28 October 2014
26 October 2014
The lovely Aimee over at What Aimee Read Next nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award last Sunday. I am very grateful, but it means I must once more attempt to thing on facts about myself, which I am awful at. It’s also a bit of a surprise because recently I’ve been anything but inspiring, but now I feel the need to live up to the award.
Here are the rules for the award:
Seven Facts About Myself
So, last time I had to reveal facts about myself I had to bleed myself dry with stuff so this is going to be difficult.
1. As I’ve said before, I studied History at university, you would think I’ve been to all the museums ever since I’m a history student. I haven’t. I have never been to any of the museums in London and I’m a bit embarrassed about that. I’ve never really been to a lot of museums. I’m a terrible former History student which could be why I’ve never
2. I have a mega sweet tooth. I would eat chocolate all day if I could. You know how you eat until you feel full? With chocolate and sweets I don’t have that issue, I just eat until I think I may explode.
3. I am one of those people that wants to do everything all at once so often ends up doing nothing. I know I can’t do everything but more often than not there are multiple things I feel like doing at any one time and I dither about deciding what to do I often end up doing nothing at all but instead end up just sitting in my pyjamas watching Netflix and browsing the internet.
4. I both love and hate cleaning. I find nothing more satisfying than cleaning and organising things. I will happily sit for hours organising the files on my laptop. There is something so satisfying about getting things clean, tidy and organised. I hate cleaning as well, though. I will do anything and everything to put off vacuuming, doing the washing up or simply putting my laundry away. My room goes from two extremes, it’s either so tidy and organised, or it looks like a bomb has gone off.
5. I mentioned before I live with my mom, I am currently contemplating moving out, I’ve seen a small flat I could afford. I sometimes think I never want to move but, though, I don’t understand how people can be brave enough to live independently, I sometimes want to stay so my mom can feed me and I can chill with the dog and the cat, it would be lonely living alone.
6. I really like technology. I read up on the latest releases for computers, tablets and phones and constantly am upset I don’t have the latest shiny new thing. I own two tablets and a laptop that is far more fancy than I really need. I want a chromebook even though I don’t have any use for it. I want the newest LG phone, I want the new Nexus tablet. I want things I have no use for and it just leaves me confused because I only understand half the computer people terms but it is just so interesting. I keep up to date with technology but I’m like a middle-aged woman when it comes to social media, it’s strange really.
7. As I said, I’m prematurely middle aged. Despite being 23 I complain about things like I’m 40. I dislike a lot of popular music, you know that song All About That Bass song? I f***ing hate it. I hear it about four times a day at work and I want to kill Meghan Trainor, it has reached that point of annoyance for me. Sadly, I realise murder is not the option and I know the song will drift into obscurity soon enough, but until then I hate it. I am like this about a lot of things, people at work think it’s hilarious, but I hate it.
And The Nominees Are…
Kaja @ Of Dragons and Hearts
Mitchii @ Aeropapers
Nikki @ The Paper Sea
Hawwa @ It Was Lovely Reading You
Ellen @ The Canon
Cee @ The Novel Hermit
Vickie @ Under The Mountain
Keeley @ Lost In The Pages Of A Book
Georgie @ What She Reads
Genevieve @ The Reading Shelf
And You, because anyone visiting my blog inspires me so you deserve this.
I know there aren’t 15 nominees there, but these are the blogs I visit most frequently (not including Aimee, who nominated me and Rachel @ Confessions of a Book Geek who nominated to Aimee, seems pointless to re-nominate people).
23 October 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Chick-Lit
Jasmine loves two things: her sister and her work. And when her work is taken away she has no idea who she is.
Matt loves two things: his family and the booze. Without them, he hits rock bottom.
One New Year’s Eve, two people’s paths collide. Both have time on their hands; both are at a crossroads. But as the year unfolds, through moonlit nights and suburban days, an unlikely friendship slowly starts to blossom.
Sometimes you have to stop still in order to move on…
Original and poignant, The Year I Met You will make you laugh, cry and celebrate life.
I don’t know if I have ever written about my love for the author Cecilia Ahern on this blog, I probably haven’t because she is an author I have accepted as a must read and own author who I quietly love but don’t often talk about. It’s just an accepted fact in my mind that I love everything Ahern writes. Well, this review will essentially be me raving about Cecilia Ahern and her wonderful writing.
