Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about some of my favourite things about this year, because despite it being really difficult in some ways I have loved so many amazing things that I want to talk about. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be be answering some Q and A questions that I collected on Twitter a few months ago! Onto the post!
If you could put yourself into a Disney film, which would it be and why?
If my balance wasn’t so poor that stepping outside in icy/snowy conditions is really difficult, it’d be Frozen so Olaf could be my bestie. But as it is, my second choice would be Tangled because I love all those characters a lot and their palace is STUNNING. Yes please to putple and gold colour schemes 😍
Favourite underrated book / book you don’t see enough people talking about?
Boy in the Tower. It is sublime, and nowhere near as popular as it deserves to be.
Maybe not a question but a challenge. What hogwarts houses do you think your favourite book’s characters would belong in and why?
I’ll do this for Geek Girl:
Harriet: Ravenclaw (loves learning new things and is super intelligent)
Toby: Ravenclaw (same reasons as Harriet)
Nick: Gryffindor (he fits the profile in my eyes, and is literally nicknamed Lion Boy)
Annabel: Slytherin (I was torn for Annabel! I think she’s a Slytherpuff- she has attributes of both houses)
Nat: Slytherin (this is the one I’m most certain of- Nat feels like SUCH a Slytherin)
How does it feel to be an award winning blogger and what are your plans next? (World domination?)/ How did it feel being nominated for and winning a blogger award?
Being nominated was a huge surprise, and I was very pleased, while also reminding myself that the chances of me winning were slim to none. I was out for dinner the night it was announced, and I was absolutely baffled as to why my Twitter had went so mad while I was out. Again, it was a huge shock, and I was so overcome I burst into tears. I half expected a message telling me there’d been a miscount for days (I still am even now, to be honest.
What book inspired your love of reading?
One of the first books I remember really loving was Princess Mirror-Belle, so I think I’ll say that.
Are there any books you’re excited for the release of?
Other than the ones mentioned in my Anticipated Releases for July and August, I’m super excited for the 7th Murder Most Unladylike mystery, and the seuqel to Nevermoor, which both come out in October I think.
What were some of your favourite books to read growing up?
There’s another similar-but-different question later on, so I’ll answer this with Pony Club Secrets. Waiting on the new books releasing was so exciting, and I always read them the day I got my hands on them. I’ve reread them so many times I could tell you the plots by heart, even now.
If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Geek Girl. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, the characters bring me so much joy and I can always find something new to love even though I’ve read it like a thousand times and know it like the back of my hand (I can genuinely quote chunks of dialogue from the first one)
What other hobbies do you have apart from reading and blogging/ What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t reading?
Watching TV or films, spending too much time on Twitter and listening to music. And eating, if eating counts?
Top 10 all time favourite George Ezra and Into The Ark songs?
I’m doing this as two top 5s, because mixing the two hurts my heart.
George Ezra- Shotgun, Drawing Board, Breakaway, Sugarcoat, Get Lonely With Me
Into the Ark- Money or the Girl, Not a One, My Heart Goes, Caroline, Underneath the Sun.
Top 10 fave Disney/Disney Pixar characters?
Basically this list, if I’m honest. Some humans I love are Elsa, Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder (sorry Aimee, I couldn’t order them because this was SO HARD and I just couldn’t). I can do a top 3 of all time though: Olaf, Stitch and Nick Wilde.
Which book character do you most relate to?
I have a post planned on this theme soon (I was tagged in a tag entirely on this theme!) so as a taster, someone I mentioned in that post was Frances from Radio Silence.
Who’s your fave character on Dynasty?
I love almost everyone (unless they’re villains, obvs) but if you were to make me choose between my top 3 (Fallon, Steven, Sammy Jo), I’d have to go for Steven. He says ALL my absolute favourite lines, his relationships with Fallon and Sammy Jo are the absolute LOVELIEST, and I adore him. He does make me very frustrated with him sometimes to the point where I scream at him as I watch it. Still my fave though, and I think I love James Mackay the most of the cast too (though again, I also absolutely adore Rafael and Liz). I think I knew Steven would be my favourite from the moment we first meet him in the pilot.
Have you reread any books?
Yes, tons! I love rereading, and miss doing it often from before I blogged. The only thing I’ve reread so far this year is the Apprentice Witch, because I wanted to remind myself what happened before I read A Witch Alone, especially given the rather large gap between them.
What YA releases are you looking forward to this year?
