Monthly Archives: May 2016

Blog Birthday & 500 Followers 

Hey guys! 

So, I woke up to two amazing notifications this morning….

Firstly, my little blog now has 500 followers!! What?! That’s crazy! Thanks so much everyone for stopping by and just being a huge part of my blogging experience. I can honestly say that this platform is so supportive and welcoming. It’s just a lovely community. I’m so lucky to be a part of it. 

Secondly, yesterday was my little blogs birthday! A whole year on WordPress. I can’t really believe that either! I can’t believe I was asleep when these notifications came through. Nevermind. Happy birthday (and 1 day) to my little space on the internet. I have big hopes for the future and I really hope you will all stick with me to see it happen. 

I started this blog to keep track of what I’ve been reading and doing, a little online diary as it were. But, I never expected to learn so much from different people, from all walks of life. I’ve seen photos of places I’ll probably never get to experience. I’ve heard about books that we are all passionate about, shared our memories and experiences of them, as well as our dislikes. 
Finally, I just need to say… 

Big love x

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Filed under Birthday, Follows

The Top 20 Most Read School Books

Hey guys! 
I apologise for vanishing recently. Exam season is well underway, but, there’s only one English exam left. There’s nothing much else I can do on that front, but I am avoiding the fact that I have a 12 mile sponsored walk on Friday… So, whilst I had a spare five minutes I stumbled across this list of the Top 20 Most Read School Books. I saw this on the Independent website. (Top 20 Most Read School Books) This is a really interesting list. 

2000 adults were asked their favourite books from school. Thus, this list was created. 

As an English teacher, these sorts of lists really interest me. Also, there’s always a lot of talk about specific texts that all children should be reading and studying at school. In the UK everything has changed again recently regarding what should be studied for GCSE and A Level and there are new texts that we need to cover. I only wonder what this list will be like in 5 or 10 years time. 

I wanted to take this time to discuss these books and when I first experienced them. I’m really interested to see your relationships with these books too. 


The Top 20 Most Read School Books:

1. Animal Farm – George Orwell

I first read Animal Farm 3 years ago and wondered what it was really all about. I didn’t get it. I studied Russian history for A Level and that truly confused me. There were so many names to remember! But, on my next reading I saw what the fuss was really about. It’s a gripping and quite a challenging read. It’s a book that makes me feel so sad actually. 



2. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Oh boy I love this book. I love love love it. It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s also slightly heartbreaking. It contains some of the most prolific characters in fiction. I have no idea when I first read this, but I always recommend it for people to read. 

3. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Confession time… I’ve never read this book. It is on my TBR pile (along with 54298274657 others…) However, I have a feeling I’ll need to read this book this summer as its on our Year 7 schemes of work! I also have to confess I don’t know too much about it. *hangs head in shame*

4. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This has to be one of my favourite books ever. I’ve loved teaching it earlier this year as well. It’s a huge shame that it’s been cut from all of the GCSE specifications. I genuinely believe that this is one of those books that everyone needs to read. You learn something from it each time you read it. I first read this as a fresh faced 15 year old at school. I can remember how I felt at the time. I can’t believe this book has been a part of my life for 10 years. 

5. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontè

Now I came to read this book as an A level student and my mind was blown. I found it really difficult to understand who was narrating when. I had to write it at the top of every chapter. Once you get past the complexity, you get carried away with the plot. I can never think of this book without thinking of Kate Bush…

6. Macbeth – William Shakespeare

I’m on a bit of a Macbeth overload at the minute because I’m teaching it to 3 classes! But, there is a reason as to why it is so popular. It’s just as popular today as it was in Shakespearean times. Lady Macbeth is one of my favourite all time female characters. She’s absolutely fascinating. 

7. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare 

Ahhh Rom & Jules. My year 11s had their exam on this today. Just like them, this was a text I studied for my GCSEs. Everyone wants to meet their great love in their lives. I certainly did when I first read this. The Leonardo Di Caprio film certainly helped! I’m not sure on this great love thing now. Hmmm. Anyway, another classic that will probably outlive us all. 