I bought The Year I Met You last weekend, I saw it was out and just knew I had to own it because Ahern has never failed me in a book. There are books of hers I like better than others, but never have I been disappointed with her writing. This book was more of the same from her. It has excellent writing, lovable characters with a variety of flaws, the lovely setting of Ireland, and thought provoking themes and ideas. I cannot claim this has been one of my favourite books of hers, but it was certainly enjoyable. I began the book Sunday and finished it Monday night. I have allowed my self a couple of days to formulate my thoughts and here they are below.
I loved the characters, sure Jasmine may not always come across as the most likable of characters from her being so career and work driven and her frequent disregard for other characters feelings, but somehow that made me like her more, because she is a very believable person. I loved her obsession with Matt, her neighbour, her watching his life unfold and how she just referred to him as ‘you’ so often, like her life revolves around the goings on in his, which in many ways it does since she lost her job. Whilst she had previously been driven by her job and developing a business she now has nothing to focus upon so I got why she began obsessing over the ins and outs of Matt’s life. Not to a stalkerish level, but it was definitely an obsession. I enjoyed watching Matt’s life unfold from Jasmine's perspective as well, it was just so interesting.
Ahern always writes such wonderful characters, I loved Jasmine and her slight insanity and ridiculous ideas. With her passion for gardening which only occurred because sometimes you cannot rely upon others to get it right for you. Matt was such an excellent character, he was flawed and needed to sort himself out, but you understand how he got there, because sometimes we all lose our way and end up getting ourselves in a mess because we lose perspective. The relationship which develops throughout the book between Matt and Jasmine was one of my favourite relationships in the book because it is unexpected. The interactions between the pair were so fun, they were funny, the banter was excellent and it was just so prefect. It was scathing without being ridiculous, the back and forth was awesome and really their relationship was the kind that everyone needs. That outsider to keep handing perspective to you in your life, because often you don’t know the mess your in until someone helps point it out to you.
I don’t know what it is about Ahern’s books, but there is something about them that makes them wonderful. I don’t know if I can even fully explain it properly to you, which is awful, because I feel like I need you to understand what I love about her books. This book is of the very real variety, that may seem like a strange thing to state about a book, but often she writes magical realism, I think that’s the term anyway. I really love those books as well, because sometimes you do feel like you need a bit of magic of the everyday variety because things are getting you down, so some of the ideas she has really brighten your day when you contemplate them being real. They’re lovely really, I sometimes think I prefer those books over her normal contemporary books, but then I read one and remember no matter what she does she writes lovely stories with real characters and with real issues within.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is feeling a bit lost in life and feeling a bit down. It’s just such a lovely uplifting read that can give you that kick up the arse to remember it’s not all doom and gloom, but only if you can be bothered to put the effort in to sort yourself out. I think it would be the perfect read for the New Year, because it is all about starting afresh, but it’s perfect for anytime really.
20 October 2014
Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness
I have a confession to make, I have never read a Patrick Ness novel. I have heard such good things and have bought some of his books with the intention of reading them… but I’ve never actually read one. I’ve not even cracked the cover of one. Is that bad? I do really want to read the Chaos Walking series though.
Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Again, never read anything by her despite seeing so many good things about her books on various blogs. This is another series I’ve been intending to read for quite a while, I will eventually get around to remedying this. The things is though, I didn’t even know what this series was about until I went and looked up the books on goodreads whilst writing this post. I have had these books on my TBR list for a while, but I think I must have bought them without ever looking at the blurb… oops?
Paper Gods – Amanda Sun
On this one I am guilty of mostly wanting to read this series purely for the book covers. They are just such pretty books covers, I have a thing for ink and watercolour images so the artwork appeals. It isn’t the only reason, thankfully, the fact the book has Japan as a setting and that the books are something different is also a major plus point. The series is one I continually see and then look past, I’ll have to change that.
Midnight Thief – Livia Blackburne
I admit, I forgot this book was even on my TBR list, but after browsing goodreads for book series I want to read I stumbled across it and suddenly remembered that this is in fact a book I was dying to read when I first read the blurb. The book appeals to me with the whole assassin thing, the whole fantasy thing, just it appeals okay.
