Book Bingo 2020: A Success Because I Say So

What a year. I will keep saying that before every discussion about my achievements and non achievements because honestly it’s a miracle we got out of bed in the morning half the time this year.

In blogging and Book Bingo specific terms, I am super proud of my achievement on this card this year, even more than when I completed the whole thing in 2018. I got my fairy tale retelling done, I got a romantic suspense AND, more importantly, I got a play read! I was so excited, I have had that on there for so many years and I never did it but this year I have! So if we take nothing else from this dumpster fire year than at least I read a play.

Some of the books that I read this year were beyond incredible. Titles like Once and Future were phenomenal, plus getting to see the conclusion to the Truly Devious series with The Hand on the Wall. Even finally getting to read some classics like Animals of Farthing Wood was a great surprise. Since I did my reading this year mainly through audiobooks that tended to play a hand at what I read due to availability and access, but even so, the books I discovered and finally got to read because I had an audio to listen to was great. Some were also, how shall we say, not great, but I enjoyed the diversity of my reads and I took a lot of chances on books instead of sticking with ones I knew and in doing so I found some incredible stories.

Many of the books used on this card have been on my TBR list for years, like The Sun is also a Star and The Lightning Thief; series like The Lunar Chronicles I have been meaning to read every year and yet I never get far or don’t even start, but this year I went from start to finish and my gosh what an incredible experience that was! I also loved the titles I took a chance on because they fulfilled a bingo square and in doing so I got to read some amazing stories and gain perspective on a variety of experiences.

Check out my previous update for mini reviews or click the titles to read my review. I’m sad my reviews got a little behind this year but I am hoping to catch up next year so I will hopefully update the post with links when they are made.

2020 Release: One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

Reread: Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Set in Australia: The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

POC Author: 10 Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Transgender MC: I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

Non Fiction: Queerstories ed. by Maeve Marsden

Lesbian MC: Pulp by Robin Talley

Mystery: The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Debut Author: The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

Own Voices: Love From A to Z by S.K Ali

Self Published: Harvest by Nikki Rae

Fairytale Retelling: Fairytales for Feisty Girls by Susannah McFarlane

Free Choice: Once & Future by A.R Capetta

Finish A Series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

On TBR Pile: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Romantic Suspense: Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

Play: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Movie Adaptation: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Gay MC: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Shortlisted Book: When Billy Was A Dog by Kirsty Murray

Historical: Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

Classic: Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann

Rural: All I Want For Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas by Terry Deary

Published: 6th October 2016Goodreads badge
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★ – 5 Stars

It’s history with the NASTY bits left in!

Do you want to know:
– A very rude pantomine song?
– Why making Christmas pudding used to be a crime?
– How to get rid of carol singers?

Horrible Christmas tells you all the festive facts you ever wanted to find out but were too stuffed full of mince pies to ask.

It’s Christmas time and what better way to celebrate than with a fabulous book that tells you everything you know about Christmas is either wrong or even more interesting than you thought? Legendary series Horrible Histories has taken hold of Christmas and filled up this fabulous book with trivia, fun facts, and a whole heap of history both intriguing and horrible all relating to this the festive season.

The book is also incredible funny and quirky and I loved learning all the facts about Christmas and the surrounding myths and associations. There are multiple quizzes to test your knowledge and it is fascinating about all the old traditions that have either been forgotten or the ones that live on today but I had no idea of the original reasons why. There’s some science in there too as the realities of Santa’s sleighing and reindeer endeavours are worked out with maths and logic (a lot funner than it sounds), plus the horrible bits of history that wouldn’t be Horrible Histories without it.

The book is laid out with pictures, colours, and trivia boxes and full page stories. There are topics like chapters breaking up the book into relevant information like Christmas Carols, Christmas History, Rotten Christmas etc that keep the topics together but there is still general crossover. Great to pop in and out of when you need a certain fun fact.

