End of Year Book Tag || Blogmas Day 10

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Today I’m being quite lazy and doing another tag that I’ve seen several people over on YouTube doing. Seeing as we are 10 days in to December now  I felt it as good a time as any to use the tag to discuss my reading as a whole for 2017 and look towards 2018, although I may do a more in depth discussion of the later point closer to the end of the year.

So, without further ado, let’s discuss!

1) Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
As it stands at present – no. I absolutely hate starting the year on a book I’m half way through, it really messes up my spreadsheet. I don’t even like carrying books through to another month! So I don’t have any unread books as it stands, and I doubt I will come the 31st as it’s something I just can’t deal with!

2) Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
I feel that I’ve already done this! I found reading Winter by Ali Smith was a good transitional book, but I think also anything by Dickens lends itself to cosy nights and warm drinks. Actually, classics as a whole are pretty good reads for this time of year and I find myself a lot more inclined to read them around November/December.

3) Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
New releases, not so much. Honestly aside for a select few books I haven’t found myself lusting after many new releases this year, those I have wanted I’ve just bought! I’ve even just spent 30 minutes scrolling through Amazon and I can’t see any new releases from the last 90 days that I actually want to purchase.

4) What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Erm, this is a toughie as I’m not really writing a TBR as such, just going with the flow. But, if I have to pick three:-

  • The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell
  • The Celtic Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends
  • Something by Daphne du Maurier – I haven’t read any of her books in a while so I’m feeling in the mood to read another

5) Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
No. Not unless I manage to squeeze in another book by Charles Dickens. I read Bleak House in January and it is going to take something momentous to knock that out of my top spot!

6) Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?
Read! Read and be happy, reread, new reads, any type of reading. I’m still undecided if I’m going to set my goodreads goal high or low – high so I aim for it (I’m a very target motivated person) or lower so I don’t feel as stressed come December!

I want to read more non-fiction, I want to find new authors, I want to read more graphic novels, and I want to read more books by women. But I’ll probably post more on my reading goals for 2018 closer to the end of the month!

 

 

Harry Potter Spells Tag || Blogmas Day 4

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Happy Monday readers, today is a bit of a cop out in that I’m doing a tag post – I love book tags, I love how creative so many of them are and how they make me think differently about books I have read, and also drive up a discussion about them. Today I’m doing the Harry Potter Spells Tag. I discovered this purely by accident when googling “book tags” and really liked the idea of it (I found it here – and the original tag video is no longer available). So without further ado, on to the books.

Expecto Patronum:- childhood book connected to good memories
For me this is actually quite difficult as I have so many good memories associated with books and my family reading to me. But, oddly enough the one book that stands out to me is an old, abridged anthology of books that my grandma had in her cupboard!  I don’t remember a huge amount about it, but I remember curling up with my grandma and she’d read to me from this anthology, and it was always Gulliver’s Travels that I asked for! I’ve no idea what happened to this anthology of abridged stories but I know I need to read Gulliver’s Travels in full!

Expelliarmus:- a book that took you by surprise
For this I have to go with Orlando. Before I read it, I knew I loved Virginia Woolf but this book just solidified it for me. It is one of the few books that when I finished it, I went right back to the start and underlined all the sections I loved. I had no idea how much it would impact me.

Priori Incantatem:- the last book you read
The last book I read in full was Winter by Ali Smith. I’ve since picked up (and thrown back down) Sealskin by Su Bristow (look forward to that review!)

Alohamora:- a book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – this could also have been my answer for a book that took me by surprise but I think it fits best here as it really opened my eyes to what Science Fiction could be. Since I read this book I’ve definitely branched out and actively searched out more sci-fi – I’m less scared of it now!

Ridikkulus:- a funny book you’ve read
I don’t often read funny books, it has to be said, but those I do read which make me actively laugh tend to be books by comedians. Susan Calman’s book, while quite a heavy topic, actively made me laugh because I related to it. I also loved Sarah Millican’s recent book! Fiction doesn’t tend to make me laugh much, interestingly enough.

Sonorous:- a book you think everybody should know about
I love a lesser known book – but for this one I’m actually going to go with a short story collection and that is A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan. Kirsty is a wonderful, wonderful author and I can’t wait for her new novel next year – but this collection is small but perfect and now it is more widely available (the original print run was quite limited) I’d recommend anyone pick this up for a cozy afternoon with a blanket and a hot drink!

