Shelf Control #36 & Reading Right Now 07/08/19


Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post, here.

13001012The Sealed Letter
by Emma Donoghue

Helen Codrington is unhappily married. Emily ‘Fido’ Faithfull hasn’t seen her once-dear friend for years. Suddenly, after bumping into Helen on the streets of Victorian London, Fido finds herself reluctantly helping Helen to have an affair with a young army officer.

The women’s friendship quickly unravels amid courtroom accusations of adultery, counter-accusations of cruelty and attempted rape, and the appearance of a mysterious ‘sealed letter’ that could destroy more than one life . . .

Based on a real-life scandal that gripped England in 1864, Emma Donoghue’s The Sealed Letter is a delicious tale of secrets, betrayal, and forbidden love.

The only book I’ve read of Donoghue’s is The Wonder, which I liked but didn’t love, but I would like to try more of her work. I have a copy of her short story collection, Kissing the Witch, on my kindle that I’d like to read soon, and for years I’ve owned a copy of The Sealed Letter which I picked up in a charity shop. All I really know about it is that it’s a historical novel with queer women and that’s all I needed to know to buy it, but for whatever reason I’ve never been inclined to pick it up as of yet. Getting through the backlist books on my shelves is something I need to work on!

Have you read The Sealed Letter? Would you recommend it? Which books have been on your TBR shelf the longest?


It’s the first week of the N.E.W.Ts Readathon! I’d like to get as much reading done this month as I can, so here’s what I’ve been reading recently…



So far I’ve achieved an A in Astronomy and an A in History of Magic, the latter of which I achieved with Grace Draven’s Phoenix Unbound. I’ve been keen to read more Draven since I had so much fun with Entreat Me back in the spring, but unfortunately I didn’t love this one as much and a lot of it frustrated me. I had some issues with consent that I’ll get into in my review, so look out for that if you’re interested in my thoughts!


I was originally planning on picking up These Rebel Waves next for my A in Defence Against the Dark Arts, but for whatever reason I wasn’t quite in the mood for it and I could feel myself heading towards a dreaded slump, which is not what I want in the middle of the N.E.W.Ts!

I decided to give the first chapter of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs a try and was immediately pulled in. This book will count towards my A in Potions. To be honest I don’t quite have a grasp on this world or exactly what’s going on yet, but I’m content to not know and just let myself experience this story because I love the way Bennett writes people.


As much as I love my fantasy, I don’t want to suffer a fantasy burn-out, so I think I’m going to reach for Ruta Sepetys’ Salt to the Sea next which will count towards my E in History of Magic; I need an O in that subject for my chosen career, so the sooner I accomplish that, the better! I’m sure this book’s going to break my heart, but I think it’ll be a good palate cleanser for me to read some historical fiction with no SFF elements before I pick up one of the other fantasy novels on my TBR.

Are you taking part in the N.E.W.Ts? What’re you reading right now?

5 thoughts on “Shelf Control #36 & Reading Right Now 07/08/19

  1. Lisa says:

    Great Shelf Control choice! The only book I’ve read by her is Room, and I’ve been wanting to try some of her historical fiction. This one sounds really good! I do need to read Salt to the Sea as well. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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