Review: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Going Postal

Book Thirty-Three of the Discworld Series

Book One of Moist von Lipwig

by Terry Pratchett

Fantasy | 352 Pages | First published by Doubleday in 2004

| Rating |

| TL;DR |

Going Postal tells the tale of Moist von Lipwig – con artist, thief and professional liar. When his innumerable crimes finally catch up with him, he is offered the position of Postmaster General in return for his life, a position which might just be trying to kill him anyway. Tasked with restoring the defunct Ankh-Morpork Post Office, Moist von Lipwig has one chance to prove himself as he goes head to head with Discworld’s biggest corporation.

With Junior Postmen, golems and letters aplenty, Going Postal is a madcap tale that delights in absurdity and is nothing short of a joy to read from beginning to end. Exquisitely written and absurdly funny throughout, the thirty third addition to the Discworld series couldn’t be more highly recommended.

| Synopsis |

Moist von Lipwig is a con artist…

… and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork’s ailing postal service back on its feet.

It’s a tough decision.

The post is a creaking old institution, overshadowed by new technology. But there are people who still believe in it, and Moist must become one of them if he’s going to see that the mail gets through, come rain, hail, sleet, dogs, the Post Office Workers Friendly and Benevolent Society, an evil chairman . . . and a midnight killer.

Getting a date with Adora Bell Dearheart would be nice, too.

So perhaps there is a shot at redemption in the mad world of the mail, waiting for a man who’s prepared to push the envelope . . .

| Review |

Con-artist, swindler and thief – Moist von Lipwig was extremely good at his job, that was until he wasn’t. Arrested and sentenced to death for his innumerable crimes, he no longer has any tricks left up his sleeve.

But as the hangman’s noose tightens around his neck and the world turns black, a new opportunity emerges. Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, will grant Moist a reprieve if he should accomplish a deceptively simple task. As Ankh-Morpork’s new Postmaster General, Moist von Lipwig must restore the Post Office to its rightful position as the preeminent messenger service of the city – a job easier said than done.

The Post Office is a tired, derelict building overflowing with thousands of undelivered letters; his staff amount to one ancient Junior Postman and one Apprentice Postman with an unhealthy obsession for pins; his predecessors have all met untimely and often gruesome deaths; and he must go in direct competition with the business behemoth, The Grand Trunk Semaphore Company

But if anyone can con an entire city into believing he actually knows what he is doing, then Moist von Lipwig can. Aided by his unfortunate staff, an ever watchful golem, and the chain-smoking Adora Belle Dearheart, Moist von Lipwig may just be able to deliver. His life most assuredly depends upon it.

Discworld is ever an analogy for our own world and our own human failings, and Going Postal is no exception. It pokes fun of petty bureaucracy, of unnecessary rules and regulations, and of our inclination towards the absurd. It is a brilliant satire that feels all too British and all too familiar, and acutely demonstrates the genius of Terry Pratchett’s wit and observation.

From pin collectors to stamp collectors to clacks enthusiasts, Going Postal turns the mundane into a bright and witty narrative that becomes ever the more humorous the closer to reality it gets. Refreshing in both its plot and in its delivery, this is a novel that revels in the ridiculous as it takes the reader on a not entirely sane journey through Ankh-Morpork’s establishment.

The city of Ankh-Morpork, its crumbling Post Office and its ever more deficient postal service are described in vivid detail from the perspective of an outsider to the city. And in this somewhat derelict building occupied by the (perhaps quite literal) ghosts of thousands of undelivered letters, Moist von Lipwig more than proves his mettle in a surprising narrative that is laced with phantoms, intrigue and the occasional letter.

The progressive and prosperous clacks towers – something akin to a gargantuan version of Chappe’s Telegraph – thread their way across the city and out to destinations afar, and provide the reader with a sense of the enormity and impossibility of the task at hand. They – the unforgiving Grand Trunk Semaphore Company and their prolific director Reacher Gilt – also play the role of chief adversary in this tale, stirring up long held anger and providing Moist with an unpleasant reflection of his own unsavoury past.

And even if the insanely brilliant plot and richly developed world weren’t enough, Mr. Pratchett suffuses his tale with a myriad of madcap, brilliant characters that more than steal the show throughout. Our protagonist, Moist von Lipwig is a conman, a thief and a liar but he also plays an important role as the eyes – and sometimes the voice – of the reader as he experiences Ankh-Morpork, the Post Office and the strange people who inhabit it.

