Harry Potter Places to Visit in Porto

Hello from Barcelona! I’ve been lucky enough to escape the cold winter of Melbourne and travel across to sunny Spain and Portugal for a little vacation. But what would a trip be without doing some bookish things abroad? I always love checking out bookstores in different countries, but when I decided to visit Portugal, I knew going to Porto was a must. Not only is it a gorgeous little city with a wide river, steep, winding streets, and it’s famous for its port, but there are some Harry Potter attractions to see there too.

Now I know it’s no London with its Harry Potter Studios or Osaka with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it’s pretty damn cool to say the least. J.K. Rowling lived in Porto in the early 1990s, and she frequented many places that undoubtedly inspired her in the creation of the series we all know and love today. In my two days in Porto, I was lucky enough to check out some of these places. So here’s my list of must-see Harry Potter places in Porto!

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10 Weird Bookish Things Non-Readers Don’t Understand

There’s a lot of bookish things that non-readers just DON’T UNDERSTAND. Whether it’s your family giving you weird looks when you scream with excitement about the arrival of a preorder, or if it’s dropping bookish drama into conversation with friends and getting blank looks in response, it can be both frustrating and hilarious. So I’ve decided to list my top ten things non-readers are completely oblivious to!

1. Book-Themed Candles

I absolutely love book-themed candles. I love searching for candles that are inspired by my favourite books and characters, or ones that just include some of my favourite scents. But you know what? My family just DOES NOT GET IT. “Why would you want a book candle?” they say. “You can just take a book off your shelf and smell it. Why do you need to buy a candle?” BUT IT DOESN’T SMELL LIKE BOOKS, OKAY?! Or even the ones that have a hint of that “old book smell”, it’s always coupled with other things. Like pine. Or coffee. Or roses. And my family just… doesn’t get that.Read More »

How Queer YA Changed My Life

It’s a well-known saying that books have the power to change us, and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Some of the most important things I’ve learned, not only about myself, but also about the world around me, has come from books.

Book have taught me that I’m not alone in whatever I’m going through or whatever I’m feeling. Books have taught me to be brave. Books have taught me how to stand up for myself, and believe in myself, and learn to love myself—flaws and all.

And most importantly, books have helped me realise that I am indeed hella queer, and they’ve helped me not only come to terms with my sexuality, but EMBRACE it. Be PROUD about it. And I think that’s a really important thing. I have YA to thank for that.

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How To Pack Enough Books For Your Vacation

Packing books for my vacation is honestly SO DIFFICULT. How am I meant to know what I want to read for the next month? I can’t even stick to a weekly TBR. *sigh* Life is just too hard sometimes. (I’m totally kidding.) But it’s a real problem that a lot of people face when packing for trips, whether that be a short getaway or months abroad!

I’m an over-packer at the best of times, and that definitely extends to my books. When I went to New Zealand for two weeks, I took 12 physical books. When I was coming home from China, I literally shoved two books in the waistband of my trackies and two under my shirt so I wasn’t over the luggage limit. SO YEAH. I miiiiight have a little bit of a packing problem when it comes to books.

Although, over the years I have discovered some methods to make sure I don’t run out of books to read while I’m abroad. It definitely helps that ebooks and audiobooks are a lot easier to get hold of than even five years ago. But I’ll be talking a bit about that later! So without further ado, here are five different methods I use to make sure I pack enough books for my vacation.

Ebooks

Ebooks are the obvious choice, right? It’s so handy being able to store a library of books on your phone. I don’t have a Kindle though, so I don’t like to read on my phone for long periods of time. That being said, I do love reading when I’m waiting for public transport or eating meals on holiday. I don’t always have enough room in my backpack to take a book out with me, so having a few ebooks loaded onto my phone is always comforting! I always stock up on ebooks when they go on sale so I’ll never run out. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.Read More »

Books to Read Based on Your Favourite Game of Thrones Character

So you just finished the finale of Game of Thrones—now what? How do you move on from a show that’s been the backbone of pop culture for basically the past decade? It’s hard, especially when the finale probably didn’t give you everything you wanted, and is definitely leaving you with an unexpected and unshifting feeling of loss. Like this big part of all of us has just… ended. Endings are weird, right?

But what can you do to try and fill that void in your life now, you ask? Well, I have some book recommendations based on your favourite character in Game of Thrones! Whether you’re a lover of assassins, morally grey characters can’t help but root for, or just girls wielding weapons in stunning dresses, then I have some great picks you should add to your TBR!

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Arya Stark | A Darker Shade of Magic

HELL. YES. Arya is easily my favourite character in Game of Thrones—I mean, she’s an assassin, she can wield a sword like a badass, and she’s basically a pirate. If only she were MY WIFE as well. Ahh, a girl can dream. But Arya definitely reminded me of Lila Bard in the Shades of Magic series. If you haven’t read these yet, I URGE YOU TO DO SO. Seriously. Lila is mine though. Back off.Read More »

A Book Lover’s Guide to Celebrating Pride Month

It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where gorgeous pictures of rainbow book stacks take over the bookstagram community, booktubers recommend all their favourite queer novels, and bloggers participate in epic reading challenges. That’s right! It’s almost Pride Month! And gosh, I could not be more excited.

