How are we all doing on this here second to last Thursday of the Summer holidays? (Part of me is ready to go back, part of me is not!) I come to you today with a tag that I saw my friend Aoife do! She didn’t tag me but hey… we all know I love a tag!
What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?
I mean, I’ve had months where I’ve read 4 books, but that was 2 books in one day and 2 books in another day at either ends of the month. It really depends how much I’m in the mood to read. I’d say in general life, a day or 2? I like to try and read every day.
How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?
Always one, sometimes two. If I know I’m near the end of a book and I’m going to have a lot of reading time, I’ll make sure I have a second book (or I’ll plan on going to buy another book) because no one wants the NO BOOK SCENARIO.
Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?
I am MORE THAN HAPPY to share my books around. If they’re middle grade, you can guarantee they’ll go to the library at school, but if they’re YA/adult, they’ll go to my witches for first refusal, then I’ll either offer them to the local secondary school or they’ll be offered to friends/twitter/my mam (if she hasn’t already read them).
HOWEVER if I’ve loved it… it stays in my possession.
How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?
LOL. Some of my favourite people work in my local bookshop so I can LITERALLY spend hours in there. I’m well known for helping out in Waterstones Newcastle (putting stickers on books, putting books in the RIGHT order etc.). However, if none of my people are in, I’ll probably mooch for like 30 mins and then I’ll tottle off to the cafe for a beverage and maybe a slice of cake!
How much time per day do you actually spend reading?
This varies! It depends on the day, the time of year, the book I’m reading, the mood I’m in, the place I am. In the Summer holidays, I can read for HOURS on end, but during term time, I probably read for 30 mins a day. It really does depend on SO MANY THINGS.
Where does the task ‘picking up a book’ appear on your daily to-do list?
I tend to read before bed, or at night time when I have down time. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom (I KNOW SHOCKER… I do have my iPad though), so that’s always a great time to read. Normally about 8pm is my peak reading time depending on what I need to do for work!
How many books do you reckon you own in total (including e-books)?
Deary me. I genuinely could NOT tell you. More than 500 probably? An awful lot is the answer and I’m sticking to it!
Aproximately, how often do you bring up books in conversation?
Why wouldn’t you want to talk about books? I love talking about books. My twitter life is pretty much ALL about books (featuring some life things). Most of my friends are bookish people, so we talk about books ALL THE TIME: ones we loved, hated, things we are excited for, things we do not want to read. You know the standard book craic.
What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?
Ooooh, I’m going to have to consult Goodreads… there’s a few big books on my “read” shelf… Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Is there a book you had to get your on against all odds (i.e. searching bookshops, online digging, etc)?
OH MY GODS YES. I missed out on all of the sprayed edges versions of Beyond the Odyssey and I was GUTTED. I told ALL of my friends to keep their eyes peeled. My gorgeous friend Kelly found me a copy in Waterstones in Bristol (I believe) and she posted it to me. I was not having an incomplete set of sprayed edges Who Let The Gods Out? series. (I’m a SUCKER for a sprayed edge).
A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?
Caraval. I know a LOT of people who love it, but it just didn’t sparkle how I wanted it to. I’m curious about the sequels, but I do not want another book where I have to TRUDGE through to get just an OK story.
What are 3 of your main book goals for 2019?
- Enjoy reading whatever it is I’m reading
- Read 52 children’s books
- Read 104 books in the year (my Goodreads was set at 52, but now that I’ve smashed that, I’m going for double!)
Have you ever had the priviledge of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?
In my job, you occasionally get a child who says they’re not a reader and then I get the absolute joy of FINDING them a book that makes them a reader. I’ve had that 2 or 3 times in the last year, so I’m very much looking forward to more of the same next year and in all of the years to come!
In my non-professional life, I do not know! I’ve nagged people til they read Melinda Salisbury/Sara Barnard/Maz Evans, so does that count?
If you’re a person who has read something because of me, let me know because that’s a lovely thing to know!
Describe what books mean to you in five words.
The chance to temporarily escape.
This was a LUSH tag to do! I did not expect to ramble on for 900 words, so I do apologise. If you got this far, tell me your favourite book you’ve read, or the book you’re reading at the minute!
