Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Reading Habits Tag & 500 Likes

Firstly, I just wanted to say a massive thank you! I received this notification: 

  

I can’t believe it! Thanks for all the support guys. I really appreciate it and I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve it, but it means a lot. Now onto the latest tag! 

 

I was tagged by the wonderful Calliope The Book Goddess to complete this tag. It’s a good one so thank you very much!!

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I usually read in bed. More often than not I read before I go to sleep. I find it really relaxing. Sometimes if I wake up really early I’ll read then as well. I also read on my sofa. It’s a bit of a posh one, a cream leather recliner. So, I associating reading with comfort. 

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I have hundreds of bookmarks from all kinds of people and places. I try and collect them if I’ve been somewhere or if I see one that I thinks really pretty. Sometimes I use postcards as well, but these can be too big for my books. 

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop at the end of a chapter/a certain amount of pages? 

I’m a bit funny about this actually… Don’t judge! I have to finish the chapter otherwise I get confused or forget what’s happened. I can’t just leave it, I can’t physically do it. I’m not too fussed about a certain amount of pages, but I do like to see how many I’ve got left and how much progress I’ve made as well. 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Oh dear. I’m quite clumsy, so I try to keep this to a bare minimum. Sometimes you do get peckish though so that’s always a slight problem. I make sure the book is away from any food or drink. But, I read in coffee shops all the time and there’s food and drink near me. Hmmmm. I think I need to think about this more! I realise I sound crazy. 

Multitasking: music or TV whilst reading?

Nope, not really. I am good at blocking out sound though, so I could do it if I wanted to. But, I’d rather enjoy the book/music/TV individually rather than blurring them all together. 

One book at a time or several at once?

I can only concentrate on one book at a time. If not, I get the plot, characters and themes all mixed up and I don’t remember which goes with what story. Nightmare! 

Read at home or everywhere?

Anywhere and everywhere. I read at home, at work (perks of the English teacher job!) in cars, coffee shops, trains, parks etc. you get the gist! 

Read aloud or silently in your head?

I prefer to read in my head because I can read quicker that way. I’m actually not a fan of reading aloud because I tend to miss words out. I hated it at school. I read aloud at work as well (another perk of the job!?) but I much prefer it in my head. 

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Nope to both. Short and sweet answer for this one! 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

I’m funny about this as well. I try really hard to keep my spines as new. I understand that creases and marks show how well read and loved a book is, but for me I like to keep things as smart as possible. Books are there to be celebrated and loved, and for me keeping them as new is my way of showing my love and appreciation. However, the majority of my books are from second hand shops so they have all kinds of marks on them. I always wonder where they came from and what types of people owned them before. 

Do you write in books?

I used to write in my books when I was doing my A levels because it was easier, but never ever since then. Since then, I always write my notes on any extra bits of paper or a notebook. Then I put my notes in folders. Super organised! 

What are your reading habits? I tag:

Liam @ Liam’s Library

Erika @ Bookventureland

Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

Miss Quickly

Giovanna @ Book Coma Blog

Claire @ Art and Soul

Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard

Lara @ Katnisspotterbooklover

If you’re too busy, or you’ve done this before don’t worry! Im really rubbish at keeping up with who has done what! Thanks again for this tag. 
BIG LOVE X

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Filed under Award, Blog, Nomination, Tag

The Bedtime Book Tag

Morning all! 

I was tagged by the lovely Shannon @ Books That Love You Back to complete this tag! Being as I do most of my reading in bed normally, it made perfect sense to take part in this tag. Thank you Shannon! I urge you all to check out her blog too!

Again, I’ve tried to think of different answers. I wouldn’t want to bore you all now by blabbering on about the same books!! Sometimes I can’t resist a bit of Harry Potter though! 

So, the tag:

A book that kept you up all night: 

 

Oh this book was so good! I decided to branch out into the thriller genre and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve not seen the film yet, but I couldn’t recommend the book more. It kept me up because I just couldn’t put it down. I wanted to find out what was going to happen. All I’ll say is, I didn’t expect the ending! 


A book that made you too scared to sleep:

 
I started my love affair with Oscar when I was at university. I adore him, his work is genius and he never ceases to make me laugh. The Picture of Dorian Gray is his only novel, and it was used against him in his trial which sent him to prison. The picture changing in the novel gave me some serious nightmares. It’s that well written! 


A book that made you go to sleep:

 

Oh dear. This book sent me to sleep a number of times. I’m not complaining, I enjoy my good nights sleep. This book was sooooo big and soooo detailed. I know it’s about a girl called Pamela, but I can’t tell you much else. 


