Monthly Archives: October 2015

Halloween Book Tag

  

Happy Halloween everyone!! It’s been 10 days since my last post, can you believe it?! I’m so sorry. Life has ran away with me, but it’s time to get my Halloween on! (Image courtesy of Google uk) 

I’ve been tagged by The Orang-Utan Librarian to take part in this tag. I can’t wait! 

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?

  

This book is huge! It would get a really good fire going actually. It just isn’t my cup of tea really. I was meant to read this for university, but I never finished it. It’s too long, too sentimental and because it focuses on every little detail of Tristram Shandy’s life and thoughts, it seems to go on forever. 



2. Trick or treat- what character is a trick, what character is a treat?

  
This book is just amazing. The treat would have to be Billy. He’s a junior porter but with a keen eye on investigations and working clues out. In my mind he’s super adorable. The trick would have to be Sinclair. He appears to be a little bit dodgy in my eyes, I never really felt like I could trust him. 

3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?

  
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is always amazing. Full of mystery, excitement, food and drink as well as a range of weird and wonderful characters. This edition I have is just so beautiful too. 

4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?

  
I’d love Scout to visit me. She’s an excellent narrator and I’d love to learn more about the teachings she received from Atticus. Actually I’d like both of them to come and visit me. 

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?

  
I’d happily dress up as Little Miss Sunshine. I like making people smile and doing little good deeds, so for me she is the perfect character. She’s just so cute. I always wanted pig tails as a child but I could never pull it off. 

6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
Everything!!! However, when I’ve sat and thought about this now, the giant chess game was pretty impressive. I also loved the challenges in Goblet of Fire. It’s too hard to call. Harry Potter is just amazing. (Image from Google Uk) 

  


7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?

  

I’m really terrible when it comes to scary books. I just can’t deal with them. They give me nightmares and everything. I’m teaching Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde later in the year. *prepares self for sleepless nights*. I really wish I was a bit braver, but the descriptions are so good they just stay in my mind. 

So these are my thoughts on his Halloween tag. I nominate YOU lovelies, or should I say scaries, to take part! Have a fabulous Halloween everyone! 

Big love xx

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Filed under Halloween, Literature, Tag

Happy Tuesday

Hey everyone! 

The leaves are carpetting the ground outside, the nights are drawing in and it’s that time for a novel I’ve been waiting for since June. It is, of course, the publication date of the new Galbraith novel today. I am so excited! I let out a little scream of joy when I saw this by my doorstep after I got home from work. 

So pjs at the ready, hot chocolate on standby. I’ll see you on the other side my lovelies! 

  
Have you got yours yet? 

Big love everyone! X 

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Filed under New Books

The Book Courtship Book Tag

Hey everyone! 

This weekend has flown past again, can you believe it? I thought I’d squeeze in a little post about books (well, why not?) before I get down to my TV watching and bedtime before work! 

Thank you to the gorgeous Erika @ Bookventureland  and the lovely Travelling In My Bookcase for tagging me. I really appreciate it. To know people are thinking of my little blog and I is really quite special, so thanks. I love to see all the different books people choose as well. 

Here goes!

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?  

How remarkable is this cover? So, so beautiful! It also turned about to be an amazing book as well. The plot was incredibly gripping. I didn’t want to put it down. Definitely one of my favourites ever. It was biggest selling book of 2014 at Waterstones. Read it now if you haven’t already. 

Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?

  

I saw this in a little charity book shop in Stratford and thought it sounded fascinating. I’m yet to read it but I have high hopes. I know absolutely nothing about it and I don’t usually like the summaries on the back, but for some reason this one just sounded fab. 


Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?

  

Roald Dahl. What an amazing man. I read all his books as a child and I just love them. His writing style is truly magical. 

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

  

Naturally! 

Phase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?

  

Oscar Wilde’s poetry really does stay with me. The Ballad of Reading Gaol absolutely broke my heart. I don’t feel like I talk about poetry enough. Nevertheless, Wilde’s really is quite special. Such a massive waste of talent. 

Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?

  

I admit now I know nothing about Emily Brightwell or this series, but after stumbling across this book, I am definitely going to find out more. I was kept awake thinking about who was to blame and why were they framing that specific character. It’s a really short little book but a lot happened. Fabulous! 