Obliviate:- a book or spoiler you would like to forget having read
When you read my review of Sealskin you will understand why that is my answer! I wish I could take back the 30 minutes I spend listening to this book before I DNF’d it.

Imperio:- a book you had to read for school
I read several books for school – I loved reading books for school, but I was a nerd! I think I have to give a special mention to Macbeth though – mainly because when I first read an extract from it I was about 11 or 12, and my teacher was adamant I would enjoy it. I loved this teacher, and I think I owe everything I’ve achieved to what she taught me. But she was right, I loved that extract from Macbeth and to this day it remains my favourite Shakespeare play. Interestingly I actually had to read it for my drama class, not English.

Crucio:- a book that was painful to read
Oh gosh. I think this honour has to go to Stardust. I found it so difficult to read, and the plot was so flimsy and it actually enraged me at points. It was a shame because I wanted to love it so much!

Avada Kadavra:- a book that could kill
This one is a hard one, given that it is one that is to be interpreted as the blogger wishes. And for this I’m actually going to take it as a book that is so heavy it could kill someone if used as a weapon. And that is The Count of Monte Cristo. At over 1200 pages it was both an incredible book, and a beast that I absolutely could not carry around with me. There are several books of this length I have read, and enjoyed, but it’s Monte Cristo which I think would be the most apt to be used to kill a person!

So, that’s it! This was so much fun to do and, if it looks fun to you, feel free to do it yourself. Alternatively feel free to comment and discuss because I’d love to hear your thoughts on this tag.

Thanks for reading!

Tag: Winter is Coming || Bogmas Day 11

Happy Friday people! This is late as today was crazy, it was the last day of uni for the semester and was a lot busier than I anticipated.

Today, as promised, I am bringing you a tag. This tag was created by Katherine Barka and when I watched it over on Sam’s channel (Novels and Nonsense) I really wanted to give it a go. It’s been on my To Do list since this time last year and I discovered it in my notebook and decided that, as it’s nice and festive, it was perfect for the 11th day of Blogmas! Without further ado let’s get on to the questions…

1. Snow: It is beautiful when it first falls, but then it starts to melt. A book/book series that you loved at the beginning, but then, at the middle of it, you realized you don’t like it any longer.
Wuthering Heights. Unpopular opinion there. I always feel blasphemous when I say I didn’t like Wuthering Heights. I’ve always enjoyed it to about page 150 and then I just get really frustrated and angry with it.

2. Slowflake: Something beautiful and always different. Choose a book that stands out, that is different from all the other books you’ve read
countofmontecristoThe Count of Monte Cristo. I talk about this book a lot and I think the reason I do have such strong feelings about it is that I went in to it not really expecting much. I picked it up on a whim, even though it was a classic is was very far away from my usual comfort zone. It opened my mind to try new things, it’s a book that has just stuck with me and I find myself thinking about it a lot. I have these really vivid memories about it and a book hasn’t haunted me like that, ever.

Also, Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children… that book was very out of my comfort zone full stop and I loved it!

3. Snowman: It is always fun to make one with your family. Choose a book that a whole family could read.
It would be very easy to say Harry Potter here, and while I have said that I will also pick something different and say The Oz series by L Frank Baum. It’s a great read for any age and, also, has a good balance of male and female characters so there is someone for everyone to relate to!

4. Christmas: Choose a book that is full of happiness, that made you warm inside after reading it
Harry Potter?! No, an alternative answer to this is probably Ballet Shoes, I love that book. It’s heartwarming and really deserves more recognition!

5. Santa Claus: He brings wonderful presents. Choose a book that you’d like to get for ChristmasDr Jekyll
One that I know is just a pipedream is the VMC Designer edition of My Cousin Rachel. It’s out of print and so hard to find, if you do it’s extortionate but I would so, so love that book to add to my collection.

Failing that, I’d be happy with any Penguin special editions – clothbounds, english library, drop caps, christmas series… I love them all! Also, there is a new range of Penguin books designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith that are a rubber cover and they are beautiful as illustrated by the picture to the right. There are 10 books in this series and they are just to die for – but at £20 a piece they’re going to have to remain beautiful!

6. Snow bowling: It can be painful to be hit by a snowball. Choose a book that hurt, that made you feel some strong emotion, like sadness, or anger.
The last book that made me angry was actually Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix… That book enrages me quite a bit. It’s the least favourite in the series for me and yes, it infuriates me!

