Hello everybody! Today, I`m going to be talking about the books I read in September- which are a rather varied and rather brilliant bunch. My reading slowed down a fair bit in the second half due to starting uni, which is also the reason that I`m posting these MUCH later than intended, but on the whole I`m really happy with what I read and how much. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for the International Yeti Collective, and for my post I’m going to be sharing some information about the book AND an exclusive illustration from it by Katy Riddell. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing the Reading Your Country Tag, which I found on Pretty Purple Polka Dots. Onto the post!
What country are you going to talk about?
What is your favourite childhood book from your country? (If you don’t have a favourite, name a popular children’s book from your country.)
I don’t have one. The only thing I can think of is Katie Morag, which I read a few of in primary school.
What is a book from your country that you read in school? (Primary school or high school, your choice!)
In Scotland, it is compulsory to study a Scottish text of some sort for both National 5 and Higher. My favourite of the two plays I studied for those was Tally’s Blood, which is about an Italian immigrant family and love and family. It’s incredibly funny and moving, and I actually really want to reread it one day because it’s quite possibly my favourite thing I’ve ever read for school.
What is a book set in your favourite area of your country? And/or what’s a book set in a place you’d like to visit in your country?
My favourite part of Scotland is the Borders, and I can’t think of anything set there? It would make for a lovely setting though, so if any authors fancy setting a book there I’d be super grateful!
What is a historical fiction book set in your country?
Little Bird Flies by Karen McCombie is about the Highland Clearances and how that impacted people , so I highly recommend that! I’m so excited for the second in the series.
What is a classic book from your country?
Harry Potter counts as a modern classic, right? I googled Scottish classics and I haven’t read any of them (nor do I want to for the vast majority!), so a modern classic that I adore seems like a good compromise.
What is a book from your country that you haven’t read but would like to read?
I’m fairly sure Juliette Forrest, who wrote Twister, lives somewhere reasonably close by me and I’m yet to have read that despite having owned it since publication day. I must get to it at some point.
What are some of your favourite authors or books from your country?
Definitely Karen McCombie and Lari Don, and I really enjoyed Sophie Cameron’s debut last year! The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle and Guardians of the Wild Unicorns are both fantastic books too. I’ve also recently loved a few things set in Scotland written by authors from England: Lightning Chase Me Home, We Won an Island and my beloved Children of Castle Rock.
Which books would you have used to answer these questions, based on your country? What are your thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, despite the fact that most of these will already be out by the time this goes up because I once again forgot that I usually do this post but still wanted one to look back on, I’m going to be talking about the books released in January that I’m most excited for! I promise I’ll try and have the Febraury ones up before they’re all released, though I haven’t read any of these at the time of writing so I can still talk about why I’m excited rather than what I thought. Onto the books!
Hello everybody! Today, I`m going to be sharing my thoughts on all of the books I read in November (excluding a couple for school!), which were all pretty great- it`s definitely been amongst my best months for quality if not quantity! Onto the post!
Today, I`m going to be reviewing all of the books that I read in July, which was mainly another really great reading month for me, in terms of both quantity and quality. Onto the books!
Today, I’m super excited to be on the blog tour for Katy Cannons new book How to Write a Love Story, which I really enjoyed, as you’ll know already if you read my latest monthly reviews post a few days ago! Onto Katy’s post, all about her top 5 romance books!
I love reading romance every bit as much as I love writing it. Narrowing down my favourites to just five is almost impossible, but here a few titles that always pop into my head when someone says ‘romance’.
1. Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen was one of the first great romance writers (if you ignore the Greeks) and for my money, P&P is one of the best romances ever written. It has everything I love – a hero and heroine working towards understanding each other, a great supporting cast, and a blissfully happy ending. (Plus some fantastic one-liners!) That’s why it actually features in How To Write A Love Story at quite a pivotal moment!
2. Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell has that uncanny ability to make me feel eighteen again, exactly as it felt the first time around. I loved this book so much, mostly because I felt like I might have lived it, rather than just read it.
