Topshelf Tuesdays 21#1

So many books, so little time.

Topshelf Tuesday is created by yours truly to shout about books on my TBR that I am desperate to read.

As a reviewer I try to post on or around the day of release if I’m writing about an ARC. The downside of this is all those owned books sitting sadly on the shelf, well, on my kindle mostly.

An irresponsible Netgalley addiction coupled with the desire to review any direct requests leaves me little to no time for what I dub ‘Topshelf’ books. Instead I look longingly at the covers before diving straight into the next title my schedule demands.

Some are new, some are old, some are gifted, some are recommended. All are waiting waiting waiting for their time to shine.

This week on my Topshelf I’m feeling wistful for…

Hunter Shea, Creature

Hunter Shea- Creature

I’ve heard fantastic things about Creature for a long time now, this horror novel is apparently an emotional knife in the heart. After listening to Hunter’s interview on Make Me Read Your Book Podcast this title rocketed to  the top of my wait list. Also, it’s a Flame Tree Press publication and we all know I heavily support them.


The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal.

But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead.

Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night

Have you read this novel? Drop me a comment or link me your review!

The AAL Spring 21 ARC Schedule

Review titles, rules for requests, blog tour details and more

All Things Netgalley…

When I started blogging I was amazed at the people saying they were booked up(ha) months in advance for reviews. Now just over two years later here I am about to share my ARC schedule for 2021! For today I’m focusing solely on my pre-agreed Netgalley reviews.

I have a little method when it comes to requesting on Netgalley. I have to admit I don’t always stick to it but most of the time it keeps me in check. I know some of you have hundreds in your backlist! At the time of writing I have 17 and a NG ratio of 82%.

5 rules for requesting:

  • Spend no more than 30 minutes once a fortnight browsing books. I even set a strict timer.
  • View my favourite publishers sorted by latest publication date first and never request anything due for release before next month.
  • Allow myself no more than 4 unread ARCs at a time due for release in each upcoming month.
  • Never request a book for the sake of it. It must be something I believe will be a 4+ stars for me.
  • Put myself on a Netgalley ban if my ratio dips below 70%

My intent is always to publish my book review on this blog the day of it’s release. I then try to remember to upload that review to Amazon and Goodreads a week or so later.
My NG review goes up the moment I finish reading, partly to keep my ratio accurate but also to contribute for those checking NG reviews before they request.

Last year I had a slump during first lockdown which left a few books in arrears, these I tend to then leave to one side for a spare moment in my later schedule so that I can continue to meet the deadlines I set myself for my unpublished ARCs.

So here is where I stand today:

My Spring ’21 Netgalley Schedule:

The Eighth Girl – Maxine Mei Chung

The Last House on Needless Street – Catriona Ward

All The Murmuring Bones- A G Slatter

The Library Of The Dead – T L Huchu

The Castaways – Lucy Clarke

Dark Lullaby – Polly Ho Yen

Shadow In The Glass – JJA Harwoo

Mirrorland – Carole Johnstone

Her Last Holiday – C L Taylor

Sorrowland – Rivers Solomon

Circus Of Wonders- Elizabeth Macneal

The Decagon House Murders- Yukito Ayatsuji

But of course even the best laid plans fail. I’m ashamed to admit I have four titles in long term arrears, some even over 12 months since request. Luckily I always immediately download any books I’m accepted for. They may be locked in the Netgalley archive vault but they still patiently await my attention on kindle…

A Witch In Time- Constance Sayers

Descendant Of The Crane- Joan He

Bone Harvest – James Brogden

Incendiary – Zoraida Cordova

And that’s where I am right now for the period of March to May. I have two more lined up in June ready to begin my summer schedule but I’m desperately attempting to stay away from any more requests for now. My poor owned books TBR has been ever growing whilst the ARCs distract me, which gave rise to my new frequent post, Topshelf Tuesdays! Stick around the blog to see more.

If you haven’t overfilled your review schedule as I have, don’t forget to join up to the BBNYA panel, or there are loads of fantastic tours you can sign up to with Dave over at The Write Reads 


Are you a Netgalley user? Tell me, what’s the oldest ARC on your shelf? Are your arrears worse than mine?

Have you read any of these titles? Drop me a comment, link me your review, share the book love.

Book Review; The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep – Laurie Faria Stolarz

Page Count 336

Publication date March 2020

Publisher Wednesday Books 

GoodReads link



Four days…
Trapped in a well, surrounded by dirt, scratching at the walls trying to find a way out.
Four days of a thirst so strong, that when it finally rains, I drink as much as possible from the dripping walls, not even caring how much dirt comes with it.

Six months…
Since my escape. Since no one believed I was taken to begin with – from my own bed, after a party, when no one else was home…
Six months of trying to find answers and being told instead that I made the whole incident up.

One month…
Since I logged on to the Jane Anonymous site for the first time and found a community of survivors who listen without judgment, provide advice, and console each other when needed.
A month of chatting with a survivor whose story eerily mirrors my own: a girl who’s been receiving triggering clues, just like me, and who could help me find the answers I’m searching for.

Three days…
Since she mysteriously disappears, and since I’m forced to ask the questions: will my chance to find out what happened to me vanish with her? And will I be next?


Continue reading “Book Review; The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep – Laurie Faria Stolarz”

Can’t Wait Wednesday- 21#2

Find out which upcoming book release holds a place on my never-ending TBR…

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Wishful Endings and previously Breaking The Spine. We’re here to spotlight upcoming releases and tell you what we’re most excited to read. Want to join in? Let @Tressa tell you all about it, or keep reading to view my choice this week..
Continue reading “Can’t Wait Wednesday- 21#2”

Book Review; How To Work Without Losing Your Mind- Cate Sevilla

Page Count 320

Publication date January 2021

Publisher Penguin Business

GoodReads link



Bosses are maddening. Colleagues are profoundly irritating. And balancing family and work is daunting. So how do we balance success with sanity? How do we progress without burning out?

Whether you’re drowning in a toxic working environment, battling burnout, recovering from redundancy, or just struggling to figure out what you actually want from your career, I’m here to help coach you through the shittiness of your work day, and help you shift your relationship with your career.

Having worked at giant corporations like Google (where my days consisted of aggressive bosses, complimentary pastries and lots of tears) and scrappy start-ups like The Pool (where I was Editor-in-Chief when it all went pear-shaped), I’ve been through a lot of stressful and downright ridiculous work situations that have given me a lot of insight and experience into the wider problems with modern work, but more crucially, how we can help ourselves in this broken system.

Drawing from lessons learned in my own career and interviews with career experts, as well as individuals from different industries and levels of experience, How to Work Without Losing Your Mind is a relatable and reassuring guide to the messy, stressful and sometimes bizarre side of work that we simply don’t talk about enough. It’s your tonic after a long hard working week, where you’ve ugly cried with your colleagues and are exhausted from endless video calls – and are wondering what the hell to do next. I can’t fix your job, but I can absolutely help you decide how best to deal with it (even if that means quitting).


Continue reading “Book Review; How To Work Without Losing Your Mind- Cate Sevilla”