Fictional Worlds to Spend Christmas In #blogmas

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There are so many wonderful fantasy worlds and imagining spending my time in all of these worlds during Christmas would be simply magical!

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Hogwarts from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Obviously I would love to spend my Christmas in a magical castle! Who wouldn’t!? I think the best thing about Christmas at Hogwarts though, without a doubt, has to be the food. So much delicious, never-ending food. Just thinking about it makes me hungry! It also always seems to snow during Christmastime, so I’d open my presents in the morning, eat the equivalent of my body-weight, then build snowpeople, have snowball fights and take a creepy, midnight walk in the forbidden forest. Perfect!

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The Rampion from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Spending Christmas in space with a bunch of dorks would be amazing! I can just imagine Thorne in his apron and somehow burning the turkey and Iko getting too excited for Christmas and opening all of the presents at the break of dawn. Winter would be singing some Lunar carols and Scarlet would be rolling her eyes at everyone. Ahhh, it’d be so much fun!

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21 Auger Road from Jackaby by William Ritter

Christmas in New Fiddleham would be a little wild. Jackaby would be sharing tales of interesting festive creatures and traditions from around the world and the whole team would inevitably have to postpone their dinner in favour of a case coming from a grumpy resident. On the way, they would run into some members of the community alone for Christmas, so they would bring Christmas to them and take their food and have a party. Abigail would introduce Jackaby to the wonderful Christmas cracker hat tradition and Jackaby would end up wearing everyone’s hats. Okay, I actually really need Ritter to write this short story for me!!

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The London Institute from The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Any party that involves Magnus would be nothing short of magnificent. Could we all just take a second to imagine the amount of sparkle that would be involved? Beautiful. Given that Victorian London is one of my absolute favourite aesthetics, I feel like this would be the best timeline of the Shadowhunter world to visit. There would be a roaring fire, Will would tell some silly jokes, Jem would be playing his violin and Tessa would be curled up with Church reading a good book. It’d be a very cosy Christmas!

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35 Portland Row from Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud

Ah my wee ghost-hunting team. Christmas would be a bit of a small affair. They would probably be working on Christmas Eve so sleep in till early afternoon, then crawl out of bed and eat chocolate and sweets for the entire day. George would be in heaven. The Skull would be mocking everyone even more intensely than usual to make sure no one is cheery for Christmas. It’d be like a modern-day A Christmas Carol!


Which fictional world would you love to spend your holiday season in?

Merry #blogmas 1

 

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Top 5 Wednesday – Characters On the Naughty List

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This weeks’ Top 5 Wednesday is all about the characters that are on your Naughty List this Christmas. Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Thoughts on Tomes and you can find the Goodreads group here.

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1. Ron from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I know I moan about him often but that’s just because he’s so well loved and I don’t quite grasp why. He’s a Nice Guy™ that is ridiculously mean to Hermione and constantly mocks her and her passions and can’t (or won’t) understand anything from anyone else’s point of view. Ron, as always, you suck.

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2. Sloane from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Sloane is a horrible friend. She’s also the type of person who I despised growing up. There were a few occasions in the book where she would get mad at Emily because her social anxiety would prevent her from doing something and that’s something I dealt with a lot as a teenager. Having friends that have no comprehension of how social anxiety works was really tough. Also, Sloane would try to get Emily to do things she didn’t feel comfortable doing (like going to a club) and would guilt-trip and be horrible to Emily for saying no. I hated that Sloane kept wanting Emily to change to be more like her. Some people just don’t like going out! This was just a really unhealthy friendship and I’m glad I no longer have any Sloanes in my life.

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3. Rowan from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

What’s a list of characters that irritate me without the velvet-wrapped-steel ‘alpha’ male himself? Ew. There is nothing about him I like. And I’ve tried. He’s possessive, aggressive, controlling and I’m really hoping he gets killed off in the last book. Slowly. Gruesomely.

