Wednesday, 29 January 2014

January Book Haul

So one of my new years resolutions was to buy less books, and so far I have sort of stuck to that. I brought 4 books this month, which is a lot better form an average of 7 upwards!

I brought them in pairs, the first two I got when I was shopping with my friend- Jen- in our local bookshop, which I haven't been to in ages and its really nice in there :) Jen told me I was only allowed in if I promised not to buy anything; if not I had to stay outside in the pouring rain. But I found Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, which I have been meaning to read for an absolute age! Also The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, I really enjoy his writing and want to read more of it.

The last pair are the first two in a trilogy or series, I'm not sure. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City both by Ransom Riggs, I have been dying to read this since Miss Peregrine's first came out, but seeing everyone get Hollow City on Booktube and stuff, I just... I caved. But they look beautiful and I can't wait to read them! No doubt I will do a review of them once I have read them.

Keep to your book buying limit this month? Bravo if you did, its difficult!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Top Classics

So as I fore mentioned, I've read a few classics and I thought I would share with you my favourite 3. (I haven't read that many more than these)-

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- I love this story so much! I just look up to Jane so much, she has such a high level of self-respect. I really like the writing style and the gothic element of it. Also I constantly watch all the adaptations including the webseries on youtube (Autobiography of Jane Eyre, look it up its awesome!!)

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Austen's writing is so witty and light-hearted but also she seems to understand her society to the tee! Plus Elizabeth and Darcy's character development is on point, and their love story, I swear is the greatest ever! (psst watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube too!)

3. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell- This is very similar to P&P but I love the industrial revolution setting and politics, it is a really interesting dynamic between the masters and workers and also Margaret Hale (from the south) and John Thornton (from the north). What makes this book for is how much insight we get of Thornton's thoughts and feelings.

Others that deserve a mention are 1984 by George Orwell which I found it really well written, super thought provoking and slightly creepy too. Also I have read some of Edgar Allen Poe's work with school and really liked them, I have my own selection of his work now, so will be reading more of his stuff.

What is your favourite classic? Also let me know if you watch any of the webseries!

Classics TBR

Last year I discovered classics. Some people think they are dull or no different to modern novels; but I'm in that group that find them really magically. Yes perhaps they're not as exciting or fast pace. And do I think they are better? Not particularly. Yet I truly love reading them, they make you think. However I've only read around 5ish, so naturally I want to read more. I set myself a goal of 6 for this year however there are many more and I don't know which 6 they are going to be.

Awhile back I got an email from Penguin who were being very naughty with a sale on their English libraries and I already owned some, so the list is quite long really...

  • Pamela, Samuel Richardson (currently reading)  
  • Emma, Jane Austen
  • Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  • The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge 
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley 
  • Inferno, Dante
  • The War of the Worlds, H.G.Wells
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales, Edgar Allen Poe
  • Mary Barton, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The Women in White, Wilkie Collins
  • Manfield Park, Jane Austen
  • The Red Room, H.G.Wells
  • Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  • Persuasion, Jane Austen

Monday, 13 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Wrap up

So Bout of Books is over :( But it was super, super fun! The challenges were really creative and fun and I'm surprised with how much reading I actually got done. So overall I read 5 books- Let it Snow, Death Comes to Pemberley, Nothing O'clock, The Fault in Our Stars and The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage plus I read about a third of Looking for Alaska. All pretty good books :) I'm really happy with this cause I half saw this falling flat on its face what with school and all, but it didn't yay!

What books did you read over the read-a-thon? Are happy with how you did?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Bout of Books Challenges Day 7

So its the last day, and they've saved the best till last (or at least one of the best) It is the Bookish Wedding hosted by Harley Bear Book Blog. This was really hard though, it took me forever to think of all these.