Supported by the ageing Junior Postman Tolliver Groat, who has a penchant for the Regulations and dangerous home remedies, Apprentice Postman Stanley, who has an unhealthy obsession with pins, and Adora Belle Dearheart, Manager of The Golem Trust, the character of Moist von Lipwig is only made more brilliant, more astute and more likeable by their apparent absurdity.  And the ever watchful and knowing presence of Lord Vetinari, who plays the role of puppet master so deftly and in such an eloquent manner, unashamedly charms with his darkly manipulative character.

Terry Pratchett has a created a flawlessly brilliant novel with a vibrancy and humour that suffuses the narrative from beginning to end. His wit is sharp, his writing is punchy and to the point, and his prose conjures a world of sheer bureaucratic brilliance that both mocks and endears us to The Ankh-Morpork Post Office, and perhaps even our own real-world equivalent.

The thirty-third addition to the Discworld collection is anything but stale, providing a refreshing and brilliantly witty tale that both surprised and captivated me throughout. For fans of Discworld old and new, Going Postal couldn’t come more highly recommended. Never have three hundred odd pages felt so few.

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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This Week by Proxy: 03 – 09 August

Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!

| This Week by Proxy: 03 – 09 August 2020 |

Another hot and sunny end to a busy week spent indoors! Yesterday we took an expedition along the canal to feed the ducks, and my stepdaughter took us on a detour down some wooded paths to find some fairies where, by (not unintended) chance, we came across Rapunzel’s tower. Now it is, in fact, either a folly or what was meant to be a chimney for an unfinished mining ventilation shaft but it suited a three year old’s imagination very well. We then spent the rest of the day in the garden, watering plants, playing with the bunnies and reading books. Not a bad weekend at all!

I hope you are all well and have had a wonderfully, bookish week! 

| Books Read |

This week I finished Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie and Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey and they were both wonderfully entertaining reads in very different ways. It has taken me an awfully long time to get round to reading Sharp Ends, so I’m particularly happy to have finally read it, and Leviathan Wakes really was an incredible start to a series that I cannot wait to continue. 

| Currently Reading |

This week I started The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor, a historical crime fiction novel set in the year of The Great Fire of London. It is an excellent read so far, very detailed and beautifully written with interesting characters and details – Taylor’s writing is most definitely a feast for the senses. The architect in me is particularly enjoying the ties to Christopher Wren’s vision of London and the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

I have also started listening to the audiobook for The Doors of Eden, which I try and squeeze in any time I can, and have finally (hurrah!) picked up All Systems Red, the first novella in The Murderbot Diaries.

| Upcoming Reviews |

I am still slogging my way through the review list, making slow and steady progress. Now that a few deadlines are out of the way at work I’m hoping the time I spend doing unpaid overtime is finally going to be minimised and I can spend more of my time writing reviews! 

| Watching |

The other half and I have finally finished the second season of The Order, which was both silly and highly entertaining, and have started watching the second season of The Umbrella Academy. I have also made it to the third season of Humans, which I am enjoying very much. 

| Gaming |

I submitted to peer pressure this week and started playing GTFO, a survival horror cooperative first-person shooter which is both a challenge and brilliantly entertaining. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I am doing and , seeing as the other half is playing it while I write this post, it will probably be top of the list for the coming week too! I have also played limited amounts of both Apex Legends and No Man’s Sky, both of which I am still thoroughly enjoying.

| Posts |

Review: Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

Music Mondays: 0:59

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title

Teaser Tuesdays: Leviathan Wakes

Waiting on Wednesday: The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Friday Face-Off: Action

Friday Firsts: The Ashes of London

I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August

Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!

| This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August 2020 |

This week’s post is actually a two-week post, as last week my weekend was so chaotic that I didn’t find any time to wrap up anything! I did, however, do some gardening with a three year old, read many a children’s book, drank copious amounts of wine, and had an insanely lengthy trip to Ikea where I spent a veritable fortune on items that I hadn’t planned on buying in the first place! But such is life.

I have also managed to enjoy several socially distanced meet ups with both my parents and my partner’s parents, which was a lovely change to my somewhat house-bound working week. However, both their areas have now gone into an extended lockdown period and we will be unable to meet up until restrictions have been lifted again.