I love learning new things and fun facts and trivia are some of my favourite things in the world so this book is right up my alley and it is presented in such a fun and non-intimidating way that it is easily accessible. It isn’t just page after page of facts, the best part is you learn things in different ways, not just quizzes, not just the fact lists but with storytelling and humorous writing too. Information like the first Christmas card was printed in 1843, or that kissing under the mistletoe comes from a Druid tradition are told in clever ways that are interactive and make it a fun experience.

My favourite fun facts from the book must be included here because they are wonderful:

  • There were no angels around when Jesus was born. The reporters wrote in Greek of ‘angelos’ being there which is not Greek for angels, it’s Greek for ‘messengers’.
  • Silent Night was first played on a guitar.
  • The first record of Christmas being written down is in 1038 in a Saxon book where it appears as Cristes Maesse.
  • Little Jack Horner (of thumb in pie fame) was actually a monk who (supposedly) tricked Henry VIII out of a land deed at Christmas.
  • In the 1600s the Germans decided that the Christ Child should be worshipped at Christmas. They called him Christkindl – German for Christ Child. This became Kris Kringle and became a name for Santa Claus instead.
  • Rudolph was created for an advert in 1939
  • In the 1800s Christmas had almost died out but Charles Dickens bought back its popularity with ‘A Christmas Carol’.

There’s definitely a lot more but these ones stood out. There’s so much to learn in this book about old customs, traditions from Victorians and other eras, other countries, present day and the past. It is fascinating to see what feels like an ingrained tradition or idea is actually manufactured or something so old was really a simple thing at first.

If you have been a fan of Horrible Histories in the past this is a great addition with a nice holiday theme, but if this is your first experience of Horrible Histories it is also a great book because you get to learn a little more about Christmas and its history and love the joyfulness that is Horrible Histories.

You can purchase Horrible Christmas via the following

QBDDymocks | Amazon

AWW 2020 Wrap Up

This has been a strange year for my AWW Challenge – I read a lot of books but haven’t gotten around to reviewing that many yet. And I started strong but then had a small slump and then somehow have come back strong at the end. And while my number looks huge compared to what I usually achieve, I have come in big with picture books with them taking up almost half of my total. I don’t have any guilt about this however which is a surprise to no one more than myself because I know what kind of year I have had and know it is a pure miracle I have read anything at all so to be able to have such a phenomenal number is amazing. Plus I read a lot of CBCA and Christmas picture books which bumped up my numbers.

My final total for the year is 58 read and 20 reviewed which is an almost win from my 40 read, 30 reviewed goal from the start of the year. I read over 200 books this year and the AWW made up 30% of those. This is a 5% increase from last year so maybe in 2021 I can make it 35% or higher. I don’t need to worry that I haven’t got reviews for them all yet, I have all next year to get some reviews included but to have read this many, mainly accidentally, is astounding. I am curious about what next year will bring. The 2021 AWW Challenge sign up is already up but I don’t think I’m ready to set a number yet. I need to get through this year first, see it to the end and then I can focus on 2021.

Did you participate in the AWW this year? If so how did you go? Or if not, with a new year nearly upon us it’s a great chance to jump on board for the 2021 challenge and discover the wonderful women writers Australia has to offer.


AWW 2020 Books Read and Reviewed

Fairytales for Feisty Girls by Susannah McFarlane

Growing Up Queer in Australia ed Benjamin Lee – Review

Summer Time by Hilary Bell

Goodwood by Holly Throsby – Review

A Day at the Show by Gwyn Perkins – Review

Just the Way We Are by Jessica Shirvington – Review

Shout out to the Girls Review

Meerkat Choir by Nicki Greenberg – Review

Celeste the Giraffe Loved to Laugh by Celeste Barber – Review

Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

The Mistake by Wendy James

Meet Me at the Intersection ed Rebecca Lim

Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward

Clancy the Quokka by Lilli Wilkinson – Review

Star Crossed by Minnie Darke – Review

A Trip to the Beach by Gwyn Perkins

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Faking It (#2) by Gabrielle Tozer – Review

