First Lines & Book Beginnings

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m linking up with First Line Fridays which hosted by Hoarding Books. The idea is simple, share the first line of your nearest book!

Rose City Reader hosts a similar link up on that asks for the first line or two of your current read.

Whichever link up lead you to my blog today, welcome!

This week I am sharing the first two sentences (I know I spoil you) of my current read. I’m only a short way into this book at the time of writing but my goodness I am loving it so far!

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This is taken from the wonderful children’s book ‘The Polar Bear Explorers‘ Club’ by Alex Bell.

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Don’t forget to head over to Hoarding Books and Rose City Reader to see who else is participating!



WWW Wednesday 14th March

I’ve missed a week of WWW and in that time I have renamed and redesigned my blog!

PhiliBReading (the bookish sister of my PhiliBWriting blog) has now evolved. I went looking for a new url with the word ‘story’ in and one of the suggestions was MyStoryNotes. It immediately tickled me because of the play on the word mystery (and my current obsession with Agatha Christie). From there all it took was some time playing around in Canva and Ta Da! was born 🙂

I am still trying to decide whether to refer to it as Mystory Notes or My Story Notes (I think I prefer the first one). Anyway, back to the reason you are here…


WWW Wednesday is a weekly link up at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. It challenges you to answer the three Ws of reading.


What I am currently reading:

I was away again this weekend which meant more long drives and lots of listening time! I have made it to 28% in ‘The Amber Spyglass‘ and so far am having good time listening to it. (Read my So Far So post here).

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

This book is soooooo much longer than ‘The Subtle Knife’ which I had only an hour left to listen to after doing the same drive last month. having said that, I didn’t listen for the last hour (ish) of the journey as the weather got really bad and the story was ramping up to a big fight. I decided it was best to pause the story and focus on the M25!

What I have just finished reading:

I had 49 minutes left on ‘The Subtle Knife‘ so I started my drive by finishing that off. A review will be posted soon (particularly before I get too far into ‘The Amber Spyglass’ for me to forget what happened in which story).

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)

What I will read next:

I did say previously I would be starting ‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club‘ but that hasn’t actually happened yet (still high up my TBR though). I started reading ‘Five Children and It‘ instead. I also haven’t started the book I was intending to read for March’s #BritishBooksChallenge read but then any of my other reads would count for that still.

In short, who knows what will come next?





What about you? What are your answers to the Wednesday Whats?

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole!

This idea was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story. I’m excited to give it a go so that my TBR list can be more focused and realistic. I want it to be a to-do list rather than a wish list.

My ‘Want to Read‘ shelf is currently sitting at 78, which is pretty reasonable by some book blogger standards!

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf.
  • Order by ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

So here I go, 5 steps down the rabbit hole!


Now, I did actually start reading ‘Inferno’ and ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ way back when (presumably before 2014). What I used to do when I started a book and enough time passed that I couldn’t consider it still being a ‘current’ read I would move it back to my TBR. I don’t do that now, now I move things onto a ‘paused’ shelf. Sometimes you can a book just need a break. Sometimes however they should be moved to the ‘abandoned’ shelf. After 4 years I would definitely need to start them again as I honestly can barely remember either of them!

Number 78

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)

Book Title: Inferno
Author: Dan Brown
Series: Robert Langdon, Book 4
Genres: Mystery, Adventure

add to goodreads


‘Seek and ye shall find.’

With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.

A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.

With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history’s most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

Now this is interesting, when I went to read the synopsis I noticed I had been making notes on my progress as I read:


How helpful of me.

Decision: REMOVE

Number 77

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)

Book Title: Tomorrow, When the War Began
Author: John Marsden
Series: Tomorrow, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia

add to goodreads


When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.

The synopsis sounds just like my sort of thing and I remember I was really enjoying this (who knows why I stopped). I will go back to it one day (and restart it).

Decision: KEEP

Number 76

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)

Book Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia

add to goodreads


New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Well this sounds right up my alley! And a bit scarily close to home.

Decision: KEEP

Number 75

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)

Book Title: Birthmarked
Author: Caragh M. O’Brien
Series: Birthmarked, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia

add to goodreads


In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

I am interested by this notion of selected babies being handed over. I am a less convinced by this synopsis than I have been in the others however. I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

Decision: KEEP

Number 74

The End of Mr. Y

Book Title: The End of Mr. Y
Author: Scarlett Thomas
Series: N/A
Genres: Fantasy

add to goodreads


A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere?

Ariel Manto has a fascination with nineteenth-century scientists–especially Thomas Lumas and The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between.

Seeking answers, Ariel follows in Mr. Y’s footsteps: She swallows a tincture, stares into a black dot, and is transported into the Troposphere–a wonderland where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. There she begins to understand all the mysteries surrounding the book, herself, and the universe. Or is it all just a hallucination?

Gut reaction? Nope.

Decision: REMOVE

My ‘Want to Read‘ shelf now has 76 books on it. That’s a bit better. I’m not sure how often I will do this, or whether there is a slightly better way of organising things. What I am sure about is I want to keep on reading!

How big is your TBR pile currently?



Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. The idea is simple, choose a random book from your Want To Read shelf on Goodreads and show it off! 

Want to Read Shelf Currently: 78

It feels sooooo good to be reunited with my laptop after a weekend away without it. As nice as the break was, I have been itching to get back into my normal routines as well as do some more blogging!

So here I go with my first Goodreads Monday post!

Book Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Series: N/A
Genres: Dystopian Future, Science Fiction

add to goodreads


Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television ‘family’. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

As someone with an obsession with dystopian worlds, I am really not sure why I haven’t read this book. The upcoming adaptation is probably the push I need to move this higher up my TBR list (here’s a teaser trailer for it). I know I am going to enjoy it, so why haven’t started it already? Honestly, I should stop typing about it and just get on with it!


First Line Fridays

Happy Friday Everyone! Welcome to my first, First Line Fridays post 🙂

This link up is hosted by Hoarding Books. The idea is simple, share the first line of your nearest book!

This week I am sharing the first sentence of my current read. I’m only a chapter in at time of writing and I am loving it so far!

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Ok so you are getting way more than just a line here! The first sentence (which I am using in the same way as first line in this case) seems to go on and on and on! It probably doesn’t help things that I have my kindle font size set to 5, but it does make things nice and comfortable on my eyes.

Do you recognise the book from the first sentence?

How about after seeing this image?

Yep that’s right, ‘Five Children and It‘ by E. Nesbit, which apparently I have never read before! I loved the show as a child though so I think my brain things I have read it.

Let me know the first line of the book closest to you and then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!