I hope you are all safe and well and I can’t wait to catch up on your bookish posts during the week!

| Books Read |

I finally finished Ashes of the Sun, the first in a new fantasy series by Django Wexler, which proved to be a beautifully wrought and complex tale of siblings who find themselves on opposite sides of a war that has lasted the ages. This was a joy to read from beginning to end and has me itching to see what else Wexler has to offer.

I also finished Becky Chambers’ novella, To Be Taught, If Fortunate, which tells the tale of the crew of the Merian as they explore, study and catalogue their findings of strange, new worlds. While not in the same league as the Wayfarers series, this was still an enjoyable tale which explores several interesting concepts.

I also completed my second Jeeves novel, Right Ho, Jeeves, which I rather enjoyed, and a collection of Blandings short stories, Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best.

| Currently Reading |

I just can’t cope with how in love I am with Leviathan Wakes. If a book can be devoured, then every time this one is opened up it is a feast for the mind. The worlds, the ships, the people – they’re all so clearly and wonderfully wrought that I feel lucky to be reading it.

I have also finally gotten around to reading Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie which, for some unknown reason, I’ve left high and dry on my bookshelf – pristine signed hardback looking down at me in stunning blue. I am thoroughly ashamed! With short tales of new and familiar characters, I couldn’t be happier to be back in the world of The First Law.

| Upcoming Reviews |

I am definitely struggling to stop myself from reading and start reviewing at the moment. I partially blame my excessive hours behind a computer whilst working from home but, in all honesty, everything I’m reading is so exciting that I’m too eager to go onto the next thing before I’ve given myself some time to process. I will, however, be playing a bit of catch up this week (as I certainly don’t want to fall any further behind!) and should have all the above reviews out in the next two weeks.  

| Watching |

The other half and I are slowly making our way through The Order in between bouts of gaming, while I’ve been watching Humans, an addictive science fiction series about AI and synthetic consciousness. I first started watching Humans when it was first released and, for some unknown reason, failed to continue – so I have plenty to catch up on!

| Gaming |

For the past two weeks I have been playing copious amounts of No Man’s Sky and Red Dead Redemption 2, interspersed with Apex Legends. No Man’s Sky is a beautiful and expansive game of planetary exploration which I now believe I’m slightly addicted to. Likewise, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning, chaotic and wild ride across the Wild West. Had I not already chosen my Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years, which will be posted next week, these two would almost certainly be featured.

| Posts |

Review: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Music Mondays: Huggin & Kissin

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Festivals in the UK

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

Teaser Tuesdays: Ashes of the Sun

Teaser Tuesdays: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Waiting on Wednesday: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Friday Face-Off: Framed

The Friday Face-Off: White

Friday Firsts: Leviathan Wakes

I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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This Week by Proxy: 13 – 19 July

Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!

| This Week by Proxy: 13 – 19 July 2020 |

With work deadlines, socially-distanced birthdays and family gatherings aplenty, this week has been busy, busy, busy! This has resulted in my reviews and Top Tens of the Past Two Years taking a bit of a dive – if you can call it a dive after such a prolonged absence – but hopefully I will be back on schedule next week!

I hope you have all had fantastic weeks and I cannot wait to read all your latest recommendations!

| Books Read |

Becky Chambers’ A Closed and Common Orbit is so beautifully written and so heartwarming that I had tears in my eyes as it came to a close. It truly is a wonderful space opera and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough! It also means that I am having to restrain myself from opening Record of a Spaceborn Few immediately!

On top of my Wayfarers indulgence, I also read The Man with One Name, a novella in Tom Lloyd’s God Fragments series. Having left such a long period between reading Stranger of Tempest and Princess of Blood, I thought it best if I reintroduced myself to the world through the accompanying prequel before embarking on the next feature length novel – and it must have worked because I cannot wait to start!

I also completed A Pelican at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse, the eleventh novel in the Blandings series. Although this novel follows the same formula used time and time again throughout this series, A Pelican at Blandings really was quite entertaining and, as usual, didn’t fail to make me smile. 

| Currently Reading |

Having finally finished A Closed and Common Orbit, I find myself unable to get enough of Becky Chambers’ writing. So, while Record of a Spaceborn Few burns a hole in my Kindle, I have started reading her stand-alone novella, To be Taught, If Fortunate. So far, so good.