Since I wrote my July-August anticipated at the start of July and it’ll be live before this post, I will mention one I’m excited for in September, which is Dramas of a Teenage Heiress. And Then We Collided (which my friend Rosie co-wrote) is also out that month, and if I’m getting the right inference from the synopsis I think I’ll enjoy it immensely. There’s a lot more MG I’m excited for than YA in the next few months though.
Which series did you binge-read under the age of 12?
I binged loads of Enid Blyton, the Babysitters Club, Karen McCombie books and Cathy Hopkins’s series, as well as things like the Laura Marlin Mysteries, Adventure Island and My Sister the Vampire, though I did have to wait on the last few releasing I think.
What’s your favourite dinosaur?
The really honest answer is that I don’t have one 🙈. I learnt about dinosaurs when I was in P1 or 2, which I can’t really remember as it was quite a few years ago. Let’s go for the fictional Driftosaurus from the Adventure Island series!
If one character could come to life for the day who would you pick and what would you do?
Either Nick from Geek Girl because I love himand he makes me laugh, or Ade fromBoy in the Tower so I could hug him and tell him how much of a star he is.
If you could have written any book, which would it be?
I’d LOVE to be able to plot mysteries as well as Robin Stevens, so one of her books.
Which game show would you most like to play for real?
Pointless, because it’s the one I’m best at!
Any books that inspired you to read even more/be more passionate about books?
I once fell into a rut of only rereading, and thought I’d never read something new I loved ever again. Adventure Island and the Laura Marlin Mysteries changed that.
Favourite and least favourite book cover?
My favourite book covers are Julian de Narvaez’s covers for Emma Carroll’s books, my overall favourite of which is probably In Darkling Wood. There aren’t many covers I don’t like, and those that I do are just my personal taste. I think the Babysitters Club covers are quite creepy.
If you could be any book character, who would you be and why?
I’d love to be Harriet Manners, as we’re pretty similar and I love the people around her so much. I’d also love to be Hazel Wong or Daisy Wells so I could solve mysteries! I don’t think I’m as brave or clever as them though…
What would your answers to some of these have been? Do we have any answers in common? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Yesterday, as you might know if you follow me on Twitter, was my one year anniversary as a blogger. I couldn’t decide how to mark this occasion for ages, so I decided to keep it simple. Today, I want to thank all of the people who’ve made this year so special, and it’ll probably be pretty gushy. Onto the post!
To the fellow bloggers I now consider friends: thank you for chatting with me, being there for both blogging and personal crises, and having the best book recommendations. I only hope I’m half as good a friend to all of you as you are to me. If you’re one of these people, you’ll know who you are, and I like all of your boots a hell of a lot (so much I’ll still be your friend even if you don’t know that reference).
To the blogging community: I may not be as close to some of you as those I refer to above, but I still love talking to everyone, taking part in chats both organised and random, and I’m so glad I’m able to consider myself a member of this community. Thank you for letting me be part of it, and making me feel so welcome when I first started.
To the authors who let me flail and fangirl: it will never fail to astound me that I actually know and talk to people whose books are just incredible. It will NEVER stop being surreal that some of my favourite authors on the planet follow me on Twitter, and I’ve even been lucky enough to host some of you for interviews and guest posts, which was an honour. Thank you for all of the above, and also not blocking me for telling you 20 times a day how excited I am for your next book. I know it’s probably really annoying, and I’m so grateful you let me fly my fangirl flag.
To the publishers, who make almost all of this possible: even though I write posts about other subjects, this is a book blog first and foremost, and I want to thank you for publishing the amazing books I get to buy or borrow, and read. And if you send me book post, thank you even more. It’s the coolest thing ever that you send me books and let me share my opinions on them. I’m so grateful to you all.
And, finally, to you: whether you’ve never read this blog before in your life or you’ve been there since the beginning, thanks for reading. It means the world, and I hope you enjoyed whatever you’ve read.
Today’s post is a personal piece that I wrote as part of my coursework (which we call folio) for English National 5, which I sat last year. I’m both nervous and excited to share it, so I hope you enjoy.
Imagine for a moment that you are seven. You`re too tall, and you`ve started puberty around five years too early. No one knows what`s wrong with you, and the doctors you go to see brush you off and say you`re being silly. But your mum is terrified so they send you for an MRI scan to get your case off their desks. I don`t have to imagine it; that seven-year-old was me.
The appointment letter arrived, and the date was set. The 30th September 2009 at 6 o`clock. My mum prepared me in the weeks before, told me how I had to be brave for the scan so we could make sure I was okay.