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4. Cassie from The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertelli

I know this is probably a really unpopular opinion but I did not like Cassie. Like, at all. It was mainly due to her aromisic comments. At one point she calls Molly ‘childish’ because she has never been in a relationship and apparently she just doesn’t get what it’s like to be in one *rolls eyes* Similar to Sloane, I feel like Cassie was pressuring Molly into doing things she didn’t want to do in relation to her love life. She kept trying to get Molly to go out with this guy she very obviously was not interested in. Honestly, this book in general is just really amisic, I’m surprised it’s so popular (no I’m not, no one cares about amisia/notices it when it occurs).


Thankfully, most characters I read about are on my Nice List so there are only four characters I needed to talk about today. Which characters are on your Naughty List?

Merry #blogmas 1

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag #blogmas

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I’m here with another Christmassy tag for Tag Tuesday. I found this one over at: Falling Down the Book Hole.

Unboxed

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: a partridge in a pear tree
The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite stand alone?

One of my favourites is Unboxed by Non Pratt. It packed so much emotion into a such a short 150-page book. The characters felt so real to me and I felt everything they felt. I’m not usually one for contemporaries so when they have this kind of affect on me, I know they must be good!strange-the-dreamer

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: two turtle doves
Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

One of my more recent OTP’s are Lazlo and Sarai from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. They’re my favourite kind of couple: sweet, romantic, thoughtful, caring. There are outside forces keeping them apart which just makes me want them together even more!The Final Empire

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Three French Hens
In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

Probably the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. It has everything I want in a fantasy: excitement, intricate plots, compelling characters and some of the best world-building and magic systems I’ve come across. This trilogy is never far from my mind.

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On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: four calling birds
Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favourite series?

I’m only counting series I’ve completed in this and one of my favourites that I’ve finished recently is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. It’s such a fun, light-hearted series full of humour, adorable romances and interesting world-building.

The Diviners

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: five golden rings
One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?

Naughty John from The Diviners by Libba Bray is probably the creepiest, most disturbing villain I’ve come across recently. He’s a serial killer so he’s already terrifying. But, before he kills he sings this really sinister song and hearing this via audio-book made it all the more alarming.Monstress

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: six geese a laying
Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world-building?   

Good world-building for me tends to be a world I can imagine myself in and fill in any gaps myself. I think Monstress Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda had some masterful world-building in it. For a first volume I already feel like I have a deep understanding of the world. It’s such an interesting world, too. I mean, a matriarchal steampunk fantasy with an Asian-setting and talking cats and monsters and witches? Hell, yes! The Gates

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: seven swans a swimming
Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

Boswell, an adorable dachshund from The Gates by John Connolly, is one of the sweetest animal companions. He’s the main character’s best friend and is there for him throughout all of the outrageous goings-on in the book. 13/10 would noggin pat.

The Girl At Midnight

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eight maids a milking
Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

The Girl At Midnight trilogy by Melissa Gray has the most gorgeous descriptions of food. The food is mostly cakes filled with cream and doughnuts and mmmmm. I am always hungry when reading these books!

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On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: nine ladies dancing
Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favourite kickass female lead?

Definitely Abigail Rook from the Jackaby series by William Ritter. She has a great sense of adventure – she left her home in England to follow her dreams of archaeology which didn’t exactly work out the way she thought it would. But, she ends up becoming a part of a detective agency that specialises in the supernatural. She’s uses her wits and her bravery to solve crimes and I ADORE her. She’s kind and good and I love her a lot.

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On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: ten lords a leaping
How about your favourite leading lad?

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! I mean, we’re both librarians with a great sense of curiosity for the unknown so he’s incredibly relatable to me. But he, like Abigail, just has this great sense of adventure that I find very endearing in my main my characters. His character arc was wonderful, too. I cannot wait to see where he ends up in the next book!The Strings of Murder

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: eleven pipes piping
What is your favourite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc)

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel is the first book that comes to mind. The murder mystery revolves around violins and the devil which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Violins played a very big part in this mystery which was very interesting to read about as the mystery unraveled.lord-of-shadows

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 12 drummers drumming
Drum roll please…what is your favourite read of this year?

It has to be Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I can’t quite put into words how much I love this series. My favourite characters exist in this story-world and that climax at the end!!! Was!!! Everything!!!