With the publishing date looming, I have also started reading Django Wexler’s epic, Ashes of the Sun. This is the first novel of Wexler’s I have ever read and I can’t seem to put it down at all – never a bad sign! I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all!

| Upcoming Reviews |

Life, the universe and everything have put me a little behind schedule but, never fear, I will have reviews for Going Postal, A Closed and Common Orbit and The Man with One Name coming up over the next week or so. With all three books over the four star mark, you can expect some very happy responses!

| Watching |

While the other half and I continue watching Warrior Nun and the second season of The Order, I have finally gotten around to watching The Sinner. Weaving mystery, murder and a complex, layered narrative, the first season starts with Cora’s story and is seriously addictive. If you like dark psychological crime thrillers, this really is for you!

| Gaming |

In between numerous failed bouts of Apex Legends, I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. Having never had a console before and having never played Zelda before, this has been a wonderful and addictive introduction! Thank you to everyone who recommended this!

| Posts |

Review: How to Rule An Empire and Get Away With It

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile

Teaser Tuesdays: The Man with One Name by Tom Lloyd

Waiting on Wednesday: Tales from the Folly by Ben Aaronovitch

The Friday Face-Off: Just as it Seems

Friday Firsts: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!

| Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile |

Books can make us smile for many reasons, they can be happy or they can be sad, they can be triumphantly savage or just darn-right hilarious. This week, I’ve broken down my Top Ten into the reasons these books make me smile, from the very first to the very last. And who knows, maybe one day one of these books will make you smile too!

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By.heart

| 1. |

The First Book That Made Me Smile

Where’s Spot?

by Eric Hill


I am reliably informed by my mother that nothing would bring me more joy as a baby than Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. This little beauty even came with a Spot the Dog toy that, by the time I was too old to play with it, was a lovely shade of well loved brown and was for all intents and purposes the family dog. heart

| 2. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Going Postal

Book Thirty-Three of the Discworld Series

by Terry Pratchett


I am almost certain that any Pratchett novel could be inserted under this title and still be relevant. Going Postal was, however, the last Pratchett novel I read and is well deserved of the title of Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud – as I did, multiple times.


| 3 |

A Book That Made Me Cheer

(For death, mayhem, and bloody destruction)

The Blade Itself

Book One of The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie


There is no other author that brings me joy like Lord Grimdark himself. Witty, exciting, visceral and bloody brilliant; every single one of Joe Abercrombie’s books is a masterpiece that makes me, as a reader, feel inexplicably jubilant. And seeing as it was The Blade Itself that commenced this half-life-long obsession, it was only right that it should find its place on this list. heart

| 4. |

A Book That Brings Me Comfort

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge


The Little White Horse is a beautiful children’s novel which captivated me throughout my childhood. Reading (and repeatedly re-reading) an old, yellowed copy of the book which had belonged to my mother, the magical writing and wonderful illustrations whisked me away to Moonacre Manor and has remained a favourite ever since.

My particular favourite illustration was the one shown above which I used to stare at, so very hard, and wish that one day I would have a room just like Maria Merryweather’s.


| 5. |

A Book That Changed My Life

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien


And once again Mamma Proxy shows her literary influence! I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten years old and it has been read and re-read many, many times since. Those of you who love Tolkien need no description, this book has defined and influenced so many in so many aspects of their life that the only reaction is to smile.


| 6. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh as a Child

The Bartimaeus Trilogy

by Jonathan Stroud


If it wasn’t my mother getting me into all her favourite reads, it was my great uncle researching the latest and greatest in children’s fiction to spend my birthday book vouchers on. The Bartimaeus Trilogy was sarcastic, funny and everything I didn’t know I wanted and more! In fact, I loved it so much that a re-read wouldn’t go amiss. Bravo Uncle Ted, you pulled that one out of the bag.


| 7. |

A Book I Loved as a Teenager

Lion of Senet

Book One of the Second Sons Trilogy

by Jennifer Fallon


As a teenager, The Second Sons Trilogy absolutely blew me away. It was exciting, action packed, with twists and turns a-plenty and, up until that point, had the biggest cast of evil bastards I had ever had the pleasure to read. Slow to start but a joy all round, this series is a YA epic that I wouldn’t be sorry to re-read.