A book that kept you tossing and turning all night in anticipation of its release:

 
I loved the first one, I got angry when people blew Rowling’s cover and I couldn’t wait for the second book, which also didn’t disappoint. I’m experiencing the same sorts of feelings in the wait for the third installment. I’m quite excited that Rowling has said there’s more instalments here for Galbraith than Harry Potter. I’ll need a new bookcase. 


A book that has your dream boyfriend:

 

Oh Mr. Big. What a man. The TV series and films only add to the fact that he’s my dream man. What a dish. Amazingly, I’m not a massive fan of the books, but I love the characters. 


A book that would be your worst nightmare to live in:

  

I genuinely don’t know how people survived on the front line. I have massive respect for them. This book was so detailed in its description that when I closed my eyes I could see it. It was really incredible. I would not be strong enough to survive. 


A book that reminds you of night time:

 

I’ve recently finished this book, it was a cracker. It reminds me of night time because all the action within the plot happens at night. There are a number of scenes of deep, dark brooding as well. Exciting stuff! 


A book that has a nightmarish cliff-hanger:

 

Ok, so this is a play, but I think it counts! The ending is incredibly bleak. It is a Shakespearean tragedy after all, but there fails to be any sort of glimmer of hope in this play. I cried when I saw it at the RSC. It is sublime.  At the end of reading, or seeing the play, you will leave feeling a bit ‘hmph’. 


A book you actually dreamed about: 

 
Like most people in the world! Dreams from Hogwarts to Quidditch to Voldemort nightmares. I may or may not have dreamed about being Hermoine’s best friend and sneaking into the restricted section of the library. Naughty! 


A book monster you would not want to find under your bed:

 

(Image from Google!)

The Three Headed Dog from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone terrifies me. I’m scared if big dogs anyway, so three big dogs. Oh my days I wouldn’t sleep. I doubt I’ll even be able to go to bed again. Also, the fact that he’s called Fluffy doesn’t seem to make the situation any better for me. Haha! 

Thanks again Shannon for the tag. I really appreciate it and enjoyed taking part! I nominate the following fabulous people:

Bianca & Ultimate Fangirl

Erika & Bookventureland

The Literary Counsellor

The Blue Bore

Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

Feel free to ignore if you’re busy, or come back to it another time. I’ve lost track of who’s been nominated for what, so if you want to take part, feel free! 

BL xxx

  

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Filed under Literature, Nomination, Tag

The Inside Out Book Tag

 

Hi everyone! 

I was tagged by the wonderful Lia @ Bookland to complete this tag. She’s so lovely and her blog is just great. Go check her out if you’ve not done so already. 

Just to note, I’ve thought hard about these book choices, as I wanted to pick some different books (not my beloved Harry Potter for example). So, here goes! 

  

A book that brings you joy:

  

I love this book so much. I remember as a child reading this and obviously wanted to go to this factory. I also wanted to be Charlie’s friend. He and his family are just so humble. This book brings me joy because it is always ok to dream. I really would like to see this in London’s West End as well. I bet it’s magical. 

  

A book that makes you angry:

  

Oh gosh this book had me in tears. I don’t really do anger, but the historical facts behind this book make me incredibly sad. This book is just brilliant at rendering emotions though. 

 

A book that makes you sad: 

I love this book. Cecelia Ahern is brilliant at writing feel good books. It makes me sad, but in a happy kind of way. It deals with the emotion of losing someone and how life has to continue on afterwards. 

 

A book that disgusts you:

 

I dislike this book so much. I’m not a massive fan of novels that have graphic scenes. The plot within this novel isn’t my cup of tea at all. It deals with violence and rape. It’s a bit hard going for me if I’m honest. 

  

A book that brings you fear: 

This book genuinely gave me nightmares. It is a well written story though! That’s probably why it gave me nightmares. I’m not a massive fan of vampires and things that could potentially kill me. I know a lot of my blog followers do like vampires, so please don’t hate me! I had to teach Dracula this year, the kids loved it! 

Thanks again to Lia for this tag. I can’t wait to see this film as well. I nominate the following people:

Rae @ bookmarkchronicles 

Emily @ The Geek Undergraduate

Pooja @ thatweirdbrowngirl

Trisha Ann @ The Bookgasm Blog

Nicola @ Book Bunny

I’ve seen a lot of people doing this tag and nominating others, so if you’ve already been nominated I apologise! I’m looking forward to reading more answers 🙂

BL xx

  

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Sunny Stratford (upon Avon)

Morning! 