So that’s it for today’s tag! It’s my last week of work/masters for the year so I’m sorry I’ve been a little flaky with my blogmas posts lately! I will be posting a couple a day for the next few days hopefully. My own fault entirely for thinking working part-time, doing a masters full-time and posting every day would be a good idea! 😂 Hope you’re all having a good December so far 💜

Merry #blogmas 1

Festive Reads #blogmas

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I’m starting to properly get into the festive spirit so I thought I’d share with you some of the books I enjoy reading over the holiday period that get me in the mood!

My True Love Gave to Me

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

There were some stories I absolutely loved in this but also some I really wasn’t that big a fan of, so it might be a little hit or miss for you, too. Personally, I still think it’s worth reading as it definitely got me into the festive spirit. I particularly enjoyed:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 4/5
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena: 4/5
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 4.5/5
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 4/5
Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 4/5
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 5/5

I think there’s a story for everyone in this collection. They’re mostly super cute, adorable stories from a bunch of talented authors that will make you smile.

Let It Snow

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

I adored the first two stories in this but really disliked the third. But my love for the first two definitely outweighs my dislike in recommending this book. The first story was probably my favourite out of the two and followed a girl who decided to brave it in a snowstorm after leaving a broken-down train. It was so wintry and Christmassy and adorable. And I’m not sure if I’ve shared this on here, but I BLOODY LOVE TRAINS. And Christmas trains are twice as good for me!

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Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

I really enjoyed the concept of this. It follows our two main characters who trade challenges in a notebook found on a shelf in a bookstore which takes them all over a very Christmassy New York. I found this story very adorable and sweet and I loved Lily’s passion for the holidays! She was very relatable to me.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This is one of the few classics that I genuinely enjoy reading. Which is definitely saying something! It’s a story that’s been with me since I was a child, watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol. I love the atmosphere and the overall message of the story. And I especially love that it has ghosts in it. I do love a creepy Christmas tale!

Doctor Who Christmas

The Twelve Doctors of Christmas 

If you’re looking for a little something different to read over the holidays this year – and you also happen to be a huge Doctor Who fan – then I have found the book for you! I’m actually currently reading this via audio-book (recommended!) and really enjoying it. It’s exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from Doctor Who and it’s really getting me into the festive spirit! The stories are a little odd and timey-wimey and the narrators were wonderful. Highly recommend this wee fun collection!


Are there any festive stories you like to read around this time of year?

Merry #blogmas 1

The Friday 56 – Night of Cake and Puppets

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The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda’s Voice. You can find her here.

Friday 56

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Night of Cake and Puppets

I’m currently reading Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. This is a novella that’s recently been published in hard-copy format that takes place in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone world and follows two of my favourite characters: Zuzana and Mik. I absolutely adore these two and reading something new in this world is making me feel nostalgic for the original trilogy! Jim di Bartlo’s illustrations are gorgeous, too. They are found on nearly every page and they bring the story to life so well. I’m so glad to be reading this – I definitely didn’t expect to see a copy of it at my local library!

“I don’t believe in prayer, but I do believe in magic, and I want to believe in miracles.”

Merry #blogmas 1

Books to Read Beside An Open Fire #blogmas

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Otherwise known as cosy reads! For me, cosy reads are books that centre around magic and make me want to be a part of that world. So we’ll start off with the most obvious:

Harry Potter/The Shadowhunter Chronicles/The Hobbit

These are some of my absolute favourite worlds to get lost in and cosy up to, but they’re talked about so much here that I’ll just leave it as an honourable mention!

Northern Lights #1

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman

I’ve only read the first instalment of the His Dark Materials trilogy so far but this one takes place in Oxford and the North Pole and there’s daemons and armoured polar bears which is exactly as cool as it sounds. It has a very cosy, wintry feeling and very believable world-building. I would definitely recommend you read it with a cup of tea!

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Jackaby by William Ritter

This is one of my favourite series and it’s about as magical as you can get! It’s a mystery series that takes place in an 1800’s New England city and incorporates many interesting creatures from folktales, including redcaps, vampires and a human turned duck named Douglas. It’s whimsical and witty and charming and my perfect idea of a series to cosy up with.

