Books I took to Iceland!

I took a trip to Iceland after stressful couple months of revising for some pretty important exams (which I recently found out I passed!). I was sure I was going to get a lot of relaxing and reading done, but my body had other ideas and decided it was time to get poorly. C’est la vie! I took some great books though…



Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard & John Connolly*
I did it! I finally read this gosh darn book and it was as fantastic as I knew it would be. I shut it and was immediately overtaken with a bone-deep need for more that I know will never come. Heartbreaking! But a true YA masterpiece.

Magisterium: The Iron Trial*, The Copper Gauntlet*, The Bronze KeyThe Silver Mask and The Golden Tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
I originally planned to take these, then changed my mind. But, as always happens, I ignored my own plans. Two minutes before walking out the door to catch my flight and you could find me shoving these into my, until then, reasonably full backpack. I did get around to starting my re-read of this series though so I don’t feel too bad.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner*
I’ve been looking into reading more female-written fantasy after some big disappointments from male writers and Ellen Kushner is one of the heavy-hitters. This was first released in 1986 and then rereleased in 2016 and I really want to get to it soon. But new fantasy worlds are not a friend when you’re not feeling well!

Weight by Jeanette Winterson*
One of the books I need to read for my next term of university is a Jeanette Winterson so in true Imogen-fashion, I didn’t bring that, but brought another one of her books. This is a retelling of theAtlas story and my mum actually nabbed it off me on this trip and loved it.

A Hero Born by Jin Yong*
Everyone and their mother seems to rave about these books. There have been unofficial translations for years and I was super stoked when I heard of the official translations finally being put out. Again, new fantasy worlds are not for reading when you’re poorly but I’m desperate to start this soon.

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams*
I loved The Ninth Rain so much. So much! But I decided after a couple chapters to leave this to next year when the third and final book in the trilogy is coming out. I don’t have the best memory so I’m thinking a good 1000+ page binge of the end of this series is for the best. I can’t wait.

Have you read any of these?
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Written by the Elves!

Santas Elves spend their year making the presents for all the good girls and boys, but what about the very good girls and boys? Could they, perhaps, request that the elves whose toy production has been outsourced to factories all over the world, write a book personalised to the receiver. So, here are the elements that would feature in my dream book…

Urban Fantasy and Cosy Crime
These are my absolute favourite genres and I’d love to see them mixed together to make a cosy crime investigation in an urban fantasy world. I’m thinking a spree of vampire murders or werewolf bank heists solved by a main character that knits or volunteers at her local library. Heck, maybe she stumbles upon a skull while picking herbs for her witchy tinctures.

Remote Locations
Give me a small town in the middle of nowhere and I’m happy. Cosy crime needs a little bit of distance from big city policing and areas where everyone knows everyone are both claustrophobic and comforting.

Radio Hosts/ Pawn Shop Owners/ Motel Staff
There are some professions that I’m always interested in reading for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the influence of Frasier as a child but radio hosts are a must. Whereas pawn shop owners and small time motel staff probably have the most interesting stories from interacting with a random selection of the public that they rarely see again.

LGBTQ+ Romances
Sometimes I just want a cute lil romance with queer characters without having to read homophobia or transphobia. There’s enough of that in real life. Give me a chill relationship development that isn’t the focus of the story, but is treated like all the Hallmark-style straight romances.

What would your ideal book be?
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Books I Want to Buy and Why #15: 2019 Releases!

2019 is lining up to be a great year in book releases with a couple debuts, some final books in series and more that I can’t wait to get my little paws on. I’ve read all the 2018 releases I was interested in, and ended up being released. These posts seem to be my good luck charm when it comes to follow-through. So, in order of release date…

The Coldest Blood by J.S. Law
This is the final in the Lieutenant Danielle Lewis trilogy that started with Tenacity (now called The Dark Beneath) which I loved. I didn’t like the second book, The Fear Within, as much. But I have high hopes for the final book and I’m really excited to find out how the story ends.
Release date: 24th January

A Bond Undone by Jin Yong
I’ll admit, I haven’t got very far into the first book in this series; A Hero Born, but the little bit I have read and the fame of this series has me convinced I will enjoy it enough to want the second book. They’re releasing one book a year of this twelve book series as they translate which is torturous though, I’ll be 36 by the conclusion!
Release date: 24th January