I was given the opportunity this week to spend a whole day along the Riverside in the glorious sunshine, whilst waiting for my poorly car to be fixed. I decided to be a mini tourist for the day! 

It was a little trip down memory lane for me, I must admit. I took this first picture in my favourite spot along the river. It’s quite a way back along the RSC gardens, just before the Holy Trinity Church. You can just see the top of the RSC Theatre Tower in the background. I also had a friendly swan for company. 

  

From here I took a slow stroll across to Holy Trinity Church. It really is a remarkable building. There’s some work going on at the moment to help restore the roof, but it’s still stunning. Inside is William Shakespeare’s grave. It brought back some memories from when I was at Primary school, because we used to walk here for Harvest Festival. 

  
I then walked all the way round back to the top of riverside, past the RSC Theatre and the many boats. The pictures below are taken from a bridge towards the end of the river. In the first, you can see the beautiful theatre which is also having some work done currently. The second, you can see the lock and the town.

 
  
This is only a tiny part of Stratford, but it is rather beautiful in the sunshine. It passed the time quite nicely. I remember sitting under the big tree in the bottom picture, drinking chocolate frappuccinos from Starbucks when I was 16 with my friends. Various people would perform and act. I also remember hiding my umbrella in the bush at the end when the fair was in town. I did get it back at the end of the night! 

Memories are so important, and I feel so lucky to have this town as my growing up place. I hope everyone enjoys these photos! I’d love to see some of your photos from where you grew up.  

Have a great weekend 🙂

BL xx

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Filed under Days Out, Gardens, Photography, Stratford upon Avon, UK

The Pastry Book Tag

  
Hi everyone!! 

This tag was created by Aine & Writing on a Vintage Typewriter

I’ve been lucky enough to be tagged by the wonderful Erika @ Bookventureland for this tag. It links books and baking, so naturally I was thrilled to take part! Thanks Erika! I’ve spent some time on my answers for this, so here goes! 


Croissant: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

Series: It has to be all the Harry Potter books. I grew up with it, I’m fairly obsessed with it and I am one of millions who want to go to Hogwarts. If only! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love it. 

 

Book: To Kill A Mockingbird. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love this story. I think it’s a massive shame that it’s been cut from the English Literature curriculum in the UK. It teaches us so much. It’s a classic for a reason. 

  


Macaron: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.

For me, this has to be Wuthering Heights. I studied this for A level and it was so difficult to follow in terms of its narration. But, it was well worth it in the end. It’s a brilliant novel with some of the most iconic characters in literature. 

  

Vol-au-vent: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.
I’m really sad to say this, but Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I just felt it was a little flat in plot. Also, the narration didn’t really grip me, and the characters I just seemed unable to connect me. Probably because I’m not called Will Grayson. I do love the authors though, especially John Green. 

  

Pain au chocolat: Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

This is 100% my own fault. I want to admit that right away. The Casual Vacancy. I loved it, but because it was Rowling I did not expect it to be about normal lives. How silly am I? There was some brilliant character development within this novel though. 

  

Profiterole: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

Without a doubt, anything written by Jean Rhys. My favourite is A Voyage in the Dark. Rhys is almost a forgotten writer of the Victorian period. I remember comparing Jane Eyre with Wide Sargasso Sea at university and it just blew me away. She doesn’t discredit or insult Jane Eyre, she just gives a character (Bertha) a voice. And what a voice it is. I reccommend to everyone. 

  

Croquembouche: Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.

Hmmm this is quite tricky because sometimes I find books challenging because of silly reasons like I’m feeling tired or sick. However, one book that was too complex for me was Catch 22. I didn’t even finish it. I have no idea what happened or what went on in that book. I was reading it, but nothing seemed to stay in my mind. As I say, it could have just been me. 

  

Napoleon: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

This is really hard. I have a rule that I don’t see the film unless I’ve read the book. I always get a bit worried about movies and TV shows based on books in case they lose some of their magic. I can’t really answer this one. However, one I did enjoy was the book and Robert Downey Junior film version of Sherlock Holmes. It was just brilliant. I’ve watched it A LOT. I’ve heard good things about the latest TV series as well, so I must try and catch up with that. 

  

Empanada: Name a book that was bittersweet.

Of Mice and Men. Every time. The ending. Oh my days. What an incredible book. So much happens, it tests your own beliefs. It’s really interesting for me teaching this to my students and how they react to it. I’ve seen tears from teenage boys at the ending! The film version as well is quite something. The characters of Lenny and George are played superbly. 

