The Big Reading Update 2021: Week 2

January 15, 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.

Well… not a lot happened in the last week. I’m doing better mood-wise. But I’ve got a wisdom tooth cutting through, a toddler who either won’t go to sleep, won’t stay asleep or wakes up super early and well… my productivity levels have dropped a bit. In other news, I’ve been focusing on growing my Bookstagram account which has been a lot of fun. I’ve established an aesthetic which is something I’d never managed to do before so I’m really enjoying how cohesive everything looks for once.

As for the books, I didn’t read as much this week. I only read two books. Which hey, is still more than one book or zero books so I’m going to take it as a win.

What I Read This Week

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water For Chocolate
By Laura Esquivel
(Translated by Carol & Thomas Christensen)


My husband made me read this book. The story itself revolves around a young Mexican woman named Tita who due to family traditions is forbidden from getting married. Her duty is to care for her mother until she dies. So the man she loves decides to marry her older sister in order to be close to Tita. Which, obviously, was a terrible idea.

I thought the way it was told in 12 instalments and that each chapter comes with a recipe that relates to what’s happening in the story was really interesting. I hadn’t read anything like this before and I did genuinely enjoy it. However, I didn’t enjoy the romance aspect. Tita is only 15 at the start of the book and while the story spans 22 years, I felt that Pedro’s feelings are fuelled by lust rather than love. There’s a lot of objectification and inappropriate behaviour especially while Tita is still very young and that didn’t really sit right with me.


All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red
By Martha Wells


I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to talk about a book before. Now I’d heard a lot of hype about the Murderbot Diaries series and I was sceptical. I mean, the main character refers to itself as “Murderbot”. That’s not the best name to have. But actually I loved Murderbot. Something about this character really works to capture the heart of the readers, it is super relatable and funny and just all the things you want in a protagonist.

So this is about an AI who is contracted to work as security for a group of humans surveying a planet that they’re interested in buying. The problem? Something is trying to kill them. And Murderbot is their only hope of survival. 

It’s thrilling and action packed while also being short and sweet. If you’re looking to get into sci-fi, pick this up.


Currently Reading

I’m still reading Ace by Angela Chen. Or rather, listening to it. It’s great and I’m learning a lot. 

I’ve also just started Gut Feelings by C.G. Moore. I was sent a copy by the author to read and review because I’m an own voices reviewer for chronic illness and it is an own voices book for chronic illness/disability representation. So I’m very grateful for this opportunity! It was released yesterday and it’s a novel-in-verse about a young boy coming to terms with a serious health diagnosis. My review will go live next week so keep an eye out!



I was really good this week and only purchased one new book. That was In the Dark by Cara Hunter which was 99p on Kindle. (I’ve been waiting for that one to be reduced for sooooooo long.)

This week some of my library holds came through! Yay! So I now have two eLibrary books and those are The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and The Recovery of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. I’m so excited to read both of these and hopefully will finish them by the end of the month!

As for review copies, I received Gut Feelings by C.G. Moore which I spoke about briefly under ‘Currently Reading’. Apart from that, I picked up two “Read Now” titles – both of which were children’s picture books for a wrap-up I’m working on. Those were ABC of Gender Identity by Devika Dalal and I Like the Snow by Sarah Nelson and Rachel Oldfield. So thank you to all the publishers involved for allowing me to read and review these titles.

Next week I’ll be attempting to post two book reviews so keep an eye out for those. And of course, I’ll be back with another reading update next Friday!

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below.


  • claire January 15, 2021 at 8:29 am

    You certainly have a lot coming up to keep you very busy. I am really enjoying listening to audio books while working from home. I have never used them before but it keeps me focused while I work.

    Plus it increases my ‘reading’ time. I am just about to start book 7 of the year which for me is unheard of!

    Enjoy your reads, The midnight library is top of my TBR pile… if I can get my hands on it!

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Audiobooks are great in that respect! I usually listen to one a month in the bath because that’s the only time I can guarantee no distractions. 😅

      Thanks Claire, hope you get your hands on TML soon! 🙂

  • Hannah Kaye January 15, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I just purchased Ace by Angela Chen and cannot wait to start reading it! I’ve not heard of the two books you read but I am intrigued about All Systems Read!

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Hope you enjoy reading Ace, Hannah! 🙂

  • Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour January 15, 2021 at 8:41 am

    These are all amazing reads Hayley! I didn’t read any books apart from my school books in 2020 lol. I really need to up my reading game. I haven’t read any of these books but LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE caught my attention big time lol. I love romantic stories lol. Great post x and oh yea your to-be-read list looks fun too!

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks Ruth! 🙂

  • Jessica Khater January 15, 2021 at 9:34 am

    I absolutely love reading and I envy how many books you are able to read in a week. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time. However, I’d love to read Like water for chocolate.

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks Jessica! I find that reading just before bed for an hour or so helps massively in getting a book or two read a week. And short books are great – the combined page count for these two was just over 300 pages? 🙂

  • Lucy January 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I love the sound of the books on your TBR pile, I hope you manage to read them all lovely! x

    Lucy |

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Lucy, I suspect I won’t be able to read all of them but it’s nice to keep a record of them anyway – just in case! 🙂 x

  • Jaya Avendel January 15, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Loved reading this! Like Water For Chocolate sounds interesting and is probably historically accurate in terms of the relationship between a young girl and an older man . . . such things did happen, though I admit I am not such a big fan of that kind of relationship in film or writing either.

    All Systems Red sounds like a skillful book that manages to tell such a good story, it is acceptable to put the strange names aside. I look forward to checking it out!

    If you wait long enough, all the books you have your eye on eventually are reduced. 😉

    • Hayley January 16, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      I think we came to the conclusion that it would have been around the 1920s so you’re probably right. Though it’s not clear if he is dramatically older, he’s just leery and gross IMO haha.

      Also you’re so right, I keep a wishlist so I can keep an eye on price drops. Saves me loads each year! 😁

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