January Book Haul

Okayso I’ve realised why I am broke. It involves books. A lot of books. I’m proud to say that I’m reading like mad for me at the moment, but I’ve also bought a lot of discounted books too


1.   All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Carrie is one of the authors that my internship represent and I am slowly getting my way through their list very slowly I might add so I picked up Carrie’s book. It is very much a big-sister-tips manual and has a beautiful cover, it would make the perfect gift for teenage girls.

2.   Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson

As a child I had a small books about Greyfriars Bobby and it was such a sweet little book that when I saw it in a Charity shop I thought I would re-purchase it and read it again.

3.   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I bit the bullet and finally purchased a copy of this little book. It is so small, and I need to read some more classics this year, surely I can get through it

4.   Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I’ve made a slight mistake here I bought ‘Christmas’ at Cold Comfort Farm and I have never read ‘Cold Comfort Farm’. I don’t know if I can still get away with just reading this novel first or if I should purchase ‘Cold Comfort Farm’

5.   Short Stories from the 19th Century edited by David Stuart Davies

I’ve decided to read a lot more short-story collections this year and I found this book with several classics short stories by authors such as Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker and H.G.Wells, and thought it would be a perfect read to get through over the course of the year.


6.   Classic Short Stories

Keeping in the same vein as the book above I found another short story collection for 50p in my local charity shop. This book has a lot of the short stories I have studied in University over the last three years which is quite useful since I’m doing my final project this semester and now I can re-visit all of the styles my tutors taught me about.

7.  The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

I don’t know much about this book, but it is seemingly massive, and has a really funny title and opening page. It is a fairy-tale re-telling of sorts, when Nora the protagonist a grad student and newly single goes through a portal at a friend’s wedding and becomes a beauty in a new world, only for the world to get darker and turn into a fairy-tale gone wrong. Sounds intriguing enough to me.

8.   The Looking Glass House by Vanessa Tait

I’ve mentioned this book before but I’m very much looking forward to reading this book sometime soon! It is such a beautiful book and the story of Alice Liddell really interests me.

9.   Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I’m so happy I found this book lately. I’ve been wanting to read it for quite a while. This story revolves around a woman being sentenced to death in Northern Iceland in 1829. It is the story of the woman herself and I’ve heard some really good things about it.

10. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I read ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ a few years ago and I really enjoyed the book, so when I spotted this one today I thought I’d pick it up. This story is about a slave girl who is presented to a 10 year old girl as a gift. An appalling idea, with the story revolving around the relationship between the two girl.



11. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

I’ve known about this book for about a year but it seems to have blown up lately! It’s Waterstone’s Book club book and I finally purchased it today in Asda for £4. I’ve heard good and bad things about Matt Haig himself but I’m interested to read his book and see how good it is.

12. Weight by Jeanette Winterson

I’ve mentioned this book before, but the story really interests me. It is factored around the Greek Myth of Atlas who holds the weight of his world on his shoulders. One day Heracles comes to give him a day reprieve and the story is about what Atlas does on his day off. I’ve heard mainly good things.

13. The Portable Door by Tim Holt

Another previously mentioned story. A story set in a bank run by mythical creatures. It is the first of a series but a lot of people have said that the first book is readable as a stand-alone as well.



14. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

My mum has been telling me to read this book for quite a few months and this week she bought it for me she really wants me to read it!

15. How to be Both by Ali Smith

I am so thrilled to have found this! I was umming and erring over whether to buy this or not and I found the beautiful hardback edition for £2.50 and grabbed it! I can’t wait to start this a lot of people have raved about it, so look out for reviews when I’m done.

16.All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Another find and another book checked off my wish-list. This is a historical fiction story set in Paris when the Nazis invade during the Second World War. I believe there is a familial aspect and it is a bit of a tear-jerker.

17. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I read this book about three years ago and I remember being distinctly depressed afterwards and quickly passing the book along. I repurchased it as I am writing a story for my final piece at university and it has a similar vein of dystopian in it. I’ll have to see if I enjoy this book more or second time around or whether it will return to the charity shop to be loved by someone else.

So there are the books that I’ve got recently.

What books have you bought this month? Have you been controlled or splurging?

Happy Reading!

 

Surprising Book Favourites


 
I’ve been re-visiting my bookshelves lately and looking at the books that I keep and why. I keep a lot of books that I’ve read because I like to re-read books and if I love a book I will most likely read it again.

I noticed that there were books on my bookshelves that I kept but rarely mentioned and I thought that I would change this.

Here are some of my favourite books that may surprise people:

-      Happy Ever After by Harriet Evans
 
I remember, very clearly, the day I bought this. I bought it in Sainsbury’s for £4 and the reason being that was because my first name and surname are on the back-cover and I thought that this was a sign. I actually really enjoyed this book. The protagonist is starting in a book publishers, has a mother with a mental disorder and she goes on the journey of love with two different men. It is an adult contemporary and I thought it was pretty good.