Wollstonecraft #1

The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford

This is the only non-magical series on this list but it still gives me the cosy feels! It’s a children’s series that takes place in Victorian London that follows re-imaginings of Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley as very resilient, resourceful crime-fighters. It also contains appearances from many other people from history, such as Charles Dickens. It’s a very sweet series that centres itself around female friendship and bravery. For me, mystery books are the best kind of cosy reads!

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is one of my favourite graphic novels and I wish Stevenson would write more in this world! The characters are wonderful – they have interesting backstories and are very well developed. Also, the illustrations are the cutest, most adorable I’ve ever seen. There’s also kind of a queer m/m romance that’s so subtle that I couldn’t help but ship the hell out of it!


So those are some of my cosy reads. What are your go-to books for the warm fuzzies?

Merry #blogmas 1

DIY Bookish Christmas Cards #blogmas

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I will preface this by saying that I am not the greatest at DIY but I love the process of creating something, particularly this time of year. So, I wanted to make some bookish Christmas cards and I think it went pretty well all things considered!

I’ll show you the finished products at the end, but here is what I did, step-by-step:

1. Materials

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First I decided which materials I wanted to make the cards. I used card (red, green & white), twine, cookie cutters, wooden decorations and cut-out pictures of some of my favourite reads of the year.

2. Card and stencil

Next, using the craft knife I tried to cut around the cookie cutters on the white card. This bit didn’t go entirely to plan and looked a little scruffy, but hey, I’m not an expert :’)

3. Bookish collage

I then decided to stick onto the red/green card collages of some of my favourite books of 2017, then stuck the white card on top.

4. Festive it up!

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After adding glitter and twine and some painted festive wooden decorations, these are what I ended up with. I’m actually so proud of myself for these. I know they’re not the greatest DIY you’ve ever seen but I made them so I love them!!


Have you guys been doing any Christmas DIY’s yet this month?

Merry #blogmas 1

Top 5 Wednesday – Bookish Things You’re A Grinch About #blogmas

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When I saw this topic, I got so excited! It’s meant to be a list of light-hearted, petty things in (or about) books that irritate you. I’m a wee bit of a petty person, so this topic is perfect for me. Warning: extreme pettiness ahead!

1. Sappy romance 

Okay so there is a very fine line between cute romance and sappy romance for me. I love characters being all cute and adorable with each other but cannot stand when they go too far. It just makes me want to throw up. I don’t mean to be grumpy (I definitely am) but can you just stop being so sickeningly happy all the time? Just.. ew.

2. Americanisms 

I was reading something recently that was meant to be set in the UK and be from the point of view of British characters. So I was kind of annoyed to see very blatant American phrases rather than British phrases. It’s really very petty, I know, but wow did it bother me to see the word underpants rather than underwear and refrigerator rather than fridge! Brits don’t use those words. And it took me out of the book and made it feel less realistic. If you’re going to write about people from different countries, even if you speak the same language as them, you need to still put in the research to understand how we says things and what words we generally use. I’m sure this applies to an even higher degree in other countries/cultures.

3. Matching covers 

I. Hate. Cover. Changes. As someone who needs patterns and logic to make sense of the world, this is such an irritatingly pointless occurrence! Especially where the books are the same covers but just different lengths. WHY. Sometimes cover changes are for the better, like An Ember in the Ashes series now having POC on their covers – a good, much needed change. But, mostly cover changes make no sense and just stress me out. I’m feeling stressed just thinking about it!

4. Acts implied, not stated outright 

Sometimes, authors do this thing where they allude to something but they do it so vaguely that I have no idea what just happened. This happens most commonly in sex (?) scenes. Did they have sex? Did they cuddle? No one knows! I end up re-reading those scenes a few times over just to understand what exactly happened. It’s usually not until further into the book (or sometimes even the next book!) where I’m like ‘OH, they DID have sex.’ Just tell us!

