Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing the Stay at Home book tag, which I found on Steph’s blog. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, and the theme today is things that are signs we’re book lovers. I struggled a bit with this as a topic but hopefully it’s not too boring a list, onto the post!
1. The fact I have over 5 boxes of unread books in my house
2. The fact I have a quote from one tattooed across my collarbone
3. The fact I usually read 100+ books in a year
4. The fact I go to the library almost every weekend
5. The fact I didn’t shut up about meeting a bookseller I’d been dying to meet for ages for like a full two days afterwards and fully freaked out when she followed me on Twitter to the point where my friend STILL teases me about it (I’m sure you’re not, but hi Clara if you’re reading, and thank you for that excellent bookish chat!)
6. If you ask me for a book recommendation, I’ll send you a full list and then send another message with more later!
7. My first response to almost any personal crisis is to work out which book(s) will help. I’m pretty sure I started drafting my spine surgery reading list the day I found out I needed to have it.
8. I read almost every day.
9. Reading is one of the most calming things I can do for myself when I get stressed or sad or need to escape the world for a bit.
10. I’ve been reading since I can remember, and I never, ever want to stop
What do you think some signs you’re a book lover are? Do we have any in common? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Anna Hoghton’s wonderful debut, the Mask of Aribella. Onto the post, which is is written by Anna and is about one of the most wonderful parts of this book!
As you’ll see from the acknowledgments section of ‘The Mask of Aribella’, friends are extremely important to me. I couldn’t have made it through a lot of the hurdles in my life without them. Just as with my main character, Aribella, my friends have given me the strength to believe in myself and keep on fighting, even when the world seemed dark.
It took me a while to find friends who I could trust with my whole heart. When I was growing up, I remember spending a lot of time trying to fit in with certain people and feeling upset when I didn’t quite make the mould. I met a fair few bullies along the way and, as vulnerability is seen as weakness when you are a teenager, I often felt isolated. It took me a good few years to re-find confidence after those early experiences, and I revisited those old feelings whilst writing this book. I think that, even if you weren’t bullied growing up, everyone knows how it is to feel left out and like you don’t quite fit in anywhere.
At the start of the book, although brave and kind, Aribella lacks in confidence and is desperate to just disappear into the background. However, she sticks out because she’s different – just how different, she’s about to find out. But she soon learns that being different isn’t a weakness but strength, and that the secret of being a misfit is that ‘you’re never the only one’. Indeed, personally I credit all the times I felt like an outsider when I was younger as the spark that lit me up for everything I’ve managed to do and be as an adult. My logic became very much: if you won’t let me sit at your table, then I will build my own. And, when you start thinking and living like that, you meet other table builders, who invariably turn out to be the most interesting, wonderful and fantastic friends than you ever could have hoped for. Children’s books helped teach me that the best friendships are often the unlikely ones, the ones that spring up from nowhere, between people who, perhaps at first, appear entirely unsuitable for one another, like Charlotte and Wilbur, Frodo and Sam, Lyra and Will, and even Harry, Ron and Hermione, who start off at odds. Sometimes these friends seem to come from entirely different worlds at first. My best friend is my husband, Chris, he’s from California and has always been the Will to my Lyra. But these friendships between people who celebrate their differences rather than try to be the same are the sorts that grab hold and don’t let go; that can be counted on and trusted in completely.
These are indeed the sorts of friendships that Aribella finds. Among her friends there is Seffie, a wild-hearted, impulsive and mischievous girl, who is loosely based on my oldest friend, Katie – who was always a little wild and fierce in the best possible way. Fin is earnest and book-loving, as the best people I’ve met often are. And then there is Theo, whose loyalty knows no bounds and who will courageously look out for Aribella and others, even if it means putting himself in danger. I’ve been lucky enough to have now met many Seffies, Fins and Theos in my life and to get to call a great deal of them my friends. Making true friends came from leaving my comfort zone, giving up on trying to be like the people around me and, instead, showing the world my true self. It also, importantly, came from being a good friend in return and Aribella, though she makes mistakes, ultimately proves herself to be loyal and there for her friends until the end.