| 8. |

A Book I Should Have Read Much Sooner

The Importance of Being Earnest 

by Oscar Wilde


The Importance of Being Earnest was the first Oscar Wilde book I read and, while I had of course heard of his comedy credentials, it was in fact so much funnier than I expected it to be. Wilde is so witty and so eloquent that every moment spent with this book was pure, unadulterated joy.heart

| 9. |

A Book That Came as a Surprise

Senlin Ascends 

Book One of The Books of Babel

by Josiah Bancroft


Beautifully descriptive with more than a little dose of steampunk and Victoriana, the first in this fantasy series chronicles Thomas Senlin’s momentous and utterly chaotic ascent through the Tower of Babel in search of his misplaced wife Marya. Having not read anything about about this prior to cracking it open, Senlin Ascends came as a thoroughly enjoyable surprise.heart

| 10. |

The Last Book That Made Me Smile

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers


I finished A Closed and Common Orbit yesterday… and it was absolutely amazing! As I read the final paragraphs I had tears in my eyes, my heart was soaring and I was so goddamn happy. This book – nay, this series! – is so very highly recommended. If you haven’t already, add it to your TBR!


Which books make you smile?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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This Week by Proxy: 06 – 12 July

Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I look back on the past week to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted and the goals I’ve completed.

| This Week by Proxy: 06 – 12 July 2020 |

Ahh my second Sunday and it still feels so good to be back! I have spent a lot of time catching up on your wonderful blogs, reading reviews and generally enjoying this amazing community. I think I may have enjoyed it a little too much though as WordPress decided to confine me to several spam folders on Friday… which I entirely blame on my enthusiasm for commenting following such a prolonged absence!

I hope you have all had wonderful weekends and I can’t wait to see all your posts this coming week!

| Books Read |

After completing my Top Ten Tuesday, I had a sudden and irresistible urge to read more works by P.G. Wodehouse. Having only ever read stand-alone or Blandings novels, I decided to venture into the realms of Reginald Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The Inimitable Jeeves is the first full length Jeeves novel out of a series comprising of eleven full length novels and thirty-five short stories – a series which is bound to keep me busy for a lifetime!

Now I have a bit of a soft spot for Blandings so no sooner had I completed The Inimitable Jeeves, I picked up yet another Blandings novel in order to get my fix of Lord Emsworth and the magnificent Empress. Galahad at Blandings was, as usual, an amusing and chaotic affair which was enjoyed alongside the excellent fantasy novel How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It by K.J. Parker. 

| Currently Reading |

While you might think two P.G. Wodehouse novels in one week would keep me ticking over for some time you would, in fact, be entirely wrong. As soon as Galahad at Blandings reached its joyful conclusion I reached for A Pelican at Blandings, another truly dotty book from the master of wit.

As Wodehouse novels tend to be distinctly different and a lot shorter than my ‘main’ reads, I find them relatively easy to squeeze in and around more complex or longer novel, such as the truly wonderful A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, which I am enjoying immensely!

| Upcoming Reviews |

For those of you I have spoken to in the week about Terry Pratchett, I apologise. For some reason I have continually referred to Going Postal, an incredibly witty novel about the fantastical postal service of Ankh-Morpork, as ‘Postal Service’, which is literally just describing its contents. This, however, just makes me love the bureaucratic madness that is this book even more…  and I have a sneaking suspicion that Junior Postman Tolliver Groat would approve of such direct and to the point ‘regulation’ descriptions. I hope to have a review out for both Going Postal and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It this week!

| Watching |

While catching up with the third season of Killing Eve and the brilliant I May Destroy You, the other half and I have started to watch Warrior Nun on Netflix. While I expected this to be a cheesy and mediocre offering, I really am rather enjoying it and find myself eagerly awaiting the next episode. I’m also not going to deny that if there is hype for warrior nuns I am all for it as the Book of the Ancestor is just ripe for dramatisation!

| Gaming |

This week I have continued to play the fifth season of Apex Legends. After achieving rank Gold IV in the season’s first half, I was very close to putting it down and starting an entirely new game (as usually I just play Apex as a ‘filler’ game between larger titles) but lo and behold the ranks and maps reset and I have once again been suckered back in!

The other half and I also purchased a Nintendo Switch but I am yet to play anything as I am still umm-ing and aah-ing over which game I want to play! Let me know if you have any suggestions!

| Posts |

Review: Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker

The Friday Face-Off: The Sea Brought You. The Sea Shall Have You Back. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Teaser Tuesdays: How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It by K.J. Parker

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie

The Friday Face-Off: At the End of Every Light, is a Tunnel of Darkness.

Friday Firsts: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years

I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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