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
I went to a publishing event in Summer and was absolutely in love with how Candice Carty-Williams described Queenie. It sounds absolutely fantastic, and different from what I generally read since I’m not much of a contemporary person unless there’s been a murder.
Release date: 11th April

Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir
Y’all know I adore this series and have done since the first book! I’m so so excited about the Anna of Kleve instalment as she’s one of the few who went on after Henry VIII to live- and live a life that I know almost nothing about.
Release date: 2nd May

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver
Jeffery Deaver is my favourite crime writer. And finding out that he was starting a new series with a new main character? I need it. He’s a ‘reward-seeker’, rather than a detective and it focuses in on the video-gaming industry. The whole thing just sounds like it’s going to be a good read.
Although I’d love another Kathryn Dance book…
Release date: 16th May

The Poison Song by Jen Williams
If there’s one author whose work I fell in love with in 2018, it’s Jen Williams. The Ninth Rain was incredible. The Poison Song is the final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy and I’m waiting as long as I can to read the second book so that the wait isn’t so terrible!
Release date: 16th May

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
If there’s a combination I’ve never been more interested in, it’s witches and LGBTQ+ characters. This is a debut, part-mystery, part-romance, that I can’t wait to get in my hands.
Release date: 28th May

Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
This was originally going to be released in March 2018 and I was really excited for it earlier this year. Almost 12 months hasn’t dimmed that excitement, Sarah Lotz writes some great books like The Three and I’m looking forward to what she does next.
Release date: 25th July

What books are you looking forward to in 2019?
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Audiobooks for the Sleigh!

Through the magic of Christmas cheer and children’s wishes, Santa somehow delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls in one night (although Popular Science did some maths and we’re looking at relativity clouds and six ‘Santa months’). Personally, I love listening to audiobooks when I’m driving, or wrapping, or doing literally anything so these are my recommendations for Father Christmas himself to keep his night/months interesting.

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
Clocking in at almost 72 hours and read by Stephen Fry, I feel like this is a must for any long-haul journey. The stories are rarely predictable, plus, Santa is a bit of a detective himself! He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good. I feel like he’d appreciate a fellow investigators methods.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Since Santa is a bit of a pilot, and he has 16 hours to kill, I think he’s really like Catch-22. I loved it. It’s funny and amazingly plotted, I wanted to start it over as soon as I finished and Santa actually has the time!

It by Stephen King
At 44 hours long, if Santa decides to go a bit more contemporary, then It is a good pick. It’ll keep him awake from fear at the very least! I read it in August and I wish I had been in a sleigh, way above ground and away from any clowns when I read it. Although, I definitely wouldn’t want to visit anyone’s house after this and that is Santas main gig.

Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse
When the night starts winding down and Santa is ready for bed, nothing will help him relax more than the slow drama of a Wodehouse book. I started P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series back in January and have since listened to six because they’re perfect for easy bedtime listening. Let a posh English accent lull him to sleep after the busiest night of the year!

What do you think Santa would listen to on the big night?
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My Holiday Season TBR!

I don’t tend to get a lot of reading done around the holiday season- it’s busy! There’s cleaning, cooking, decorating and general panicked shopping to be done while family is swarms the house. Plus, I’m a themed reader. I want my reads to have that vibe about how I generally feel about the holidays. I also don’t want anything to dark and heavy since SAD is in full effect these days. So these are the few books that pass the test…

I recently read And Then There Were None and now I really want to get to Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. I find that cosy crime is better for the colder months and more realistic crime are Summer holiday reads. Plus, I got this for Christmas last year so it’s about time I get to it!

From my 18 books I wanted to read in 2018 list, there are a few left that I’d like to get around to as the year winds down. I have Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen in audiobook format which is super convenient for making cleaning/ decorating/ wrapping much less boring.

I also have my two non-fiction picks; Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé and Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell. I don’t think I’ll get both finished because I read non-fiction very slowly but I’ve started both and should be able to get a good chunk read. They’re fascinating!

And lastly, The Faber Book of Christmas is a gorgeous anthology I’ll probably dip in and out of for a Christmassy boost when I need it. I love having a collection that I can read bits from in the quiet moments of the festivities.

What will you be reading this Holiday Season?
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Five Years of Imogen’s Typewriter. 

This blog is now half a decade old. That’s wild to me. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I sat down and typed in my little domain into Blogger. And four-hundred and twenty-three posts later, here we are. If my blog was a child, it would be going to school by now in a tiny little uniform!