The Mapmakers Trilogy – SE Grove
I bought this book after seeing the beautiful pictures of the cover posted by Kelly at Oh The Books. I then added it to me TBR pile and… I didn’t forger about it… I just found other books I wanted to read more. This is often a place that many a book goes in my life. I know I will eventually get around to reading it, but it is debatable how long that may be. This has just reminded me how much I want to read it. And read it I will.
The Queen Of The Tearling – Erika Johansen
This is another book bought simply based on the positive things said in the blogosphere. I’ve barely looked at the bio, but I want to read it. I know Emma Watson has been cast in the film adaptation, I love that girl, what more do I need to know about the book than that? Okay, so having an idea of what it’s about would help, but I’ll learn that when I pick it up to read…right?
Gates of Thread and Stone – Lori M Lee
This book sounds good, I’m not sure how much, but the plot intrigues me enough that I definitely hope to pick it up when I get a chance.
The Malediction Trilogy – Danielle L Jensen
This is a book I almost forgot adding to my TBR shelf, it wuld be one of many. Luckily for me this weeks theme led me to search out series wherever I could find them. As you can tell from my list, so far, I am a fan of fantasy. It tends to be the main genre that draws me into to reading a series. I know there are plenty of none fantasy series, but it’s my weakness, even if I don’t always remember to finish (or start) to read a series.
A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas
Am I allowed to include this in my list? Well, I’m doing it anyway. After reading Throne of Glass I was eager to read anything and everything which Sarah J Maas had written, ever, so I went immediately to her website where I saw a link to another book series she was writing. I was, obviously, excited thinking she had another series she had published already, sadly, that was not the case. I was eager to read a series which was not even written and published, it was upsetting to say the list. It is most definitely one of my most eagerly awaited new series, but sadly it is not being released into mid way through next year. I will wait, I have little choice really.
Brilliance Saga – Marcus Sakey
I bought the first book like a year ago after reading about it on buzzfeed and I don't know why I haven't started it yet. It’s just sat on my kindle waiting to be read, then when I saw the second book was out and on offer in the kindle store, I bought that as well. Essentially, I need to start this series because I keep buying the books and not reading them.
15 October 2014
I want to stick on the theme of travel my discussion post this week. This is in fact a discussion post I thought of whilst I was on holiday in New Orleans, I was on a river boat, one of those with the paddle thing, and I just randomly started thinking about how New Orleans was very different to what I expected in many ways. I’ve read books where the city features, I’ve seen TV shows and films with it in, but nothing really prepares you for actually visiting a place.
I’m not a great traveller, I’ve not really been all that any places. I know people will think that because I live in England I will be able to relate to all those books set in London, but I am not a fan of London as a place (probably because I’m British and didn’t grow up there, that place definitely appeals to foreigners and those who who are originally from there) and so avoid it at all costs, so I actually don’t know the city at all. When I read books most places are completely unfamiliar to me and so I can fully take the author at their word about what a place is like. It’s great when you can do that, immerse yourself in the authors descriptions and accept them at face value.
Does knowing a place or setting affect your experience of a book though? I mean, is a welcoming, like seeing a place you know so well give you the warm and fuzzies, or does it make you critical as you expect the author to get it right?
As I said, I’m not a great traveller and I don’t usually see a place feature in a book that I’ve been to before because, surprisingly, there aren’t that many books which I read that are set in the West Midlands. I only get the experience of going to places after reading about them in books. So, I’m always visiting places with certain expectations of them, having read about them and felt like I’ve visited them already.
I think that’s sort of what happened with my experience in New Orleans, it wasn’t disappointing, it was awesome, but I had this whole romantic image of the place. I imagined lots of cool and quirky shops and bars and of small side streets and historical buildings and amazing architecture and what I witnessed was tourism. There were people from all over, there were bars appealing to people wanting cheap drinks and a good time. Everywhere you went you saw people trying to show you the classic New Orleans experience, but the one everyone hears about of Mardi Gras and that, and it wasn’t what I expected.
I think when you read about a place in books you are getting the locals experience, and also there is such a thing as creative license. You get a romantic view so whatever you see cannot fully match your expectations. I loved my time in New Orleans, but from everything I’d seen and read about the place, it was surprising how different my time was there than what I expected. I think that’s what I’m getting at, have you ever read about a place and felt like you knew it, and then visited and had it be completely different to your expectations?
Tell me about your experiences of books and places you know featuring in them, I’d love to hear your thoughts because this post is essentially my rambles, my unfiltered thoughts really.
14 October 2014
11 October 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.
Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....
This book completely met my expectations in many ways, but it was also completely different to what I expected. I expected that you’d get some of the main characters viewpoints mixed in with the various onlookers to their blossoming relationship, but you didn’t. I expected various viewpoints, I didn’t expect to witness Lea and Gabe’s romance from the perspective of a bench or a squirrel. I expected the book to be slow and the romance slow to happen, but I didn’t expect it to be quite so slow and frustrating.
I loved this book despite the things that I didn’t like. I may have felt that it was a bit pretentious the various viewpoints, with the squirrel and the bench viewpoint. It did feel like I was reading someone's homework for Creative Writing where they were demonstrating their excellent ability to write from various perspectives about the same events and demonstrate how perspective can alter your perception of a scene, or something equally intellectual sounding. Yes, that book is a bit like that, it’s different though. I think the fact that the actual thing you are getting various perspectives on is a couple and their blossoming romance helps to make the pretentious side of things such a none issue. If this book wasn’t a contemporary romance I would have found it irritating, but because of what it is and how it’s written and what it’s about you don’t care, because it just comes across as sweet. That is the sign of a good author. An author who may have realised how this book could come across and combatted that issue by writing about something so many love to read about, life and love.
As a whole, this was a fun and enjoyable read. The characters were likable enough that I could ignore the flaws. I liked watching the romance from everyone's varying perspectives and was as eager as everyone else to see something happen. It was fun and filled an enjoyable couple of afternoons.
06 October 2014
I just saw Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner doing this, and remember a while back Addison over at Of Spectacles and Books also did it, as did Amanda, and I remember when I saw her post then that I wanted to try this at some point. So, since it seems to be a thing everyone is getting in on, and since I’ve been gone for a little while this is a perfect way to catch up.
If we were having coffee… I would tell you about how I read A Little Something Different and absolutely loved it and try and force it upon you in anyway possible. It would be brought up repeatedly in conversation until you realised that, actually, this is a book you have wanted to read all along. Because that’s what I do with my friends, force them to read books I like, buying them as gifts at birthdays and holidays because you must read things always.
If we were having coffee… I would tell you how embarrassed I am at my current TV viewing habits, I now watch Eastenders and X-Factor! X-Factor was bad enough TV viewing because none of the judges really know what they’re talking about, they’re only in it for the money, but yet it’s mandatory viewing each weekend, I even record it in case I’m out. Eastenders though, that is a big embarrassment, I’ve never really been a soap watcher, there was a phase of me watching Hollyoaks when I was at uni, but I also watched Jeremy Kyle at uni, so I don’t feel that can really reflect accurately upon me as a person. Eastenders has Danny Dyer in being hilarious and I’ve started rooting for Shirley and booing at Sharon and I’m getting really into it, it’s weird.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you my poor TV viewing habits can be redeemed by the fact I am also watching The Leftovers and Legends on TV, so I am not a complete TV embarrassment, just a small one. I would also tell you all about these TV shows to get you to watch them, because as well as being a book pusher, I’m a TV show pusher as well.