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?

  

The Penguin Clothbound Classics really are so lovely and they are a reasonable price too. They feel so lovely, just like the old old boys that are clothbound. There is a massive range of them too. I need to collect them all. 

Phase 8 – Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

  

I tend to pick out books for my Mum and Grandma, so this is definitely on the list. For those of you who are interested in historical writing, this is a classic example. I felt like I was one of the land girls when I read this. It’s really moving. 

Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re read many times in the future?

  
Without a doubt this is one of the best Shakepsearean plays, in my opinion. I love reading it and I really enjoy seeing it performed. I remember studying this at A Level and it blew my mind. It still does today. 



Phase 10 – Share the love: Who do you tag?

I know a lot of my lovely blogging pals have been tagged for this, so if you have I apologise! 

I tag:

Aria @ Aria Reads

Annika Perry

Marja @ Kyrosmagica

Amy @ What Will She Read Next

Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories

And you!! Please feel free to take part if you’d like to! 
Have a great week everyone. 

Big love xx

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Filed under Literature, Tag

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith 

  

Hey everyone! 

Goodness me, I’m really sorry I’ve been so quiet this week. Work has been crazy: piles and piles of marking. However, I’m very excited about the countdown to the new Galbraith novel next week and to celebrate I’ve been re-reading the first two. I love this novel. Again I was hooked, even in my second reading. But, I do think that it lacks the magic of the first novel. Maybe because Rowling had been revealed? I’m not too sure. But, I’ve reviewed The Cuckoo’s Calling previously. Feel free to check it out here: https://booksandbakes1.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/the-cuckoos-calling-robert-galbraith/ 

So, onto the second of the Galbraith novels. 

Following the successful resolution of the Lula Landry case in the previous novel, business has boomed for Cormoran Strike. Whilst dealing with a stready stream of divorce cases and the occasional job as a tabloid journalist, Strike is approached by Leonora Quine. She requires Strike to find her husband, the famous writer Owen Quine, who has disappeared without a trace. 

“My fees are negotiable,’ said Strike, ‘if I like the client.’ He followed Leonora Quine into his office and closed the door behind him with a snap.” 

Owen Quine in the past had been hailed as one of the original literary rebels. He is the literary world’s version of the music punk rock scene. However, in more recent times, he had struggled for years to recreate the success of his original novel, thus falling silently out of the public view. 

“…writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”

Strike quickly discovers that his disappearance coincides with the leak of the manuscript for his latest novel – Bombyx Moi. According to The London Literary Community, the book is unpublishable. It’s viewed as being an unpleasant and uncomfortable mix of rape, torture, necrophilia and cannibalism. The hero is eventually tricked and eaten alive by various characters who appear to be thinly disguised metaphors for people in Quine’s life. Interestingly, those he blames for the destruction of his career. 

“You are not writing properly unless someone is bleeding, probably you.” 

As the search continues for Quine, Strike and Robin’s relationship begins to deteroriate, following a meeting of the three, which ended disasteriously. The insecurities of the previous novel from Robin’s fiancé Matthew are still alive and kicking here. Matthew takes an immediate dislike to him, probably because of his working relationship with Strike. Robin is also disgruntled at Strike and feels neglected. She’s stuck in the role of secretary, when she actually aspires to be an investigator herself. Strike is unwilling to move Robin to a position where she has to choose between her fiancé and her job. 

“Strike had not been able to guard against warm feelings for Robin, who had stuck by him when he was at his lowest ebb and helped him turn his fortunes around; nor, having normal eyesight, could he escape the fact that she was a very good-looking woman.” 

The investigation gathers pace. Soon after, their growing animosity is cooled when Strike finds Quine’s body in an abandoned house. It was bound, disembowelled, doused in acid and posed like the centrepiece of a meal, mirroring of the final scene in Bombyx Mori. The description actually made me heave. 