8. A Midsummer’s Night Dream – William Shakespeare

I’m loving the amount of Shakespeare here. I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea though. However, this play is a lot of fun. It’s one that I came to much later in life, probably around 3 years ago. I saw a production in Stratford and it was magical. It contains one of my favourite quotes too: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” 

9. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck 

Another amazing novel and also the second part to my lovely year 11s exam today. It’s utterly devastating. It’s exploration of hope and dreams, friendship and trials it’s so detailed for such a little novel. The ending always makes me cry. Emotional times right there…

10. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

I remember reading this as a little girl. I picked it up in a book shop because it had my name on it. However, I remember feeling ridiculously scared when the spider came along. Varied memories for this one really! I was young though and I’ve not read it since. I do think I’ll read this again someday. It’s an interesting one on the list I think! 

11. Dracula – Bram Stoker 

Oh dear. I’m really not so good with scary books and for me this was terrifying! I read it for the first time last year (avoided it at university) as I was teaching it! It was awful. Thankfully my class were amazing and listened to my nightmares based on this book. They seemed to enjoy it though which is the main thing. It just isn’t my kind of book. I really don’t want to teach or read this again! 

12. An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestley

Oh wow this little play is absolutely cracking. I LOVE it. I really need to see it on stage. I only discovered this a few years ago and it just left me thinking “WHAT?!” So I read it again. I’ve loved teaching it as well. I couldn’t recommend this highly enough. It will literally keep you on the edge of your seat. 

13. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Frankenstein was on one of my reading lists at university. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t even heard of it! But, what I find fascinating is that this is written by a woman during a very masculine era. Again, I would say this is quite scary because of what it stands for. I’ll be teaching this next year so I need to re-read this again! 

14. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 

Now… Another confession. I’ve never completely read all of this book. I’ve tried a number of times but it’s always defeated me! I’m a huge Hardy fan. It takes me back to my A levels, but this one just may be a little out of my zone. I will get there one day. I just think you have to be in a particular mood to read this. Maybe I’m just not smart enough! Haha. 

15. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Another book I’ve started and not finished. I think I started this athe wrong time. Not got too much to say, but maybe I’ll read it? I could do with knowing more about it really! Let me know what it’s about if you know. 

16. The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald

Oh I love this book. It’s one of my all time favourites. It’s amazing. If I’m ever in a bit of a reading slump I always turn to this book. It’s a healer. It makes me feel a whole host of emotions from love to rage and everything in between. I love the closing lines too: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.” You just can’t beat it. 

17. Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare 

I’m loving the amount of Shakespeare on this list I have to say. This isn’t one of the plays that stands out as being most popular to me really, but, it has its own merits of course. It’s not my favourite and it isn’t one I’d rush to see. I’ve read it but I can’t remember too much about it. I guess that says it all really…



18. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker 

Oh this upsets me so much. I’ve never been able to finish it. I’ve tried to read this so many time and I’ve always failed. I just find it so sad. It’s a really sensitive novel by a fantastic writer. I do feel like a bit of a failure for not finishing it. I genuinely will try to at some point in my life. 

19. Journey’s End – R.C. Sherrif 

Another book I’ve never read, but my best friend has. The other English group to mine when I was in school studied this book and my group studied TKAM. I remember her complaining…but all teenagers do! The war setting will probably make me very emotional, but I will give it a go one day. Again, anyone who knows anything about this, let me know! 



20. Others – miscellaneous. 

‘Others’ got 20.7% of the vote, yet it’s not exactly specified which book that is. I’ve no idea what this means! I wish we were told… There could be a number of options here. What about Hamlet? Or a more modern text: Holes? I guess this one is up to us! 

In summary:

  • I’ve read 14 out of the 20 
  • I’ve attempted 3 out of the 20
  • I plan to read the remaining 5

What about you? What did you love when you were at school? I feel so lucky that some of these books have been a part of my life for 10 or more years. It’s really unbelievable. Yet, I’ve learned there’s always something to be read. The TBR list really is never ending. 

Have a great evening all! 

Big love xx

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Filed under Books, Literature

The Get To Know Me Tag


Hey guys! 

I was tagged by the lovely Sammy @ Books and Biros to complete this tag. I’m following lots of new people, and have a number of new followers, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to enable the blogging world to get to know me a little better. 

Here goes…

Name: Charlotte.

Nicknames: Charley, Charl, C.

Star Sign: Cancer.

