The Currently Reading Book Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to do the Currently Reading Book Tag, which I saw on Writing with Wolves a few months ago and have fancied doing since. Onto the post!


Continue reading “The Currently Reading Book Tag”

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Would You Rather? (Bookworm Edition)

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be playing the bookworm edition of Would You Rather, which I found on Chrikaru. Onto the post!


1. Would you rather have a friend who loses your books, or one who dog-ears them?

One who dog ears them. A slightly scruffy book is a hell of a lot better than no book at all.

2. Would you rather secretly love a book everyone else hates, or secretly hate a book everyone else loves?

I’ve done the second (I really didn’t enjoy what was one of the most hyped books of 2017) and it’s not that hard to keep quiet about because I don’t like talking about hating books much anyway so I’d definitely say that.

3. Would you rather be stuck on a very long plane or train ride without a book?

I don’t really take a lot of either. Probably a train journey because I struggle to read on those anyway due to motion sickness, plus they’re usually shorter.

4. Would you rather have dinner with your favorite author or your favorite character?

I don’t really have just one of either, but I think I’d say author as I could learn all about their worlds from the people who created them and learn so much. Also, I know one of the people I’d consider a favourite author (Holly Smale) is absolutely hilarious and has amazing anecdotes after seeing her at Edinburgh Book Festival so she’d be a brilliant dinner companion!

5. Would you rather date a character you have a crush on or your crush from real life?

A book crush, because no real human could ever be as wonderful and romantic as Nick (aka Liom Boy) from the Geek Girl series.

6. Would you rather have your favorite book turned into a movie, or your favorite movie turned into a book?

I really don’t think Pretty in Pink would work in book format (you’d be robbed of the utter joy that is the Try a Little Tenderness scene, for a start), so I’d much rather see a book I consider a favourite adapted to screen. Very, very carefully, obviously, because my preciouses deserve only the best.

7. Would you rather read a book with an annoying cliffhanger, or one where your favorite character is killed off?

I do often cry when characters die, but I’d rather that than a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers irk me till the next book arrives (or worse still, forever, in the case of standalones with abrupt endings).

8. Would you rather lose the ability to read any new books, or the ability to reread books you’ve already read?

While I’d hate to not be able to reread favourites, I’d go for reading new releases because amazing books are released pretty much every week and I’d hate not to be able to read the ones that interest me.

9. Would you rather live in a library or a bookstore?

Probably a library, because I know that between my local library and nearest bookshop, the library comes out much better when you compare the comfy seating options.

10. Would you rather lose your place or get a paper cut every time you read a book?

Lose my place. I drop books a lot so I’m quite used to needing to find it and keeping track of roughly where I am.

11. Would you rather have to always read in the dark, or always read books with tiny text?

I’d really struggle with either because I have atrocious eyesight, but I suppose tiny text.

12. Would you rather read by a fireplace, or on the beach?

By a fireplace, on a nice comfy couch with a blanket and golden retriever for company.


Would you agree with my choices, or go for the other option? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy x

The Eye of the North Blog Tour: Author Interview with Sinéad O’ Hart

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the Eye of the North, a fabulous new middle grade which is released this Thursday (you can read my review here) by interviewing it’s lovely author Sinéad. Onto the questions!

1. Can you please describe the Eye of the North in 5 words?

Exciting, friendship, secrets, scary creatures!

2. What inspired the book?

I got the ‘seed’ idea for The Eye of the North when I was about 21 (a.k.a a very long time ago), and I was working in an office job I really did not enjoy. I came up with a story about a girl named Emma Marvell working in an office job she really did not enjoy – that bit didn’t take much imagining – but her job involved the recording and cataloguing of artefacts relating to mysterious, mythical creatures which were sent in from all over the world by a team of roving explorers. (My job wasn’t half so interesting.) In the proto-story, when an explorer sends in a sample with a dodgy covering letter, Emma gets curious as to what he’s hiding and goes on the hunt to find out the truth. The published version is very different, but the core elements – mythical creatures, the North, a plucky girl and a stowaway boy – were there from the beginning. I have always loved mythical creatures and I’ve been fascinated with the polar regions all my life, so this story has been a long time brewing.