The investigation then focuses on the seven people portrayed in the manuscript: Leonora, his wife; Kathryn Kent, his lover; Pippa Midgley, his transgender protégée; Elizabeth Tassel, his never pleased agent; Jerry Waldegrace, his alcoholic editor; Daniel Chard, his publisher; and Michael Fancourt, his former friend and fellow literary rebel. As the police, led by Strike’s friend Richard Anstis, lay their attention to Leonora as the killer, Strike tries an alternative approach. Strike focuses on the web of relationships in Quine’s life. Naturally then, this results in the suspects turning on each other, accusing and counter accusing each other of not only murdering Quine, but of ghostwriting part of Bombyx Mori. This feeling growing due to the inconsistencies of Waldegrave’s character in the manuscript with his relationship to Quine. 

In a more personal turn of events, the relationship between Matthew and Robin is further strained when Matthew’s mother sadly dies suddenly. Robin then decides to miss the funeral in order to help Strike. She lies to Matthew and predictably gets caught out. Robin thus confronts Strike about his intentions for her job and career, with Strike giving her a clear warning, that if she chooses to become an investigator, she would have to do things that Matthew wouldn’t like or agree with. Reluctantly, and rather emotionally, she agrees. 

Whilst the case against Leonora gaining momentum, Strike decides to focus on Quine’s relationship with Michael Fancourt. This relationship became incredibly strained after Fancourt’s first wife, Elspeth, wrote a novel that was received negatively by the critics. An anonymous parody was released, resulting in Elspeth’s suicide. Fancourt accused Quine of authoring the parody and Tassel of enabling him. 

“People do kill themselves, you know, Miranda, when they think their whole reason for living is being taken away from them. Even the fact that other people think their suffering is a joke isn’t enough to shake them out of it.” 

Strike appears to be struggling to explain the inconsistencies between the original draft and the final manuscript of Bombyx Moi. Meetings with Kathryn Kent and Pippa Midgely too don’t seem to help. His powers of deduction originally bring him to the premise of an accomplice, however he concludes that the manuscript was indeed written by a ghostwriter. He then realises that Bombyx Moi is a metaphor for someone else’s life and that Quine is intended as an antagonist within within its pages, rather than the suspected hero. 

Robin comes to the rescue. With her help, she develops a theory of the crime and confronts Fancourt at a party for another author. Whilst the men were talking outside, Elizabeth Tassel, Strike’s real target, joins them. She reveals that she was originally a failed author before turning into an agent. Also, she was responsible for the parody of Elspeth Fancourt’s novel. Once Owen Quine realised this, he blackmailed her to support his family and kept her as his agent to maintain the disguise. 

Twenty years later, along with several unsuccessful novels, he came up with the original concept for Bombyx Moi. He then approached Tassel with it. Thinking on her feet, she realised this would be her way out. She conspired with him to stage his disappearance, whilst gaining publicity, then rewrites the manuscript to condemn the industry, murders Quine and frames Leonora for the crime. 

“Nutters love murder.” 

Strike lays bare the evidence, Tassel attempts to escape, but a scheme earlier planned by Strike and Robin, results in her capture rather rapidly. Finally, the original manuscript is recovered with Fancourt acknowledging it’s literary credit. 

The novel reaches its conclusion with Strike visiting Robin. As a Christmas present, he enrolls her into an investigation training course. 

This novel was enticing and exciting. It lacked the magic of the first novel, but I think it’s quite difficult for a writer to maintain that feeling in a series. I recommend to you all, and I can’t wait for the third instalment! 

Big love x

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Filed under Book review

The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag

Happy Sunday everyone!! 

Hope you’re all good. This weekend has been super busy, so I’ve decided to do another quick tag. I promise to be back on book reviews soon. I’ve got a pile of them to post! 

I was tagged by the lovely Calliope The Book Goddess to complete this. Thank you so much. We all have different opinions, so it’s going to be really interesting to read everyone’s answers to these! I hope my answers don’t offend anyone. On the other hand, if we all liked the same thing life would be so boring! 

Here we go! 


A popular book or series that you didn’t like:

Never Let Me Go wasn’t for me at all. I really didn’t like it. Sorry. 

  


A popular book that everyone hates but you love:

Hmmm tricky. I must admit I do love Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve seen this on a lot of ‘worst books ever’ reading lists, so I wanted to share my love for it! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

  

A love triangle where your ship did not sail:

Married? With a wife in the attic? Flirting with lovely, little Jane? Hmmmm. Cheeky. Great novel though. 

