books · Personal

The Liebster Award!

Thank you so much to @Olga’s Oddish Obsession for nominating me for the Liebster Award! This is my first ever award and my blog is still pretty new so I’m really pleased someone noticed me, her blog is amazing and you should definitely all check it out!

 

Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gave to you.
  • Nominate at least 5, but no more than 11 bloggers who you think deserve the award.
  • Tell those bloggers you nominated them!
  • Create 11 original questions for the next nominees to answer

1. Why do you read if you could be doing anything else?

That’s kind of exactly the point- I could be doing something else, but I’m not, I’m reading. I’m a procrastinator, it’s just what I do

2. Do you consider youself a pessimist or you always the friend to lift up another’s spirits?

I’m definitely very optimistic, if not too optimistic at times!

3. Who is your favorite protagonist and antagonist of all worldly time? (doesn’t have to be from a book)

My favourite protagonist is Yossarian from Catch-22, and my favourite antagonist is General Woundwort from Watership Down (you have to be one heck of a rabbit to believe you can take on a fox!)

4. Do you like being called a nerd or can that seem insulting in a way to you?

I feel like nerd has taken on a whole new meaning- it’s not really uncool to be a ‘nerd’ anymore, so I wouldnt mind it at all.

5. Have you begun to complete a few of your goals for the new year?

I have! I’m trying to take up a new hobby by teaching myself crochet, and I’m starting work on the novel I always said I was going to write (and never did)

6. Are you a sweatpants and large shirt person or do you plan out your tumblr outfit to feel comfortable?

I’m more of a hoodie-stolen-from-the-boyfriend and skinny jeans person myself.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth or bathe in the joy of knowing your gonna live longer?

I definitely have a sweet tooth- after all, what is life without Cadburys Dairy Milk? There’s not much good in living longer and be miserable :p

8. Are you a fan of ordering online or do you prefer going to the store?

I prefer to go into bookshops, but I don’t actually always buy from them rather than online, basically because university is expensive and I can’t always afford to spend that much on a book, but if something catches my eye I’ll generally buy it there and then!

9. Have you ever had the chance to meet an author of your favorite book?

I did meet the author of my favourite two series growing up, Darren Shan (Darren Shan Saga and Demonata novels) about a year ago now, I was beyond excited for it and I think I asked a pretty good question (at least I hope), but I was so nervous about it that I can barely remember what I said!

10. How long have you been reviewing and is it what you expected?

About three or four months now, but only just starting to take it a little more seriously! It’s actually a lot of work alongside and English degree because it is so much reading, not that I’m complaining of course 😉

11. Lastly, what other interests do you have besides reading and/or writing?

Making things, gangster films, and crochet!

I nominate….

@My Tiny Obsessions

@Flavia The Bibliophile

@Book Adventures

@Reading Every Night

@Rather Too Fond of Books

And your 11 questions are…

  1. Why did you first start your blog?
  2. Which novel really got you into reading?
  3. What is your favourite TV show character?
  4. Which literary character is most like you?
  5. What do you think is the best book to move adaptation?
  6. Have you kept/broken any of your new years resolutions already?
  7. If you ever wrote a book, what would it be about?
  8. Which mythical creature do you wish was real, and why?
  9. If you went to Hogwarts, which would be your favourite subject?
  10. If you could meet just one famous person, who would it be?
  11. Which song would appear on a soundtrack to your life?
books · Novels · Personal

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

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I’ve been a fan of the Harry Potter series ever since I read The Philosopher’s Stone when I was 8 years old- and ever since then it’s been a major part of my life. Three Halloweens in a row as Hermione, a ginger cuddly cat named Crookshanks, and a jar of Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans later, I’ve been to the Warner Bro’s Studio Tour and I’m on my way to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter in July 2017 (and I still have a firebolt somewhere in my back garden)

And…No, suprisingly, I haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s not that I have a problem with it being made- additional content to any great series can only be a good thing (remakes though- is a whole different story) but it’s just sort of not the additional content I wanted. I mean, I can’t be alone in having wanted marauder era (the sheer number of “fifth marauder” fanfictions should be enough to tell you that) For me, the marauders come above the golden trio in my list of favourite characters.

