Ten Books Set in Winter/at Christmas 

Hello everybody, and welcome to day 4 of blogmas!

Today, I’m planning to chat about some books I enjoyed set in Winter or at Christmas itself. 

Onto the books! 


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone– this is my favourite Harry Potter Christmas. It’s so lovely to get to see Harry experience Christmas properly for the first time, and I just really love it.

In the Fifth at Malory Towers
– this book in the series sees Darrell and ger friends put on a panto that sounds brilliant. It’s Cinderella, which is my favourite panto, and I’d really love to see this version with original songs and stunning costumes. There’s also an intersting msytery ober who’s sending poison pen letters to the director…

Winter Term at Malory Towers
– this is my very favourite Malory Towers book, despite it being written by by Pamela Cox and about Darrell’s sister Felicity and her friends. It’s about the girls planning/performing a winter play, battling with malicious new mistress Miss Tallant and also two unusual new girls. June and Freddie’s prank is quite possibly the best of the series, too.


Frost Hollow Hall
– this has one of the most beautiful, wintry covers I’ve ever seen and it feautyres tons of wintry goodness inside too, such as a dramatic ice skating scene. Emma Carroll’s writing is just beautiful, and I HIGHLY recommend everything by her, but especially this for the season.

Issie and the Christmas Pony-
in the festive prequel to Pony Club Secrets, we get to see how Issie and her beloved first horse Mystic meet. It’s so nice to see their relationship as we don’t see huge amounts of Mystic in the usual series, and also Issie’s other horses in a flash forward sort of thinh st the end. This’ll make you cry if you’re anything like me, but it’s well worth a read (particularly if you’re a horse lover)


Mistletoe and Murder
– the 5th in the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries series sees Daisy and Hazel head to Cambridge for Christmas, and become emroiled in solving yet another murder. I love how cosy yet slightly creepy this is, and the Christmas scene at the end is brilliant. The festive section headers are so fun too!

The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery
– in the 7th Adventure Island book, Jack, Emily, Scott and Drift the dog discover a dinosaur skeleton, and have to work out whether it truly is a fake or if someone has sabotaged the tests. I love this series, and Dinosaur Discovery is no exception. The way Emily works out the culprit is so clever especially and you’ll kick yourself for not working it out! I know I did.


The Ghost Light
– this isn’t set at Christmas, but it feautures several scenes with snow and I’ve decided to include it for that. I really like the Alice Jones mysteries, and I wish more people would pick them up! The Ghost Light is a creepy theatre mystery, and it’s so fun to see the mystery unravel.

The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock
– this book is an excellent conclusion to the Sinclair’s Nysteries in general, and to make it even better it’s set in Winter! There’s a winter ball, a dramatic New Year’s countdown, and we get to see the luxurious Sinclair’s Department Store just before Christmas.


Snowbound
– the events of this book (a massive snowstorm ) are basically my worst nightmare. However, it’s good fun to read! It’s about the different situations the BSC members find themselves in during a snowstorm, and how they make the best of them.
Thank you for reading! What books set in winter or at Christmas would you recommend? What do you think of my choices? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

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Guest Post: Katie of Exploration of Creation’s Cosy Christmas Reads

Hello everybody!

Today, on the 3rd day of blogmas, I’m thrilled to welcome my lovely friend Katie to chat about some of her favourite cosy Christmas reads.

Over to Katie! 

The ‘My True Love Gave to Me’ anthology –This anthology has a ton of really festive, cosy stories, by a really wide variety of amazing YA authors. My personal favourite is Stephanie Perkins’s story (she’s also the editor, which is really cool – there’s also an awesome summertime anthology) but honestly a large majority of the stories were really, really enjoyable – I found this pretty unusual, because usually in an anthology, a good few are bound to not be my type of read. There are some other amazing YA authors in this book who I adore, too, like Rainbow Rowell & Jenny Han. I will definitely be re-reading this one during December. If you want to feel all cosy and happy and sappy this Christmas, give this one a go. It’s also super easy to pick up and put down whenever you like, because each individual story is so short (yet so well-rounded!!).

Let It Snow -This is a collection of three stories, written by Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle and the exceptionally talented John Green. I enjoyed the reading experience of this book SO MUCH. Not only was it super festive, but it was also so incredibly funny. I had never read anything from Maureen or Lauren before, so discovering their amazing writing styles was a great surprise, and I already knew and loved John Green, so this simply exemplified that adoration. If you want something really cheerful, but beautifully written, this Christmas, this is definitely the one for you!! 

