Exploration of Creation: The Books Which Made Me a Reader 

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is by my lovely friend Katie, who blogs over at Exploration of Creation. Over to her fabulous post now! 

Amy xxx


I have loved reading (and writing) books since I was in primary school – reading a good book has always felt like escapism to me, especially in tougher times, and some of the books we read as children really do shape us into the readers, and people, that we become as teens and adults.

 Here are the ones that have made me the bookworm that I am today.

Daisy Meadows’s Rainbow Magic series

This is probably the book series that I remember most clearly from primary school. The first ever book was called “Ruby the Red Fairy” and it followed best friends Rachel and Kirsty who meet on holiday and discover a whole magical world of fairies together. Okay, okay, it sounds a bit silly now, but I can actually remember acting the books out with my best friend in the school playground. They really inspired my imagination – and I still enjoy reading fantasy, especially female-centric, to this day.

Lucy Daniels’s Animal Ark series

My primary school library had about fifty of these books, and I’m pretty sure I read every single one in the seven years I was there. These books gave real voices and responsibility to the children characters (often the adults were far less sensible/kind). It also really taught about animal welfare and being kind to domestic & wild animals. I think this book really engaged me in books about good people, good deeds and on-going series. 

Jacqueline Wilson’s Girls Out Late

This was one of the first books I read as a young teenager (possibly read it slightly too young, which I’ve been doing all my life, and now read technically “too young” as a 20 year old reading YA). There are so many Jacqueline Wilson books I remember and loved – KISS, Candy Floss, Cookie, Lola Rose, The Illustrated Mum, Best Friends, Vicky Angel. Girls Out Late was one of the first times I read a book about teenage girls, in first relationships, struggling with female friendship and body issues and betrayals. I really think Jacqueline Wilson needs commending for writing the books that she does, for young teens, never once insulting them by shying away from tough topics, instead always shining a spotlight on them.

Cathy Hopkins’s Mates, Dates series

These were probably the best books I read as a teenager. I adored them. Again, similarly to Jacqueline Wilson’s books, they tackled really tough, relevant teen topics, like body image, cheating and friendship. My favourite thing about the series was that last one; the female friendship in this series was strong, a constant topic of focus – something great for teenage girls to be reading about. 

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

This book was really the book that got me back into reading at around the point I was in sixth form, after quite a dry spell, reading-wise. I read it and it honestly had such an emotional impact on me that it spurred me on to begin exploring YA properly. I think it was perhaps so influential for me because it focuses on cancer, which is hugely significant to me and my family life. It is, to this day, one of my favourite books in the entire world.

J
.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
Okay, so this has to be, hands down, the books that made me a reader. That’s why I saved it until last. I can’t remember the exact age I was when I read The Philosopher’s Stone for the very first time, but I know I have reread the entire series every single summer for at least the last 4-5 years. Some of Dumbeldore’s quotes are genuinely things I live my life by. Harry Potter is not just about magical witches and wizards and bad guys – Harry Potter teaches us about the fragility of life, the all encompassing nature of death, friendship, sacrifice, bravery and, perhaps most of all, love. 

I
just wanted to say thank you so much to Amy for letting me do this guest post – it’s such a cool idea, and reading hers had me totally inspired! Be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments section!!

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guess in summing up what reading means to me, and to many of us, I think, I’ll quote the glorious Albus Dumbledore:

“Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

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My 5 Favourite Feelgood Disney Songs 

Hello everybody!

For today’s post, I thought it’d be fun to talk about the Disney songs that always bring a smile to my face, especially as this was the post you said you’d like to be my next Disney one when I did a poll on Twitter. Let’s get started!

In no particular order…

FROZEN- IN SUMMER (sang by Olaf)

This probably won’t be the song that first springs to mind for you when you think of Frozen, but it is for me! It’s such a cheerful, happy, hopeful song and it totally captures Olaf  as a character. The animation throughout the scene where he sings it is superb too; especially the part where he tap dances 😍

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- BE OUR GUEST (sang mainly by Lumiere and Mrs Potts)

I’m not sure why I like this song, I just do! It’s silly and fun, and I think it’s one of the happiest moments of Beauty and the Beast (which is quite a melancholy Disney film a lot of the time, in my opinion). It’s definetely not my favourite of this list, but I still like it a lot.

THE ARISTOCATS- EVRY’BODY WANTS TO BE A CAT (sang mainly by Thomas O’ Malley. The alley cat 😉. Top points to you if you get that reference 😜😂)

This song is amazing. I love everything about it. The slow bits, the fast bits, the instrumentals, the scene. A fabulous song that really makes The Aristocats that little bit more special (and it’s already pretty fantastic). Also,  Marie the kitten’ s line is ultra adorable and never fails to make me smile and melt my heart a little!

