Halloween TBR 😱


There are two weeks until Halloween and I’ve picked four creepy books to read this year!

I’ve read a new book in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series every year around Halloween since 2014, which means I’m onto the fourth book, The Creeping Shadow. I’m curious to see what trouble Lockwood, George and Lucy get up to in this installment. They’re my absolute favourite ghost-fighting trio. I’ve also chosen There’s Someone Inside Your House because I adore Stephanie Perkins’ contemporary novels and now she’s turned her hand to horror: ‘One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted’.

I meant to read Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories last year but didn’t get round to it, so hopefully I will this year! It’s a collection of ‘dark, sensual, fantastic stories’. I’m also excited to read the eerily beautiful The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell, which is inspired by the works of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill, and is a ghost story set in a crumbling mansion. 👻

Have you read any of these spooky stories?

A post shared by Stacey (@prettybooks) on

Autumn TBR 🍂

A post shared by Stacey (@prettybooks) on

It’s finally autumn, my favourite time of the year. Hot chocolate. Cosy jumpers. Blankets. And curling up with a new book. I finished my summer TBR in August, so it’s time to pick a new TBR!

I’m really looking forward to working my way through these 10 books over the next few months. There’s an exciting mix of contemporary and sci-fi, LGBT+ and translated fiction, and YA, non-fiction & literary fiction. I love having a diverse TBR after my recent stint of YA contemporary romances.

I’ve already read Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You, about sixteen-year-old Paige, who’s mostly known for being the girlfriend of a boy who drowned… and she wants to claim her life back. For my work book club this month, we’re reading Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West: ‘In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, Saeed and Nadia share a cup of coffee, and their story begins’. I rarely pick up literary fiction, so it’ll be a nice little challenge for me.

I’m pretty intrigued about Naomi Alderman’s The Power since it won the Women’s Prize this year (awesome women with electric shock powers, what’s not to like?), plus Han Kang’s The Vegetarian (translated by Deborah Smith). It won the Man Booker International Prize and is described as a ‘fraught, disturbing and beautiful’ story set in modern day South Korea.

A post shared by Stacey (@prettybooks) on

I cannot believe that I’ve not yet read Patrick Ness’ Release – a story inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever – because I normally read his new books straight away. I’ve also heard excellent things about David Owen’s The Fallen Children – inspired by John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos – and Lisa Heathfield’s Flight of a Starling

In October, I’m taking a trip to Berlin and so I want to re-read Anna Funder’s Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. It’s a captivating collection of interviews with people who have first-hand experience of the Berlin wall, such as 16-year-old Miriam, who attempted to escape West Berlin.

And lastly, I cannot wait to read Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End – I loved History is All You Left Me (and I’m sure this one will make me cry, too) – and Nina LaCour’s beautiful We Are Okay because I recently fell in love with Everything Leads to You.

Phew!

Have you read any of these?

Chloe Seager on Social Media and Anxiety

I’m excited to welcome my new friend and debut author of Editing Emma: The Secret Blog of a Nearly Proper Person, Chloe Seager, to Pretty Books. As part of her blog tour, Chloe’s here to talk about something that many of us will 100% relate to… social media and anxiety.

By the time I reached adult life, I’d pretty much levelled out my relationship with social media. I’d worked out all my dos and don’ts during my teenage years and social media wasn’t something that heavily encroached on my time or disturbed my peace of mind. I’d finally worked out a way to take all the fun stuff (e.g. tweets about books I should be reading, connecting with people from the past) without the bad (e.g. wondering how my whole day got spent staring at mindless crap, or constantly comparing my own life to other people’s). Then I got a book deal.

Suddenly my lovely, calm balance was thrown… and I didn’t expect it. I’m twenty-five, not fifteen but out of nowhere, I was refreshing my Twitter notifications every five minutes and even, dare I admit it, searching my own name. Self-Googling is probably one of the least attractive things a person can do, but I’m prepared to hold my hands up. I did it. I did it a lot. It surprises me, now, that I didn’t anticipate this reaction. Putting your writing out there for the entire world to judge is a pretty huge thing to do (and I genuinely applaud every single person who gives it a go), but when all of those judgements are on the internet? … That’s terrifying. Of course, my healthy balance with social media was toppled. It’s a bit like going back to school and knowing everyone’s talking about something you did. Except what they’re saying is public and immortalised.

Continue Reading