The past year has been a strange one in regards to blogging, I know a lot of people feel lost on occasion and I’ve been struggling to fit in blogging with my degree work as that ramps up year-by-year. I love blogging though and I’ve written some posts I’m really proud of this year.

I’ve written full book reviews on Catch-22 by Joseph HellerAnne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison WeirOblivion by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Haunting of Mount Cod by Nicky StrattonThe Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry. And mini reviews in my wrap-up posts!

I’ve been fostering kittens and cats throughout the year and started blogging about my experiences with The Kittens of Wildfell Hall and Slug & Hedgehog. These posts have been so much fun to write and I’m really hoping to catch up in my sixth year of blogging, since I’m adopting out my 20th cat today!

I’ll be taking part in Bookending Winter this December so make sure to keep a lookout for that! I’m hosting from the 4th to the 7th and you can read all about it and the prompts here and here. There’s even a Twitter. So I’m starting my sixth year of blogging on a good note.

Don’t forget to check out my little blog birthday giveaway on Twitter! And thank you for reading!
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Books I Read in August and September!

I had a slow couple of reading months in August and September due to my exams and the general panic that surrounds revision! So I thought I’d combine the two into a much more pleasing pile o’ books. Although I actually read 4/5 of these by listening to the audiobook- 2018 has definitely been the year of the audiobook for me…

It by Stephen King
I flew through this- well, as fast as you can fly though a 44 hour audiobook of a 1200+ page novel. In reality it was about ten days that It consumed me. Stephen King is a really complicated writer for me to pin down because at some times I was scared to death, literally hiding under my blankets and flinching at every sound… But at other times I was wondering how long there was left and when it was going to switch to a more interesting point of view. King writes amazing stories, but he never quite lands the ending for me. I definitely need to get around to my teenage favourite; Carrie, soon.
And yeah, about that scene? It made sense in the context of what was happening. Probably wouldn’t get published now but, as Bill says; “-politics always change, stories never do.”

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
It’s been three years since I read the first book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Although I also read it as a teen so this might be my third or fourth re-read. I listened to the audiobook which wasn’t great, but I was feeling so nostalgic for this universe that at the time, it’d do! When I next decide to visit Bon Temps, I’ll just pick up my physical copies.
“My mind scrabbled around like a squirrel trying to get out of a cage. It couldn’t light on anything or be comfortable anywhere.”

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
During my exam season I was super super stressed and needed an audiobook that would be easy listening. The Hobbit was perfect for that. I’ve read it before, the narrator is so calming, and it’s pretty short. I started reading it physically in 2015 and didn’t enjoy it that much so I think audiobook is definitely the way to go with Tolkien!
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
I’m writing a full review on this because I have a lot of feelings.


Empire by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly*
I did it! I finally re-read Empire after wanting to for two years. And it was just as good as I remembered it, I completely agree with my original review and had an absolute blast revisiting one of my favourite series.
No knowledge could really be described as useless; there was simply knowledge that could be applied, and knowledge that had not yet found its application.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?
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Fostering: Slug and Hedgehog!

After fostering Gilbert and Esther, I took a bit of a break from fostering as there wasn’t any to take in for a while, and I was doing some travelling. However, a week before my birthday I got the best present- cats to look after! Enter these two who were a painfully shy mother and daughter duo that needed socialisation while we found the perfect home for them.

Initially, I called them Selina and Helena after Catwoman and The Huntress because I thought their markings looked like the masks that comic book heroes wear! But eventually that turned into Slug and Hedgehog because Slug looked like a slug with her sleek dark fur when she settled on your lap, and Hedgehog was always a little prickly.

Being younger, Slug was much easier to socialise and would eventually lay on my lap for hours. But Hedgehog didn’t have such a drastic improvement. They weren’t feral, they didn’t attack and hadn’t been brought in from an outside colony. They had just hadn’t had the most interactive experience with humans which can be tough to ‘fix’ after they hit that 6 month mark. She had a habit of pulling the blanket that I keep on my desk chair, onto the ground in a heap and burrowing into it.

In the end, they were adopted together, a little over a month after I first got them. I got to drop them off at their new home, with their new human who was in love with them the minute they arrived and was prepared to be patient when it came to interaction. After Gilbert and Esther ending up in an adoption centre for weeks, which gave me a lot of anxiety even though Cats Protection adoption centres are wonderful, it was a great experience to take these two to their new home and say goodbye!