If you wanna do this tag, go for it! Thanks to Kelly and Charlotte for choosing the colours for this blog post *grin*
Today I have the utter joy of hosting the brilliant Corrinne Averris (author of My Pet Star( and she is here to talk to us about her favourite bedtime stories. Now we all know how important I think stories are (whatever time of day), so having someone else praching from my hymn sheet is an absolute delight!
It’s lovely to be asked to contribute to A Little But A Lot and to talk about beautiful books for bedtime. I think any book shared at bedtime is a beautiful one – taking the time to look, listen, read and make sense of the world – is a wonderful, intimate way to finish the day. It really wouldn’t matter if it was a recipe book providing its pages and pictures are explored together with curiosity and questions! However, in our house we definitely have some favourite bedtime books and there are certainly themes which lend themselves to snoozing and dreaming.
In a class of its own, for babies, is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Its rhyming and repetition; its gentle simplicity has a wonderful soporific effect. And the illustrations are like a visual lullaby as lights inside bunny’s bedroom dim and moon and stars shine through windows.
When a Dragon Comes to Stay, also beautifully illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, written by Caryl Hart, takes the domestic bedtime setting but gives it a twist with a friendly dragon sleepover! Contrary to all expectations, this little Dragon is the perfect guest… she goes up to bed without a fuss, has her bath, cleans her teeth and then ‘pulls the covers cosy tight, to help her sleep all through the night’.
Other bedtime books we love tend to fall into two categories – either they chart a dramatic adventure before retreating to home and comfort or they conclude with an escape, like a gateway to dreaming.
John Burningham’s classic My Gumpy’s Outing sees Mr Gumpy punt his boat along the river and kindly allow every animal a ride (with conditions) until the boat is so full, it tips everyone out into the water. They swim to the riverbank and dry out in the evening sun as they walk to his house for a tea party. It ends with the comfort and security of home and looking forward to another day and another adventure.
Beyond the Fence by Maria Gulemetova is such an atmospheric book about freedom and friendship. Almost like a modern day Town Mouse Country Mouse. Piggy lives in a large house with a boy called Thomas who gets to decide exactly what Piggy does. But one day Piggy meets Wild Pig who shares with him the joys of life beyond the fence. Finally Piggy finds the courage to escape and join Wild Pig running free. The final image of them disappearing into the sunset, feels full of expectation and hope.
I love hearing other people’s recommendations and I will certainly be scoping out Beyond the Fence – I have never heard of it before!
While you’re checking out amazing picture books, I can recommend My Pet Star with my whole heart. It is a gorgeous picture book that follows a little girl as she helps nurse a fallen star back to health until it is ready to take its place in the sky again. If my recommendation isn’t enough, it has already been praised highly in the bookish circuit!
“When a little girl finds a lost star, she takes it home and cares for it, just like a beloved pet. She reads it stories, makes it special snacks and tucks it into bed at night. The more she cares for the star, the brighter it glows. Until, one day, it’s time to let go…”
My Pet Star is out now! Go go go: get yourself a copy!
Why don’t you check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour?
A massive thank you to the publishers Hachette for the invite onto the blog tour and to Corrinne for taking the time to write this blog post. It is always an honour to host an author on my blog! Check out My Pet Star and some of the other stories recommended… I know I will be!
See you all soon!
Hello there again!
How are you all on this here Thursday? What have you been up to this week? More importantly, what have you been READING this week?
I come to you with a tag that I definitely didn’t steal from my friend Cora. I’ve seen this tag floating about on different blogs and I thought ‘YOU KNOW WHAT? I wanna join in’, so here I am, joining in… (even though no-one invited me haha!)
Hit Rewind: a book you go back to again and again?
As you all know by now, I’m not a massive rereader. However, a book I’ve read multiple times is Matilda. I’d love to be a rereader, I just have THE FEAR of “what if I reread a book and I hate it this time round?”
Romantic Ballads: a book that gives you all these fluttery feels?
A recent book that gave me all the romantic feels was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. That book was FULL OF THE FEELS. I really enjoyed it. It was a book that I had on my TBR forever and I picked it up on a whim and then I DEVOURED IT.
Release Radar: a new release book you’re excited for?