3. In The Hand of the Goddess: Tamora Pierce is famous for her fantasy YA novels, of which this is one of the best. I couldn’t begin to claim that romance is the main focus of this book, but there’s definitely enough romantic scenes for me to count it! More importantly, this was the first book I read as a teenager where I realized that however great the plot, what interested me most in books was the characters, and the friendships, relationships and romances they experienced with others. (Plus I had a total book crush on Prince Jon.)
4. Saint Anything: Sarah Dessen is a writer who draws me into the worlds and families she creates, until by the last page I’m devastated to have to leave them. She also writes incredible teen romances – true and heartbreaking and hopeful. I love all her books, but I think this is my favourite.
5. Shadow of the Moon: M M Kaye wrote sweeping historical fiction with romance at its heart, set in India and Zanzibar. She also wrote fantastic short crime novels (with a romantic subplot) set in many of the countries she’d lived in or visited, set during the forties and fifties. What I love about her books is the period details and political background she includes – as well as the drama and the romance! I was hard pressed to pick a favourite, and almost went for her most famous novel, The Far Pavilions, but Captain Alex Randall from Shadow of the Moon will always hold my bookish heart.
Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite romance books? Do you agree with any of Katy’s choices? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
It’s almost the weekend-yay! Today I’m going to share my book haul (I don’t know why, but I seem to prefer writing these midway through the month instead of at the end 😂❤). If I get any post during the rest of month, it’ll pop up in my September haul 😊
My book haul is, as usual, quite big, so let’s dive in!
BOOKS I’VE READ ALREADY
I won’t go into too much detail about these ones, as I’ll be speaking about them in my August Reviews in a few weeks 😊
- THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY- I won a copy of this on Twitter, in a giveaway ran by Laura. I’ve been desperate to read it since I saw the announcement for it and I dropped everything to read it as soon as it arrived! It was definitely worth it too, it was fabulous…
- GASLIGHT- I received a copy of this from Firefly Press, and I read it right at the beginning of the month and enjoyed it.
- SIMPLY THE QUEST- I bought this at my trip to Waterstones last week and I read it last weekend as it’s been one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. It was even better than the first book, and I’m excited for the 3rd already.
- QUEST- I’ve not read all of this, but I’ve read quite a few stories for an exciting guest post with my friend Louise.
- THE GUGGENHEIM MYSTERY and FRESHERS I’ve read in the past few days, and I loved both of them a huge amount! (Huge thanks to the lovely Jess for sending me Freshers!)
As well as Simply the Quest, I ordered in a few other books I really wanted; The Secret of Supernatural Creek (it has been a LONG 4 years since the last Laura Marlin Mystery, but I want to wait and reread the White Giraffe series and previous Laura Marlins before I read this), A Change is Gonna Come anthology (made up of BAME authors, published by Stripes) and The Starman and Me, which I’ll admit I wanted because of the beautiful cover.
My next choices, History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and Another Place by Matthew Crow, are books I mainly bought as I’ve hear a lot of positive comments about them on other blogs. I’m really hoping I’ll enjoy them as much as others have 🙂
I picked up a classic this month too as I really want to get back into reading them. This looks utterly adorable from the bit I read in the shop, and I’m very excited to get to it!
Lastly, I picked up the Children’s Book of the Month: A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan. It looks really interesting and I’ve heard it has mystery elements, so it’s super high on my TBR!
I’ve had a few visits to the library this month, and I’ve came home with lots of books each time (hence why I have more books than I’m actually meant to on my card, oopsies 🙈)
These are the books that I had to order in from other branches, and I’m super pleased I was able to get these from the library. I love these authors’ other books, and I’m particularly excited about the Starlight Barking as I totally adore of the One Hundred and One Dalmatians and I only just learned this existed a few weeks ago 😍
I also picked up a few books based on blurbs, and in one case, a cover so stunning I couldn’t leave it on the shelf (I’m looking at you Chasing the Stars!). I’m hoping these end up being as good as they sound.
I was lucky enough to receive a few books this month, both from publishers, giveaways and one from a friend.
Along with Gaslight, Firefly also sent me a few of their other titles, which I’m really grateful for. All of these sound fantastic; I’m hoping (pun intended) to get round to all of them soon, particularly Hope, as it has a hospital setting and it’s had amazing reviews so far.