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone– Actually, I’d like to recommend the entire Harry Potter series because, a) I’ll do that every chance I get, with any possible excuse but also, b) all of the Harry Potter books have wonderfully cosy Christmas moments. The only exception is Deathly Hallows, where Christmas becomes this forgotten, hazy memory for Harry and Hermione, and it’s so eerie and sad to see how far they’ve come from their first Christmas at Hogwarts. I always love reading about what Harry got sent for Christmas, from the lovely treats he receives from Mrs & Mr Weasley, the hilariously weird things from Dobby and the ridiculously stingy “gifts” sent from the Dursleys. Ultimately, though, the Harry Potter books are so cosy and fun to read all year around, not just at Christmas.

Little Women– This is one of my ultimate favourite classic novels and it’s also one of the first books I read and fell in love with. It has some really festive, wonderful, nostalgic moments in it and the setting of the March house just leaps off of the page – it’s somewhere that sounds pretty magical at Christmas. If you’ve never read this book before, either because you haven’t come across it, or you’ve been too intimidated, I couldn’t possibly recommend it more. It’s really magical and beautifully written – also, I think it would be a great way to start getting into “classic” texts. The March sisters have some really complex, gorgeous relationships. I think I might re-read this one this Christmas.

Have you read any of the books Katie recommends? What did you think? What are your favourite cosy reads? (Both festive and not!). Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy xxx


My Most Anticipated Releases of 2018 (January to April)

Hello everybody!

Welcome to day 2 of blogmas! Today, since we’ve kicked off the countdown to Christmas (related/unrelated point: I am in LOVE with my Thorntons Gruffalo advent calender this year), I thought it’d be fun to talk about some of the books I’m counting down to in the first few months of 2018. (There are a lot more, but these are my top ten! Of which 90% are MG, which isn’t really that surprising seeing I tend to love them most)

Onto the books!


The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson– I enjoyed Lisa’s debut The Goldfish Boy last year, ans I’m VERY excited for this one. If anything, it sounds even better, andif the synopsis is anything to go by I have a feeling I’ll adore Nate.


Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll
– the Queen of Historical Fiction is a fitting description of Emma Carroll. I’m head over heels with each and every one of Emma’s books (particularly the Girl Who Walked on Air, with a brave, feisty yet relatable heroine, a darling little dog and also the dreamy Gabriel Swift). This is set in France and it’s about the first hot air balloon flight, and I have no reason to believe I won’t be raving about this to anyone who’ll listen to me too.

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone
– Confession: I have only read one book by Abi Elphinstone before, The Dream Snatcher, and while I liked it (and her short story from Winter Magic) very much, I’ve just never got round to the others. I will get round to them eventually! Sky Song sounds like too good an adventure to put off though, and everyone I know who’s read it thinks it’s exceptional.


A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens
– as a longtime Murder Most Unladylike fan, I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for this book! As good as the Guggenheim Mystery was, I’m in desperate need of some Wells and Wong goodness. Also, I’m intrigued to see how Daisy and Hazel’s friendship may change when this book is set at Hazel’s home in Hong Kong (not to mention Hong Kong itself!)

Brighstorm by Vashti Hardy
– this is a debut novel, and it’s an MG adventure with a skyship and twins, which are very relevant to my interests/tastes, and I’ve heard praise from a couple of authors who’ve already received proofs. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it!

Battle of the Beetles by M.G Leonard
– I’m unbelievably excited for the conclusion to this trilogy, which I’ve been in love with since soon after Beetle Boy’s release. I adore the charcaters and the beetles, the plot and the writing style, and the villain Lucretia Cutter is so evil! These feel like modern classics, and I’m desperate to find out what the ending will be.

A Witch Alone by James Nicol
– I really liked the Apprentice Witch last year, and I’ve been waiting for ages on the sequel. I’m planning to reread to remind myself of the characters too, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Arianwyn next.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
– this is Sophie Cameron’s debut novel and I’m looking forward to it for a number of reasons. It’s set in Edinburgh, some friends I really trust with book recommendations loved it and I’m a pretty big fan of some good magical realism.

Beyond the Odyssey by Maz Evans-
I have adored the first two installments of this series this year, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Elliot next, to see more crazy antics from the gods and to experience another rollercoaster of emotions; going from laughter to tears in very short spaces.

When the Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth
– if you’ve read basically a single other post on this blog, you will know I love Running on the Roof of the World by this author a huge amount. I cannot wait for her 2nd novel, which is set to feature a leopard!!

Thank you for reading! What’s your advent calender this year? What books are top of your wish list next year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl
Amy xxx

My Winter Memories by Jess Butterworth 

Hello everybody!

Welcome to the FIRST day of blogmas! Today, I’m massively excited to welcome Jess Butterworth, whose book Running on the Roof of the World is one of my very favourites of 2017 (and if I had to choose from my top 3, this would be the one I’d pick). Over to Jess, with her beautiful post about her winter memories. 

I love winter and the frosty mornings where grass crunches under your feet and silvery spider webs cling to hedgerows. 

