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
 

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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

My A Very Merry Readathon TBR (@merryreadathon)

Hello everybody!

Today I’m going to  be talking about my TBR for the Very Merry Readathon hosted by Hannah, and co-hosted by VanessaStacyCristina, and Hannah , which will take place from the 4th- 8th December.

Onto the books!

Challenge 1: Read a book set during the holidays

For this challenge, I decided to read a book which has been on my TBR for ages; The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Even though I haven’t read the first Dash and Lily book I’m hoping I’ll still enjoy this, and based on the blurb it sounds very Christmassy.

Challenge 2: Read a book with Christmas colours on the cover

For this challenge, I’m going to choose two books, mainly just in case of the unlikely event that I finish my first three. The one I definetely want to get to is Ally Kennen’s the Everything Machine, which looks like lots of fun and has sparkly silver lettering for the title. My backup book is the Never-ending Birthday by Katie Dale, which has a glittery gold cover and seems like a quick, fun read.

Challenge 3: Read a book you want to

The state of my TBR is best left unmentioned, and there are a LOT of books I want to read on there. The one I’ve chosen for this challenge, though, is Radio Boy by Christian O’ Connell, as the the story sounds fabulous. I’m hoping that even though main character Spike has been sacked from the hospital radio station that there may still be some hospital scenes or a link to hospitals, as that’s something I LOVE to see done well in books.

Are you taking part in this readathon? What’s on your TBR? What do you think of my choice of books, if you’ve read them?

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

My 5 Favourite Autumn Films 

Hello everybody!


Today, I’m going to be speaking about my 5 favourite films that I’ve watched this autumn, none of which actually came out this autumn 🙈. Onto the films!


 Sing– this film was so heartwarming even though the plot isn’t action packed. I loved most of the characters (Buster was so sweet!), and I thought some of the musical performances were excellent. My personal favourite was the original song ‘Set it All Free’, performed by Ash the hedgehog. I’m not quite sure where this can go in terms of a sequel, but I’ll be watching nevertheless.


The Secret Life of Pets
– as I’ve seen others saying, this is very different to what the trailer implied, but I still loved it.  I adored seeing Max and Duke’s relationship develop throughout especially and LOVED their friendship (certain moments between them made me cry), but I also found some the more antagonistic scenes hilarious (I’m unsure if this is just my weird sense of humour though…)


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
– this was just magical from beginning to end; just what I expect from the Wizarding World 😉. I really enjoyed some of the little nods to Hogwarts/things we learnt during Harry Potter, I thought some of the special effects were phenomenal, and Eddie Redmayne is incredible.


The Proposal
– this is my favourite of them all, and I think it’ll be a favourite of all time. I though Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds were fabulous both together and individually, and it made laugh out loud so many times. Some of the shots were BEAUTIFUL, in addition. I love a good romcom, and this was most certainly that.


The Shawshank Redemption
– I had to watch this in school, so I was really surprised when I ending up loving it. I thought it was really clever, and while difficult to watch in some places it was gorious in others. My favourite part was the friendship between Tim Robbins’s Andy and Morgan Freeman’s Red.


What have been your favourite films of this autumn? Have you watched any of mine? What did you think? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl.

Amy xxx

The Birthday Book Tag 

Hello everybody!

As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, yesterday was my birthday! Therefore, today I thought it would be fun to do the Birthday Book Tag, which was created a few years ago by Brunette Bibliophile.

 1. Count your birthday along your bookshelf and then subtract your birth month. What book does it land on?

I counted along my storage boxes instead, and the book I came to was the Smoking Hourglass by Jennifer Bell, which is the 2nd of the Uncommoners trilogy. While I didn’t love it quite as much as the 1st book, I still enjoyed it and I can’t wait for book 3!

2. If you could spend your birthday with any fictional character who would it be and why?

Nick from the Geek Girl series, hands down. Even though things went quite wrong on Harriet’s birthday in Picture Perfect, I feel like Nick would plan something really special.

3. Find a book that takes place in the season you were born in.

A book that takes place in Autumn is The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton by Helen Moss, which is one of my favourite Adventure Island books (the others are The Mystery of the Hidden Gold and The Mystery of the Secret Room, if you’re interested!). Another one I love is Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, in which Hazel and Daisy solve a murder that takes place on Bonfire Night.

 4. Find a book that is the colour of your birthstone

My birthstone is a topaz, which is basically my least favourite gemstone ever, but I digress. It’s orange, and an orange book cover I love is Running on the Roof of the World! Please read it if you haven’t already!

5. Is there a series with the same number of books as your age? If so what is it?

There are 16 Ally’s world books, if you count the Christmas book and the summery follow up!

6. Pick a book set in a time period, world or country you would like to have been born in.

This one is hard! I think we’d all love to live in the Wizarding World though, and I’d also love to be an Uncommoner/see Nevermoor. I have one main one though, but as it’s a question in my upcoming Q&A post in the next month or so I’m staying schtum about it. *looks mysterious* 😉

Thank you for reading! I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you feel like it, I’d love to read your post! 

Amy xxx