3. I saw lots of similarities between Emmeline and I. Which book characters would you say you`re most like?

I think I see bits of me in Arianwyn Gribble from James Nicol’s Apprentice Witch series, mostly in her serious and slightly worried/responsible approach to things, and in Hermione Granger (I am a bit of a swot), though the Potter character I’m most like, I think, is Ron – food-focused, loyal and a bit afraid of most things. I’m clumsy like Mildred Hubble, stubborn like Lyra Silvertongue, and I’m a hobbit all the way down to my toes (though luckily, they’re not as hairy!)

4. I also adored her sidekicks Thing and Meadowmane. Do you have any favourite literary sidekicks?

Siddy from Abi Elphinstone’s Dreamsnatcher trilogy always made me grin. I love all the kids in Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer, though I don’t think any can really be classed as a sidekick! Of course, the brilliant Malkin in Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart books is a sidekick we all need. The best hero/sidekick team in literature , though, is Pidge and Brigit from The Hounds of The Morrigan. I wish I had a Brigit to this day.

5. The adventure in the book is incredible. If you could choose any adventure, real or fictional, to take part in, what would it be?

Because I trained as a medievalist in another life, I feel I must say I wish I could have been a pilgrim on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I think I would have enjoyed an ale or two with the raucous, brilliant Wife of Bath! I would have loved to take part in a polar expedition, too – perhaps Scott’s, except without the tragedy. And of course I would have loved to see the battle between Iorek Byrnison and Ragnar Sturlusson alongside Lyra and Pan.

6. The book also reads like it would make a fabulous film. If it was ever optioned, do you have a dream cast?

What a brilliant question! I think Ruth Negga would make a fab Sasha, and Oscar Isaac would be my choice for Edgar. I would love Dominic Monaghan for Mr Widget and Sophie Okonedo for Mrs Widget. As for the children – I think finding some new, undiscovered talent would be great!

7. This is your debut novel. What has been the standout moment of your journey to publication, and what are you most excited about after the book comes out?

The standout moment, for sure, was the day my agent phoned to tell me she had sold the book to my UK publisher, Stripes. We had been waiting so long for a UK/Irish deal that I had given up hope of ever getting one, and so that was a true joy. It has been a very long path, and there have been many highlights, but that’s my favourite one. As for what I’m most excited by – I can’t wait to meet readers, interact with people who have read the book, and talk about it with children. It’s such a privilege to write for young readers; they are the best readers. I’m hugely looking forward to learning from them and finding out how I can keep improving as a writer.

8. Finally, before our quickfire questions, can you divulge any secrets about what your second book might be?

The second book I have sold is the story of Tess, who has grown up with no knowledge of her parentage until the day a stranger comes to claim her from the loving home she has always known. She has to uncover who this man is, what he knows about her and her past, and how to get out of his clutches, all before he can use her unique abilities to bring destruction to her world, and many others… (Also, she has a pet tarantula called Violet, who is the real star of the show.)

QUICKFIRE

1. Hogwarts house? Ravenpuff? I am mostly Ravenclaw, a bit Hufflepuff!

2. Favourite chocolate bar? Plain and simple, Cadbury Dairy Milk

3. Favourite colour? Purple.

4. Top 3 books of 2017? The Huntress: Sky; The Explorer; A Skinful Of Shadows.

5. 3 random facts about you? I can read Middle English (and Old English, with a bit of practise); I used to work as a trainee butcher and could pick up a pound of mince, almost to the ounce, simply by eye; I have a fear of balloons

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the interview down in the comments or or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

The Ringing in the New Year Book Tag

Happy New Year everybody!


To kick off 2018, I thought it would be fun to do the Ringing in the New Year Book Tag, which I found on 
Tiny Obsessions 


Onto the post!


BEST
BOOK/SERIES THAT YOU’VE READ IN 2017.

I think my overall favourite was Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth, which is a contemporary adventure set in the Himalayas which I shout about constantly.


AUTHORS THAT YOU’VE RECENTLY FOUND AND WOULD LIKE TO READ MORE OF IN THE NEW YEAR

I will be tracking down more of Lari Don’s books. Can’t think of anyone else!


MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK TURNED MOVIE?

Love, Simon (even though I still don’t like that title at all! I shall be calling it Simon Vs forevermore)

NAME A CHARACTER THAT YOU WOULDN’T MIND SHARING A KISS WITH AT MIDNIGHT (IF THERE IS ONE
)

Nick from Geek Girl. 💜 him. Or maybe Sirius from Harry Potter.


WHAT’S ON YOUR TBR FOR 2017? (TOP 5 WILL SUFFICE IF IT’S AN EXTREMELY LONG LIST!)

Mine has over 100 Books on it. I really want to get to the Northern Lights trilogy especially, and all the review books I have, and classics, and… I could go on forever (and ever and ever)


HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU HOPE TO READ IN 2017?

Around 100, though I don’t plan to count them!


WILL YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE (OR ANY OTHERS)?

Nope! I don’t really like putting pressure on myself to read a certain number of books by x time any more. It just made me feel awful about how much slower I’ve become since I was younger And had much more time)


Thank you so much for reading! Do we share any answers? What would you have said for some of these? I’d love to to hear from you down in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!


Amy xxx

Guest Post: Christmas With Year 3 by Christina of Chrikaru

Hello everybody! 

Today, I have a lovely guest post from my fabulous friend Christina, who blogs about books and modern languages (aka two of my favourite things in the world) all about books she reads with her class at Christmas. 

Over to Christina and her lovely post now!

Amy xxx 


In my classroom we read everyday, several times day. Any time we have a spare minute we read. Read a story, poem or article together as a class, with a friend or alone, we’re always reading. I like to share my favourite stories with the children in my class and consider one of the most important parts of my job is that children leave my class having identified books as sources of joy, inspiration, comfort and information. Books as ‘ uniquely portable magic’ in the words of Stephen King.

I like to match books with what we’re learning about or link them to things that are happening in the real world. Books have started so many valuable, deep conversations with my class and I have seen the impact with children queuing to borrow their own copy, reading more on that subject or in the reports I hear from parents about their once reluctant reader who is now lost inside a book at every opportunity.

The lead-up to Christmas in school is exciting, yet tiring with lots of things going on. To give you an example, in the month leading up to Christmas we have parent-teacher conferences, Arts Week (where each class spends a whole week creating art, culminating in an installation in and around school), Open House  (where children perform, then show their parents around school), flu sprays, Christmas pudding cooking, etc etc. I could keep going!

In amongst all these activities and excitement, it is important to have the sanctuary of reading as that quiet, calm place we all enjoy spending time in, even when the sculpture we’ve spent two hours building has collapsed in a crumpled mess.

So, what do we read?

Here are a few suggestions for any KS1 or KS2 class (ages 4 – 11).

Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnle -Little Robin has given all his nice warm vests to seven chilly friends in need. On Christmas Eve, with no vest left for himself, he huddles on an icy roof… until someone very special comes to the rescue.

I first came across this when teaching Year 1 and it has been a firm favourite with every class I have shared it with. A really cute story about the importance of kindness and sharing!

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan and Janet Albert- The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s men.

If you loved the original Jolly Postman book, you will also enjoy this holiday edition where the postman delivers letters to various fairytale characters.

The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg- A young boy is awakened from his Christmas Eve rest by a train that magically appears just outside his home. 

And so, a magical adventure begins! Truly a classic for Christmas!

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs- Wordless picture book with beautiful soft illustrations – lovely to share with children as you can discuss what is happening on each page.

Yet another classic, The Snowman had charmed and enthralled every child to whom I have introduced him to!

The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer

Not traditionally Christmas stories, but the storytelling at home fits well with cuddling up with your family during colder weather and The Gruffalo’s Child is set in winter. Stick Man is also a fun read at this time of year, especially as Santa Claus makes an appearance!

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

A cute look at what Santa does before and after Christmas – quirky humour and graphic-novel style illustrations make this a winner!

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

This needs no introduction – remember reading this on Christmas Eve with my parents when I was younger and I’m sure that many other families also have this tradition.