‘The Mask of Aribella’ is full of superpowers but the most important one of all isn’t talking to animals, walking through walls, or making flames come out of your fingertips; it is the power of friendship and this is the magic that helps Aribella find the courage to believe in herself and fight the darkness that is unmasked in the final chapters. Just like all our true friendships help us find our own strength, no matter what we face.
The Mask of Aribella by Anna Hoghton is out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)
Are you planning to read this book? Who are your favourite friendships in fiction? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about my most anticipated releases for next month, which are a pretty brilliant bunch that are getting the decade off to a great start! Onto the post!
A Throne of Swans– this is the new book from Kate and Liz Corr, who wrote the brilliant Witch’s Kiss trilogy, and I’m so excited for it. I’ve heard only good things from people who’ve read it already, and it sounds super interesting- it’s about a girl who must take on the role of Protector early when her father dies, and her struggles in doing so.
Sunny– this is the 3rd of Jason Reynolds’ Track series and I’m pretty confident it’ll be great, because everything I’ve read from the author so far has been. Each book in the series focuses on a different member of the team, and this one is Sunny’s story. I can’t wait to meet him properly.
Shadowsea– this is the fourth (and apparently final) Cogheart Adventure. I took forever to read Skycircus, which ended up being pretty great, because I thought that was the last one, but I’m going to try not to be a wuss about saying goodbye to this world this time and get to it soon. I have predictions about what will happen and I’m EXCITED. Although I hope Malkin features a bit more heavily this time round!
The Telephone Box Library– I read a lot of Rachael Lucas last year, and her 2020 release sounds SO good. It’s about a woman named Lucy who moves to the Cotswolds, who despite her best intentions to only research the nearby Bletchley Park while she’s on sabbatical from teaching, becomes involved in turning the local telephone box into a makeshift library. I assume there’s a romance somewhere too, given that there is in all other Rachael books to date.
The Boy Who Fooled the World– this made it on my TBR automatically because Lisa Thompson is consistently excellent, but the premise itself is really interesting as well- it’s the story of a boy who becomes a massive celebrity when one of his paintings gets spotted, but he has a guilty secret that threatens to ruin everything if discovered. My library copy is in early so I’m hoping to read it very soon!
The Kid Who Came from Space– I did not fulfill my promise to read more of Ross’s back catalogue in 2019 (they are still languishing on my TBR, even though I really do want to read them!!), but I’m still excited for his new release all the same. It’s about a girl going missing, and her brother going to extraordinary lengths to get her back, given he is the only one who knows the strange truth of where she is.
The Ice Bear Miracle– I didn’t get on with Cerrie Burnell’s the Girl with the Shark’s Teeth at ALL, but this title has intrigued me enough that I want to give it a go! I don’t really know much about it, other than thinking the title is gorgeous.
Which books are you looking forward to in January? Do we have any in common? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing Top Ten Tuesday, for which the theme today is a Thanksgiving freebie- I’m going for books I’m thankful for. I’m only doing 5, because even though I can think of loads I have about 10 assessments plus pre-assessments for grammar in the space of the next 2 weeks (possibly more, I’m a languages geek and can’t do maths!) so I’ve had to fit this into a spare few minutes! Onto the post!
Pony Club Secrets- I don’t necessarily think I wouldn’t like books if I hadn’t read these, but I don’t think I’d love them as much if I hadn’t. They taught me what it was like to love a series very young, and I still think I’d love them now. They shaped pretty much my entire reading taste- I still love books with friendship and romance and adventure and animals and magic and lots of humour, which this series has all of in abundance.
Adventure Island– definitely don’t think I’d still be reading if it wasn’t for this series ( and the Laura Marlin Mysteries). I’ve told this story before but I kind of fell out of love with trying new things with books at the end of primary school (I still reread a lot, eg Pony Ckub Secrets) but when I found these it made me realise I was REALLY missing out and I started seeking out new things much more. Also thankful because my review of this series was the first I ever wrote, and without that chances are this blog wouldn’t be here today.