One of my earliest memories of winter is getting snowed in at my grandma’s house in the Himalayas. There was so much snow my parents had to dig tunnels for me to be able to walk through it. The tunnels were deep and I couldn’t see over the top of them. I was surrounded by glittery white snow and it was magical. That year will always be remembered as the year of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. 

Other stories I adored curling up with in winter months included The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson, The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm and The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. 

From the age of 16, I worked weekends in a vintage furniture and gift shop in a medieval granary building in Bradford-on-Avon, next to a tithe barn. There was no heating and in winter I remember buying a pair of boots 2 sizes too big so that I could fit my thick socks into them. The owner was the key keeper for the tithe barn and some evenings I got to bolt and lock shut the creaky giant wooden doors of the barn, alone by torchlight. Each time, long shadows would creep across the wooden beams and my footsteps would echo off the stones, and I’d leave wanting to read Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. 

The shop transformed into The Christmas Shop every November, filled with orange clove candles and cinnamon pinecones; multi-coloured trees and twinkling decorations. Customers would enter as we were setting it up, nailing garlands to the walls and draping fairy lights, and back out quickly, saying, ‘Oh no, it’s too early for Christmas…’

I always understood what they meant, but I loved it anyway; every day I would come home covered in glitter with the urge to write wintry stories about fairies, woodland creatures and magic. During my last year there I discovered The Snow Merchant by Sam Gayton and read it veraciously during my lunch breaks. 

This year I’m spending Christmas somewhere completely new, in Acadiana in Louisiana. Christmas pudding will be replaced with pecan pie and I’ll be reading the Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair and James Rice, where Father Christmas is dressed in muskrat pelts and pulled along in a boat by alligators.  

I’ll also have wintry reads from some of my favourite authors keeping me company, including Emma Carroll’s The Snow Sister, Mimi Thebo’s Dreaming the Bear and Winter Magic curated by Abi Elphinstone. 

Thank you so much to Jess for writing this post. I can personally recommend both the Emma Carroll and Winter Magic; and I may be rereading both too! What are your favourite winter memories? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

Amy xxx
 

The Animals and Books Tag

Hello everybody!


Today I’m going to be doing the Animals and Books tag, which I saw on Jo’s blog and thought really fun. I was planning to do my November reviews, but as I feel my reading’s been slow this month and I’m planning to do mainly rereading in December,  I’m going to combine my reviews and post them in January. 

Now, onto the books!

Koala : a book that makes you feel emotional/ cuddly– the Geek Girl series are my ultimate comfort read, and I got super emotional reading the last book, so them!

Tiger : a book that’s ferocious– Moxie was a ferocious feminist read that made me want to go and start a revolution! It’s phenomenal, and I’m so glad I picked it up as I don’t read a lot of USYA. Fun fact: tigers are my favourite wild animal.

Panda: a book that’s massive– a book I recently read which I thought was preety massive was the Miseducation of Cameron Post, which has around 460 pages and took me ages to get through. This is one of the books I’ll be reviewing come January!

Sparrow: a book that’s light and cheery– this one has to be Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire by Anna Wilson for me. It was such a happy book, and it really got me out of a reading slump. I’m so happy there’s going to be a sequel.

Wolf: a book series you loved– As I love lots of series, I’ve decided to go with the one with my favourite animal, which is Adventure Island by Helen Moss, which features an incredibly clever dog called Drift.

Horse: a standalone book that you loved– my favourite standalone book ever is Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen, and of this year I’ve loved Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth and Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter.

What do you think of these books? What are your favourite animals? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl !

Amy xxx

The Grey’s Anatomy Tag

Hello everybody! 

Today, I’m doing the Grey’s Anatomy Tag, which I was tagged for by it’s lovely creator Han. Onto the post!


*CONTAINS MANY SPOILERS*

How did you discover Grey’s Anatomy?
I recieved it as a Christmas present when I was either 13 or 14, and finished the first season in 5 days. I ordered the next 2 seasons straight away, and carried on in that pattern till I’d watched the lot.


Who is your twisted sister/person?

Don’t really have anyone as close as that.


Favourites


Series
– I won’t lie, I’m actually pretty fuzzy on the events of some seasons. From memory/rewatch so far, I have a particular fondness for seasons 2 and 9.


Character
– My favourite of all time is probably Meredith herself. I LOVE Ellen Pompeo, and how much Mer has developed over the series but still retained what makes her ‘her’

Episode– I love most episodes, but the Christmas episode ofseason 2 has a very special place inmy heart. There’s also season 7, episode 14, which in my opinion has one of the best Christina moments EVER.


Guest Star
– I think Kate Burton was phenomenal as Ellis Grey, and I liked the Chief’s wife Adele. Patient wise, I thought the train crash victims on the pole in season 2’s premiere were incredible; their scenes are heartbreaking.


