Monday, 15 January 2018

Library Book Review - The Uncommon Reader

This is actually a reread (or a #re3, if you want what I call). I read this years ago when this first came out and I enjoyed it back then. So, when I started thinking about rereading (you can blame Radio 2 who has a thingy of "Alan Bennett" on the Steve Wright show in the afternoons - my old job had Radio 2 on ALL THE TIME!!!), it made me think of this and I went "Ok, maybe I should reread this." So, I requested this from my library and here we are!

When the corgis take the Queen to a travelling library that was just outside the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, she feels guilt and takes a book out. The book she picks wasn't to her liking, but she feels guilty and takes out another. This book is a huge success and it turns the Queen into a reader. Soon, the Queen is reading more and more and people around her become concerned about her...

This is, very much, a novella for readers. It's a gentle read which is very much an ode to books and libraries. There's not much I can say about this, but it is a gentle read which I hugely enjoyed.

There were one or two things that made me go "Huh" over but, as I read her over a month go (before Christmas Eve, FYI), I can't remember what they were.

But this is a gentle ode to readers and libraries. Not sure if I would read other Alan Bennett's as I heard that his humour is a little more in your face and I prefer this subtle humour.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Library Book Review - Cardcaptor Sakura: Volume 1

Come on. Admit it You didn't think I was going to make this my first review of 2018, did you? Well, SURPRISE! I did warn you that this year, I was planning on reading more fun, and seeing as I have wanted to read the manga version of Cardcaptors for a while (I used to watch this years ago when it was on CITV - anyone watch it? If I can find a start of the first episode in English dub, I will pop it at the bottom of the post!), when I saw it on the Essex Libraries website and I could request it, I went for it (as well as requesting a few other books - this might be a dangerous thing for me to do! BE AWARE, LIBRARY!). 

And it came quicker than I expected so I read it just before Christmas. 

In this first volume of the series, we follow fourteen year old (though Wiki said she's ten so maybe I am misremembered) Sakura who accidentally release the Glow Cards, magical cards created by magician Clow Reed. After the guardian of the cards, Cerberus (or Kero) chooses her to reclaim the cards, each card has its own abilities. 

In this volume, Sakura captures Jump, Fly, Water and Illustration and already captured Windy and Wood (we have a few flashback moments to explain this). 

And I enjoyed this. This was a fun, whizz of a read and I enjoyed this hugely. It was very PG friendly (this did have an age rating on the back of the book saying "For All Ages") and I feel that this is safe for younger readers. Plus, it has magical elements that work nicely. Plus, the art work is lovely. It felt very nostalgia.  

The huge problem with this is that, in my library book had three pages missing. THREE PAGES WERE RIPPED OUT! It's hugely annoying and it kinda annoys with the flow of the story, but not so much as I have seen the manga so I connected the dots up to a point. But it meant going to my library and explaining that the book was ripped out and I didn't do it (so please don't charge me!)

But what really surprised me is how, while it was hugely similar to the anime, there were huge difference. How Sakura caught the Fly Card in the manga is hugely different to how she caught it in the anime (unless I am misremembering). 

But this made me smile and I am hugely, HUGELY, tempted to request the second volume of Cardcaptor Sakura... We shall see how I feel in the near future...  

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

New Year's Book Tag

Just before Christmas, I was tagged by Emily from alwaysopinionatedgirl to take part in the Winter Tag. However, I kinda forgot to do it (I hope to attack it in the next few weeks, if not... oops!) but I saw this and went, "Till I have a moment to do SavidgeReads's Page 112 Tag (so next month or so as I really want to do this!), this would be fun to do!" So, blame Bookables with this tag, but let's go!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

HAPPY 2018!


So, we made it. We survived 2017! So, what's the plan for this blog this year? What is my blogging New Year resolutions? I must have loads, I hear you cry! I mean, I write one of these EVERY YEAR, outlining my plans and ideas and going "I'm going to do THIS! And THIS! And maybe even THIS!"

Well, I do. I have ideas of what I want to blog to do and went I want it to go in resolutions. I made a list and everything. But something made me go "Actually, I want to do all the things I want to do - use the library, read more diversity, take risks, reread more, use my kindle more, do more culls on my TBR. Yes, I want to do all them, but what I really want to do is one key thing."

So, that's what I'm going to do. This year, my main aim for my reading is fun. Reading for fun. Bring the fun back.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's not.

I enjoy reading, don't get me wrong. And I enjoy blogging, again don't get me wrong. But I want to inject the fun back. I want to read books that make me smile, laugh, gasp, scream in anger but go "I enjoyed myself with this. It's not perfect, but it was fun and I had a whale of a time!"

Now you see why the whale gif was put at the very start of this post...

Because, that's what's reading about. Having a whale of a time. Yes, I want books to challenge how I see the world or do reading challenges that make me go "Why did I think this was a good idea again? (yes, I might still do the Read All Dan Brown Novels This Year... maybe... I'm still in 2 minds about that) but I want to read fun!