Norman, the slug who saved Christmas by Sue Hendra

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27686688-norman-the-slug-who-saved-christmas

This was recommended to me by a friend who is also a primary teacher – I was a bit sceptical at first but the kids loved it! When a big sack of presents lands by Norman the slug, at first he thinks he must have been a very good slug that year. Then he spots the name labels and realises that the presents must have fallen off Santa’s sleigh…

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

Not strictly a Christmas book, but a beautiful story to share with children at any time of the year!

The Stolen Sun by Amanda Hall

A Native Alaskan story about the changing of the seasons – lovely to share with children who may not be familiar with the original folklore.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson– This is a classic for a reason and one of my childhood favourites – like most popular fairy tales there have been several different re-imaginings of it, but I always enjoyed Gerda striking of into the snow to save her friend

The Twelve Days of Christmas- A fun way to count down the days with your children – it is just an illustration of the song, but it is fun to read as you sing and talk about what each gift might represent or what they might orefer instead!

The Nutcracker- Another Christmas classic, my family watches the ballet together every year. Did anyone else ever imagine themselves as Clara, dancing with the Sugar Plum fairy?

Walk with a wolf, The Emperor’s Egg and Ice Bear- Brilliant faction (fact but illustrated like fiction) books which have fascinated every class I have ever read them to!

How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr Seuss- This one probably needs no introduction – the inimitable Dr Seuss takes on Christmas through the eyes of the Grinch who hates everything about it!

Okay, am going to stop here although the more I think about it, the more wonderful books I come up with!

Have you read any of the books above? 

Will you add some to your seasonal reading list?

Let me know!

Christina


Guest Post: Louise of Book Murmuration’s Favourite Winter Fairytales

Hello everybody!

Welcome to day 9 of blogmas! Today, I have my friend Louise here to talk about her favourite winter fairytales!

Enjoy! 


Peter Pan- Peter Pan has been associated with Christmas since it hit the stage in the Christmas season of 1904. Otherwise it has nothing to do with winter, or Christmas. I think this shows how any story can become a favourite Christmas tale. Lots of us feel like big children at Christmas, and Christmas is never so magical as in those early childhood years, so I think the theme of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up resonates with children and adults at this time of year.

The Match Girl- Why does a story that ends with the death of a child have associations with Christmas? Seasonal reading doesn’t have to be light and fluffy. Dickens was master of that, but The Match Girl predates even A Christmas Carol. These days we’re as likely to be obsessed with presents and wrapping paper, and driving each other up the wall over television watching rights. The Match Girl goes back to a time when a warm fire and the love of a family was a gift, not a … gift in disguise. I think it has the power to get under the frustration caused by modern life, and modern Christmas, and remind us how lucky we are. Everybody begs that final match to provide the miracle. Every. Single. Time. 

The Snow Queen- Modern adaptations focus on the queen in her palace. To me, the beauty of Hans Anderson’s story is how Gerda travels through the seasons, and those seasons are personified by the people she meets. My favourite part is the Autumn bandit camp.

The King Of The Swans- Delphine travels into a summery land to find the strawberries which will save her friend Hilda. Delphine is unable to get home, until she gifts some strawberries to the King of Swans. Hilda is cured, and years later the swan king gifts Delphine a crown. Ever after, children go in search of the same strawberries, but none find them. Delphine’s selflessness is rewarded, while the other children go in search of riches and come back empty-handed. This story stays in my memory because of the contrast – the summery land found in the middle of a snowy forest.

The Snow Maiden – An elderly couple believe they have been blessed with the child of their wishes when a girl made of snow comes to life. She grows within days into a beautiful young woman, but evaporates over a fire when she is invited to run through the springtime wood. 

The child made of snow is the image which stays with me. We all know what will happen when the girl is invited out into the spring. This is a lovely story to tell aloud, as the twists and turns invite questions.  ‘What do you think they found?’ ‘Do you think she’ll return home?’ 

Don’t these all sound brilliant?! I think my favourite winter fairytale is the Snow Queen for sure. What’s yours? 

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