The Big Reading Update 2021: Week 1

January 8, 2021 in Wrap-Ups
AD • Some of the books mentioned in this post are review copies or advance reader copies (ARCs). This means that I was provided with a copy in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links which are marked with a (*). If you click on these links and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please read my Disclosure.

We are only seven days into the new year and it’s already been a handful. Lockdown 3.0 is underway. Some people are horrendously sore losers and can’t resist showing it. And life feels kind of deflating. But hey, I’m not here to talk about doom and gloom. I’m here to talk about books. Today marks my first instalment of ‘The Big Reading Update’ which can be shortened to TBRU. (Did you see what I did there?) 

Every Friday I’ll drop in to talk about all the books I’ve been reading each week. Plus all the books I’ve been buying, adding to my wishlist or requesting on NetGalley! So yeah, a lot of bookish stuff all rolled into one. Let’s not waste any time and get straight into it, shall we?

What I Read This Week


Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: the Graphic Novel
adapted by Robert Vendetti


To kick off the year, I wanted to see what my last book of 2020 looked like as a graphic novel adaptation. And to be honest, I enjoyed it about the same just in different ways. The artwork here is fab especially in regards to the monsters which I was never really able to visualise in my imagination. A few things were changed or omitted which caught me off-guard a bit but ultimately I did really enjoy this.


People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

People Like Her
by Ellery Lloyd


AD – Review Copy

My go-to genre is mystery/thrillers. They’re sort of my Kryptonite. They make me anxious for days and yet I always crawl back because they’re sooooooo good.

This one was dark, intense and twisty. It’s about a super famous mummy blogger called Emmy who is being stalked by… well, that’s the question! Ultimately, this was a touch too dark for me and I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. That’s all I’ll say about it here but please feel free to check out my full review if you’re intrigued and want to know more!


All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann

All Birds Have anxiety
by Kathy Hoopmann


I borrowed this from my eLibrary for the Read Harder’s ‘demystifies a mental illness’ prompt. As you might know, I suffer from generalised and social anxiety. But all I really know about anxiety is what I’ve experienced first-hand. So I thought this was a great opportunity to learn more.

Now I didn’t realise going in that this is a children’s book. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read it. Luckily, I did. This book is incredible. It’s short and sweet but covers so much in a super accessible way. Plus there are adorable pictures of birds. What’s not to love? I’d recommend to this to everyone who suffers from or knows someone with anxiety. It’s fantastic. Seriously. Read it.


If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier

If I Disappear
by Eliza Jane Brazier


AD – Review Copy

Okay. So I actually finished this one last night and… I’m pretty disappointed. It has a really intriguing premise about a fan going to investigate her favourite true crime podcast host’s disappearance. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I wanted it to be amazing. But I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. It’s left me in a bit of a conundrum about what to rate it. I won’t go into any more detail at this time because a full review will pop up very soon but yeah, disappointed by this one. (Update: My review is now LIVE!)


Currently Reading

The only book I’m currently reading is Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen. This book has been on my radar since just before its release last year and is proving invaluable in normalising my own experiences as an ace.



So far in 2021, I have spent £9.81 on books. At present, I have purchased 9 books – all of them as Kindle eBooks. These are the ones I’ve picked up this week:

  • Private Parts: Living well with bad periods and endometriosis by Eleanor Thom
  • Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  • Bad Pharma: How medicine is broken and how we can fix it by Ben Goldacre
  • Long Bright River by Liz Moore
  • The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
  • It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies) edited by Scarlett Curtis
  • Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow


Review Copies

My aim for 2021 was to not allow myself to become swamped with ARCs. Still, I got a bit excited and requested a few. (You know how it is.)

If you’ve read my 2021 reading plans, you’ll know that I wanted to start reviewing children’s books here too. So I’ve started requesting those this week and have already been approved for two picture books that I’m very excited to read with my little one. Reviews will be coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!

The books I’ve been approved for this week are:

Well that’s all I have to share this week but I’ll be back every Friday with even more! 

What are you planning to read this weekend? Let me know in the comments!


  • Stephanie @ Bookfever January 8, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve got my eye on All Birds Have Anxiety now. Sounds like a good read for me!

    • Hayley January 13, 2021 at 9:10 am

      I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Stephanie! 🙂

  • Cristina Rosano January 13, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Wow, you already read quite a lot for being two weeks in! I am already in a reading slump but hopefully will get out of it soon enough. ‘The once and future witches’ in on my TBR list too! Thanks for sharing x

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Cristina! 🙂 I’m in a reading slump too, I’m still reading but sooooo slowly. I just can’t focus for long at the moment. Hope it passes quickly for us both! 🙂

  • Asha January 18, 2021 at 11:29 am

    All Birds Have Anxiety sounds adorable, I’m definitely looking that one up! I love that you track how much you’ve spent on books – maybe I should do that too (but privately I think or I’d be embarrassed!)

    • Hayley January 24, 2021 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Asha, it really is an adorable take on something so important! (Also haha I know what you mean, I dread to think what it’ll look like at the end of the year…)

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