I was going to be okay.
The day arrived. At hometime that day, my mum and dad picked me up instead of the bus. We arrived at Yorkhill at half past three. “You`ll have to wait,” the nurse told us.
Cancellations are as rare as happy endings in the MRI unit, I`ve found out since. But by some twist of fate, there was a cancellation at 4 o`clock. I was ready, and then they strapped me in.
I had a meltdown. I couldn`t do it.
“You can come back,” the nurses said. “There`s no rush.”
Tempting as their offer was, I couldn`t accept, not after I looked into my mum`s eyes and she begged me to do it for her. I gripped her hand so hard she wouldn`t be able to feel it for days, but she didn`t care. I`d done the hard bit, and now I was going to be okay.
After we`d been waiting for over three hours, my parents knew I was not okay at all.
A doctor finally appeared. His face was so white he could have been dead. I still remember the first thing he said to me: “I think you`ll have to take a few days off school to process this”
He went on to tell us that I had a tumour the size of an orange, with a rat tail pressing on my pituitary gland, growing in my brain, along with several in my ears and on my spine. I needed surgery urgently. I think my family and I knew in that moment that I was never going to be okay again.
My mum took me into the corridor before he started explaining the various ways my surgery could go wrong. “Am I going to die?” I sobbed, falling to the floor.
“If you do I`ll kill you again” my mum said, helping me up. In more ways than one, she`s kept me standing ever since.
I don`t remember the two weeks before I had surgery, apart from playing ridiculous amounts of Wii Sports. I didn`t go to school apart from the day before the October week began, to say goodbye (possibly forever) to my classmates. I didn`t speak to a single person all day.
Instead of the full week, we spent a few days in Eyemouth before my operation. Neither my mum or dad stopped crying the full weekend.
I don`t know very much about the aftermath, apart from what I`ve been told. I was more helpless than a new-born baby; I couldn`t walk, talk, eat, drink or see. I had to learn everything from scratch, and I spent almost a month in hospital, but no amount of effort would bring my sight back. My surgeon Miss Brown, hands down the cleverest person I know, thought it was the price we`d paid for my life.
Somehow, after six weeks, I gradually began seeing blurry colour, then fuzzy shapes and eventually some sight returned. My mum didn`t leave my side the whole time. I can say with some certainty I don`t think I`d have survived without my mum, encouraging me every day I spent in hospital.
My health still isn`t amazing. I`m no longer walking about with a ticking time bomb inside my head, but the tumours in my ears have grown, and I`m facing some sort of treatment in the next year due to tinnitus. And due to where the brain tumour was located, I have frequent headaches and nausea, and if I go a day without falling it`s a miracle. Because my `major` tumour was in my brain, they can`t be sure, but doctors think I have neurofibromatosis type 2, a condition which produces tumours on your nerves.
Things are never going to be truly okay again, and I`ve come to terms with that, just about. I`ll always spend quite a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms; I`ll always have headaches and feel sick most days; always have to be careful when I walk in case I lose my balance and fall. I`m terrified about the idea of having another surgery, or radiation therapy in the near future.
Looking to the future, the chances of me being able to drive are slim, and perhaps the thing that upsets me most of all, if I was to have children, something I would like to do at some point, I risk giving them this. I risk putting my child through numerous operations and treatments and day to day illness. I risk killing my child. It`s a long way off, but I think about it almost every day. That`s the thing that scares me most about my condition; the idea that I`ll have to make a decision one day about playing Russian Roulette with a baby`s life.
If I could go back and tell my seven-year-old self something, I`d tell her that even though what she`s about to do isn`t easy, she`ll get through it. She is braver and stronger than she knows and she`ll overcome the odds. I`m not okay, but after a while I got used to it, and I`ve found a new version of okay.
And maybe that`s all anyone with an illness like mine can do.
Thank you for reading ❤
Last week, I saw a post by Jess from Bookends and Endings talking about her dream reading room, and I absolutely loved her post, so when she suggested in her reply to my comment that I gave it a go too, I immediately started thinking up my own ideas. (My lovely friend Louise over at also Book Murmuration also wrote a post about this a Little while ago)
Let’s get started!
Today’s post is something a little bit different, and I’ve found it very emotional to write. I’d be really grateful if you could let me know your thoughts about it in the comments or on Twitter.
One year ago today, news broke that the body of Helen Bailey had been found, along with her dog Rufus in her septic tank. Both had been murdered by her partner.