don’t care how astonishingly clever you are for coming up with some dazzling plot if I’m secretly hoping your protagonist will fall down a hole. And if your plot is thinner than a Primark jumper but your characters are awesome I’m less likely to care.

Long books or short?

Depends on the book. A lot of high fantasy with books that you could double up as a coffee table I’m probably not going to start, but too short and it’s like, am I really going to have an experience with this?

Long or short chapters?

Can I go for in the middle? I do most of my reading before I go to bed so long chapters keep me up and short ones mean I accidentally read loads and it keeps me up.

I’m SO boring.

Name the first 3 books you think of…

The Great Gatsby, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Art of Being Normal.

Books that made you laugh or cry?

I Hate Myself and Want To Die” by Tom Reynolds and “The Disaster Artist” by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. Both nonfiction, but they appeal to my bitter, cynical sense of humour and I visibly loled more than once.

I also remember laughing myself stupid at one particular scene in the Georgia Nicolson series back in the day.

Our world or fictional worlds?

I’m big on contemporary, but if you can get me heavily invested in another world then open that door folks, I’m coming in.

Audiobooks: yes or no?

Nah. I’m a really fast reader and audiobooks go too slow for me. Plus I’d rather have my own brain voice doing it, not someone else.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

I’m the easiest person in the world to sway with a really good cover. I’d probably go out and buy the phonebook if you put sprayed edges on it.

Book to movie or book to TV adaptations?

I’m not a big film watcher in general, so probably TV. An hour is about all my attention span can do in one go.

A movie or TV show you preferred to its book?

The Green Mile. Not that The Green Mile is in any way a bad book, but it didn’t make me cry like the film did.

Series or standalones?

How about multiple standalones but set in the same world? That’s what I’m here for.


I wasn’t tagged, so I’m not going to tag anyone else. Take it and go nuts!