1. Which fictional character would you marry?- Mr Thornton-North and South (is this choice odd? I dunno I just love him)

2. Who would be your Maid of Honour or Best Man? Cath- Fangirl (I'm just sure we would be such good friends and just click really)

3. Which fictional world would you want to get married in? Forening-Switched (Its just a really pretty place, a little corrupt but pretty)

4. Who would you pick to play the music at your wedding? Ivy-Kissed by an Angel (playing her piano exquisitely  in the background, it'd add a lovely atmosphere)

5. Who would be your photographer? Will-Kissed by an Angel (he is artistic and a romantic, perfect combo)

6. Who would you sit at the singles table (and hope they'd fall in love)? Rowan & Sparrow- 13 Secrets (those 2 just need a little nudge and they'd be cuteness itself)

7. Who would be your flower girl or ring bearer? Ollie- A Secret Countess (wise beyond her years and so adorable, plus she was Anna's bridesmaid)

8. Who would you want to plan the bachelorette/bachelor party? Abbey- The Hollow (Again I bet we'd be great friends, and she seems supper organized)

9. At the wedding, who would be the first on the dance floor? Wren-Fangirl (If Cath is there Wren will be there and she seems up for a load of dancing)

10. Who would give a speech or toast? Miles- The Immortals (He would give the speech that right amount of humour, sincerity and sentiment)

11. Who would catch the bouquet or garter? Elizabeth Bennet & William Darcy- Pride & Prejudice (just fulfilling my Lizzie Bennet Diaries dreams)

Overall a pretty good guest list :)

Bout of Books Day 6

Yesterday was a really nice day, I spent some time with my mum and even enjoyed my homework! Intertextuality is fascinating! But down to the books I didn't get much of Looking for Alaska done (only 28pgs). But I did finish The Fault in Our Stars. God I love that book, but John Green knows how to pull on the heartstrings! (I may have cried, sshhh) So the stats:

Books: Looking for Alaska & The Fault in Our Stars
Pg count: 267
Total pg. count: 924
No. of books finished: 5

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bout of Books Challenges Day 6

I've been too busy/lazy to do any of these for a few days but its a Saturday and this one really caught my eye today. Its called Book Staging and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

My entry for this is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre- one of my favourite stories. (ignore the top left corner)

  • First I put the image in black and white to give it that gothic vibe
  • The book nearer the front and lower is my copy of Jane Eyre
  • The other book is Pamela but I chose to have it in the photo because of the locks and keys; they represent secrecy and being trapped
  • The candle is to symbolise fire and also the cross and other images represent faith. (its my christening candle)
  • Wise the owl (he's very small) shows Jane's wisdom
  • The tea-cup and Ferro "Rochesteyre" box are a nod to the webseries adaptation, But also I think tea suits Jane really well, what with the calmness and class its related with :)
I think English lit. is getting to me, I've gone all theme-y with this; part from the last bullet- that is just my fangirl side showing. I'd say this is the best challenge yet that I have done, you can really think about it if you want. 

Bout of Books Day 5

Friday, hmm, this is my worse day reading wise so far. I only read 95 pages. I was very busy and tired and just didn't get the chance. But I did read I enjoyed. I started on Looking for Alaska by John Green and so far its really good. But not knowing what it is counting down to with the chapter titles is hard, I'm having to restrain myself from reading ahead to find out! 

Books: The Fault in Our Stars & Looking For Alaska
Today's pg. count: 95
Total pg. count: 657
No. of books finished: 4

Friday, 10 January 2014

Bout of Books Day 4

Sorry this is later than the others have been, the end of the week is always more hectic for me. But I still managed to get over 100pgs so I'm super happy.

 I finished Nothing O'clock which is the Eleventh Doctor's 50th story, and it was... ok... the plot was good and it was really, really nice to have Amy in it- I miss her. But Neil Gaimen just didn't seem to capture the Doctor; maybe its just because the Tenth's story was just so perfect and my expectations were high character wise. However I did really enjoy Gaimen's writing. Yeah, mixed views on this. Nothing O'clock is an audio book and I finished it about half-way to school, so I decided to re-listen- for like the 3rd time- tifios; I have the one that is read by John Green and I love it so much!