And five days later I had my next three fosters! But I’ll leave that for another post.

Have you ever seen such beautiful cats in your life? 
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Book Review: Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry!

The ‘Saga’ genre isn’t featured very much in my reading, despite the appeal of the covers with their pretty distinctive style and quantity of them at my local library. So, when I was offered a book in the genre that also focused on two of my big interests in fiction; Christmas and WWII, I was ready to read Christmas with the East End Angels*!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and the East End Angels are working hard to keep Londoners safe.

Frankie is trying hard to keep everything together. She can count on the support of the East End Angels, even in the face of family trouble.
Winnie’s beloved husband, Mac, is putting himself at risk every day in the bomb disposal unit and she’s finding it hard while he’s away.
Bella is growing in confidence and happiness. Her friendship with Winnie’s brother, James, is getting closer all the time.

Christmas on the Home Front is a hard time with loved ones far away – but the women of the Auxiliary Ambulance service are making do and mending.

The books I lean towards are very suspenseful and action-packed so this was a change. It focuses on London post-Blitz and feels very calm and away from the action of war, despite their readiness! With this came a focus on character and feeling that, despite not reading the previous two books in the series, meant that I was emotionally invested. It was so relatable that I felt their grief and even found myself getting a little teary eyed!

It was also quite cheesy. It’s definitely part of the charm of this genre but the dialogue isn’t always super realistic with everyone saying every little positive thing they think out loud. There are lots of declarations about doing what they need to do for the war and keeping calm and carrying on!

This is balanced out by the amount of research and background knowledge that Rosie Hendry obviously has on the time period. It isn’t overdone as some historical fiction is, where the authors are trying to shove every bit of information they have in. Hendry writes like people living at the time with her characters revealing interesting tidbits: like the lack of rationing on sprouts!, in a realistic way that I really appreciated.

Since it is Christmas of the East End Angels, the book covers two Christmases and the year in between. This is a nice way to ease you into the season since I know not everyone is as keen as I am to get their decorations up as soon as the last trick-or-treater has taken their candy. Personally, I would’ve preferred a bit more of a festive vibe, but I have been singing carols since September so I’m not sure I can be trusted…

Are you a fan of the Saga genre? Have you started reading your Christmas themed books yet?
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Books I Read in July!

Think back to July. It was blazing hot. Every corner shop was running out of ice, air conditioners were sold out on Amazon, Twitter was aflush with gifs of things melting, and I was reading these books. Now I look out the window and it’s raining, so it’s about time I post this, huh?!

Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie Vaughn
Something I really appreciate about this series is how often the characters talks out their problems rather than resorting to violence, especially for a bunch of werewolves and vampires. Urban fantasy can get super violent but Vaughn has a level-headed main character that can be in some tough situations without spilling blood.
One thing I will say about this, and the last Kitty Norville book that I read in June, is that the writing has got a little boring. I didn’t find a single quote in either that stuck out to me as beautiful or powerful and that’s kind of disappointing to me. I haven’t picked up the next book yet but hopefully this series can get back to when my books were covered in sticky notes.

Full Moon by P.G. Wodehouse
I love these books and the antics of various characters. However, this one took a bit of a turn. I’ve never been so uncomfortable reading a book, I literally cringed. It wasn’t violence, smut or slurs but a character Veronica refusing to give up an accidental switch-up present. Much like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum but it’s a grown woman and my soul left my body listening to the audiobook.
The rest was wonderful though, and this series is so nice to stick on while cleaning or trying to sleep.
“I wouldn’t say a word against Aunt Dora, so I won’t call her England’s leading snob.”

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I’ve had this on my TBR for a couple of years and was really excited when I finally picked it up because this felt like my dream urban fantasy for about a third of the book.  I loved the main character, Diana, who is a professor, because she spent a lot of time in libraries and doing research things- I just really enjoy reading about this stuff!
Then it veered off on a strange path. Soon after meeting the handsome vampire, her personality disappears. Instead replaced by a lot of talk of obeying and protecting her, plus some literal kidnapping. I’m tired of vampires who don’t understand that breaking into a woman’s bedroom is creepy and I’m tired of Stockholm Syndrome-style romances.
I really enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre but I demand a heroine that actually has some common sense.

What did you read in July?
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