  


A popular genre that you hardly reach for:

Science fiction. It’s just not my cup of tea at all. I’ve tried and tried but I just don’t seem to enjoy it. I’ll keep trying…maybe. 


A beloved character you didn’t like:

Miss Havisham is one of those characters people love to hate. Why does she have to be so mean? I mean yeah she got jilted and spends her time in her wedding dress accompanied by her old mouldy wedding cake. Does this mean she has to be so unfriendly? 

  


A popular author you can’t get into:

I’ve always found it quite difficult to get into a Jane Austen novel. What infuriates me more about this is, once I get into it, I really enjoy it. I think she’s an author I need to read when I have plenty of time. That way I can really sink my teeth into it. But as it stands now, I find it really hard to get into her work. I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice all the way through. Eek. 

  

A popular book series that you have no interest in reading:

Twilight. I just don’t get it. Why is it so popular?  I’m not really into vampire stories anyway so this was never going to be for me. I know I will never even try to read it either. 

  


An adaptation you like better than the book:

Hmmm I don’t think that really happens to me. However, an adaptation that I thought was just as good as the book was Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. For me, it was magical. To be honest, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is also pretty good. 

   
 


I nominate you!! 



Have a great week everyone. Big love x

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Filed under Literature, Tag

The Autumn Book Tag & The Fall Time Cosy Book Tag

Hey guys! 

Well, we are into October now, the conkers have started to fall and the leaves are all kinds of shades of red and orange. Therefore, it seems to be the perfect time to take part in these two tags. Thank you so much to Tasha @ The Bookie Monsters for thinking of me. 


1. What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

I love seeing the leaves change. It’s just so beautiful. It’s the time where you can wrap up to venture outside in lots of layers with scarves. Also, you can snuggle down on the sofa in a big blanket watching tv. Autumn seems to have the best programmes: Downton, Strictly etc. I’m not a fan of it being colder though! 


2. What book reminds you of your school days?

I can always remember studying To Kill A Mockingbird. I just love it. I’m really enjoying teaching it to Year 9 as well currently. Also, I used to read a lot of Roald Dahl and Harry Potter as well. 


3. What book cover reminds you of Autumn?

This is quite a tricky one really! I guess it would have to be The Man Who Disappeared by Clare Morrall probably because of the colours. They are so in this season! 

  



4. What is your favourite horror or Halloween story?

I love Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White. It is a remarkable piece of fiction. It’s from the Victorian period, something that I’m really interested in and it comes from the sensation writing phase. It is one of my favourite books. You should definitely read this season! There’s some really tense parts in the novel, perfect for Halloween! 

  



5. What is your favourite horror or Halloween film?

Hmmm I’m not a massive fan of horror films really so I can’t really answer this question. Any suggestions? 


6. What Fall book release are you most looking forward to? 

Without a doubt the new Robert Galbriath. It’s pre-ordered – I’m just waiting for the release date. Eeek! (Image from Google)

  



7. What Autumn movie release are you most anticipating? 

Well I’m really quite excited about the live broadcast of Of Mice and Men. Chris O’Dowd as Lennie?! Amazing. I have such high hopes. I’m planning a school trip to take the whole of year 11 to see it, so it better be! (Image from Google) 

  



8. What are three books you plan to read this Autumn?

I’ve just finished reading The Rabbit Back Literature Society so that is one ticked off the list. The next three I’d really like to read are: The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Fingers crossed this goes to plan! Also, how amazing is this cover?!

  

Now onto The Fall Time Cosy Book Tag


#1: Crunching Leaves: The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

It’s a controversial book, but I enjoyed it for what it was. 

  



#2: Cosy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cosy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

I get the warm fuzzies from books that I associate with good feelings and books that remind me of important people and times in my life. One of the first books that come to mind is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. So emotional, but what a beautiful story. 

  



#3: Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

Any Dickens work is perfect for weather like this. I’m rather ashamed to say I’ve only read a small number of Dickens books, so I need to sort this out this autumn and winter period. 


