The first quarter of the year has gone by so quickly and I have managed to read almost as many books as I read in the first six months of...

What is Mummy Reading? January-March

Thursday, May 10, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

The first quarter of the year has gone by so quickly and I have managed to read almost as many books as I read in the first six months of last year. Now, I did have a newborn who didn't sleep and energy for reading was low but this year I am determined to read more. I set myself a couple of challenges: to read at least 48 books (four a month); to read something from each section of my bookshelves that has been sitting for over a year waiting to be read; and to revisit old classics. I've also discovered the joy of audiobooks - something I struggled to adjust to at first as I'm much more of a visual person than an auditory learner so sometimes struggle to take things in when only listening. But I've got the knack now.

So here's what I've read in the first three months of the year with a little snippet review:


Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens - 2 Stars

I didn't really enjoy this book but I think it was because it was a collection of short stories and snippets about the characters and crime writing. I loved the stories which is probably testament to why I love the series but skipped most of the rest. This series is aimed at younger readers so probably not the best audience either. Didn't stop me reading the next one in the series in March!

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell - 4 Stars

I enjoyed this one and listened to it on audiobook and switched between that and the paperback (as I can read quicker than I listen). Thought it was really engaging. But it didn't fully live up to all the hype I had heard about it.

Reading Magic by Mem Fox - 4 Stars

I loved this book! It totally reinforced all that I believe about reading to your children whilst they are young. About why reading is magic. Read my full review here.

The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold - 4 Stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was gripping and really quite a dark book in comparison to some of the other MG books I have read. The illustrations were fabulous too!

How to Be Happy - Eleanor Davis - 1 Star

Been trying to get in to graphic novels a bit more but thought this was pretentious nonsense. 

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - 3 Stars

I liked this one. It was a really quick and easy read and the main character was really engaging. A muddled up teenager who was trying to figure herself out with a feminist twist when she sets out to prove that the old boys club needs a girl to sort them out!

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie - 4 Stars

Agatha Christie books have become a new favourite as I try to read more of them this year. I love Poirot - he's brilliant and hilarious! And this one had me gripped as I tried to stay one step ahead of the plot.

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith - 3 Stars

I had tried to read this book before and found it a bit of a bore but I really enjoyed it this time. The characters were engaging and amusing as in the original and the modernisation of the plot worked quite well. Still not as good as the original obviously.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - 5 Stars

I'm rather scrupulous with my five star reviews - you've got to be good to impress. But of course I love Matilda as all bookworms do. And re-reading this was a delight!


The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan - 3 Stars

Sarah Crossan's books are all written in verse so they are super quick to read and she can tell a beautiful story with very few words. This wasn't as good as the books of hers I have read previously and I found it a bit teen-y. Definitely a YA book aimed at the young in my opinion.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli - 3 Stars

I had mixed feelings about this book with some things that I loved about it and others that I didn't like. I did a full review of it for our little feminist book club feature.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi - 2 Stars

Read this because so many people had raved about it on BookTube but I pretty much waded through this and then found the end a complete turn on itself to ass a weird twist to the characters that was totally unnecessary and, quite frankly, bizarre.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman - 4 Stars

I loved the film of this (but haven't seen it for a long time) and thought I would read the book having read a couple of Neil Gaiman's books last year. This was great! A brilliant, fast-paced fantasy adventure with a love story thrown in. But if you've seen the film recently I think you'd find it a bit dull - nothing different in the book.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis - 4 Stars

I've decided to return to Narnia this year as I re-read some old classics and have been enjoying listening to these on audiobook whilst in the car with The Wee Page Turner (he can't command the radio yet like BookBairn can) and I loved it! The story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in ingrained in my reader's soul but I had forgotten the other adventures.

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens - 4 Stars

As always Daisy and Hazel have me captivated as I read about the latest mystery in their casebook. They will have you twisting and turning along with them. Such a quick and fun read.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - 5 Stars

One of the books that shaped me as a reader and will continue to move me every time I revisit it. Magical.

The Minaturist by Jessie Burton - 4 Stars

I wanted to try and read this before watching the BBC series and found it slow to start, like many people said I would, but then I was utterly gripped. A wonderful story with a bit of darkness, friendship, fiendishness, history, and the supernatural to keep your mind racing as you read.


The Princess and the Suffragette by Holly Webb - 4 Stars

I feel a bit odd about this one as I'm not surely I truly like someone taking another writer's characters and making them their own. But I loved this story. I loved that it centered on Lottie not Sara. I loved that it was about the Suffragette movement and wove real-world events into the story. A great book for young feminist readers.

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell - 5 Stars

No wonder this book has won so many awards and has been talked about with such high praise. It's a brilliant adventure story about getting lost in the Amazon rainforest, the will to survive, friendships and secrets. This is a great book for young and old alike!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - 5 Stars

A brilliant character-driven book about racial issues and police discrimination in America. The characters were so well written, the plot intriguing and provided a social commentary that is much-needed. I can't wait to read more from this author.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks - 4 Stars

Like all short story collections, I liked some of the stories and didn't enjoy others. Every story includes a reference to a typewriter and sometimes I found this a bit contrived where as the stories that revolved around the typewriter and included it like a character were much more engaging. I wouldn't hesitate to read more from Tom Hanks.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  - 4 Stars

This threw off my planned to-be-read pile for the month as I couldn't wait to read it. And I raced through it, of course. Such a unique structure of a book, told through documents, transcripts of camera footage and online chat files and emails, this really is a new sort of story-telling. Gripped since book one, this is a brilliant series!

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 4 Stars

A short introduction for sure, and I don't agree with all of it. But this was a great read and really summed up how I feel about the way that our society has changed and no longer needs to be dominated by solely males in positions of power. If you are looking to read more feminist books this is a great little read to start.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - 4 Stars

I liked this story about two teenagers from different backgrounds who fall in love. But it didn't live up to the hype. Or maybe a teenage romance just isn't for me anymore? But the writing was good and the characters engaging.

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis - 3 Stars

I couldn't remember much of this Narnia story and I listened to it on audiobook so perhaps my expectations were too high after The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe or my listening experience wasn't as good as actually reading the book. But it didn't quite hit the mark.

Below is a link to my GoodReads page which should be up to date with all the books I have read so far this year (and it should keep updating as I continue to read). I'll be doing another quarterly post at the end of June but if you want to see what I'm currently reading you can find me on there!

BookBairn's read-in-2018 book montage

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Belle and Sebastien
The Essex Serpent
Only Ever Yours
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Eleanor & Park
We Should All Be Feminists
Uncommon Type: Some Stories
The Hate U Give
The Explorer
The Princess and the Suffragette
The Miniaturist
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A Spoonful of Murder
The Magician's Nephew

BookBairn's favorite books »

So that's what I read in the first chunk of the year, and I'm pretty pleased to have mostly great books with a couple of five star reads. You may have noticed that I didn't have many low star books and that's probably because I don't continue with a book if I don't enjoy it. Life is too short to get stuck in a boring book! I've got a great bundle on my bedside windowsill at the moment so I'm looking forward to the next pile of reading. Hope you liked this different sort of post!

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
BookBairn has read 33 books toward her goal of 48 books.

Happy Reading,


  1. What a lot of reading! Well done. I don’t know how you find the time. I’ve read 21/2 story books in that time and none of these.

    1. Maybe we need to do a What is Papa Reading?