It’s kind of difficult to see why this in particular is the first Harry Potter spin-off film- and first additional content apart from The Cursed Child play (which I still don’t really understand the plot of)- it’s  based on a book that’s mentioned probably less than ten times in the entire series, and a character that never appears- so for some of us it’s probably a little bit of a disappointing choice. I’m actually planning on giving it a go soon though – I’ll buy the book after Christmas and post my findings here- I’ve certainly heard good things about the film so far, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it…but I’m still secretly  not so secretly hoping for marauder related content some day in the future….

 

books · Personal

“I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud”- Windermere Wanderings and Christmas Cheer

This weekend I visited Lake Windermere- home to the Beatrix Potter museum, The Hole in T’ Wall (frequented by Charles Dickens) and one of the prettiest log benches I’ve seen yet

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“I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er valleys and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils”- William Wordsworth

We came across this bench after taking a random detour when we found we couldn’t walk directly around the edge of the lake- thanks to a caravan park and a building site that likely weren’t there in Wordsworth’s time- and had almost turned back after walking over a mile down a straight road, which I of course had insisted was taking us somewhere (all it had taken us to so far was a less-than-picturesque car dealership ). In typical not all those who wander are lost fashion, it did eventually lead to a field, which could be crossed to reach a leafy path by the very edge of the lake, which gave access to these beautiful spots, so my navigational reputation remains intact!

 

It’s easy to see why so many writers would choose the Lake District as a place to work- it’s difficult to not be inspited by views like this. It is so peaceful and idyllic that it often really is just you and the views when you are walking, and more often than once you’ll wish you could afford to live there permanently.It is full of hidden spots like these to be discovered and to write in peacefully, and although your feet may hurt after an eight mile walk, some mulled wine soon makes you forget all about it.

One of the reasons for our visit to the Lakes at this time of year is that the University Christmas Break is coming up- and so as we don’t get to spend christmas together, we have our own earlier in the month. Two of the presents I recieved were (inevitably) books from our favourite bookshop – Kernaghan Books, in Liverpool- and one is by Charles Dickens, a frequent visitor at The Hole in T’ Wall, one of the many pubs we visited for mulled wine during our trip!

 

Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle is one of my favourite books of all time, and so this first edition paperback (from etsy store PrettyHappyVintage) was a brilliant gift for me. This copy of Oliver Twist is beautiful, tiny, emerald green with gold embossed writing.

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I’m already looking forward to visiting again next year!

Continue reading ““I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud”- Windermere Wanderings and Christmas Cheer”

books · Personal

“Never Judge a Book by its Cover”- The Rise of the Mystery Book

All too often in a bookshop, I find it impossible to pick a book. There’s so many to choose from that if you haven’t gone in to the shop with a particular book in mind, it’s almost impossible to make only one choice. Inevitably, you will choose based on a combination of the cover, and/or the blurb, because it is near impossible to not do so. The concept of the mystery book removes the factor of the cover from the decision making process, and in doing so makes it surprisingly easier.

A few months ago I saw a post on instagram of a bookshop filled entirely with books wrapped in brown paper packages, with only descriptions of the content on the outside. I thought it was a good idea, but it seemed like a one-off sort of thing- it was creative and it was interesting, but didn’t appear as if it would be widely applied. To my surprise, while wandering around a station market, I found a stall named Myriad Market selling just that:

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As soon as I saw one I knew I’d have to get one- and for only £2 picked up this novel, which had an even more limited synopsis on the package than those I had originally seen. I knew just based on this that I would not have read the book before, and decided it was time to try something new. Inside was Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, which I now plan to read over the summer holidays:

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In addition to the single novel packages (pre-loved for £2 and new for £3) you could also purchase a mystery box, which contained two books, two tea bags, and a book mark, normally priced at around £7, although in this case the box was on sale for only £6:

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I was happily surprised with both purchases, and felt the concept worked very well- it is not until you only have a small blurb to look at that you realise how much you did once rely upon the cover to help you choose a book, or how unnecessary one really is to that decision.