I’m excited for EVERYONE else to finally get to read A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby and No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter. I ADORE these two books. A book that I’m excited for personally? The Girl With Space in Her Heart by Lara Williamson. I loved her other books and I’ve already picked up this new one!
Discover Weekly: a book you haven’t read yet but want to discover?
I mean, Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury, but that’s MONTHS off being discovered. So if you mean a book that is out now and I want to discover it? Hmmm… either of Sarah Marie Griffin’s books. I saw her at YALC and she’s hilarious. Her books sounded really interesting too!
Alone Again: your fave book genre to read on your own?
I don’t have a preference on what I read alone and around others. I will read whatever I want around whoever I want. Plus, at least 2 of my friends have said watching me read something is a joy in their lives (hi Charlotte and Kelly) so I would hate to deny them that!
Alternative: an indie book or author everyone should read?
*shrug* I literally have no idea. Shout me your favourite indie reads though, I would appreciate that!
Cheesy Hits: a book full of cheese you love?
I don’t know what constitutes a cheesy book, but maybe Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie. It was very sweet and lovely.
Summer Hits: a book you reread every Summer?
I’ll have to skip this track, because N/A.
Power Hour: an empowering feminist book or character you adore?
SO SO MANY. There are so many amazing characters that I adore. Emily from No Big Deal needs a lot of love now that she’s released in the world; Sorrow from the State of Sorrow duology also needs a lot of love because YES SORROW; Jemima Small because she’s blooody wonderful and all kids need to read her; Izzy bloody O’Neill – if she’s not a character you’re familiar with, then please do something about it (The Exact Opposite of Okay is where you need to go to find her!)
All Out 10s: list 10 banging books!
(I’m going for 10 books I’ve read this year…)
- This Is Going To Hurt – Adam Kay
- The Lost Tide Warriors – Catherine Doyle
- Patina – Jason Reynolds
- All The Things We Never Said – Yasmin Rahman
- Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart
- Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
- Jemima Small Versus The Universe – Tamsin Winter
- And Then I Turned Into A Mermaid – Laura Kirkpatrick
- High Rise Mystery – Sharna Jackson
- Viper – Bex Hogan
(Also, No Big Deal – Bethany Rutter; The Burning – Laura Bates; Meat Market – Juno Dawson; A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven; A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Bridgit Kemmerer – lol, I can’t help myself!)
That’s me done!
I’m not going to tag anyone because I’m a rebel, but if you fancy doing this, GO FOR IT!
Did any of my responses surprise you?
Is there anything you want to recommend to me based on my answers?
Can we talk about books please?
Speak to you soon!
I’m back at it again with some mini reviews! I’ve had a very busy August of reading so far and thought I’d share some mini reviews of some of the amazing YA I’ve been reading!
Scars like Wings by Erin Stewart
“Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her. A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever. But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.”
|My my. Reading this book was like a punch in the gut. This book is one of those that makes an impact and fast. We all have scars, but not like Ava. Ava was burned in a fire and she’s hidden herself away from the world ever since. This all changes when she is told she is ready to go back to school. Obviously, a young girl who has been cordoned off from the real world for a year, who now has to go back into the world of school is going to be terrified. What happens when she gets there is an emotional rollercoaster. From her incredible family, to the friends she makes, to the shout outs to musicals, this book was just wonderful. It hit me where it hurt and made me cry. I love Ava’s group of friends; they’re all lucky to have each other. I’m sad to be finished; to say goodbye to the sarcasm, friendship, bravery and love they shared. Massive thank you to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!|
I Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory
“When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about. But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?”
|MY GOD. I don’t know that I can use the word “enjoy” about this book because I hate Aaron SO MUCH. I can’t talk about this book without giving away too many spoilkers, but Aaron is possibly the WORST character I’ve ever come across. The ending was NOT what I wanted, no was it what he deserved. Telling a story of love, you see through both Gemma and Aaron’s eyes what their relationship is. This book was gripping, tough to read and made me so angry. I can’t talk about this book without being angry and I need someone else to join me in the anger. However, in amongst all of that anger and that weird obsessive Aaron behaviour, there’s also so much love, friendship, fighting for the ones you love and kindness. Gemma is surrounded by so much love (some of it more toxic!)|
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
“Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?”