But to celebrate Pride Month, there are a few bookish things in particular that I always love doing! Hold onto your Pride capes and get ready to throw some glitter, folks, because things are about to get real queer over here!

Read some queer new releases!

There are always too many books to read and too little time, right?! These are just a few of the new and upcoming queer releases I’m looking forward to reading this Pride Month! They all sound spectacular, and I hope my little list helps you add some more LGBTQIAP+ to your to-read shelf.Read More »

New Aussie Releases That Should Be On Your TBR

Answer me this: when am I not screaming about Aussie YA?! Let’s be real… when am I not screaming about books in general? Or just screaming into the void. Ya know. Waiting for the void to start screaming back at me. BUT ANYWAY. I’m here to talk about books, not my impending existential crisis. SO LET’S DO THAT.

Today, I wanted to speak about some new Aussie releases that I’m excited for! One of them I’ve already read, but the others are on my TBR: three fantastic upcoming #LoveOzYA novels, and one middle grade one! There’s just something so comforting and warm to me about Aussie YA. About falling into a story in a landscape you know and love. It really feels like home, with all that Aussie slang and mentions of snags on the barbie and sangas.

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Promise Me Happy

We’re going to start off this recommendation post with a book I actually have read! Yes, I’m as shook as you are! After reading—and adoring—Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky, I was so excited to receive a copy of his latest novel, Promise Me Happy. Heartbreaking #LoveOzYA?! SIGN ME THE HECK UP. And wow, this book took my heart and slowly crushed it… but like, in the best way possible. I HAD FEEEEELINGS. I should have expected the pain this book would inflict upon my soul—it’s about a boy who’s just out of juvie and left with an uncle who doesn’t know or want him—but I was just all naive being like WELL IT SAYS “HAPPY” RIGHT THERE IN THE TITLE. I am but a smol mistaken child.Read More »

Sorting My Recent Reads into Hogwarts Houses

I’m absolutely OBSESSED with sorting people into Hogwarts Houses. One of my first questions when I’m getting to know someone new is “what’s your Hogwarts House?”, because I really feel like it gives you a snapshot of a person and what they might be like. As a Slytherin, I’m well aware of the bad reputation we have in society (WE’RE NOT ALL EVIL, I SWEAR), but I just loooove finding out how my friends and my colleagues have been sorted. I also love hearing what people’s Myers-Briggs type is, but less people know that than their Hogwarts House. *sigh*

And you know who else I love categorising into Hogwarts Houses? Characters! Especially the characters I write about in my own novels. Right now, I’m working on one with a Hufflepuff whose love interest is a Gryffindor, and I’m having so much fun with it. So today I decided to sort my recent reads into Hogwarts Houses, inspired by Christine @ polandbananasbooks‘s epic video where she did a similar thing! If you’re looking for a new novel to pick up based on your Hogwarts House, I definitely recommend these ones!

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Romantic YA Reads

I don’t know about you, but my favourite genre of YA at the moment is the romantic contemporary sort. Give me a YA contemporary any day and I’ll love you, but give me a cute, swoony romance? I’ll bake you a cake every day for a year. Give me a queer, cute, swoony romance?! I’LL BUY YOU A PLANET. No joke. Take your pick. Personally, I’d go for Saturn.

So today I wanted to share reviews for some of the romantic YA books I’ve read recently, as well as provide you with a list of all the upcoming cute contemporaries you simply must add to your TBR. Your bank account may be over in the corner quietly sobbing, but hey, sacrifices have to be made. Be warned that your heart might also be sacrificed to the bookish gods because of all the feeeeeels. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Always be prepared to have your heart ripped out when your OTP is having relationship problems.

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How to Write a Novel in a Month

HELLOOOOO WRITER FRIENDS! Or readers who want to give writing a shot! Or just that random guy who stumbled upon my blog in the hopes of unlocking the secret to immortality — hi! For those of you that have been here before, or follow me on social media, you’ll know I love writing. I’m constantly chatting about what I’m working on and ideas I have for my next projects, and occasionally trying to take the perfect shot of my coffee for Instagram at a cafe and forgetting to write altogether… you know how it is!

But for the writers among us, you might know that April is Camp NaNoWriMo! How exciting! And by exciting, I mean getting five hours sleep, constantly snacking while attempting to drag words out of your brain, and wishing you could just run away to Bolivia to write in peace. Recently I’ve been a few questions on Twitter asking me how I have such a high word count goal for each day / week / month. The answer is… I don’t sleep. JUST KIDDING. I’m a big fan of naps. Sleep is important, y’all.

So I thought some people might find it useful if I were to make a little post about how you can write a novel in a month! IT’S POSSIBLE. So if you’re wanting to smash out 80k this April, or maybe just 5k, I’m here to impart alllll my wisdom to you (you might think some of it is trash — don’t worry, so do I. What do I know, I’m just a twenty year-old awkward potato who calls real life people characters). I BELIEVE IN YOU. GO WRITE THE NOVEL YOU’VE BEEN DAYDREAMING ABOUT. Yes, I’m talking to you. I like your hair.

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