An answer that isn’t Harry Potter… The Dumb House by John Burnside. That book was creepy as hell, I loved it, it was like Criminal Minds in the written from but it really gave me some strong emotions!

7. Sledding: We all loved it when we were younger. Choose a book that you loved when you were a child.
So many! I’m going to have to pick the book I remember reading most as a child which was Owl Babies. I’m going right back to my early years here as I read this when I started primary school. It was one of my favourite books and I actually bought it for a friend as a joke gift last year!

8. Frostbite: Choose a book that you were really disappointed in.
Middlemarch. I’m saying no more.

9. Reindeer: Something that is dear to us. Choose a book that is of great sentimental value to you.
orginaljaneeyreI have several books that are very high on the sentimental list. For me it has to be Jane Eyre. It was the first classic I read as a teenager and I, sadly, have lost the copy I read originally but I loved that book literally to pieces; it was falling apart on the last read. I had the really ugly edition that I’ve put in a picture of, it was really thin paper and not well bound but I remember reading that book and being so grateful that my uncle introduced me to that book. I’ll have to thank him one day!

Tag: The Joy Of Christmas || Blogmas Day 6

Happy Sunday, folks! Today I’m going to be a bit lazy and do a tag post, but I saw this and thought it was perfect. This tag was created by Sam over at Novels and Nonsense and I encourage you all to give it a go because it was mighty fun!

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?
I recently discovered that penguin are releasing The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Vilette as clothbound classics next year. Which I’ve already preordered! I’m debating whether I want to preorder the other two being released which are War and Peace and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

As for new releases, the sequel to Skin by Ilka Tampke is due for release in the Spring which is probably the one I’m most aware of. I tend not to stay on top of new releases which is bad of me. I go in to a shop and if I see one I like the look of, I buy it!

Books I’m hoping will be released are anything by Kirsty Logan or Ali Smith and an illustrated Chamber of Secrets! Oh and any new VMC Designer Editions of Daphne du Maurier’s works!

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?
Not really a surprise but it has to be Daphne du Maurier. That woman was incredible and such a prolific author and it saddens me that only 4 of her novels are really well known because one of my favourites of hers is her first novel which hardly anyone has heard of!

Ali Smith is another that can’t do any wrong in my world. Probably my favourite living author. Such an incredible woman and a lovely person with it from the times I’ve met her.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?
Having not read a huge amount of fantasy, or at least books with different worlds, this one has to be Harry Potter for me. The thing I love most about the Harry Potter series is that it’s still growing, the world is still expanding through Pottermore and I love that.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favourite classic or one that you want to read
I love classics, if you didn’t realise by now. Most of my favourites come from the mid-19th century. The Count of Monte CristoThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Jane Eyre. However I love modern classics too, post 1900 my favourites are probably Orlando and Rebecca. Narrowing it down to just one is too hard! As for one I want to read; more Dickens. Mainly Great Expectations!

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas
Any Penguin Clothbound Classic. Vain I know, but I just love receiving them as gifts. I’d also love some more of the Penguin Christmas Classics because I have two and they’re adorable and again, I think they’re beautiful for gifts. Failing that, I’d like some new colouring books!

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling
Wizard of Oz. I love this book. I love anything in the world that Baum created. While not a clear world for me to understand, I do love it. I love losing myself in Oz and I really want to finish reading the series next year.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favourite book covers?

I could very easily have just spammed you with most of Coralie Bickford Smith’s portfolio here. Her cover designs for penguin are flawless. But these are probably some of the most beautiful books on my shelf.

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favourite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favourite Christmas memories?
Christmas is a very family-heavy thing for me. My mum’s parents are divorced so we go and see both sets of grandparents, whether we get to see them on Christmas day or not is another matter, but definitely over the Christmas Eve to Boxing Day (26th in UK) period we do. Some of my fondest Christmas memories involve my grandparents and even without my grandma (great grandmother) we’re going to enjoy this year to the best of our ability. No doubt there will be a very aggressive/drunken match of Trivial Pursuit on Boxing Day at my grandmothers house. It’ll be great!

Tag: The Man Booker Prize Tag

man bookerSo, I found this over at Jean’s channel (BookishThoughts) and really wanted to do it. I’m currently making my way through the shortlist for this years prize and really want to make an effort to read more of previous prizes and thought this would be a really good way to do that! This will probably include a bit of a long-term TBR as there are a number I want to get through it seems. Going through the shortlists (here) there are a number of books I really want to get around to that I, honestly, had no idea were nominated in the past. So, anyway, let’s get on with it.

1. How long have you been following the Man Booker Prize? (If this is your first year, have you followed any other prizes previously?)

I use the term follow loosely. Really I’ve only been interested in it for the past few years – maybe since 2009? I remember Hilary Mantel winning for Wolf Hall and I then remember the next few years quite well even though I didn’t actively go out and read the books. I’ve been aware of it for a long time though, I think my English teacher in year 6 (I was 10/11) was the first one to introduce us to literary prizes – I didn’t go out and read any that young but she was the one who made me curious enough to go out and investigate when I got that bit older.

As for other prizes, I don’t follow them as I do the Man Booker, I’ve dipped in and out of the Orange/Bailey’s Prize and the Costa Book Awards but mainly to see what books are out there rather than following it religiously!

2. If you read a book you know has been longlisted, what expectations do you have going in to it?

In the past I’ve headed in with a sense of trepidation. It’s only the last few years I’ve been aware of the longlist, previously I only ever noticed the winner and a lot of the winning books seem a little untouchable. Books longlisted for the Man Booker are those that are the best in the class, they’re the elite and being elite doesn’t always mean that they’re approachable for the average Joe!

However, now I’ve developed as a reader, I go in expecting something amazing. I go in wanting the experience to be amazing. I want the book to be something different, something that I’ve not read before. I want it to maybe make me think differently.

3. Have you read any books from the longlist this year (if not, which ones interest you?)

I’m currently making my way through the shortlist. I’ve read A Little Life and Satin Island – the first being amazing and the later being a disappointment. I want to get to the final four in the next week or two. I know I’m not going to get through them all by Tuesday when the winner is announced but I do want to finish them. Off of the longlist, I’m quite interested to read The Chimes!

4. Which previously longlisted or shortlisted Man Booker book is your favourite?

From last year, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, it just has to be.

I’ve also loved A Tale for the Time Being (2013), Room (2010), The Accidental (2005), Never Let Me Go (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2003), Oryx and Crake (2003), Fingersmith (2002) and The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)

5. Which previous Man Booker Prize winner is your favourite (or which would you like to read?)

I’ve actually not read all that many of the winners, and those I have read I’ve not necessarily enjoyed all that much. The one I enjoyed the most will probably be The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Ones I want to read in the near future The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2014), The Blind Assassin (2000) and Midnight’s Children (1981)

6. Is there any book that you hoped would make the longlist this year and didn’t? (to be eligible it has to be a book published in the UK in English between 1st Oct 2014 and 30th Sept ’15)

I would have loved to have seen The Book of Strange New Things, The Buried Giant (even though I didn’t much like it when I read it, it’s one I’ve grown more warmly to in hindsight) and The Gracekeepers in the mix.

Tag: The TBR Tag

I found this tag via the absolutely lovely Lydia. It was actually my inspiration to try and do a blog tag so woo!

This tag does what it says on the tin – it’s basically evaluating my TBR. Genuinely, I’ve kept my head in the sand for far too long about the enormity of my TBR so this has been a bit of an eye opener & mighty also fun!

  1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
  2. Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?
  3. How do you determine which book to read next from your TBR?
  4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?
  5. A book you recently added to your TBR?
  6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
  7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
  8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
  9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you?
  10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
  11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
  12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR?

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Tag: Classics Book Tag

So, I’ve been debating doing a tag blog for a while but have been worried about translating a BookTube tag to a blog post because a lot of things are reliant on reaction to things. I’ll say it again – I wish I had the confidence to be a part of the booktube community. But more on my introversion in a future post (I’m currently reading Quiet by Susan Cain which is about introversion/extroversion so seriously, watch this space).

Anyway, the lovely Samatha (Novels and Nonsense) posted a video on the Classics Book Tag which is right up my alley and, also, very easily translated to a blog post. So I decided to give it a go! The original can be found here as a blog post!

Questions:

1. An overhyped classic you really didn’t like:
2. Favourite time period to read about
3. Favourite fairy-tale
4. What is the most embarrassed classic you haven’t read yet
5. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon)
6. Favourite modern book/series based on a classic
7. Favourite movie version/tv-series based on a classic
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation
9. Favourite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from
10. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone

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