|I’m a sucker for a bit of romance. I’m even more of a sucker for “shouldn’t be trogether, but let’s be honest, they’re meant to be together”. This book tells the story of Stella and Will, two young people who are in hospital. Two young people who aren’t allowed to be around other people because it could be life-threatening. However, when they find each other, they find something they’ve both been looking for. I loved this book, an awful lot. I love Will. I love Poe. Stella is an angel. Barb is lush. This is a beautiful story of love at its limits. There’s just so much love in this book. Let’s not deny the fact that I definitely cried. There’s so much lush about this book. And now it’s been made into a film… but I don’t think my emotions are ready to be battered again just yet! Massive thank you to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!|
Dead Popular by Sue Wallman
“The reigning queen bee, Kate, knows that you don’t become the most powerful girl at school by playing nice. But when other students start revealing long-held secrets anonymously, she realizes someone is playing a much more dangerous game – and they know too much about Kate’s past. If she doesn’t figure out who’s behind this, her final year at Pankhurst could be exactly that: her final year.”
|This tells the story of a boarding school full of entitled, posh scholars who are obsessed with beauty. I loved the setting of the boarding school and the beach. I think it’s a great combination. If you’re a fan of a boarding school book, this will be right up your street! I really really loved Munro – I think the characters in this book make it enticing and dark. There’s some dark motives and even darker deeds. There’s a mystery element that I enjoyed too… I didn’t see it coming, but when it did BAM! This is one of those books that starts to show itself to you slowly, but once you’re there, it’s like YEP that’s why you went a bit slower. You get to know the characters and their dynamics really well before you get into the action. Massive thank you to Scholastic for the review copy!|
PHEW. There we go! Just 4 of the YA books I’ve read recently. I really enjoyed them all! If I had to pick a favourite though, I’d have to say Scars Like Wings would just snatch the title from I Hold Your Heart (seriously though, someone else be angry with me!).
What have you read recently?
Have you read any of these books?
Can you recommend me a book?
Talk to me! I wanna know what you think of my wrap ups: do you like them? Do you prefer my full reviews? Do you not care? (ha!)
I Am Love: a wonderful book exploring kindness, compassion and empathy
“Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds continue their collaboration with the fourth book in their bestselling wellness series. A celebration of love in all its forms, I Am Love asks readers to look inward when they feel afraid. Love allows us to act with compassion and kindness, to live with gratitude, and to take care of ourselves by practicing self-love.”
I am a massive fan of using picture books in the classroom, regardless of the age of the children because I think picture books can be the key to opening children up to experiences they might not necessarily have. They can quickly grab a child’s attention and, in the space of only a few pages, teach children a whole range of things.
One of the things that I think picture books do wonderfully is teach children the importance of empathy. It’s so important that we show children the importance of empathy and being able to use their emotions for good. So much goes on in the world today that we need to give our children the tools to show love, kindness, compassion. I am Love is a wonderful picture book that does just that.
It’s a very simple story about ways in which we can show people compassion and love, through very simple acts of kindness. With Peter H Reynolds’ striking illustrations and an incredibly powerful message about ways in which we can show love, this book captured my heart completely and utterly.
This book would go PERFECTLY in a PSHE lesson about being kind and could work from EYFS all the way up. I’d love to get my children to make their own version of this thinking of ways in which we can show love and compassion to the people around us.
I am a massive fan of the pairing of Susan Verde and Peter H Reynolds, who have combined forces to write a series of books like this. I would whole heartedly recommend these books.
A massive thank you to Abrams and Chronicle for sending me a copy for review! You guys are the best!
Have you read any of the books in this series?
What are your go-to books for teaching about empathy?
What would you like to see from this series next?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments or on twitter, I love this series so much, I’d love to talk about it!
Today is another Thursday. Another Thursday Tag. Another “I stole it from Charlotte, but don’t tell her” tag.
I’m taking on The Bedtime Book Tag today. I saw this and thought it looked like a lot of fun, and different to things I’ve done before!
What book kept you up all night reading?
I’ve had A LOT of books like this, but funnily enough I was looking at my Facebook memories the other day and it came up that 7 years ago I posted at 4:06am that I had stayed up all night to finish the final Harry Potter. So that’s probably the LATEST I’ve stayed up. However, there are MANY MANY books that keep me up. I just think “oh, I’ll keep reading, one more chapter” and then BAM, I’ve read the whole book and it’s like 2am.