I also recieved a copy of The Disappearences from Pushkin Press. This sounds really interesting, and I’m excited to read it!
I was super excited when I won a giveaway for the Witch’s Kiss and the Witch’s Tears on Twitter. I’ve wanted to read them for ages and just never got round to buying them, but now I have copies I really want to read them as soon as I possibly can. I also won a proof of Eloise Undercover from Catnip Books!
Finally, my friend Louise sent me a copy of When We Collided by Emery Lord as I loved her other books so much!
Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear what books you’ve added to your TBR this month or which of mine you think I should start with in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl
See you soon with a new post
Today, I’m incredibly excited to welcome another author for a Q&A; the incredible Jess Butterworth, whose stunning debut Running on the Roof of the World I absolutely adored (you can read my review in this post). Onto the questions!
Hi Jess. Welcome to Golden Books Girl, and thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me!
My pleasure! I’m delighted to be here.
1. To start off, can you sum up Running on the Roof the World for anyone who hasn`t read it yet in 5 words?
Contemporary Himalayan adventure, featuring yaks!
2. I absolutely loved the setting of Tibet in the book. What inspired you to set the book there? Is anything in the book based on your own experience of living in the Himalayas?
Absolutely. My father was a trek leader and we lived on a remote foothill above Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama and a Tibetan community in exile is settled. My mother’s family lived in London, where I was born. Growing up, I would always write about the Himalayas when I was in the UK and missing the mountains or my dad and grandparents who still lived there.
I wanted to introduce readers to events I care about deeply, but really it wasn’t as planned out as that. Tash’s voice appeared in my head one day and wouldn’t leave.
The vulture tree is based on a tree I saw about ten years ago, with many vultures perched on its branches. It’s something I’ve never seen again on my visits since, and an image that has stayed with me.
Another real life moment I drew from was when my sister and I once walked down the mountain at dusk and saw a bear up a tree. Needless to say, we backed away slowly and luckily left the bear undisturbed. My sister is a singer and from that moment onwards she would always sing at the top of her lungs as we walked over the foothills. We were taught never to sneak up on the leopards and bears; you’re safer if they can hear you coming and will choose to get out of the way.
The glacier scene came from a time I was trekking with my Dad and we camped by a glacier. Later, we used our sleeping mats to slide down the glacier. It was fun, but bumpy!
During my research trip, when I was close to the India/Tibet border, after acclimatising, I went up to 18380 feet, and very much felt the effects of being at such a high altitude. So that made it into the book too!
3. The difficult political issues in Tibet are very prominent throughout Running on the Roof of the World, as Tash`s parents are arrested by the Chinese soldiers for being rebels. Was it a challenge to explore such a brutal situation and still aim the book at middle grade readers?
I definitely spent time making sure that the book was truthful to its setting whilst still appealing to middle-grade readers. I wanted to write a story that was relevant to today and it was important to me to include those moments as they’re grounded in real events. Writing in first person helped and allowed the reader to see the events through Tash’s eyes, whilst still giving a sense of the bigger political picture. I included moments of lightness and laughter, and an overall theme of hope, and I focused on the universal aspects to make it relatable to younger readers.
4. What was your favourite scene to write in the book?
So many! I loved everything about writing about the mountains! Sliding down glaciers was one of my favourite, hiding with Eve, and the ending.
5. Speaking of writing, do you have any unusual writing habits? What are your writing routines like?
In the past few years, I’ve had many different jobs at the same time as being a writer, from working as a bid-coordinator, assisting in a vintage furniture shop, to nannying. In between them I was often travelling to and from India which means that my writing habits changed regularly. They mainly consisted of writing wherever and whenever I could! I do know that I work best in the mornings, when I can wake up and write straight away. I like to start a new idea in a notebook before transferring it to my computer.
Right now, for the first time ever, I have an office and office assistants, Luna and Bo Bo, the Maine Coon kittens, which is exciting.
6. Do you have any tips or advice for writers reading this interview?
Read as much as you can. If you’re stuck for inspiration, think back to the things you loved doing at the age at your protagonist or the things you feel passionately about. So much of writing is re-writing; Running on the Roof of the World ent through at least ten full drafts. Practice patience; everything takes a long time! Most importantly, don’t give up! Everyone has rejections.