If we were having coffee… I would get serious as well and tell you that I’m really beginning to not enjoy my job. It’s never been something I loved, but I didn’t mind being there each day. I knew what my job involved and I did it, but there have been changes at work in the past couple of months. People have left, some have been or will be replaced, but one on our team hasn’t been, so our work load has increased. I don’t mind the extra work, that’s not the issue, the issue is that there doesn’t seem to be any appreciation that we are having to do more work, there is no offer of any extra benefits or a pay rise, we just have to do it because it’s a job that has to be done and we’re the only ones able to. It’s the fact that others teams in our department are struggling, just like we are, but as they’re struggling we’re being asked to train in their jobs and help them do their work, whilst I’m left wondering where’s the assistance for us, we’re struggling too why isn’t this going both ways? We’re being asked to help with others peoples jobs, but I know when it gets to the end of the month the managers will be asking why we’re behind in our work for the month and all we’ll be able to say is that we’ve been asked to do other jobs, we can’t be in three places at once. Sorry, this has been a bit of a rant and I could go on longer, but you get the idea, right? Work is getting me down because I feel underappreciated.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you I don’t know what I want to be doing in life and it’s scary. I’m 23 and I have a degree but I don’t think I want a career where I will be continually climbing the ladder trying to get higher and get more money and responsibility. I want to work somewhere I clock in on a morning, do my job, have a couple of people I can chat with and have a laugh with whilst doing it, then clock out at the end of the day and not think about it again until I’m back the next day. I know that’s very uninspiring, I have myself a degree which I am doing nothing with, but that’s my choice isn’t it? When I tell people that though, they’re surprised, shouldn’t I be in a graduate position managing people and earning £30000 a year plus benefits? The idea of doing something like that terrifies me and makes me a bit sick, I don’t understand why there is this expectation for people to get educated and get a career. There’s more to life than money and a job, but sometimes I feel like I’m not even getting that right.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you I’m scared my blog might not last the year. Since I went away on holiday and then with my internet going down I’ve had a month off from blogging and I’m finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. With things annoying me at work I’ve certainly been less motivated to blog, and with the internet being down I’ve obviously been no where near my computer in about three or four weeks, so all in all it’s been a bad month of blogging with September being a none blogging month essentially.I know once I start getting back into some kind of blogging routine I should be fine, but I’m not known for persevering with things so I do sometimes worry one day I’ll stop blogging because I feel a bit unmotivated and then just never come back.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you I’m scared of growing up. I know I’m only 23 so it’s not like I’m a real adult or anything, I mean I still live at home with my mom, not very grown up is it? Last week one of my friends was talking about the future and about moving out and she was talking to me about how her and her boyfriend were saving for a house and she was thinking about mortgages and real grown up things and it terrified me. I can’t afford to move out, I’m saving to, but I know with the job I have now I earn no where near enough money to qualify for any kind of decent mortgage and that scares me. I’m scared that I’m even thinking about mortgages and having to get a better paying job to support myself, because I don’t want to be that person. I’m only thinking of getting a better job so I have more money. Money to buy a house with, because that’s what is expected, but I don’t even know what I want to do in life. I might want to travel, because I’ve never been anywhere really. I want to experience things before I have to be tied down to paying a mortgage and owning a hose, but I can’t save to travel and move out at the same time because of money. And that’s worse, everything is coming down to money at the moment, and I hate that and don’t know how to get out of that frame of mind.
If we were having coffee… I would tell you how I hate being so serious and just want to have a little fun. I’d tell you how I sometimes feel like I’ve skipped a few years, I didn’t embrace being a teenager and my early twenties enough and don’t feel like I’ve experienced all the things you meant to have at this point in my life. I’d tell you how I want to let my hair down and have fun but I feel like I forgot how. I’d also tell you that I enjoy being me, and like sitting in my pyjamas being lazy after work, but it sometimes feel like I should be doing more with my life, but I’m happy so I shouldn’t beat myself up.
If we were having coffee… I’d ask you how things are with you, because after that therapeutic rant you should get the chance to air your problems too. How are things with you? Have you read a good book recently? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
03 October 2014
I know I said my internet went down last Sunday and that it would be up Wednesday, but it wasn’t. It’s back now, but those proposed posts I would write haven’t happened.
The past week has been a bit rubbish, both at home and at work. I have had no internet, which has made me extra irritable, and work has been appalling, which has made me a down right bitch. I promise I will write posts, my blog must go on, but I will try and be realistic about what I can do.
I have been reading plenty in the past week though, so I will hopefully be able to write up a few quick reviews, since I think mini reviews may be the way forward. I don’t think they’ll even be reviews, maybe quick thoughts on books? I don’t know, I’m figuring it out.
I figure I’m going to take the weekend to figure out what I want to do since I’ve essentially had a month off from blogging to I need to get myself back into the swing of things, but I’ll be posting Monday and Tuesday and attempting to be a good blogger again.