What book made you scared to go to sleep?
Hmmm… I don’t read many scary books ON PURPOSE. I’m not great with scary, I’m a bit of a jumpy person. But if I think about the last book that did this, it was probably *checks Goodreads read shelf* The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin. There’s some WEIRD stuff that goes on in that book, but I properly loved it.
What book almost put you to sleep?
OOOOH. A book I didn’t enjoy so much? OH OH OH. All of This is True by Lydia Day Penaflor. It’s not a terrible book, I just had such high hopes and it just fell a bit flat for me.
Which book had you tossing and turning in anticipation of its release?
All of the Melinda Salisbury books ever? (HA) All of the sequels to books I’ve ever read? All of the books I’m excited for? Hmmm… maybe the one that I was most excited for recently: The Lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle. I have already bought it and already read it and can confirm, well worth the wait.
What book has your dream boyfriend?
UGH. Can I have a few different options for this? Because Luvian Fen though (State of Sorrow duology), Jin though (Rebel of the Sands trilogy) and pretty much all of the boyfriends that Sara Barnard writes (they’re all great as far as I can remember).
What book would be a nightmare to live in?
Most of the books I read are fantasy and I GUARANTEE I would not manage to survive in many (if any) of the worlds. However, I’m going to steal Charlotte’s answer and say the lands of The Extinction Trials by S.M.Wilson because any place I have to be able to outrun dinosaurs (or anything else for that matter) is out for me.
What book reminds you of nighttime?
I think night time and I think Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Don’t ask me why because I do not know. Maybe the dark deeds and the dark wit.
What book has a nightmarish cliffhanger?
God, can I just say now how much I hate a cliffhanger? Hmmm… the end of Thunderhead is QUITE the ending. Like, I need The Toll now because I need to know what is going to happen to my favourite Scythes.
What book have you actually dreamt about?
Hmmm… I dreamt, after reading Song of Sorrow, that I was Sorrow. She’s fucking amazing.
What fictional monster would you not like to find hiding under your bed?
Any of them? They’re all WRONG. But like, Vespus from Song of Sorrow would be there. Any kind of actual sea monster/monster would also be there. Any of them really. I don’t wanna be scared thank you kind sirs and madams.
If you fancy doing this, go for it! There’s some pretty interesting questions in this! I love reading people’s answers to tags. Finding out more about my bookish friends gives me such joy.
Let me know if there’s a tag you’d like me to do! I love a good tag!
Here we are, 2 weeks after YALC, and my gosh. I still don’t think I’m quite over the introvert hangover. I can’t be the only person who really needs to like be ALONE after weekends like this, can I?
For all, yes, YALC is exhausting, it’s also wonderful.
It’s bookish goodness for 3 days.
It’s friends who you don’t get to see very often.
It’s putting names to faces that you’ve only seen in their tiny little twitter face.
It’s standing in lines to meet your favourite authors.
It’s finding people who love the same books as you.
It’s telling authors that you loved their book so much it made them cry.
It’s speaking to publicists who have been so lovely and generous.
It’s learning about new books and finding new authors.
It’s seeing those people who you always get to see at these kinds of events.
It’s fangirling over that one person who you follow online, who you try and be all cool about and just end up being all shy and coy (lol, if you know me, YOU KNOW THIS).
So anyway… I thought I’d wrap up MY YALC experience because as we know everyone has their own experience and everyone experiences it differently.
I had a quieter YALC this year than I’ve had in the past – there weren’t as many panels I wanted to sit and listen to and there weren’t as many books I needed to be signed as I’ve had in the past (which is good because it meant less queuing and less carrying of heavy books!). There were things I was DYING to see and people I was dying to meet, but I was glad of a quieter YALC.
I got the chance to sit in on some wonderful panels this year, from interesting insights into the world of toxic masculinity, fantasy, new voices (always one of my favourite panels) to social media in YA, it was all covered this year. It’s always lovely to see some faves again (shout outs to Queen Mel, Sara Barnard, Laura Steven, Bethany Rutter and Dhonielle Clayton, who is a hilarious chair) and meet some new faces, whose books I’ve either read or am planning on reading. It was great to finally meet Bex Hogan (Viper – a wonderful book, you should all read it NOW), Sarah Maria Griffin (who is hilarious), Yasmin Rahman (whose book I immediately ran and bought, and then consumed in a matter of hours on my train home) and Samuel Pollen (The Year I Didn’t Eat, which destroyed me).