5. Gross sex scenes

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the over-explanation of sex scenes. Now, I’m not talking about any author in particular (Sarah J. Maas) but these types of scenes are usually described in such a ridiculous and unrealistic way that they’re more amusing than anything else. But, as someone on the ace-spectrum, I really don’t want or need to know about your partner’s ‘velvet wrapped steel’ or ‘length’ *shudders*


Well that was an extremely enjoyable Top 5 Wednesday! It’s fun to be a Grinch sometimes but thankfully I don”t often come across these oh so annoying occurrences too often. What bookish-related things make you feel like a Grinch?

Merry #blogmas 1

Christmas Song Book Tag #blogmas

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Today I thought I would share with you a tag I’ve created! It revolves around some of my favourite Christmas songs of all time, so put on some Christmas music and enjoy!

The Dire King

1. Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson  A book you hope to find under the tree this Christmas
“You’re all that I need, underneath the tree”

I actually already know everything I’m getting for Christmas since I’m a big believer of lists! But the book I’m the most excited to have in my hands is The Dire King by William Ritter. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know this is one of my favourite series which will sadly come to an end once I’ve read this book in January. I’m very nervous for my babies but so excited to see how it all ends.

The Alloy of Law

2. Last Christmas by WHAM – A book that broke your heart
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day, you stole it away”

As relatively lighthearted as The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is, the fact that it takes place 300 years after the events of the original trilogy means that the characters I loved are no longer alive in this series which is just so sad to think about. That being said, I loved finding out how the characters in the original trilogy shaped the current world which was still sad, but more bittersweet than anything.

Aristotle and Dante

3. One More Sleep by Leona Lewis – A book you stayed up all night reading
“If I can make it to Christmas Eve then it’s one more sleep until it’s Christmas”

I stayed up until gone 3 AM reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This book is the very definition of ‘unputdownable.’ It had such beautiful writing and the chapters were really short so I just had  to carry on reading to see what happened next.

The Diviners

4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Glee Cast – A book that gives you the creeps
“I’ve got to go away. But baby, it’s cold outside”

The Diviners by Libba Bray was a very creepy book. It’s a murder mystery set in 1920’s New York that follows multiple perspectives, including the murderer. It had an incredibly atmospheric setting and had me chilled to the bone in places. It’s the perfect book for Halloween reading.

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5. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard – A book you could read over and over
“Oh I wish it could be Christmas everyday, let the bells ring out for Christmas”

I’m really not that big of a re-reader. In fact, I’ve only ever re-read the Harry Potter series, so I guess I’m going to have to go with that! The great thing about re-reading Harry Potter, though, is that you can read it in various different ways. You can read the original books, you can read the illustrated editions, or you can listen to the audio-books. So, really, it’s a different experience every time!

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6. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams – The most wonderful book you’ve read all year
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s the happiest season of all”

Okay. I’ve read so many wonderful books. But. If I absolutely had to choose just one. I think it might have to be Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I’m basing this purely on emotional value. I loved a lot of books this year, but this one made me feel the most. I would be swooning one minute and majorly stressed out the next and I love feeling that involved with a book and being that affected by it.

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7. Don’t Shoot Me Santa by The Killers – A book that doesn’t fit in
“Don’t shoot me Santa Clause, no one else around believes me”

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough is a book that I find quite difficult to place. It’s essentially a historical fiction novel that takes place in 1930’s Seattle that discusses racism, sexism and homophobia but also has a really interesting fantastical element – a personification of Love and of Death. It’s also a beautifully written book that doesn’t get anywhere near enough praise. I highly recommend it!

Little Red Riding Hood

8. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl – Your favourite original fairy tale
“We kissed on the corner then danced through the night”

I have so many! I think one of my favourites has to be Little Red Riding Hood. I love the atmospheric setting of the creepy forest. I also love how it feels like the classic fairy tale that everyone knows and loves!

Timekeeper

9. I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Julian Casablancas – A book you wish you could read ASAP
“I don’t care what anyone says, Christmas is full of cheer”

All of them. All of the books. But, particularly the ones I have planned to read in January. For some reason, January just always seems to be a great reading month for me. One of the books I’m planning to read then is Timekeeper by Tara Sim. From the synopsis, it seems to incorporate all of my favourite things – Victorian era, queer romance (m/m) and a world ruled by time!? It sounds perfect and I cannot wait to read and gush about it!