  
 

Kolompeh: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country:

I love American Literature (I’m not sure if you can tell!) so it has to be The Great Gatsby. Like Holmes, he is one of those characters that I just wish was real, because I so want to meet him. If only I could find someone to love me that much. Ahhh. Again, another little book that packs a massive punch. 

  

Pate a Choux: Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.

This will sound really greedy, but I would love to experience a proper tea party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Imagine how chaotic but fun that would be! Naturally you’d have to get all dressed up for it like the book as well. 

 

Thanks again to the lovely Erika for this nomination. I’ve really enjoyed this tag! The only problem is, I now really fancy a piece of cake. 

I nominate:

Trisha Ann @ The Bookgasm 

Nicola @ Book Bunny

Lia @ BookLand

SFARNELL
If you’re too busy, don’t worry! However, I am looking forward to reading your answers 🙂 YOU take part too, why not?

BL xx

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Filed under Literature, Tag

A Little Milestone…

Morning!

I cannot believe that I received this WordPress notification last night:

 

So, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has ever followed, liked or commented on a post of mine. I never expected any kind of reaction or feedback. I didn’t think anyone would read what I blogged about, let alone follow my blog to read my bits and bobs daily. After all, there are millions of blogs out there. 

I started my blog on May 25th 2015 with no expectations and no clue as to what I was doing. Looking back at some of my earlier posts you can kind of tell! But, it’s been a learning process for me, and the blogging community I’ve interacted with so far have all been wonderful. Thanks for making my welcome to blogging to lovely! 

There are so amazing blogs out there, and I feel really privileged to have my blog bobbing along in the internet world with them. 

Thank you again, I’m genuinely so shocked and happy at the same time. After all I’m just writing about things I love. It makes me happy, and knowing that others enjoy my posts too, is an added bonus. I genuinely feel like this: 

  

BIG LOVE TO ALL x

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  
Thank you to the wonderful Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for tagging me in this award. I can’t believe it. I genuinely appreciate all tags and nominations. Thank you so much. Check out Amy’s blog because it is just brilliant and she is lovely. 

Onto the tag! 

To accept the award, you have to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Copy the award badge and display it in your award post.

3. Answer the questions the blogger who nominated you asked.

4. Nominate other bloggers and set them some new questions to answer. 


Amy’s Questions:

What was the last film you saw at the cinema? 

The last film I saw was the new Minions film. It was absolutely hilarious. I laughed from start to finish. I don’t care it’s for kids, I think it is harmless fun and it’s always good to laugh. I love those little yellow minions. 

 (Image from Google)  

Do you write notes in your books?
When I was in school studying for my GCSE’s and A levels I used to write all over them. But, since I went to university to this day, I can’t bring myself to write in them. I think it’s because I see them as more of a collection now. My parents have given me some lovely books and I’ve got some signed and first edition books. I couldn’t imagine writing in the now! 

Do you have a favourite comedian?

I think Peter Kay is hilarious. I can watch him over and over and I still laugh, usually before the punch line! He’s a northerner, so I’ve got used to his accent as well, especially since I’ve been living in the north on and off for 7 years. I really enjoyed his last programme Car Share too. “Me biscuits fallen in me brew!” What a guy. 

What song did you last listen to?

I always listen to the radio when I’m driving around and the last song I listened to was Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor. I actually think it’s really catchy and I quite like it. I’m not one of those ‘without music I wouldn’t survive’ people though.  

What is your favourite closing line in a book or film?

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

I love The Great Gatsby, it’s one of my favourite novels. I am a massive fan of Fitzgerald, and I love the fact that this quote is on his grave as well. He had a difficult life, like many other American writers during the Great Depression. I also loved the fact that Leonardo Di Caprio in the film version as well. 

  


My questions for my nominees:

  1. Would you rather read a physical book or an ebook?
  2. Name one thing you would like to learn. 
  3. How would you describe your blog?
  4. What is your biggest ambition?
  5. What is your guilty pleasure? (Foods/TV/Film/Place etc?)


My nominations: 

I’m nominating blogs that I think deserve this award and also blogs that I haven’t nominated before. I apologise if you’ve been nominated before. Feel free to ignore if you have. Also, if you’ve not done it and would like to, please feel free! Tag me back so I can read your answers! I can’t wait to see them. 

Kim @ By Hook Or By Book

Freda @ Aromatic Essence

Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard

Smiling Notes

Thanks again to the lovely Amy for the nomination. Hope you all like my answers!

Big love x

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