So, that's what I am planning to do. Read more fun. This will mean that I might not read the latest "OMG!" read, or will post as often as I like (some of the books I have my eye on reading are over 500 pages long - ARGH!!!), but I am going to read some books that, I hope, are going to make me smile!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

End of Year Time!

This time next week, we will be celebrating Christmas! So, this will be my last post for this year! Like Neighbours, Home and Away, and our fave US dramas, am going on my Christmas break. And I don't think I will be coming back till the 8th January! Maybe even later - it really depends on real life matters, but am working towards the 8th January 2018 (wow, that was weird to write!)

So, I hear you ask, why am I writing this post. To show you guys some of my fave reads of this year? Maybe... Or maybe I should show you some covers of books that I had fun reading. As, like am always saying on the blog (and maybe I should say more often), reading should be a pleasure and should be fun! So, let's do that! Here are some books I had fun reading!

I sense some of you are going to backtrack and go "You didn't give these 5 stars" for these. Yes, I know, but like I said, I want to go "Ta-dah" over books I had fun reading.

But this post is just a short "Thank you" post. Thank you to all the authors, publishers, PR comapnies/people and book bloggers/vloggers/podcasters for helping me this year with being involved with wonderful and exciting books and for pointing me in the right directions over books that you guys went "You need this on your radar!"

To my family and friends, thank you for dealing with me this year as I have been all over the place with blog and in real life. I know I am not the easiest person in the world - am a bit of a nervy person so... yeah. Thank you for being there. I love you all.

To my Other Half. I love you.

And now, to you, dear reader, I thank you for reading my blog/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/etc and for chatting/interacting with me about books, cats and goodness knows what else. I hope I will still be able to keep writing this blog and keep the fun at it throughout next year! Fingers cross that 2018 is going to be a good year - I mean, it can't be worse that 2017 when you look at the news, right?

So, to you all, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas or whichever religious holiday you are celebrating over the next few weeks and I will see you in the New Year! SEE YOU IN 2018, YOU LOVELY LOT!!!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Books And Their Theme Songs - November & December 2017

It's so close to Christmas now! SO. VERY. CLOSE.

And before this blog goes on Christmas holiday, let me show you some music I listened while I did my reading for the past few months! Yes, it's another Books And Their Theme Songs time again!

I hope you like my music choices and if you guys know of music which you think I will like, please let me know. I always love discovering new music!

Now, onto the music!

ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer
"Believer" by Imagine Dragons

PLAYED! by J.L. Merrow
"Anywhere" by Rita Ora

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Johnny Depp - Toxic To Harry Potter?

Before I go any further, I just want to say that this post, for some people, might have triggers so if you feel uncomfortable about reading this post, please don't read. I want you to stay safe physically, mentally and emotionally. 

That's why am going to insert a page-break here so, if you do want to read about Johnny Depp, his involvement in Fantastic Beasts, the allegations and me trying to figure out how I feel about this, carry on reading. If not, please don't read. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Audiobook Review - The Arrangements: A Work of Fiction

This, I feel, is going to be my last book/eBook/audiobook review of this year! My last of 2017! But is it going to be a good'un? Well, let's go for it, shall we?

The Arrangements: A Work of Fiction is a short story commissioned by the New York Times, who went to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and other authors to write any aspect of the 2016 Presidential Elections. Chimamanda's tale is the first to be published (the others will be coming in the near future, I believe) and it takes the story of Mrs Dalloway and spins it on its head with Melania Trump being Mrs Dalloway in this fictional imagining of Melania's day...

If you know me well enough (via Twitter and my other social media platforms), you know my opinions on President Trump, his family and his government. If not, it's highly negative. Let's leave it at that, shall we?

So, you might ask, why did I want to listen to this 30-odd minute reading of this short story? Several reasons. One is the narrator - I have only heard January Lavoy a few times in other audiobooks and I knew I would enjoy her reading of this satire.

The second was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After reading We Should All Be Feminists (which I read last year), I wanted to read more Chimamanda's writing, but have been a bit overwhelmed on where to start. I do have Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions on my kindle, but have been uncertain on when I should read it. But, when I saw this, I felt ready to attack it. It felt right to listen to this story in the current political climate in both the USA and in UK/Europe.

This story/satire intrigued me. I know it's fiction and I would have loved to be a little longer (this could have been longer and it still would have worked, in my opinion), but it made me tilt my head and go "what goes on behind closed doors? Does Melania like Donald's thirst for power? Does she like his children from his previous marriage? What if she's lonely? Or struggling with her sexuality? What if?"

It is a short story so you are skimming, but there was something here I sunk my teeth into. I enjoyed the writing, the reading and the ideas of The Arrangements so I think, next year, I am going to try my hardest to read Americanah or one of her other titles.