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10. You’re All I Want for Christmas by Frankie Laine – A character you wish you could spend Christmas with
“I’ll awake on Christmas morning and find my stockings filled with you”

Obviously Jem Carstairs. Take a moment to imagine how wonderful that would be. I’ll set the scene. We’re out in the country, Jem’s just got the fire going. It’s snowing and howling outside, Nat King Cole is playing in the background and Jem is making you your favourite hot chocolate whilst giving you the most thoughtful, kind-hearted gifts. Ahh, blissful. Could Christmas get any better? Oh, there’s a knock on the door. It’s Magnus and Will and Tessa and the gang! Wow, what a great Christmas. Thanks, Jem 🙂


This was my first time creating a tag and it was so much fun! Feel free to do this tag yourself if you fancy it and, if you do, let me know. I’d love to read your answers 🙂

Merry #blogmas 1

Gift Ideas for Bookish People #blogmas

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I don’t know about you, but I love doing my Christmas shopping, especially when shopping for fellow book-lovers – we’re just so easy to buy for! In particular, I love finding independent sellers on Etsy and Red Bubble to buy more personalised gifts for my family and friends (and sometimes if I’m feeling generous, a gift for myself!)

For the bookmark-lover:

If there’s one thing I am always searching for on Etsy, it’s bookmarks. Given that I’m a little bit of a read-10-books-at-the-exact-same-time kind of gal, it’s always helpful to have some bookmarks to hand. In particular, I am a little bit in love with magnetic bookmarks of book characters.

Magic Bookmarks

Magicbookmarks

HappyHelloCo

HappyHelloCo.

I mean, look how adorable they are! Who doesn’t want a book buddy to keep you motivated whilst you read? I’ve ordered a few bookmarks from both of these companies and the products have always been really high quality and exactly what I wanted. They both have a wide variety of characters available to choose from, too, so I’m sure there’ll be something for everyone!

For the tea-lover:

My best friend is an English teacher who never leaves a bookshop without buying at least one thing. So over the years of our friendship, I’ve gotten her quite a few bookish-themed gifts! One of which was bookish-themed teabags. Specifically, Jane Austen-themed teabags. Being a huge Jane Austen fan, my friend adored these!

Jane Austen Teabags 2

Victoriamedesigns

This shop sells all sorts of themed teabags. There’s Shakespeare teabags, Alice In Wonderland teabags and even a festive advent calendar of teabags. The designs are all very pretty and the quality was thoroughly decent too. Definitely a great present for your tea-loving bookish friend!

For the writer:

As well as reading, a lot of bookish people also love to write and there are many a decent writing guide to aid you through the writing process. One of my favourites is the Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer, Jeremy Zerfoss & John Coulthart.

Wonderbook

It takes you through all of the fantasy/sci-fi writing basics whilst using beautifully-crafted illustrations to help you visualize. I found all of the illustrations in themselves to be quite inspirational, so I would really recommend this for aspiring writers.

For the collector:

If you know your bookish friend is a bit of a helpless (or shameless!) collector of books, it might be an idea to find for them a special edition of their favourite book. These books will usually be hardcover or leatherbound and always look absolutely glorious on a shelf.

The Hobbit

One of my favourites that was gifted to me was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It takes centre stage in the middle of my bookshelf and I adore it. Gifting a book-lover a beautiful book is never really a bad idea, is it? I’ve already gotten a couple of my bookish friends/family special editions of books ready waiting for them to open at Christmas!


So that’s it for this mini gift-giving recommendations. If you have any go-to gift ideas for bookish friends, let me know! I’m always trying to think of new things 🙂

Merry #blogmas 1

 

Winter-Themed Bookish MASH #blogmas

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Who remembers that good ol’ game we used to play as kids? During my school years, MASH was one of many sources of entertainment in my friendship group so I thought it’d be fun to make it bookish and winter-themed for today’s blogmas post!