Death
– I remember finding George’s emotional, but Mark and Lexie are the ones I was most devestated by. (Mark especially)


Wedding
– The post-it note, easily. It’s the best ❤


Series Finale
– Season 2 (it makes me laugh hysterically during the LVAD scenes, which is potentially slightly worrying)  and Season 6, which is so tense and dramatic it’s difficult to watch. I thought 13’s was phenomenal as well.


Storyline
– I found Mer’s relationship with her mum/dealing with her Alzheimer’s interesting to watch, and watching Arizona come to terms with the loss of her leg.


Mer Love Interest
– Derek. I’m sorry, I know it’s the boring answer, but I love them.


Couple
– As I used my beloved MerDer for the question above, I’ll say Burke and Christina for this one. Their relationship had problems, but when they were good, I loved them.


Your own crush
– Alex, and recently I’ve also enjoyed Jackson (who I used to quite dislike!)


Actor bow out
– I thought Chyler Leigh and Eric Dane handled their departures well.


Meredtith danger-
the bomb episodes in season 2. Talk about shivers down my spine. I don’t think I’ll ever not love those episodes.


Surgery
– I don’t pay much attention to the surgeries, if I’m 100% honest.


Worst


Series
– I’m not keen on seasons 4 and 10. 4 I just thought was quite boring with haywire storylines,but season 10 is awful in my opinion. The Meredith/Christina fight bugged me an AWFUL lot, and I hated some of the interns introduced.


Character
– I’m not keen on Izzie (though, oddly, she’s growing on me this rewatch), April, Owen and Amelia. They’re all a bit whiny for my taste, and they’re very smug.


Episode
– I can’t think of any specific episode, but I turned a good few of season 10 off in rage.


Guest Star-
I loathed several. Melissa George as Sadie, for one, and Rebecca/Ava or whatever you want to call her. Olivia the nurse irritated me as well.


Death
– I can’t think of any deaths that particularly annoyed me.


Wedding
– Aside from Meredith’s FABULOUS speech, I found Owen and Ameelia’s wedding episode really annoying.


Series Finale
– I can’t even remember what happened in season 4’s, so probably that. I think the last few seasons’ (e.g 10 and 11 and 12) have been quite poor.


Storyline
– the Christina/Meredith fight in season 10.


Couple
– I think Alex deserves a lot better than Jo (I like the actress, but NOT the character).


Actor bow out
– I was very disappointed in the events surrounding Patrick Dempsey’s departure.

Meredith danger– the drowning one in either season 3 or 4.


Surgery
– same as the other surgery question.


Top 5 Quotes (I can’t think of 5. Here is my favourite of all time)

“Pick me, choose me, love me” – Meredith, to Derek.


Top
5 Songs

Breathe (2AM)
Chasing Cars
Way Down We Go
Stay
Shake It Off (cover)

Thank you for reading! I’m tagging CharlotteJenn and Sarah, as I know they’re all Grey ‘s fans! Do you watch Grey’s? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy xxx

#sixforsunday : Books With Numbers in the Title

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again linking up with Steph’s #sixforsunday meme, for my last post with this of the year (as the December themes are mainly things I already have planned for blogmas which I can’t narrow down to just 6 books!). I really hope it comes back next year though; the prompts are brilliant!

Onto to the books!


Take Two by Perdita and Honor Cargill– this is the 2nd book in the Waiting for Callback trilogy, and if anything I loved it even more than the first! It takes place on theStraker movie set and follows Elektra’s mishaps and misadventures there. 

The 13 Series by Michelle Harrison
– this is a dark middlegrade fantasy/magical realism wuth faeries much darker than the Rainbow Magic ones, and I think they’re really enjoyable. Red/Rowan is such a good character in particular, and I really like Oberon the dog!

One False Note by Gordon Korman
– this is the 2nd in my beloved 39 Clues series (I think I might write a post on why everyone should read these in the New Year…), and it takes Dan and Amy’s clue hunt to Austria.


First Class Murder by Robin Stevens
– this is a superb murder mystery set on the Orient Express, and Daisy and Hazel decide to investigate. This book introduced fellow sleuth Alexander and Hazel’s dad Mr Wong,  both of whom I love, and Daisy and Hazel are as awesome as ever.

The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell
– this is the first book of the Uncommoners trilogy, which takes place in the phenomenal world of Lundinor.


Take Two by Sienna Mercer-
and for a bit of symmetry, I’m going to finish the post off with another Take Two. This one is the 5th in the My Sister the Vampire series,  and features Olivia and Ivy on a film set. It’s one of my favourites of the series, especially as it introduces Olivia’s love interest Jackson. I REALLY must get round to rereading this series soon; if not all then at least the first few.


What books with numbers in the title do you love? What do you think of my choices? Are anyon your TBR? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx