Entertainment

How To Make The Most of Your Christmas Reading?

Sitting in your corner, the fire on, a glass of wine on the speaker and a good book in your hand. That is the dream- for us bookworms. But, when you’re working all year round, get busy over the year it can sometimes be impossible to find time to read your favourite books. So, while Christmas is upon us and you have some time off maybe you should pick up those books you’ve been meaning to read and settle in for a relaxed night of fun and simplicity.

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Of course, we all have our own list of books we want to read over Christmas and as a bookworm- I have my own. So here is the list.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I saw the film earlier this year and absolutely loved it. And now, I would like to read the books to compare the similarities and differences between the stories. I’ve been looking in the book shops and once I get paid this week, I think I’ll be investing in the books for myself.

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Harry Potter Series- Including Fantastic Beasts and The Cursed Child

I got these books this year, and added onto the original set I would love to be able to read the entire set all the way through. I’ve heard great reviews of both books and so, I have high hopes. Especially as I’m such a fan of the original series. Let’s hope they don’t disappoint me.

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I’m a Gryffindor- On Pottermore. What House Are You?

The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden

It’s a book by an author I love. Another one of his books ‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared’ is a favourite of mine. I find a particular scene hilarious which entails a dog’s disappointment from being shut away from the drama ensuing in this woman’s kitchen until he realises he has been shut in the pantry with the FOOD. It is how I imagine most dogs think actually. The author- Jonas Jonasson is a genius. And so, I’m expecting big things from this book but I am utterly sure I’ll love it.

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Birthdays For The Dead

I got this book on O2 priorities cheap book deal with WH Smith. I had to repeatedly visit the shop as they kept running out of stock. Must be a good sign. Or the bookworms of the world couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get a really cheap book. Stuart MacBride is said to be an extremely talented writer and I do love a good crime book.

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Game of Thrones Set

I’ve been trying to track down the last couple books I need to complete my set. Aside from the fact I’ve had to buy the out of order depending on when I see these books in the charity shops or on market stalls which has not helped my OCD nature of wanting to do things in order, I’m hoping someone has bought me one of the books I’m looking for. And then, I can pour over my books and follow it by re-watching Game of Thrones because you can never see it too many times.

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I’m aware that in reality this is a lot of books and it would be impossible to read them all. However, I do know I’ll be able to make a start on my little Christmas wishlist and carry on reading into the New Year. There is always time to sit down with a good book. I’m going to leave you with a very good quote, written by an amazingly talented man which rings true.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one”- George R R Martin

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Entertainment

American Gods: Book Review

Normally I’m a pretty fast reader. Ask anyone who knows me. I completed two Game of Thrones books in a weekend, the entire Harry Potter Series over four days and both The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings within a week and that is a long book. This was only 600+ pages. For me, that is child’s play but, I took my time with this book. Not because I love it more than some of my favourite series, or because I absolutely hated it. I took my time with this book because from the very first page I realised, this book needs to be read slowly, re-read and savoured.

*Disclaimer- the book is completely different to what I have seen of the show*

Firstly, I am going to talk about the overall story, then the characters and finally recommend ten times over that this is a book you should all read.

I did not see the story ending how it did. It was magnificent. With some books, the ending has a twist but then it isn’t explained, or it comes too late in the book instead of building from the beginning, or the twist is so damn predictable you could have written a better ending. And those are the most disappointing kind. I won’t tell you how the book ends because that would ruin the surprise for anyone reading it however, I just had to begin with the ending because as you can see I’m still in a state of shock and awe.

The book begins with Shadow facing a personal tragedy resulting in his early prison release. What the follows is mystery, action, adventure, myths and legends coming to life, a little bit of love, family, betrayal and renewal. And most of the time, these kind of books aren’t good because there are just too many elements however, Neil Gaiman is a magician and has managed to sow these elements together to create a wonderfully, original story wherein you don’t always realise a new clue to the overall mystery has been identified within the story. Furthermore, the characters as there are so many names and descriptions to remember all bring an individual piece of the puzzle with them. Some openly know what bearing their knowledge has whilst others simply trade on it assuming it useless to Shadow.

So, with all those characters I’ll rattle off the few which stuck in my head.

Shadow- We discover the mystery through him, and only when he finally understands a part of the puzzle then so does the audience. Lost and angry, Shadow is the key to the whole picture with obstacles always thrown in his direction whilst grieving for his wife and friend. He is every gods pawn until he realises the true power he holds. Your classic protagonist who is rough around the edges and broken deals with identity issues stemming to his childhood. Overall an amazingly complex character who is great to follow within the story and provides the reader with a relatively normal character to follow the story through.

Wednesday- A man in disguise. A mystery. A scared god who uses Shadow to complete his true plan. However, you constantly get the feeling he is trying to tell Shadow all along who he is and what he needs. Wednesday demonstrates that the biggest conman in the world are the gods within this story, they’ve lost themselves and stooped to the level of humans (a travesty to them) to survive. He just admits this fear. He plays the bad guy trying to be the good guy. Or does he?

Low Key- I never actually got this until the end. A very good ploy by the author to disguise one of the many antagonists in plain sight. Introduced to this character as Shadow’s mentor in prison, the man who helped him cope and gave pearls of wisdom to him, it is hard to understand how I missed his true godly identity. It was smacking over the head the entire time. This is why I love this character because you think someone so minor was just to set up the story but, instead he plays a major role. The author brilliantly hid this character till the perfect time for which he revealed himself cementing the entire con.

This is just a small taste of the book but I recommend you all pick it up and give it a go. Without trying to give too much away, I hope I’ve told you why I love this book. And I’ll say it again; there is shock and awe, the characters are brilliantly written and developed and you never understand the full picture of the book till the end. This is because the author wants it like this to pull in the audience. It is definitely worth the read.

Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it!

Life

Hello Old Friend!

It’s been a while since my last blog post…around eight weeks and normally I produce AT least a post a month if not two. But the last eight weeks have been absolutely bonkers! Where do I start? Well, I had a short stay in the hospital for a week followed by four more weeks of recovery so I wasn’t really up for blogging at the time. Next, I got really busy looking for a job, catching up with old friends, spending time with my family and getting back into running. And I got a Xmas Temp job at Tesco’s as a picker. So, I pick your food if you order online for the next 8 weeks or so. But, I’m hoping to get a full time job and begin my career. I’m interested in HR or Communications/Media. Yes, I finally feel like I’m getting my life on track which includes getting a Masters if I haven’t found a full time position before next September.

So, as you can see it has been a pretty drama filled eight weeks. And it makes you reflect especially when you get hit out of the blue with illness that later turned into a small operation. So, here is what I’ve reflected on or thought about over the last eight weeks.

Life likes to throw obstacles every now and again- I didn’t plan on getting ill, I asked everyday if I could go home yet and when I was home I had to recover. It wasn’t expected but, sometimes life throws an obstacle and its how you deal with it that defines YOU. It hurt, and I couldn’t stand up straight for a week but I got through it with the support of my parents and friends and it allowed myself to stop, take a breath and really think about what I want. In hindsight, it really helped to have six weeks of a breather. And dealing with this obstacle has really helped me to grow stronger as a person. I know I can deal with more now, after dealing with this!

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End of my stay- I was feeling much better

Try, try, try again- We’ve all seen the advert on TV with famous sports stars and kids saying this phrase. Every time it comes on, I sit there and enjoy the advert because it’s good advice! So when the time can two weeks ago, when I could begin running again- I ran twice in one week. I completed six and a half miles overall which is one mile for every week of illness. Also, to continue running I’ve signed up for the Santa Run at my local leisure centre which gives me a goal to aim for, in terms of peaking in fitness again. So, my motto is ‘try, try, try again’. If at first you do not succeed continue trying because you’ve only failed if you stop and give in. 

 

Let it go- If there is anything in life that still bugs you, if you still feel angry or sad or whatever about any situation that has ever happened in your life just let it go! I’m a positive person, and I have been for the last few years and that is because the only way to get through life is to keep on smiling and think positively. And there isn’t always a lot to do when you can’ really move or lift stuff so you get bored after a while and your mind wonders. But, I put a smile on my face and thought positively and that helped and that is because whatever has happened in your past ever, if you work on letting it go- happiness, a positive optimistic attitude and just smiling comes easier. So, as that annoying Frozen song goes- Let it go.

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Make a list- While I was bored, I made a list in my head of books I wanted to read and I’m aiming to get through them by Christmas so, I’ve started with the largest book on my list: American Gods. And let me tell you, I’m coming to the end now of this book so it has took me a lot longer than usual. Next, I would like to read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings- also big books, and finally Game of Thrones- if I can complete my set in the next eight weeks as I’m missing ‘A Feast for Crows’ and ‘A Dance with Dragons Part 1: Dreams and Dust’. You see I have never paid full price for any of them so, I have been searching charity shops and market stalls for them. This list helped me keep focused on doing something, it gave me a goal and I think making a list of something you want to do is great. It is simply something personal for you and no one else. Why don’t you try now?

I also had some really random thoughts as well, just stuff I’m not sure about such as;

  1. Why do bumblebees fly into your windows?
  2. What do you call a baby pigeon? Is it something specific or just baby pigeon…
  3.  How do you get rid of old pairs of glasses?
  4. I wonder what films the Harry Potter Cast like?-I watched them while I had time
  5. Afternoon naps- I miss them! 

And many more thoughts too. These are just a few. Well, I feel like I’ve caught you up on life at the moment for myself. Now, I’m going to plan a few blog posts and try and post once a week up till Christmas. Expect a Christmas song post at the beginning of December guys!

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Entertainment

Letter: from a page folder with love <3

Dear page-folders, book markers and book lovers…

As I talked about in my previous post about the book marker or page turner, I am in fact a page turner! I can’t help it, there is something to love about a worn book with a page turned over. It looks used! In my opinion, a book should look worn not the pristine condition it was bought in? A book is shown love by the crack of a spine, or the pages turned although I don’t dismiss the book-markers (my mum is one). 

Picture of myself and mum. I am on the left red hair, strappy top and tattooed arm. Mum on the right short grey hair pick top.
Left: Me-Page Folder Right: Mum-Book Marker. She may be a rare species!!

 

Turning the pages over to mark your position demonstrates how loved the book is. You can mark a page without finding or buying a bookmark, what do you have to lose? It’s a way of life. And I’ve seen and heard people in the past talking about how it’s disrespectful to turn over a little page! Well I’m here too tell you that each and every book worm is different and should not be judged by how they mark a page. 

#eclipse #booklover #powellsbooks

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In a few other posts, I’ve talked about my love of books but, in the past I’ve also heard a disdain in the voices of those who bookmark and don’t page fold. But, every person is different! While yes, it could ruin a book to an extent…the page fold in my eyes is the mark of a well worn-popular book. And I love that about books. However, that is not to say the book marker doesn’t love their book just the same. We all have a way of leaving our mark on a book and that’s what shows our individuality!

 

The bookworm is a rare species, we love to nest and could read books forever if that were even possible. We love to smell books, and just because a book is new should not mean it isn’t marked in our own way. To be completely honest…some people use a page fold and others bookmark to leave their history on a book and that’s OK! So, be yourself and don’t be afraid! To the bookworm who page-folds I don’t judge and no one else should and to the book marker- I have no judgement on you either and you shouldn’t either. 

A love is books is magical, it transports you to another time, world…life! It’s a distraction and more people should get involved. So, next time you kids ask for something buy them a book instead of the newest craze, download the kindle apps to their phones? Books are for life and let the new generation leave their mark on a book.

“BOOKWORMS UNITE!”

Entertainment

Once Upon a Time…

…in a far off land, there lived  a princess…

We all grew up listening to the same, old fairy tales. And of course, for those who are a little more obsessed they will know that these are not how the original fairy tales went…

Written by the brothers Grimm, lets just say these tales are not completely appropriate for a four-year-old unless blood, horror, mental unstability etc is something you want to subject them too. Yet, these are the fairy tales kids heard (once upon a time) and now, we are told of the beautiful lands, good versus evil without too much blood. So, why?

#grimm #grisgrimly #bookstagram #bookcollection #beautifulcover #fairytales

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As a kid, I loved fairy tales and my favourite is Alice in Wonderland! Honestly I still love them to this day. With television shows such as Once Upon a Time or Grimm I’ve kept up my interest as well as owning a brothers Grimm fairy tale book… And had I known about the real folk tales as a child, I definitely believe until I reached around 11 they would have grossed me out so, maybe the should be introduced during some point of our childhood?

But, I’m not discounting the flouncy, moralistic and happy fairy tales we were brought up on…many of them adaptions on the original story I just don’t believe a ‘dumbing-down’ should take place. Not everyone is aware that the stories we grew up with in modern society, are not the originals. Perhaps, we should provide a child with the knowledge of a more gruesome version of beloved classic fairy tales and give them the opportunity to read them once they are able to independently read, making the choice themselves?

I’m an avid reader, and I have been since I was little. My mum often speaks of times when she sent me upstairs as a child and she’d wonder why I wasn’t making more noise-I was reading so I didn’t mind being upstairs- and after that she used to make me sit on the sofa away from my books. Or the time when I was reading Harry Potter and my brother got that upset with me for some reason he hid my book…I slept with it for the next couple days so he couldn’t get his hands on it? My point: I independently read from the age of four/five and would not necessarily have been old enough to understand the brothers Grimm fairy tales but, as I grew older had I been given the choice at 8/9 I probably would have read them instead of 11.

I was lucky growing up because I had two parents who saw how much I loved reading and encouraged me to do so. So, I did know about the darker tales yet, many of my friends had no clue?

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I have loved books all my life and will continue to do so! I wanted to blog about this because I love fairy tales and having recently stumbled upon an article about fairy tales thought I would blog. If you have an interest now in the brothers Grimm fairy tales then read them…or while it may not be factually correct watch GRIMM or Once Upon a Time and enjoy them. It’ll be a piece of your childhood!

Life

Are You a Bookmark Person or a Page-Folder?

Being a bookworm is easy…most of the time. They provide me with an escape from the world but fiction books, not academic books. And so, with third year coming to a close I’ll be able to pick up my books and read but I’ve been having a little bit of trouble lately- I’ve been busy and it’s hard to pick up a fiction book when you’ve been reading academic ones all day! However, I’m not here to discuss that. I’m going to discuss my top three book sets to unwind, based on how I unwind and the fact once I pick a book  up I cannot put it down till I finish it…

So here goes:

In Third  Place:

Harry Potter…it is a beautiful set that reminds me of my childhood and I think the day my mum realised I was a bookworm, and possibly reading higher than the age of 6/7. You see my parents read to us- me and John as they thought it was important, it taught us something and enabled us to have an active imagination away from screens…Anyway, I got tired of waiting to hear how the third Harry Potter book ended and took matters into my own hand…reading books 1-3 in the space of a week. I wasn’t as fast as I am now. John liked being read too and I was impatient. I was also his younger sister so, when john used to be mean or annoyed me I’d threaten to tell him how the story ended. After that, my book collections began.

In Second Place:

Percy Jackson…not just the original set but, the one produced after featuring a greek/roman crossover too. And even my brother speeds through these books which means they must be good. You see, I commandeered the first book from John, after I read it and wanted to read the rest of the series. He was getting rid of it, so really it was a rescue mission and I buy them all. I’ve even started the series based on Apollo. Any who, it is a great series- its easy and I just love the story even though I know how it goes? I know odd right. That is the earmark of a good book, that and a cracked spine because that means it’s been opened a few dozen times.

And The Winner Is:

The Morganville Vampire Series…all 16 of them if you count the book of short stories which I do! Who wouldn’t want to unwind with these books. They are funny, entertaining, sad and happy! Basically a mix of emotions. I started this series after a very kind person from Waterstones turned me onto them, when I was deciding on a new set of books. It’s ONE of the best series I’ve ever read. Rest assured I’ll be back to the books soon. I would say allotting time for half an hour every night would be good but, I can never put a book down after half an hour, or half way through a chapter or if I need to see what happens in the next chapter.

Anyone else organise bookstore shelves so the series is in order? 👌👌

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I have a question for you all out there. Bookworms unite. Are you a bookmark person or a page-folder. I’m a self-confessed page-folder and yes I know its bad but, I cannot help it! Even my mum tells me off for folding the page, she is a bookworm and uses a bookmark.