So, here are the rules:

1. Pick four options per category (partner, best friend, transportation, occupation, animal companion & location)
2. Draw a random number – preferably odd
3. Start counting down the list – the option you end up on, you must cross off
4. When you’re left with only one option per category, that is your future life!

I ended up on 7 so let’s see what my life will be!

MASH

Partner

The Snow Queen

Peter Pevensie

Sansa Stark

Neville Longbottom

Best Friend

Lucy Pevensie

 Olaf 

Tormund Giantsbane

Lyra Belacqua

Transportation

Broomstick

Ice dragon 

Snowportation

Wolf-led carriage

Occupation

Queen of Narnia

 Server in the Hog’s Head 

Lady of Winterfell

Witch

Animal Companion

Sven

Aslan

Iorek Byrnison

Ghost

Location

North Pole

Hogsmede

Fjerda

Winterfell 

Narnia

Okay, so I live in a shack in Narnia with my partner, Neville Longbottom. My best friend is Olaf, I’m the Queen of Narnia, Aslan is my animal companion and I get around on a broomstick! I’ll definitely settle for that life. I think I’ll be a bit more of a benevolent Queen though since Aslan will be constantly following me around! The results ended up being quite unintentionally Narnia-themed, too!


This was a lot of fun! Let me know if you end up creating your own MASH game too – I’d love to see all of your answers!

Merry #blogmas 1

 

December TBR #blogmas

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So I’ve made the rather unwise decision to attempt to read 100 books this year. My Goodreads goal has officially been changed to 100 also, so I’m 14 books behind! So I have 22 books to read on my TBR this month. Most of them will be short stories or graphic novels or audiobooks so it should be quite doable. Wish me luck!

Stardust

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Prince of Hazel and Oak

 

Prince of Hazel and Oak by John Lenahan

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Doctor Who Christmas

Doctor Who: The Twelve Doctors of Christmas by Jacqueline Rayner

The Savage Dawn

The Savage Dawn by Melissa Gray

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Steelheart

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Narnia #4

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Sixth of the Dusk

 Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson

Night of Cake and Puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Grave Matter

Grave Matter by Juno Dawson

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson

Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Saga #5

Saga Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Sandman volume 3

The Sandman Volume 3: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman

Giant Days 1

Giant Days Volume 1 by John Allison

Ravina the Witch

Ravina the Witch? by Junko Mizuno

Lumberjanes #6

Lumberjanes Volume 6: Sink or Swim by Shannon Watters & Noelle Stevenson

Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd


And that’s it for my ever so slightly ambitious December TBR! I won’t be reading all of the graphic novels but these are the ones I currently have out from the library. I’ll see which ones take my fancy closer to the time. And I’ve also started quite a few of the novels so hopefully they won’t take me too long to get through. What are you reading this month? Any festive reads planned?

Merry #blogmas 1

The Friday 56 – The Son of Neptune

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The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda’s Voice. You can find her here.

Friday 56

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

The Son of Neptune

I’m currently reading The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. It’s been too long since I’ve read a Rick Riordan book (September!) so I thought it was about time I picked one up. I’m glad to have Percy back in this instalment – I’ve missed his narration! I really like all the new characters we’re being introduced to and I think I might even prefer this series to the previous Percy Jackson one? It’s just so much fun and Riordan’s writing is a pleasure to read.

“He nodded to the inscriptions on the marble floor. Percy stared at the lines of words, not really expecting to understand them. He almost choked.”

Merry #blogmas 1

November Wrap-Up #blogmas

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Welcome to the first official day of my blogmas! I’ve been planning blogmas for the past few months so I hope you’re all ready for some festive fun. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and put some Christmas tunes on, we are ready to go!

TWATD #5

The Wicked and the Divine Vol. V: Imperial Phase IKieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie – 🌟🌟🌟

I think I might be losing interest in this series. It started off so strong and now I just feel a bit disappointed by it overall. The story isn’t really going anywhere I particularly care about anymore. There was, however, a really great conversation about a character being ace. And they actually used the word asexual instead of just alluding to it which was a breath of fresh air. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on with this series though as I’m just not as invested in it as I used to be.