I love the broad range of panels that you can go and sit in on at YALC – there’s always something for everyone!
One of the best things about YALC is of course the bookish fun that can happen. I didn’t take as many pictures of the stalls and things this year (I guess I was having too much fun to!) but I always love how each of the publishers themes their stalls. The Penguin stall has amazing books which could be turned around so you could see the blurb on the back; Usborne had a WONDERFULLY bright stall and Scholastic’s stall was all seaside themed. The Walker YA stall had a hilarious “How you’re going to die” Scythe themed wheel, and when I spun it, apparently I’m going to die falling down a manhole while reading a book – it seems likely to be honest.
While I was at YALC, I managed to pick up samplers for 3 of the books I’m most excited for (you can find out all about those in a week or so when I do my #SamplerSunday blog post!): Melinda Salisbury’s Hold Back The Tide, David Owen’s Grief Angels and Laura Steven’s The Love Hypothestis. I am not going to lie… I had tunnel vision to get these. The publishers ran out of the samplers in the first two days, so I was CHUFFED when I managed to get my hands on them. (LBR for a sec, the first thing I did when I got into YLC was run to the Scholastic stand and get a Hold Back The Tide: I know where my priorities lie!)
I love that since I’m around bookish people I get to spend a lot of time reading. On the train down, I read The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (Disney World meets dark, dystopian robot land) while my friend Charlotte read Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. I also got quite a lot of reading done in the YALC house too. I was very lucky to be sharing an AirBnB with 4 of my favourite bookish humans, so it meant for plenty of reading time. I got all of The Kingdom read and then got through Evernight by Ross Mackenzie too (this was BLOODY BRILLIANT, again more on that next week). On the train back to the homeland, I read All The Things We Never Said by Yashmin Rahman (which I had picked up having heard Yasmin talk about it and I needed it) as Charlotte read Slay by Kim Curran (a book I adore… it’s such fun!)
Something else which I love about YALC and the stalls is that they’re almost always interactive. There was one this year about which superpower you’d have, who you’d like to be stranded on a jellyfish with and random others. My favourite one was from My Kinda Book to link in with the release of No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter (we all know I love this book, if you haven’t preordered it yet, please do, Bethany is a doll and this book is SO SO SO SO SO GOOD). The gorgeous pink hearts you can see are messages of encouragement people were leaving for strangers. Standing reading some of them gave me a proper lump in my throat: people can be so compassionate and kind. Some of them were hilarious too!
YALC always hosts a ton of workshops too and these can range from crafty, to chats, to writing workshops with authors and they’re always really well attended. I don’t go to many, in fact this year was only the second time I’d ever attended a workshop (I think!). Akemi Dawn Bowman (author of Starfish and Summer Bird Blue) had a workshop this year about self care and we had the chance to create an anxiety bracelet, so Charlotte and I tottled off to make bracelets. It was so lovely to just sit and be calm and creative in what had been a busy day of bookish goodness. We both created rainbow bracelets and I am still wearing mine now!
For anyone who follows YALC on twitter, you know that there is always a special guest appearance of a celeb or two who are just passing through. My firt year it was Benedict Cumberbatch; last year it was Jason Momoa, and again, this year, Momoa appeared. It’s always funny seeing these super famous celebs just sauntering on the YALC floor. I think I might’ve even spotted a few other celebs who were checking out the YALC floor at a fee points over the weekend. (And yes, Momoa is as gorgeous in real life as he appears).
#TakeawayYA is not a staple of YALC: it is a tradition of me and my friends! #TakeawayYA was a hashtag started by my friends Cora, Kelly and I at our first YALC house 3 years ago and it’s something that has just STUCK. People always comment about how hilarious it is. It’s basically just me and my friends sharing the takeaway that we’re having. I love that we’ve created this daft tradition that is sticking around and I hope itstick around for years! (If you search the hashtag on twitter, you should get a few years worth of takeaways ha!)