-      Room by Emma Donoghue
I have mentioned this book before but I still can’t get this book out of my head, not only because the movie has recently come out it is heart-wrenching and impressively done but the book itself is so captivating and dark. The story of Jack and his mother, Joy is poignant and hard to follow but it is a story that I think people should read. Donoghue did a brilliant job of writing this novel.

-      Apache by Tanya Landman
 
I read this in year 8 in a reading club and it was the only book I read because as soon as I finished it I started it again. I often pick it up and read it again and I don’t know why. The story is about an Apache girl and revolves around her childhood as she forces the leaders to train her so she can get revenge for the death of her family. For a children’s story there is something so adult and captivating about it. I don’t know what it is, it is truly puzzling but it’s wonderful.

-      The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
 
I mentioned my love of poetry now, a newly found love, and most of the anthologies I have read, and so been inspired but, have been collections by Carol Ann Duffy. World’s Wife is definitely my favourite as they are feminist poems in the voice, or based around, famous women or famous men’s wives/sisters/lovers etc they’re humorous, easy to understand and beautifully written.

-      The C Word by Lisa Lynch
 
I mentioned this book several months ago now and it is still with me. The raw honesty of this book just packs a punch and it astounds me how this book hasn’t been a bigger deal on Booktube or within the book community. I could have missed it, since I wasn’t blogging when the book first came out, but now I have I think it is stupendously important book.

-      John Keats Poetry
 
I adore John Keats poetry. I have my favourite poems, of course, but there is something so story-like about some of Keats poetry that just picking lines out of the poems can give you butterflies in your stomach. I fall in love when I read his work, and as a romantic I imagine this would please Keats who died too young which makes it all the more tragic. I would have a Keats poem engraved on my tombstone I think.

These are a few books that I really enjoyed but don’t give the time of day as much as I should.

What books did you like/love but never mention for whatever reason?

Happy Reading!

Cry-Worthy Books



Okayso I cry more at movies than I do at books. It takes a lot of emotion in a book to make me cry, same for laughing, I’m quite a hardy person when it comes to pen and paper, but there are some that have breached the levee.

1.   The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

I think this is the only Sparks novel I have read and it is one that I remember sitting on my bed sobbing and shutting the book because of a scene between the dad and the son which just broke my heart. Romance & happiness doesn’t touch me, but throw in a daddy-daughter scene or a dad saying goodbye scene and I am gone.

2.   Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

 
I read this book over a few days and on the last few pages it was the middle of the day, I had the day off and I was sitting in the living room finishing it whilst I waited for the kettle to boilI had to re-boil the kettle an hour later as I was stuck on those pages and blinking back the tears. The ending was so powerful and it hit me hard, I felt so sorry for both Eleanor and Park, I know it was slightly hopeful but it was still so poignant.

3.   The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak



I think this is almost obligatory on this kind of posts I teared up, at the obvious scenes. And the last sentence I am haunted by humans is my favourite book quote ever. I think it is genius and it is haunting in itself. So powerful, like a punch in the heart.

4.   The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

I read this book when I was too young, I was about 13 years old and the scenes are graphic and hard-hitting, but also so powerful and I fell in love with the characters. The end scene when the Time Travellers Wife is 84 years just got me like a Chinese burn, it was so poignant and heart-lifting as well as awful that made me so sad but happy too.

5.   The C Word by Lisa Lynch

 
Lisa Lynch is one of my heroes. She was so brave and so honest that I can’t help but respect her, but also feel for her poor family who lost her to cancer. I hate cancer and this book will make you hate it more and appreciate the people that suffer through it. Whilst this book ends on a hopeful note, the reality of it stung on every page, but the humour within the passages make it a wonderful read.

6.   Spectacles by Sue Perkins

 
I read this recently and I was crying with laughter as much as I was crying with sadness. The two chapters that got me one for happiness, one for sadness got me good. I was weeping like mad. The funny one involved a bucket of piss, and I am not normally one for silly stories about effluvia, but this one just had me cracking up at midnight, I was blinded by happy tears. The sad one involves a letter that Sue wrote to her dog after putting her down. Enough said. It was like Marley & Me condensed into one chapter.
So there we have it. I don’t really cry at books, not unless there is something particularly powerful or relatable to me: pets, cancer, goodbyes is probably the gist of it.

Most surprisingly I didn’t cry at Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, why? WellI read the last book first and then saw the movie which I did cry at an insane amount! but I didn’t read all of the books until I was 15 and all of the movies had been released so they never had that emotive/shock factor that made a lot of other people cry.
 
I feel like I have to add that as that is the book that seems to appear most frequently on these kinds of posts.