Murder Most Unladylike

Murder Most UnladylikeRobin Stevens – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was a thoroughly enjoyable middle grade murder mystery. I really liked Hazel but I felt like Daisy was kind of mean to her and only thought about herself and what she wanted which annoyed me. Hopefully she gets more bearable as the series goes on. The plot, though, was intriguing and kept me guessing till the end. I also loved the boarding school setting and that the vast majority of the characters were female. A very promising start to a (hopefully!) fun series.

Stars Above

Stars Above – Marissa Meyer – 🌟🌟🌟.75

I enjoyed some of these stories more than others. Some of them I found a little pointless as they were just filling in gaps of the original series, rather than adding to it. My favourites were: The Little Android and Something Old, Something New. This was my first ever audio-book read. I’ve tried to get into them in the past but just haven’t been able to for some reason. But something obviously clicked because I loved reading the stories in this format. It definitely made it an overall more enjoyable read for me.

Gentleman's Guide

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and VirtueMackenzi Lee – 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

I’d been waiting to get my hands on it for months so, by the time I got to it, I’d really hyped it up in my head. And I’m so glad to say that it didn’t disappoint. This was the perfect adventure story that was most of the time fun and actually quite hilarious. But Gentleman’s Guide definitely had its dark moments, too. The m/c, Monty, is bisexual and has to suffer the physical and emotional abuse of his father. There’s also Percy, his best friend (who he also happens to be hopelessly in love with), who has to deal with both racism and ableism. I loved that Lee incorporated so much into this book – it was everything I imagined it would be. I cannot wait to read the companion novel.

The Diviners

The Diviners – Libba Bray – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I loved this so much more than I thought I would. It’s a slow build up whilst we’re being introduced to all of the characters and to the 1920’s New York setting but the plot unravels beautifully. I loved how creepy and atmospheric it was, yet glamorous and addictive. All of the characters were great. They were flawed and very well fleshed out. The writing itself completely transported me to the setting. It was a very visceral read. I also listened to this one on audio-book and the narrator was perfect. They really brought the story and characters to life. I cannot wait to read the other two books in this series!

Poets, Artists, Lovers

Poets, Artists, Lovers – Mira Tudor – 🌟.5

Sadly, this was the only book I didn’t enjoy this month. I had quite a few issues with it – lack of directed plot, unnecessary details, unrealistic characters and, worst of all, the fatphobia. I reviewed this one recently and ended up writing over 1,000 words on it, so if you want practically every thought I had whilst reading this, check it out here!

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab – 🌟🌟🌟🌟.25

Although this was a bit of a slow start, I could quite happily read anything Schwab writes. Her writing is so addictive and magical and I love this world and these characters. I liked how they were still dealing with the fall out from the end of the last book and I especially liked all of the new characters we were introduced to. I’ll be reading the finale in January so I’ll be really interested to see how it all ends.

Sandman #2

The Sandman: The Doll’s House – Neil Gaiman – 🌟🌟🌟

I’m still not convinced of this series. It’s fine but with all the critical acclaim I expected to fall in love with it. I’m still going to continue on as all 10 volumes are available at the library. If anyone else has read this series – does it get better?

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way DownJohn Green

Temporarily DNF’d

I got about 50 pages into this before putting it back down. Nothing really sucked me into the story. I loved the representation of anxiety and that was definitely the most interesting thing Turtles had going for itself. But, the plot itself just wasn’t doing anything for me and some of the language used was quite amisic. I’ll try to pick it back up at some point but I’m just really not in the mood for it right now.


So that’s it for my month of reading! I’m really happy with what I managed to get around to this month – 8 books! Particularly since three of the books here are over 500 pages long! What was you favourite read of the month?
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Merry #blogmas!

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This is just a quick post to let you all know that I’ve decided to participate in blogmas this year!! This will be my first blogmas so I’m very excited to get involved in all of the Christmassy goodness! I will be posting tags, recommendations, DIY’s, games, amongst many other fun, cosy, Christmassy things.

Let me know if you’re taking part too! I can’t wait to read all of your blogmas posts – I am so ready to start counting down to Christmas!

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