Occupation: Secondary Teacher of English.

Hair color: Dark brown.

Hair length: Medium length, but getting longer! 

Eye colour: Blue.

Best feature: Eyes – sometimes they change to a bluey/grey colour. 

Braces: No, never. 

Piercings: Ears when I was a little girl, but none now. 

Tattoos: Zero. Needle phobic. 

Right or left handed: Righty! 

Best friend: I genuinely don’t remember, but I’m still best friends with my high school best friend. She’s called Emma. 

Award: ‘Dedication to English Literature’. Pretty proud of that. 
Real holiday: Rhodes. I loved it. There’s photos of me dancing on the tables with lots of Greek dancers. I was about 7. 

Concert: Steps. Hahaa. Cannot believe how much I loved them. I was gutted when they split up…on Boxing Day! Worst Christmas ever. 


Film: The first one that came to mind is Dirty Dancing. Probably because we were talking about it at lunch today. 

TV Show: Friends. Oh how I miss that! Also, I love watching The Big Bang Theory and Will and Grace. I’ve just finished rewatching House. Ah Hugh Laurie. 

Colour: Purple. But, it changes. 

Song: Hmmmm that’s very difficult. Depends very much on my mood. But, I’ll listen to anything. Just noting that would offend my ears. 

Restaurant: Nandos!! 

Shop: One with books in it. 

Shoes: My Vivienne Westwood sparkly flats with a heart on. They are so cute and so comfortable. I live in them. 

Feeling: Tired. It’s exam season. That means early mornings and late nights. Yawn. 
Single or Taken: Single. 

Eating: Nothing. I’m trying to be good and eat well. I want to lose some weight so no chocolate or treats for me! 

Watching: Will and Grace. 

Wearing: PJs. 

Children: Maybe, but when you see 500 of them 5 days a week it can put you off. 
Marriage: Maybe… 

Careers: Still in teaching, hopefully making a difference to young people’s lives. 

Where you want to live: Either in the sunshine by the beach or in the country. I love trees and flowers, especially in spring when new buds open. Lovely! 


Miracles: Yes. 

God: I believe there is something out there, but whether it’s a ‘God’ I don’t know. But, there’s something. 

Love at first sight: Doubtful. 

Ghosts: Yes. My grandma’s house is haunted. 

Aliens: Not so much. 

Soul mates: Absolutely. But, I believe there are different types of soul mates. I know my best friend is a soul mate for life, but my mum is as well. 

Heaven/hell: A bit like with the God question, I do believe there is something, but I don’t know what. There’s people I’ve lost in my life and I genuinely believe I will see them again. Who knows where? 

Kissing on the first date: If it feels like the right thing then yes. 

Yourself: I’m terrible at this. I’m full of self doubt. I never trust or believe anything bout myself. I’m working on it as this was my New Years resolution. I’m getting better. I think…

Now, I’m tagging you, my wonderful blogger pals and future blogging pals. I’d love to read more about all of you, so please take part if you wish! 

Big love x

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The Battle Of Hogwarts Anniversary


Hey guys! 

Happy Bank Holiday Monday! I hope it’s been good to you. 

So, as many Potterhead’s know, today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts – 2nd May 1998. J.K Rowling has apologised this year for another death: Remus Lupin. 

It was the battle that cost many lives – good and bad. The likes of Remus Lupin, Fred Weasley, Lavender Brown, Nymphadora Tonks, Severus Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort and Nagini were all destroyed in this battle. Dumbledore’s army were fighting against the Death Eaters at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermoine were chasing down the final horcrux. 

Being as Rowling’s focus has been on Lupin is year, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to discuss my top three favourite things about Lupin. (Images from Google) 


Reasons why Lupin is awesome:

He is humorous. 

He educates Harry.

Finally, he knew his cause. He knew what he was doing and why. 


These (and more) could be reasons why people love him. That and he’s a werewolf of course. But, that goes without saying. 

Also, Rowling revealed a secret on Twitter that has made me stop and say “WHAT?!”

“In the interests of total honesty I’d also like to confess that I didn’t decide to kill Lupin until I wrote Order if the Phoenix.”

Wait…there’s more…

“Arthur lived, so Lupin had to die. I’m sorry. I didn’t enjoy doing it. The only time my editor ever saw me cry was over the fate of Teddy.”

I genuinely don’t know how to process this. What would it be like without Arthur Weasley? And with Lupin? What else would he have done to protect Harry? It’s beyond incomprehensible. I cried whenever any good character died. Thinking about it makes me emotional. I felt it, like millions of others, including Rowling herself. 

But, once again, Rowling shows just how amazing she is. She continues to connect with Potter fans. She allows them to express their love and emotions for all characters. And finally, she allows the the Potter family to continue living through each and every one of us. 

Such emotion! What’s next?  

Big love x

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The Secret Life Of A Book Blogger Tag

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re having a lovely, relaxing Sunday. I was tagged by the lovely Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger to take part in this tag. I haven’t done a tag like this for ages, so thank you. I’ve got some new bloggers I’d like to get to know, and hopefully you’d like to get me know me too. 

Let’s get on with it then! 


How long have you been a blogger?

I started blogging May last year. It’s my blogs birthday very soon! I can’t believe it really. I was going through great change in my life at the time. I dislike change. A lot. The school I was working in, the only school I’ve ever really known, was closing down, the children were about to start their exams and all the staff were planning their futures; I wanted to take my mind off it by thinking of things I love. 

At the same time as this I was reading a book, 60 postcards by Rachael Chadwick. (You can see me review here. It was my first ever review so be kind!) It was this book that showed me just how amazing blogging is. It brings so many people together from all around the world, from all walks of life. I’ve always loved books and reading, so it seemed to be a great idea to start a blog. It was just for me, a way of keeping track of what I’ve been reading/where I’ve been/what I’ve done. But, it grew. 

At what point do you think you will stop? 

Who knows? Life has a habit of happening and throwing things at you. There’s no mistake in how much I enjoy it. I plan to be blogging for a while at least! 

What is the best part?

The people. There are some amazing blogs out there. I’ve stumbled across some wonderful ones ran by some lovely people. There really is a sense of community. Also, it’s really helped me pick which books to read next when I wasn’t just too sure. 

What is the worst part? 

Well, it’s my own fault really, but sometimes I’m not around for a bit and I feel bad for missing out on some great posts. I always think people are going to be mad at me or feel ignored. But, it can’t be helped. There never is enough time. 

How long does it take you to find/create pictures to use? 

Most of the time I use my trusty iPhone to take photos so it doesn’t take too long. Other than that Google is also very helpful!

Who’s your book crush? 

Hmmm…tricky. As a youngster it obviously would be Harry Potter. I was desperate to be in their gang. Now I’m a little older I think my current book crush is Mr Darcy. Such unrealistic expectations! Haha. 

What author would you like to have on your blog?

It would be so cool to have J.K Rowling. I’ve admired her for so many years. Like so many others, she’s been a huge part of my life. How silly that sounds. I also love her writing in the crime genre as Robert Galbraith. She’s just a very talented woman. But, anyone is welcome really! 

What do you wear when you write your blog?

It depends when I’m writing. Sometimes I write in the morning at the weekend so I’m in my casual weekend wear. However, sometimes I’m writing after work so I’ll still be in my school clothes. If I write in the evening/late at night I’m guaranteed to be in pjs. It just depends really. 

How long does it take you to prepare a post? 

Usually around an hour or so. It depends what it is and what’s going on at the time. There’s always a thought process which could take days or weeks. I have an idea, it just sometimes takes a little time to come into fruition. 

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture? 

I adore them. Like I’ve said before, there’s some amazing blogs out there. I’m in awe of some of them! There’s also a lot of good advice out there too. It’s a really positive community with a feel of everyone supporting each other. I’m so lucky to be a part of it. 

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog? 

Be true to yourself. Blog for yourself, not for likes. Blog what you want, when you want to. Finally, enjoy it. If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point? 


I want to get to know these new followers: 

Donna @ Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog

Charleigh @ Charleigh’s Book Nook

Lisa @ Fromdreamtoplan

Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros

Emily Rose @ Rose Read

Feel free to ignore if you’ve already done this or if it doesn’t float your boat. It’s entirely up to you. Also, if you’d like to do this tag en go ahead! Consider yourself nominated. 
Thanks again for thinking of me Jessica. Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone! 

Big love xx

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