The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

Those Other Women Nicola Moriarty – Review

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume – Review

The Anzac Bilby by Claire Saxby

The Easter Bunnyroo by Susannah Chambers

Archibald the Naughtiest Elf in the World Causes Trouble for the Easter Bunny by Skye Davidson

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah – Review

Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson – Review

Queer Stories ed. Maeve Marsden

Ella and the Ocean by Lian Tanner

My Friend Fred by Frances Watts

Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian by Dorothy Wall – Review

Blinky Bill Grows Up by Dorothy Wall – Review

Blinky Bill and Nutsy by Dorothy Wall – Review

All I Want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr

This Is a Ball by Beck Stanton

Who’s Your Real Mum? by Bernadette Green

My Folks Grew Up in the ’80s by Beck Feiner

The Red Book by Beck Stanton

There’s no such thing! By Heidi McKinnon

All Through The Year by Jane Godwin

Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

Little Dog and the Christmas Wish by Corinne Fenton

A Very Quacky Christmas by Frances Watts – Review

What Do You Wish For? by Jane Godwin

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly

An Aussie Day Before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland – Review

Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses

Cleo and Rob by Helen Brown

Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson

Theodore the Unsure by Pip Smith

Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarky

The Cute Penguin by Gabriel Evans

When Billy Was a Dog by Kirsty Murray

Baz & Benz by Heidi McKinnon

Ivanhoe Swift Left Home at Six by Jane Godwin

Are These Hen’s Eggs by Christina Booth

Miss Kraken by Nicki Greenberg

Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

The Naked Penguin by Kym Larder

Whitney and Britney, Chicken Divas by Lucinda Gifford – Review


Cover Reveal: Harvest (#5) by Nikki Rae


It feels like an eternity in coming but the fifth book in The Order series is almost here! The book is called Harvest and I am here to show off the gorgeous cover and throw in a few teasers as well. Nikki Rae always had spectacular covers and I think this one suits the fifth book in a seductive and dangerous series. If you’re new to Rae’s books you can catch up on the previous four by following the links below. If you enjoy dark romances and secret societies than this may be the series for you. You can read my reviews of this series here.


The Wolf has captured his prey, but that isn’t enough to satiate him. Like chess pieces, he has gathered all the members of House Chimera except one: Elliot. 

Fawn, Odette, and Marius are kept prisoner, forced to perform the Wolf’s most trivial tasks in exchange for a basement cell. The butler of Lyon Estate clings to reality while Master Lyon’s wife is a shell of herself. In the New Order, Fawn is key, and she struggles to infiltrate the Wolf’s mind while the Wolf uses her to lure the head of their House to his lair.

This game has been pre-planned, but that doesn’t mean the rules can’t change. Like any other predator, the Wolf has other needs. Fortunately for Elliot and Fawn, they have been trained all their lives for men with needs like his. Everything leaves a scar, but this might kill them. Can they survive not only the New Order Mansion, but the darkest parts of each other?




Harvest will be released 29 December 2020

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AWW Update Oct-Dec

Curiously I read nothing by Aussie women in October or November so from my update in Oct I am jumping into December. A lot of these are picture books because aside from trying to find some cute Chrissy picture books I sussed out the CBCA list and read a few of those as well. I found a few missing from the previous update so I’ve added them in where they belong but even without those I’ve added another 15 books in December. It brings my total to 58 which is pretty awesome. I haven’t reviewed all of these yet but I will be so I’ll have to count that towards next year’s reviews. There’s some pretty fun books on this list though so I’m looking forward to reviewing them soon.

AWW20 BOOKS Oct – Dec

All I Want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr

This Is a Ball by Beck Stanton

Who’s Your Real Mum? by Bernadette Green

My Folks Grew Up in the ’80s by Beck Feiner

The Red Book by Beck Stanton

There’s no such thing! By Heidi McKinnon

All Through The Year by Jane Godwin

Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

Little Dog and the Christmas Wish by Corinne Fenton

A Very Quacky Christmas by Frances Watts – Review

What Do You Wish For? by Jane Godwin

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly

An Aussie Day Before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland – Review

Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses


Read: 58/40

Reviewed: 20/30

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