I also finished Death comes to Pemberley finally! It was good, not great but also not terrible. I'm planning to do a review and comparison of the novel by P.D.James and the BBC series that was on over Christmas/New Year, which I loved. So that will be up some time next week, with some lie mini-reviews of other books I've read recently.

Books: Death Comes to Pemberley, Nothing O'clock and The Fault in our Stars.
Today's pg count: 148
Total pg count: 562
No. of books finished: 4

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bout of Books Day 3

Books: Doctor Who & Death Comes to Pemberley
Today's pg. count: 113
Finished Books: 2
Total pg. count: 414

So today reading wise didn't start great, I listen to a little bit of doctor who and even in tutor- where I normally get a lot of reading done there a hassle about the new seating plan and then I had to write my CV for some unknown reason! But eventually things looked up, I did not have to do much work tonight so I got to read :) I finished my audio book which was so good! I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, Derek Landy captured 10 perfectly and the story was set in a world of fiction (kinda). Also I am now very near the end of Pemberley and its starting to pick up, I'll finished it tomorrow easily.

 Do you sometimes get surprised by books that you thought would be ok, but then they turn out to amazing?

Bout of Books Day 2

Books: Let it Snow & Doctor Who
Finished Books: 1
Page count: 83
Total page count: 301

Where I this going?! I know its only 2 days in but it seems to be going really quick and I don't want that. So day 2 was my first  day at school, so on the way I listened to The mystery of the haunted cottage by Derek Landy, which is the 10th Doctor story for the 50th anniversary special series thingy. But so far it is really funny and light hearted and it makes me miss David Tennant. (psst. I'm a complete doctor who nerd). Later I read at the doctors and then just before bed finishing Let it Snow, which is so adorable! Next, onto Death comes to Pemberley!
What book are you currently reading?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bout of Books Challenges Day 2

So again, the challenges were so fun today! Thanks you hosts! So the first one was on Sarah Says Read and she asked the question:How do you fit in as much reading as possible during Bout of Books? How do you squeeze in those extra pages? My answer to this was: that as I walk to and from school (40 mins each way) instead of listening to music I have been listening to an audiobook. I can't read while walking and I find that this is very enjoyable and the pages add up pretty quickly.

The second challenge was hosted by The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog. For this you had to cast the voices for your favourite book if you were recording an audiobook. I chose the secret countess and casted the following people:

Anna- Emilia Fox
Rupert- Dan Stevens
Tom- Matt Smith
Ollie-Livvy Stubenrauch
Petya- Maxwell Glick

That is it for the challenges today, I will now get back to reading :)

Bout of Books Day 1

Books: Let it Snow & Death comes to Pemberley
Page count: 218

So day one is done (a while ago actually) and it was awesome! I basically stayed on my bed all day reading- I wanted to to enjoy my last day of freedom before school started. Let is snow is great and the challenges were really fun :-)

How do you do? Hope you are enjoying this read-a-thon as much as me xx

Monday, 6 January 2014

Bout of Books Challenges Day 1

So I thought I would take a rest from Let it Snow- which is awesome by the way- and do today's challenges challenges which are also awesome :) The first is Book Buying Spree hosted by Bookish Comforts, the post explaining it all is here; and this is my list, I must say I find the total quite cool :) 

1.Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- $11.24
2.Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- $14.43
3.Divergent by Veronica Roth- $10.93
4.Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling- $8.37
5.The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- $21.35
6.The Selection by Kiera Cass- $8.65
7.Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler- $14.78
8. Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger- $10.24

Total- $99.99

The second challenge is a Mad Libs and is hosted by Cheap Thrills. Here's mine!:

character name: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
adjective 1: Magic Flutes by Eva Ibbotson
adjective 2: The Hidden by Jessica Verday
item: Knife by R.J. Anderson
occupation: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
act of violence: The Hunt by Amy Meredith
adjective 3: Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler
noun 1: Unrest by Michelle Harrison
noun2: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger 

I just read the greatest book!