THE LITTLE MERMAID- UNDER THE SEA (sang by Sebastian)

If this song doesn’t make you sing along, I’ll be surprised. Sebastian isn’t my favourite in the Little Mermaid (that honour is reserved for Flounder. He’s a close second though), but this song is easily a Disney classic. It also holds a special place in my heart because when Saffy (my 3 year old Golden Retriever, if you’ve not read this blog before 😘) was a puppy she was a terrible sleeper (she was quite badly behaved in general/exuberant, even more so than she is now). As in, she basically turned into something out of the Exorcist when you left her in the kitchen to go to sleep. This song was one we used to play/sing to her and it did the trick more than some! Even now she’s a big 3 year old, I still sing it to her when she’s scared or upset. Hope you like these photos of her as a crazy pup!

Paws in the air, she definitely just didn’t care…
Stealing a toy from big sis
Stealing from washing line!

My final choice of song may be my favourite of all…

TANGLED- I WANT SOMETHING THAT I WANT (sang by Grace Potter, in the credits)

I know, I know, it’s not technically a Disney song. But, have you HEARD it? It’s one of my favourite songs pretty much ever, and every single time I hear it I want to shout out all the words and just dance. I’m never happy that Tangled is over, but I also kind of am as I get to hear this playing ❤

So those are my favourite feel good Disney songs, what are your’s? I’d love to hear about them in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

See you soon with a new post

Amy xxx

The Books Which Made Me a Reader

Hello everyone!

Linked to the guest post I had on Tuesday, by the fantastic Zoe of No Safer Place, today I’ve decided to talk about the books which had the biggest impact on me when I was younger and that made me want to keep reading.

1. Pony Club Secrets by Stacy Gregg – this is one of the first series I remember loving, and I still reread them at least once a year (usually more). I had a thing until I was about 11 that I barely ever read new books and only reread them, but every time a new book about Issie and her dreams of being an equestrian superstar came out I had it devoured in a single night. These have recently been rereleased with STUNNING new covers (which I am only just managing to resist buying), so if you ever fancy a thoroughly enjoyable adventure with horses, romance, friendship and a little bit of magic, these are perfect for you.

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2. Mates, Dates series by Cathy Hopkins- even though these sailed over my head quite a bit when I read them, I still really liked them. They, along with other of Cathy’s books (such as Zodiac Girls, which were what interested me in star signs and where most of my knowledge about them comes from), were books that I absolutely loved and are one of the reasons I still love funny contemporaries.

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3. Electra Brown series by Helen Bailey- As you’ll know if you read my post last Saturday, another series that had a huge impact on me was Electra Brown.  This series was, and is, incredibly special to me, as it not only made me laugh and cry along with Electra and her friends, but taught me about some important issues. If you’d like to read the post about what this series means to me, click here.

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4. Ally’s World by Karen McCombie- Even though this wasn’t the first Karen McCombie series I read, and I read them all out of order, these are by far my favourite Karen McCombie books. They’re funny, quirky, light reads with unforgettably wonderful characters and a big family dynamic I just love.

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5. The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin- These are probably quite a weird choice for someone my age, but hear me out. I can’t remember how old I was when I started reading the BSC but I do remember that I thought they sounded pretty boring when they were given to me. I was pretty bored when I picked one up (Mystery #15, Kristy and the Vampires, if you’re interested) and I was also pretty confused as I didn’t know any of the characters, but it made me want to read the rest. I don’t think I’ve read every single one (in my defence, there’s are a lot of them!) but I’ve read the majority, and working my way through these made up most of my reading for over a year. I’ll admit I find a few of the normal ones a little boring these days, but I still love to reread the mysteries and super specials now.

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6. Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton- this list would never be complete without a bit of Blyton! I’ve enjoyed most Enid Blytons I’ve read, but Malory Towers have to be very favourite. I think I especially love these as a lot of the characters are actually quite flawed and layered, and I think each book captures the overall spirit of the series but feels unique. My other favourite Enid Blyton books are the extremely underrated Five Find Outers books (MUCH better than the Famous Five in my opinion.) but I didn’t read them till a bit later in my reading life.

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7.  Adventure Island by Helen Moss- It’s very rare that a series which promises to be like Enid Blyton delivers, let alone exceed Enid Blyton. I read this in the summer holiday of 2012 and devoured the rest of the series the same year, and waited eagerly for the rest to be released in 2013. These were The Books that introduced me to my love of mysteries, and to this day most of the books I love contain mystery in some way, shape or form. Not to mention the fact that the first review I ever wrote was for Adventure Island, so without these books this blog probably wouldn’t exist!

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So, these are the books that have had the biggest impact on me and my reading, what are yours? I’d love to know either in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl.

Amy xxx