The Wells and Wong series- you know how everyone has that book or series that shaped them as a human? This is mine. I’ve been reading these since the year they came out and I’m one of it’s most devoted fans, not only because they’re incredible books but because I’ve genuinely taken on character traits of almost everyone in them and try to live my life based on how they do, in some ways. It sounds really strange, maybe, but I don’t think I’d be the same person without these books.
Open Road Summer/When We Collided- I read some Emery Lord in summer 2017 and I loved it. By chance, when having a really bad day (of which there were many last year) in summer 2018 I picked up Open Road Summer and I don’t think I put it down till I finished. What a transporting, captivating book it is. So when it came to choosing the book for the day before my surgery (when I was convinced I’d die of some freak complication), the one book I hadn’t read by her was the natural choice and it had the same effect. I love Emery Lord with my whole heart and I wish she knew how much her books meant to me last year.
The Secret of Platform 13- as you might have guessed from that intro, I’m feeling a bit stressed at the moment. I’ve not read anything in a few days, but I bought this the other day and I’ve loved almost everything else I’ve read by Eva Ibbotson so I decided to pick it up and it was immensely soothing. I’m really looking forward to reading a bit more over the next few days, hopefully.
I could genuinely ramble on forever here, because I’m so thankful to so, so many books and I’m having so much fun talking about them but alas some Spanish grammar tests are waiting on me. Wish me luck!
What books are you thankful for just now? Do we have any in common? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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 going to be sharing bookish memories linked to which foods I was eating as I read them as part of Top Ten Tuesday. I only remember most of these because there are photos of it on Instagram, and then the rest are recent(ish) ones! Onto the post!
The Boy at the Back of the Class– apparently I was snacking on Giant Buttons when I started this. It’s a really lovely book, and I’m so excited that the author’s second is out next month.
North Child– this book is very long (and also very good), and I ate a lot of Dairy Milk Caramel whilst reading it for some reason.
Murder Most Unladylike– I was eating a krispie cake when I first read this, which has gone on to become one of my favourite books ever.
The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock– I was eating chocolate ice cream when I started this, according to the Instagram photo, which I think might be my first ever.
A Sky Painted Gold– I consumed about 3 packets of polo mints the day I read this, because my nausea was really bad and I was struggling to move and I sat on the couch with this and my polo mints and water and went to the 1920s.
The Princess who Flew with Dragons– I read this the day after a bad fall, and I consumed at least a few chapters while eating ginger biscuits. Again, these are good for nausea, which is why I like them.
Boy Meets Hamster– I finished this while eating Dairy Milk and drinking milk, according to my Instagram. The book is super sweet and lovely, and I’m very excited for the sequel due out next month (Boy Meets Ghoul).
The Storm Keeper’s Island- I read this whilst I was in hospital last year, and I vividly remember eating a Freddo the night of my surgery and trying to read more of this, which is brilliant. I did not, given that I was on quite heavy meds and in considerable pain, make much progress with either.
Lightning Chase Me Home– I brought this with me to my annual MRI scan a few months ago and very much enjoyed its company with some Maltesers in the cafeteria before I was due to get my scan.
Our Life in a Day– I was eating mint chocolate chip ice cream when I read the opening chapters of this, which is a really interesting and clever contemporary that I read at the start of the month.
Which books do you have food-related memories of? Do we share any, or have any snack preferences in common? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, it’s time for another Disney Recommendations post, this time featuring a few of the sidekicks. I’ve kept to quite a short list as I really want to do more of these and I’m starting to run out of categories, so I’m hoping I can split a few up so it doesn’t end as soon as it otherwise might. So if you’re wondering why a few of my favourites aren’t on here, that’s why! Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be giving you some recommendations for mystery books, as part of today’s Top Ten Tuesday. Onto the post!