Monthly Archives: June 2016

The 50 Books Every Child Should Read By Age 16 

Hey everyone! 
Hope you’re well on this Sunday evening and that you’ve had a restful weekend. 

I’ve been having a mooch online and stumbled across this list being advertised on Facebook. Naturally, I was inquisitive. It’s an interesting list based on, as the title of this post suggests, the 50 books every child should read by age 16. I had to check this out. 

Now I’m a bit of a geek and have a spreadsheet based on what books I’ve read and in what year. #booklovenotashamed. I was curious to see how many I’d read and I wanted to pass this onto you guys to see which ones you’ve read by this age. The ones I’ve read are striked out. 

Here goes. The 50 books are as follows:

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl

Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis – Read after age 16. Didn’t really take my fancy as a child or an adult. 

Winnie The Pooh- A.A.Milne

Black Beauty- Anna Sewell

James and The Giant Peach- Roald Dahl & then again at university. It formed part of my dissertation! 

The BFG-Roald Dahl

A Bear Called Paddington- Michael Bond

Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

Matilda- Roald Dahl

The Railway Children- E. Nesbit – Watched the film, but haven’t read the book. 

Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens – Read but after the age of 16. This would have been a huge book to read at that age! 

Five on a Treasure Island- Enid Blyton

The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame

The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle

The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling – Nope… Loved the Disney film too much. 

Charlotte’s Web- EB White

The Tale of Peter Rabbit- Beatrix Potter

Watership Down- Richard Adams – Saw the film. It left me traumatised. 

The Hobbit -J.R.Tolken

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling – Read a number of times BUT it was published after my 16th birthday. 

Lord of the Flies- William Golding

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend – Read a couple of years ago when she sadly passed away. 

Great Expectations- Charles Dickens – Read at university. LOVE it. 

The Cat in the Hat- Dr Seuss

The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson-BurnettAnd saw a theatre adaptation. 

The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank – Read after the age of 16. 

The Twits – Roald Dahl

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne – Another book I’ve read, but it too was released after my 16th birthday

Anne of Green Gables- L.M.Montgomery

The Tiger Who Came to Tea- Judith Kerr

Green Eggs and Ham-Dr Seuss

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Bambi- Felix Selten

Tom’s Midnight Garden- Phillipa Pearce – I knew the story but didn’t read the book until I was studying a children’s literature module at university

Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Funny Bones- Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon – Read but again it was released after my 16th birthday. Would love to see the London theatre version as well. 

The Magician’s Nephew- C.S. Lewis

The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

The Story of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting

The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Curious George- H.A.Ray

Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg 
This is an awesome list. Ok, there is a minor flaw that some books were published after my 16ty birthday; it serves as a pretty good reading list. It’s definitely a list I will be sharing with my students at school. 

Books I’ve read: 32, 22 by the age of 16. Not bad going! 
What about you? I’d love to know! 

Have a great week everyone! 

Big love xx



Filed under Books, Children's Literature

The NY By The Book Tag 

Hey everyone! 

Hope you’re having a restful Sunday. Today I’m going to take part in a tag. I’ve not done one for a while and I’m in a bit of a reading slump, so I figured this may help me out of it! 

I was tagged by the lovely Michelle @ Book Adventures to take part in this tag. I’m so pleased because I’ve never heard of it and I know very little about it. So, thank you very much for thinking about me! It originated here

There’s some really awesome bookish questions, so I’m really looking forward to taking part and tagging some of my lovely blogging friends. Let’s go! 

What book is on your nightstand now? 

I currently have two books by my bed that I’m reading. One of for pleasure and one is for work. The book I am reading for pleasure is really funny. It’s Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. It is packed full of hilarious letters about working as a nanny and moving to London. I also, rather superficially, adore the cover. 

The book I’m reading for work is called The Lazy Teacher’s Handbook by Jim Smith. Don’t worry, it’s not as it sounds. It’s about enabling students to learn more whilst the teacher does less. I’ve had a right bee in my bonnet recently because I feel like I’m working harder than my students. This has handy little tweaks that I can use in my own lessons to enable students to learn without them noticing. Clever huh?! 

What was the last truly great book you’ve read? 

I’ve read loads of amazing books, but the first book that came to my mind when I read this question was The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine. This is the second book in this series and it’s just as good as the first. I was completely hooked. Also, the cover is just as beautiful too. 

If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

The Potterhead in me naturally wishes to meet J.K. Rowling. However, I’d love to have a chat with Oscar Wilde. I adore him and his plays are ridiculously funny. I’d ask him if he had any regrets and why he stayed with the brute that was Lord Alfred Douglas. 

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?

Hmmm I don’t know really. I’m a bit of a book hoarder so I have all kinds of books. Maybe this big book on Queen Victoria? You may/may not know I’m not a massive fan of history fiction/non fiction. It’s a bit of a surprise to me it’s on my shelf. I haven’t read it but I’d like to one day. 

How do you organize your personal library?

There is a real art to organising book shelves I honestly think. So, I have all my pretty Folio Society books on the top shelf, with hardbacks I love. Then,  the other shelves are books I’d like to read at some point. There’s A LOT. Occasionally there’s a pile of books for the charity shop because I have read them in so long, or I’ve read them and knew I wouldn’t read them again. 


What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?

I’ve always meant to read Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. I’ve avoided all TV and film versions, but then I kind of forgot about it. It’s only back in my head because an extract was used in a sample exam paper. I must crack on with reading this, one day. 

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

There was loads of hype about John Green’s Paper Towns. But, this just wasn’t for me. The characters made me feel so mad. It completed fell short for me. I expected so much more. I didn’t find it ‘profoundly moving’ either. 

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I’ll read anything, or at least give something a go. Nevertheless, I’m not a fan of science fiction or anything like that. It plays on my mind and I end up having weird dreams. It’s not for me at all. I’m drawn to novels that evoke strong emotions from me, whether it’s happiness or tears. Childhood memories always equal the Harry Potter series. 

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

It would definitely have be To Kill A Mockingbird. This book is so profound and moving. It’s also a message to us all, one that will live on forever. A more modern text that I think the president should read is The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra. It’s a cracking little book. 

What do you plan to read next?

Well, after I’ve finished Love, Nina and my handbook for work, I’m going to be reading The Awakening of Miss Prim. I don’t know very much about this book, but I love the cover. I am always a bit wary of blurbs because they can be very misleading. However, this sounds very interesting. It is my next read! 

So, thank you again Michelle for tagging me. I’ve loved taking part in this and I’m feeling like I’m progressing out of my reading slump. 

Time to spread the love….

I’m tagging:

Book Club Mom
Sarah & Faith
& you if you wish! Feel free to ignore if it’s not your thing. 

Big love to you all xxx


Filed under Books, Tag

A Bookish Place

Hey everyone!

I’ve been on another exploration this week, this time with a book focus! I took a little trip to Hay-on-Wye with my lovely dad. It’s a little tradition we have, for the past three years anyway, to go and mooch about. He found out about this place because he knows how much I love books. It’s very special to me because of the memories I have made there. As I know there are a number of book lovers out there, I wanted to share this little place with you. 

Where is it?

Hay-on-Wye is just over the Welsh/English border. It’s a beautiful drive in via the scenic route, as there is luscious green everywhere. Even the car park is perched in front of beautiful scenery. 

What makes it so special? 

Everyone here is very friendly and the majority share a common interest: books. There are a huge variety of quirky little independent book shops. Some span over 3/4 floors. There are literally thousands of books, everywhere. 

Boz Books – This appealed to me because it’s a 19th century book shop. As a massive lover of Victorian Literature, I love going in to see all the cloth bound Dickens that line the shelves. There are other writers and time periods here. I managed to pick up a lovely boxed copy of Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. 

Addyman Books – Firstly, I love the building with the painted window outside. I bought a number of books from here, some I’ve never even heard of. This is the place I go to to find something different. Don’t be deceived by the outside. It’s huge shop! One of my favourite parts is this lovely reading room. I could definitely see myself sitting there engrossed in a good book. 

Murder and Mayhem – The outside of the shop always catches my eye. I think it is brilliant. A shop dedicated to a specific genre only is a brave and rare thing. Also, I love the little cat sitting at the bottom on the right. 

Richard Booth Bookshop – This bookshop is actually my Dad’s favourite in Hay-on-Wye. It’s where we go normally to buy beautiful copies of Folio Society Books. We always leave with one each. Again, it’s another quirky yet beautiful building. I particularly like the animal tiles down the sides. 

There are books on absolutely everything here. The Folio Society books were a little more difficult to get to because of an art display for the Hay-on-Wye festival. It was very interesting actually, but the part that caught my attention the most was the ‘Idiot Compression’. You can see part of it in the image above. In a nutshell, it consists of hundreds of sections of books cut into the spine. These parts can still be opened and read, but the meaning is irretrievably lost. Each part is around 20% of the original. This is to bring to mind the widely accepted idea that we only use 20% of our brain, and maybe only retain 20% of any reading. 

That statistic shocked me a great deal actually. Think about how much we all read, and to only retain a small amount seems a real shame. However, I do think this is quite a realistic percentage. Hmmmm. More thought needed I think. Nevertheless, it was visually stunning. More information here.

What I left with: 

Needless to say, I bought a lot. But, I wanted to get a range of books by different authors from different genres. I miss learning about new authors, so I tried to find books I’ve either never read but wanted to, or books I knew nothing about. I’m looking forward to read The Tale of Beatrix Potter being as it’s been 150 years since her birth this year. 

That’s it! Hay, you’ve been amazing as ever. My purse was much lighter by the end of the day, but my book collection (obsession?) has been increased again. 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Big love xx


Filed under Books, Days Out, Photography, Reading

Kiftsgate Court Gardens – Chipping Campden 

Hello loves! 

Happy 1st of June! I can’t believe it’s June already. Where on earth is the time going? Well in true British style, it’s pouring down here where I am. Therefore, I saw this as my perfect opportunity to show you some photos from a very lovely place I visited. 

Kiftsgate Court Gardens is a little hidden gem. It’s stunning. Three generations of women have created and maintained this little beauty. 

I really liked this little water feature. It felt very modern and contemporary, yet it still fitted in with the whole feel of the gardens. 

The range of flowers and trees were astounding. Time, love and thought has been spent on making this garden beautiful; a place for everyone to enjoy. 

I thought these flowers were particularly lovely. The colours were beautiful. These were my favourites from our day out. 

Finally, tucked away, right at the bottom was this lovely swimming pool. The view I cannot describe. The Cotswolds are beautiful regardless of the clouds. You can see me standing just before it! 

For more information, see the website on the image above. It really is a wonderful little place. 

Have a great start to June everyone! 

Big love xx


Filed under Days Out, Gardens, Photography