But there we go. What books made you cry? Are there any you think I should try, or avoid you never know. Just drop me a comment J

Happy Reading!

Top Genres I Read in 2015 & Bookish Resolutions 2016



So when I was putting together a list of the books I read last year I decided to group them in terms of genre, to see what genres I read most and which genres I should really read more of.

Unsurprisingly, I read a lot of Young Adult fiction but I was surprised by how little I had read of other genres, and how much I had read of others

-      Young Adult: 16 Books

-      Horror: 1 Book

-      Adult Fantasy: 4 Books

-      Poetry: 8 Books (4 of them Carol Ann Duffy books)

-      Non-Fiction/Memoir: 3 Books

-      Adult Sci-Fi: 2 Books

-      Historical Fiction: 5 Books

-      Short-Stories: 1 Book

-      Classics: 2 Books

-      Plays/Screenplays: 4 Books

-      Children’s Fiction: 6 Books

-      Graphic Novels: 1 Book

-      Cotemporary: 2 Books

Total Genres Read: 13

 

If I had to have guessed what genre I read most in 2015 I would’ve said Young Adult, so I got that right, but I thought I had read more than 2 classics! That is shameful!

Bookish Resolution 1: Read more classics minimum of 5!

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of poetry I read and loved to be quite honest and this is something I want to keep up. However, I need to read poetry by other poets, not just Carol Ann Duffy

Bookish Resolution 2: Read a minimum of 10 poetry collections at least 5 must not be Carol Ann Duffy

Only reading 1 Graphic Novel is not a surprise to me, mostly because I’m much more a literary,  sink-your-teeth-into-a-story kind of reader rather than a visual reader, but I would like to try some more and see what kind of Graphic novel works for me and what doesn’t.

Bookish Resolution 3: Read a Graphic Novel

Now.lack of contemporary and short-stories. Normally I read a lot of short stories because of my Creative Writing degree but last year my modules mainly focused on the novel and so I read a lot of novels instead. I would like to get back to reading more short-stories, and I have started doing so already

Bookish Resolution 4: Read 5 short-story collections.

I was happily surprised with the inclusion of an Adult Sci-Fi and Horror section in the genres I’ve read, I rarely think I reach for these sort of books but to see that I have done, even without realising, I’m glad. I need to remain a diverse reader if I want to get to work in the book publishing sector so

Book Resolution 5: Read more diversely

These are the Bookish Resolutions I’m going to set from looking over the genres I had read this year.

Let me know what kind of genres you read last year and if you were pleasantly surprised, or shocked, as I was.

For a full list of the books I read, and their genres, please look below.

Happy Reading!


Full List of Genres & Books Read:

Young Adult Fiction:

-      We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

-      Moonchild by Ewa Zwonarz

-      The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

-      The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

-      The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

-      Harry Potter 1-7 J.K Rowling

-      Junk by Mervyn Burgess

-      The Year of the Rat by Clare Furness

-      Girls Under Pressure by Jacqueline Wilson

-      All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Total: 16

 

Horror Fiction:

-      Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Total: 1

 

Adult Fantasy:

-      The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R.Tolkien

-      The Two Towers: Treason of Isengard by J.R.R.Tolkien

-      The Two Towers: The Ring goes East by J.R.R.Tolkien

-      Lord of the Rings: Return of the King pt 1

Total: 4

 

Poetry

-      Beautifully Torn by Roanne Legg

-      The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

-      The Christmas Truce by Carol Ann Duffy

-      Construction of Magic by Louis Alan Swartz

-      The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

-      Blackbirds (Poetry Pamphlet) by Christina Dunhill

-      Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy

-      100 Poems by Jen Campbell

Total: 8

 

Non-Fiction/Memoir

 

-      More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

-      The C Word by Lisa Lynch

-      The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Total: 3

 

Adult Sci-Fi

-      The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

-      Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Total: 2

 

Historical Fiction

-      Outlander by Diana Galbadon

-      Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton

-      The Outcast by Sadie Jones

-      Remembrance by Theresa Breslin

-      Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Total: 5

 

Short Stories

-      I Truly Lament by Mathias B. Freese

 

Total: 1

 

Classics

-      Northanger Abbey

-      The Tinder-Box by Hans Christian Anderson

Total: 2

 

Plays & Screenplays

-      Peter & Alice by John Logan

-      Birdsong (the play) by Rachel Wagstaff

-      A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney

-      Downton Abbey Season 3 Scripts by Julian Fellowes

Total: 4

 

Children’s Fiction

-      The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

-      The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

-      The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

-      The Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

-      My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

-      An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo

Total: 6

 

Graphic Novels

-      Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Total: 1

 

Contemporary

-      Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

-      Bridget Jones’s Diary: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

Total:  2