#4: Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

Hermione Granger. Always. (Image from Google) 

  



#5: Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

Oh my days I never really know what’s in or out! I really don’t see how anything could ever top the phenomenon that was Harry Potter. I mean Twilight tried, but I never read any of them. I think there are a lot of new writers out there at the moment that hopefully will get the credit they deserve. 


#6: Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I don’t have any! I mean I’ve never bought 50 Shades of Grey and I wouldn’t want to be seen with that if I’m honest. Sometimes I read books about teaching so I guess that’s a bit different, but I don’t think it’s embarrassing. Mind you I did get some funny looks when I was reading Pimp your lesson. Hmm. 

  



#7: Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

Chocolate. Hot chocolate. Toast. Soup. Can’t really beat any of them! 
I nominate you lovely bloggers to feel the Autumn vibe!

Erika @ Bookventureland

The Literary Counsellor

Claire @ Art and Soul

Lia @ Bookland

Parneet @ The Enchanted Book

Biancha @ The Ultimate Fangirl

Nichola @ Rust and Stardust

Calliope The Book Goddess

Travelling In My Bookcase

Jess @ Mud and Stars

Annika Perry

Sarah @ Sarah’s Bookshelf
Feel free to take part in one, both, or even none if you’ve done before! 

Big love xx

37 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Tag

How I Read Tag

  

Hey everyone! 

I’m taking time to catch up with all my tags and nominations. Thank you for all your support guys! I will get on top of it as soon as I can, I promise. Today’s tag comes from the amazing Amy @ Curiouser and Curioser. She’s just so lovely, and one of my first followers. Check her blog out now! Thank you for thinking of me lovely. 
This tag called out to me this evening because I’m trying to promote positive reading traits with my students. It’s completely different reading for personal choice than reading something because you have to. This tag has made reminded me why I love reading so much. Here goes! 



How do you find new books to read?

I always give myself ‘me’ time which usually consists of mooching around book shops and/or reading. I tend to find my next read there. However, since my blog, I’ve also added a huge number of books from different posts here. What a brilliant way to promote books we’ve enjoyed. Also, Penguin email me and I’m usually tempted by a title or two. 


How did you get into reading?

I always remember being a little girl, spending my Saturday’s with my dad whilst my mum was at work, going into town and buying a new book. Then we would read together. As well as this, my grandparents always bought me books. I just seemed to soak it up and exorb myself in it. I’m still the same today. That feeling of being carried away into another world is just irreplaceable. 


How has your taste in books changed since you got older?

I don’t think it has really! I’ll read anything, or try to. There’s genres that just aren’t my cup of tea, for example science fiction, but I appreciate them nonetheless. The only thing that’s changed is there are more books I have to read for school now, obviously! I still read kids books though. There’s some amazing children’s writers out there at the moment. David Walliams is a favourite. 


How often do you buy books?

All the time! I’m quite good though because I try to ration it out. I also like to buy books from second hand book shops. It’s a win win – cheap and a good deed. I only ever pre-order books I’m absolutely desperate for though. But yes, if I see a book I like or it takes my fancy, I buy it. 


How did you get into book reviewing?

I’ve blogged about this a lot recently, so I don’t want to repeat myself. But it all started with a book. However, I’m so glad I got into blogging. I really really enjoy it. I’m always learning so much as well. It’s changed my life really. 


How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

Mmm this is a tricky one because we all like different genres, different writers and different novels. Nevertheless, if I get to the end of a book and feel let down it’s a real shame. I do get a bit annoyed as well because I could have spent that time reading something else! Endings are always notoriously difficult to get right though. It’s always difficult when that’s the last thing people read and therefore the thing that stays in people’s minds. If it’s not what you expected or enjoyed then it’s a bit of a pain. I always have high hopes though! 


How often do you sneak a peak at the ending to see if there is a happy ending? 

Never! What is the point? I also get really annoyed if people spoil endings for me. This happened a lot when the Harry Potter series came out. I always queued at midnight (yep I am one of those!) and read it so people couldn’t ruin it for me. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but when it’s intentional, it’s annoying! So yeah I never look at the end. 


How do you read? I nominate all my lovely followers 🙂 

Big love x

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