And I think that’s it for my YALC experience. There is a whole lot more to say. I have a whole list of thank yous to say, but I have one of my ‘Letters to…’ coming up to say thank you to some people, so keep tuned for that in the coming weeks!
If you have any questions about YALC, or about what I got up to at YALC, please holler at me, I know everyone’s experience is different and I’d be more than happy to talk about my experience. I can’t talk for everyone!
Speak to you all soon,
I know, you’re probably thinking the same thing as I am as I write this..
a BUJO POST STEPH?
WHAT IS WRONG?
I haven’t done a bullet journal for 3 months now… but I am finally back on the ball and have a very colourful bullet journal set up for August. I really really love it. So so much. So I’ll stop blathering and show you! If you’re interested in my last bujo post, check out my May bujo post!
I do not quite know WHAT this is… maybe some kind of window rainbow display. I like it though: it’s colourful and it’s very indicitive of what is to come for the rest of the bujo. August is a month of happiness and sunshine for me, so I picked ALL OF THE COLOURS.
Next up is the page that I think I might be the most proud of in my whole entire life. I never would’ve imagined that I’d be doing doodles of jeans in my bujo, but I did and I really bloody love how it looks (like they actually LOOK LIKE JEANS). You all know I love a quote page. Then we have my to do list – it is not actually blank… there is SO MUCH on my to do list, which is so sad. I’ve kept it simple this month!
Moving on from the to do list, we have the bookish pages. I’ve got a page for book post and then a page for the books I’ve read. I saw this “books I’ve read” on a google images search and it took me FOREVER, but I think it looks brilliant and I’m so pleased with it! I’ll be writing each book I read on the different pages. Let’s hope I can fill ALL of the pages!
Last up in the old August bujo are pages for gratitude and my mood tracker. Again, after a little peruse of google, I found this lightbulbs one and I really like it. I’ve just used the rainbow to show my moods – red for happy, down to grey (I know, I added it) for sad. It’ll be interesting to see the range of colours in my lighbulbs!
And that’s it. I’ve kept my bujo simple this month – no weekly layouts. Not being at work means I don’t really need to track my time that well.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing my bujo again. I loved taking time (I watched the whole of Pitch Perfect as I did this!) to just be creative again.
How are you? Sorry for the random hiatus… last week just got ahead of me and then I was away for YALC (post to come in the next week or so about that!) and now here we are.
I’m here today to share my July in books!
In July, I:
Finished my NQT year!
Broke up for the Summer holidays.
Enjoyed a lot of sunshine.
Watched a load of Terrell videos.
Cried a bit.
Was exhausted for a lot of the time.
Read 10 books.
Let’s start with YA books (cause there’s more of them!):
There’s a whole range of books here that could appeal to ALL OF THE PEOPLE. Whether you want a twisted, dark Disney World esque story (The Kingdom), a wonderfully moving story about the power of friendships and mental health (All The Things We Never Said), a boarding school who did it story (Dead Popular) or a Beauty and the Beast retelling (A Curse So Dark and Lonely), there’s something in this pile for you!
Heartstream – Tom Pollock
Dead Popular – Sue Wallman
Eliza and her Monsters – Francesca Zappia
A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg
All The Things We Never Said – Yasmin Rahman
Reviews to come for all of these!
Now to the MG:
The kids books I got round to reading this month were A DELIGHT. From books that aren’t even out yet, to books that are continuations of my favourite series, July had it all! I would recommend each and every one of these: funny, enchanting, adventure filled and exciting!
Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Spiders – Katie and Kevin Tsang
Evernight – Ross Mackenzie
Shadows of Winterspell – Amy Wilson
The Dragon in the Library – Louie Stowell
Mini reviews of these to come in the next week. I need to talk about these!
And there we have it… all the books I read in July! I’m hoping August can be a wonderfully productive reading month since it’s still the holidays!
HOW AM I DOING FOR MY BOOK CHALLENGES?
GOODREADS CHALLENGE: 80/52
#52BOOKS CHALLENGE (JUST KIDS BOOKS): 41/52
Thanks for stopping by! Talk to me!
How did you do with your reading in July?
What were your stand out books from last month?
What would you recommend me from your 2019 reading list?
Speak to you soon!