7. What other activities do you enjoy apart from writing?
Trekking, dancing, reading, camping and being outside, being with friends, yoga, watching live music, travelling.
8. What has been your exciting moment of being an author so far?
The book launch for sure! I got to see it in a Waterstones window display and gave my first public reading.
9. If you could have written any book by another author, what would it be and why?
Matilda by Roald Dahl because it has remained one of my favourite books.
10. Finally, before we go on to the quickfire questions, are you able to say anything about your next book? I can`t wait to read it after your amazing debut!
Aw, thank you! It’s called When the Mountains Roared and is inspired by my Grandma who smuggled a kangaroo joey out of Australia. It’s an adventure set in the mountains of India, about a girl who is determined to protect the wild leopards of the mountain from poachers.
Can you give us three random facts about you?-
In the Australian outback, I got bitten by a brown snake and airlifted to hospital.
I have three younger sisters.
I edited Running on the Roof of the World while I was in India, during monsoon. I was often enclosed in a cloud. If I opened a window, the cloud would drift inside. My pillow went mouldy.
Yaks and leopards (couldn’t choose!)
Favourite chocolate bar?-
Yesterday someone gave me pomegranate dark chocolate and it is my new favourite thing!
What`s your Hogwarts house?-
Best book you`ve read this year?
The Huntress: Sea by Sarah Driver
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed writing the questions and organising the post with Jess, who has been an utter delight (and was kind enough to send me the gorgeous photos throughout the post to use)
See you soon with a new post
Today I’m really excited to share a guest post from Laurel Remington, author of The Secret Cooking Club and Confetti and Cake. Thank you so much to Jazz at Chicken House for allowing me to be part of the blog tour for the book. If you’d like to chdck out the other posts, here’s where to find them 😊
Over to Laurel!
I’m delighted that my second book with Chicken House, The Secret Cooking Club: Confetti & Cake, was published last week. The book is a sequel to The Secret Cooking Club, my debut children’s novel, and winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2015.
Confetti & Cake is a standalone book, but for those who read the first book, it follows the further adventures of Scarlett, her mum, and her friends who are members of The Secret Cooking Club. In this book, Scarlett now has her own blog and runs The Secret Cooking Club Online, and her mum’s ‘tell-all’ blog that used to embarrass Scarlett has been turned into an inspirational blog for parents.
It was interesting to explore how Scarlett’s life has been transformed on the outside – to the world, she is a confident young girl with a vibrant personality and a bold online presence – whereas in reality, she is still a little shy and has a lot of self doubts. In other words, no matter what her social media presence says about her, in real life she is a normal girl.
In a way, I lived a little bit of what Scarlett experienced over the last year since The Secret Cooking Club was published. I had the privilege of getting to meet a lot of young readers during school visits. They made me feel very welcome, and almost like a celebrity sometimes! But giving a talk in front of so many young people was a bit daunting, especially at first. I suppose it’s because children are generally a lot more honest than adults, and haven’t had all the years of experience learning to hide their feelings. That’s what makes it so exciting to write for young readers. They definitely keep you on your toes!
I hope that Scarlett’s situation may help other young people to see that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, not what someone may broadcast to the world on social media. It’s easy to look on Facebook and Twitter and imagine that everyone else is living the perfect life – and maybe feel a little bit bad about ourselves as a result. Scarlett has a bit of the opposite dilemma – after building herself up as The Little Cook and inspiring others, she secretly wants them to know that she still has problems too, and is just like them. In today’s world, sometimes we can feel like we have a split personality – online and real life. Scarlett learns that at the end of the day, it’s a luxury to be able to tell the truth and be herself.
Laurel Remington’s new book, Confetti & Cake, is out now. Laurel’s first children’s book, The Secret Cooking Club, was the winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2015, and has inspired many young readers to try their hand at cooking and baking. She lives in Surrey, UK with her partner and three daughters.
Thank you all so much for reading everyone! I’d love to hear what you think of Laurel’s books if you’ve read them, and also just for fun, your favourite cake/biscuits! Personally I don’t like cake, but I’m partial to a choc chip cookie or a Bourbon 😊. Let me know yours in the comments below or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl