Monday, 31 August 2015

August Wrap-up

Hello! Long time no see! (kinda) I know I said I was going to post everyday but I burnt myself out a little so I just stepped away but I'm back now :) Today I have my August wrap-up because apparently summer has pretty much gone. I read 9 things in August which I am happy with especially since I read practically nothing in the 2nd half of the month.
  • North & South, Elizabeth Gaskell. This was a re-read for me and I appreciated it so much more and spotted all these new things. I adore this story and Gaskell's writing. 5 stars.
  • Macbeth, Shakespeare. I scribbled all over this when reading it, I've done bits and pieces of this play at school but never read it all the way through, though it can be a little difficult at times I am a big fan of Shakespeare. 4 stars.
  • An Anthem For Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen. This was a little collection of Owen's war poetry, I "enjoy" war poetry (for want of a better phrase) I think it is because of the amount of emotion behind the subject makes it very effective and moving. The only thing is that reading a whole load 1 after the other got a little depressing. 4 stars.
  • Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Jen Campbell. This was another re-read because I needed a pick me and the things people say in bookshops- though worrying at times- is hilarious. 5 stars.
  • Olalla, Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a gothic short story about vampires. I love Robert Louis Stevenson's writing and have an extremely strong urge to read every single thing by him the story was a little... off. 3 stars.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams. I am studying this play at some point in the year which why i read it. It was ok and i picked up on a lot of symbolism and what not so that is good. But I read it in 1 sitting and it was so sad; it just hit like a ton of bricks really. 3 stars.
  • Nimona, Noelle Stevenson. This is a graphic novel about a shapeshifter who joins forces with a villian to take on the town's hero. On the surface it is just super fun; underneath that though the characters are actually quite complex and deep. Also the art it gorgeous! 5 stars.
  • The Great Winglebury Dual, Charles Dickens. This is an early short story of Dicken's and to be honest it was very odd and just didn't really go anywhere. 2 stars.
  • The World's Wife, Carol Ann Duffy. I fancied some poetry the other day and so I was looking at the poetry section in waterstones and saw the collection I am studying this year. And for once I think I might like the poems I'm studying. The poems are based on famous Men's wives and is witty and brilliant. 4 stars.
So a pretty good reading month all in all even if I actually managed to read quite a few sad books. What did you read this month?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

T5W: Favourite Required Reading

Hello! This week’s top 5 Wednesday is all about required reading that you have to do for school and I haven’t actually done that much in my time but I can still make my list. I find a lot of the time that reading “for school” can take the fun out of things but at the same time it can open your eyes to book you may not have found otherwise.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe. 2 years ago in year 10 I believe I was asked to read  some Poe and though it was a little difficult to get into, I loved it, I don’t if I would have read any of his work if it wasn’t for that group.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I am reading this this summer for the 2nd time as I will be studying it later this year. I can’t wait and school has given me the perfect excuse to re-read 1 of my favourite books!
  3. When I was little I had to reading to me parents and log in a diary for school but it got to the point where I just wanted to read by myself and when they finally said that I could do that I was stupidly happy, I’ve never much liked reading aloud.
  4. 1 of the best things is when you have already read the book you are asked to read because you can either leave it because you know it or give it a quick re-read. This happened with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing last year, I’d already read it twice so I didn’t need to worry.
  5. Finally I want to talk about reading lists. I prefer to be given a big long list of things to choose from rather than a set list of a few because it means you can tailor the books to your own taste.
What are your views on required reading? Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and if you want to join or find everyone else’s lists go to the goodreads group!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

T5W: Favourite Maps

Hello lovelies! It is Wednesday so I’m doing another top 5 Wednesday :) This was GingerReadsLainey’s idea and if you want to know more about it or join yourself go to the goodreads group. Today’s theme is favourite maps and we all know that when there is a map in the front of a book it’s going to be a good one!
  1. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan- The map in this one is more decorative but it still shows some of the places in the novel. It so pretty I couldn’t not include in my list. 
  2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne- I remember pouring over the map of the 100 acre wood when I was little, Winnie the Pooh is so charming!
  3. Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke- In each book of this trilogy the map is of a slightly different place to match the story and I find having some sense of the direction and distance the characters are travelling make it even more immersive.
  4. The Lost Island of Tamarind by Nadia Aguiar- The same again, being able to where all the characters are makes it much more real.
  5. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas- This map is great as the world of this series is pretty big and complex so a map is super helpful. 

I don’t have much to on the map other than I like it when they are there!
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

August 2015 Book Haul (part 1)

Hello lovelies! I have another book haul for you, I'm only showing you half of the books today and then in a couple of weeks I'll post part 2 because if I did all of them today it would be way too long. I've recently got a job so you can where that money is going! (in all seriousness I am saving most of it)

  • Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider. I found this in whsmiths and it sounded good and it has a very pretty cover so I picked it up because I have no restraint. This is about a boy who goes to a boarding school for sick kids where he is expecting to be miserable but that is not the case once he meets is classmates. 
  • It's About Love by Steven Camden. I read Tape by Steven in June and flew through it so when I saw his new book it was an auto-buy. I feel like this is going to be a very honest and real love story.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I have wanted to read this for a while and what with all the hype surrounding the sequel at the time I caved when I saw it in asda. This book is about a girl who writes  very honest letters to her crushes and puts them in a hatbox instead of sending them to dispel the crush. One day these letters get sent out.
  • The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz. This is the prequel to Disney channel's new original movie Descendants about the kids of the villains and though I'm not sure on the film I am looking forward to the book.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. I picked this up because I am studying it in September and I have no idea what it about.
So those are some of the books I have brought recently. Have you read any? If so I would love to know what you thought.
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Minimalist Book Tag

 Hello I thought I'd do another tag that I’ve seen floating around the internet recently which is the Minimalist Book tag which was created by Shannon Rose Reads. It is created with the idea of a minimalist lifestyle and there are 11 questions so I’m going to answer them now :)

1.Your all-time favourite book:  A Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson. I’ve read this book so many times now and it is always the book I go to if I need to calm down. It is such a wonderful story.