This guy Hugo ends up in the middle of a magic conspiracy. Turns out his ancestors were pirates, and he might be the key to finding the hidden knife. It’s a mythic artifact that disappeared centuries ago, and now a shadowy group of assistants are looking for it. No one knows what uncovering it might do, but these guys are willing to hunt for it.
I won’t say anything else. But believe me, if you like dark stories with unrest and espionage, you have to read this one. 

Just want to say a quick thanks to the people who hosted these, they were so fun :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

2014 Bookish Resolutions!

Welcome 2014! Wait what? 2014... where the hell did 2013 go?! I feel like my life is just slipping away. But yeah, happy new year everyone and I hope you had a great Christmas! So along with the usual boring resolutions- exercise more, be more healthy, pass my GCSEs- I have made some book related ones, and these are them:

1. Blog- the start of this blog kinda fell flat on it's face because of my inability to cope with school; so I'm starting again and I will continue it this time (I don't have any exams to get in the way either). I really enjoy blogging and I want to carry on with it.

2. Read Everyday- I tend to let school take over my life and then spend what little time I have on the internet. And although I'm not going to cut the internet out of my life totally, reading is more relaxing and productive and I love it more too. So every night I am going to wind down with a good old book.

3. Read 70 books this year- I wanted to set a goal which I would be proud to reach but also one I can reach and I think this is possible. I know a popular one is 100, which I may try when I don't have to take my GCSEs, move schools and start my A-levels.

4. Read 6 classics- I discovered the world of classics last year, and I really want to read more of them and I think the equivalent of 1 every 2 months I think is still a lot, but also it doesn't put any pressure on, because they do take a while to read and get used to the writing style.

5. Deplete my TBR pile- I literally have nearly 2 shelves worth of unread books. This is really bad! So this year that is going to shrink.

6. Buy less books- Up until 2012 I only brought the odd book or my Mum would buy me one, and I would have 1 or 2 books waiting to be read. But in 2012 I started buying a few more but also I read more, so it was balanced. Then in 2013 reading went down and buying went all the way up! Hence the massive TBR. So to kept the depleted TBR down I am going to refrain form buying as many books. (says the girl who brought 2 books today!) Apart from when I finish my exams- once everything is done and dusted, I am treating myself to a little spree!

So those are my bookish resolutions. I am quite confident really, but we will just have to see how I do this time next year. Have you got any resolutions, especially book-related ones?

Jade xx

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0

So if you can't tell from the title, I have decided to participate in the Bout of Books 9.0 read-a-thon. Yay! So this is my first time properly taking part in this and I'm not 100% sure on what I am doing, but I'll figure it out along the way. Plus I think I get the gist of it: READ! If you have no idea what this Bout of Books thing is that I'm going on about then read this:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

So, down to the nitty gritty!

Time Devoted to Reading:
I want to read at least a little everyday throughout the week, however I'm not how much spare time I will actually have due to school. So I will try to read maybe in the morning, during school I sometimes can read and at night I will try to get a minimum of half an hour in. 

My Goals:
1. Read everyday
2.Finish all books I have on the go (3)
3.Finish 6 books (this may be a little ambitious but I don't think it will be too ambitious).

The Books:
1.Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D.James
2.Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle
3.Teardrop by Lauren Kate
4.Looking for Alaska by John Green
5.The Graveyard Book  by Neil Gaimen
6.Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Update wise I will put a post up around midnight each day including that day's page count and the overall count; as well as the books I finished/started and how everything is going in general. Then on Sunday or Monday I will do a wrap-up of the week. So good luck to everyone taking part, may it be a fun week for all :)

Jade xx