2.A modern classic: The only “modern classic” I can think of is The Great Gatsby which I did enjoy studying last year, it is 1 of those books that as you pull it apart you fall in love with it even more.

3.A non-fiction book: Horrible Histories (Churchill) I hardly ever read non-fiction as I don’t really enjoy it that much but I do remember reading this again and again years ago when I got it out from the library.

4.A classic: North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I adore this book and there is so much too it, the romance, the social commentary, character development. There is a lot to sink your teeth into!

5.A graphic-novel: Again I haven’t read many of these but I recently The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage which followed the 2 Victorian inventors/mathematicians somewhat faithfully and it is such a fun read.

6.A book by an author you could not live without: Hands down this is Rainbow Rowell but choosing which of her books is harder… I think Landline is my favourite of them all.

7.A Series you couldn’t live without: I am going to have to go with Harry Potter for this no matter how predictable it is. I feel like every time I read it I come away noticing something new and it leaves me so happy.

8.A book you feel no house/home is complete without: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. This to me is such a brilliant book that so many- including me- love and I know I would hate to be without a copy!

9.A book with a pretty cover you could not live without: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. Obviously the story is the most important and this 1 is a corker but the cover is absolutely stunning and is also really suits the book.

10.A book on your TBR/wishlist you have not read yet: I’m very much looking forward to reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte, I really like Jane Eyre and I desperately want to read her other works. Plus I have a super pretty penguin English library of it.

11.BONUS CATEGORY: A YA book: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I love all the Lunar Chronicles but the 1st is my favourite I was enchanted from the start.

And that is all the questions, they certainly got me thinking, do any of you have the same books as me?
Speak soon,
Jade xx

Sunday, 2 August 2015

July 2015 Wrap-up

Hello lovelies! I hope you are having a great summer. Today I'm going to share with you everything that I read during July. I read 12 things last month which is crazy but it is a mix of novels, poetry and audiobooks. Enjoy!
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. This I read because it was on the drama reading list for English and because it was book 2 in Classic Alice (check it out!). It is basically My Fair Lady (which I watch after reading this) but with massive, massive gaps in the plot but apart from that and the extremely long stage directions I liked and it was really interesting to re-watch that part of Classic Alice and spot links :) (3 stars)
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. This is about 14yr old (or around that) who suddenly finds out she is a Princess and chaos ensues I listened to this on audiobook and just found it really fun, even though sometimes it was a little cringey but that is what you're like at that age. (3 stars)
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.This was kind of a re-read as I read bits of it here and there but I never read it in 1 go and didn't know everything that happened. I love Shakespeare but... Romeo and Juliet is just a little ridiculous. (3 stars)
  • The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. This is hands down the best books I've read this year, it is beautiful! The world is flooded and it mainly follows North- a girl who dances with her bear in a circus- and a Gracekeeper Callanish. Here's my review if you want to know more! (5 stars)
  • Seeing Stars by Simon Armitage. 2 stars I read some poetry today as part of my summer work for English but it isn't really my thing. I enjoyed some of them but mainly I found them odd and many didn't really have an ending they just stopped. (2 stars)
  • Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy. I enjoyed most of these- some I had actually studied before- and in general I do like Carol Ann Duffy which is good because I know I will be looking at her work in class next year. (3stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling. I don't think I need to say much about this really but I listened to this on audiobook and adored it even more than the other times I've read it, it is just so fun and brilliant and magical!  (5 stars)
  • Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath. After reading this I believe Plath's work is one of those I can only enjoy if I discuss and pick it apart, but I could appreciate the writing while reading it. (2 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling. Same again- Harry Potter is wonderful and I will never not love it. (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. If you haven't twigged yet I'm re-reading/ listening to this series and I can't get enough of it :) (5 stars)
  • What She Left by T.R.Richmond. This one was a pleasant surprise as I though I wouldn't enjoy this. It is about Alice Salmon who drowned, a Professor is piecing together her life through articles, social media and her friends and family; slowly but surely the jigsaw comes together and you get to the truth. If you want to know my thoughts on it here is my review that I posted earlier this week. (4 stars)
  • A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells. This is my first H.G.Wells that I have read and overall I quite liked it. The Door in the Wall was a bit odd and dull but I prefered A Slip under the Microscope much more, the only thing is just as I was really getting pulled  in it ended. (3 stars)
I also read a chunk (over half) of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell so I am super happy with the amount I read this month; it felt so good to be reading again!
Speak soon,
Jade xx 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

TBR Takedown 2.0 wrap-up

Hello :) The TBR Takedown happened last week and I had loads of plans to read a ton of different books but I wasn't in the mood. So instead I focused on reading what I wanted instead of the number of books. Having said that throughout I finished 2 books and read half of another 1.

On Saturday I finished What She Left by T.R.Richmond and I was pleasantly surprised. I've done a review so check that out if you want to know more.

Then on Thursday or maybe Wednesday (I can't quite remember) I finished A Slip under the Microscope by H.G.Wells which is a short story about a science student, I was starting to get into it and then it ended.

During the rest of the week I decided to pick up North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell which is over 500pgs so not exactly what you would typically read for a readathon but I've been wanting to give this a re-read for so long now I just decided to go with and I'm really glad I did because it is so good!

How did you do?
Speak soon,
Jade xx