Looking for a brilliant read for a teen in your life?

Here we are, day 3 of my gift guide. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them! It’s been a blast looking back at my year in books and thinking which ones I would recommend people buy and read AND SHOVE IN EACH OTHERS FACES *ahem*.

Today, on this here final day of recommending, I’m sorting through the MANY MANY YA books I’ve read this year and giving you 12 that you ABSOLUTELY need to buy for the YA fan in your life! (Just as the past few days, none of these books will REALLY come as a surprise!) Without further ado…

2018 ya recs

Scythe/Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (while we’re at it… The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy too, LBR)

Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard (and ANY of her other books too)

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Show Stopper/Show Stealer by Hayley Barker

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Clean by Juno Dawson

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber (and Wing Jones too)

Floored by the Floored Seven

TADAAAAH. You made it. This list could’ve been so much longer. GO AND BUY THEM ALL. READ THEM ALL. LOVE THEM ALL.

Do you agree with my recommendations?
Can you add any to my list?
Which of these books have you loved most?

Talk to me in the comments! Are you SHOCKED by my choices?

S x

“Which books should I add to my Christmas list, Miss?”

Yesterday, I shared 10 recommendations for emerging chapter book readers – check it out if you’re after recommendations for 6+ years! Today I’m sharing books that I’ve shared with the kids in my class, school and life! Today is the turn of those who are confidently reading longer chapter books – longer chapter books that are BLOODY BRILLIANT.

None of these books will come as a surprise to ANYONE who knows me, but nevertheless. I think one of the best books you can buy kids is a book. These recommendations are books I’ve loved, but also books that my kids have wholeheartedly taken under their wing!

2018 mg recs

(I know right, SHOCKERS)

Now, some of these are book 1 in a series that I would recommend the whole series of… but if I’d put ALL of the books in the series of, I would have been here forever!

The House with Chicken Legs – Sophie Anderson

The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club series – Alex Bell

A Place Called Perfect series – Helena Duggan

Armistice Runner – Tom Palmer

The Light Jar – Lisa Thompson

Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

The Way Past Winter – Kiran Milwood Hargrave

Snowglobe – Amy Wilson

The Nowhere Emporium series – Ross Mackenzie

Brightstorm – Vashti Hardy

The Storm Keeper’s Island – Catherine Doyle

Who Let The Gods Out series by Maz Evans (Simply the Quest reviewBeyond the Odyssey review)

And there you have it… my second lot of MG recommendations which are perfect to buy for any budding bookworm in your life!

Have you read any of these?
Do you have any favourites?
Would you recommend any for me to add to my list?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Come back tomorrow for YA recommendations!

S x

 

“You know books… can I have some recommendations?”

The amount of times I’ve been asked for recommendations over the past few weeks is LUSH. Whether it’s from my kids for what to read next, for parents on what to buy their kids for Christmas or from my colleagues on what to read, it’s all lush to talk books.

Over the next 3 days I’m going to collate 3 different lists for books I’d recommend – be it to read or to buy someone for Christmas!

Today I’m tackling 7+ (ish) recommendations

Tomorrow will be 8+ish and then Wednesday will be YA recommendations! There are LOADS of recommendations out there, I just decided to collate my favourite 10 from the past year (or so)!

If you have a reader who is just starting to read chapter books, or likes the look of illustrated chapter books, these books are brilliant.

2018 recs

Violet and the… series by Harriet Whitehorn

Fabio – The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective by Laura James

Royal Rabbits of London series by Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Amelia Fang series by Laura Ellen Anderson

Max – The Detective Cat series by Sarah Todd Taylor

The Wild Robot series by Peter Brown

The Twitches series by Hayley Scott

Sam Wu series by Katie and Kevin Tsang

Horace and Harriet series by Clare Elsom

There you have it! 10 of the best books for Y2+ I’ve read recently. I’d love to know your thoughts! Let me know!

Have you read any of these?
Do you have any recommendations that I could add?
Which of these would you like to pick up most?

Talk to me!

Remember to come back tomorrow for recommendations for books for those 8+ years!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Lara Hawthorne

Silent Night: the classic, beautifully illustrated!

img_3945

“Celebrate the magic of Christmas with this beautifully illustrated book, based on the world’s best-loved carol. Rediscover the Nativity Story in all its glory—from quaking shepherds to heaven-sent angels—as the song lyrics are brought to life on every spread. The world’s diversity is reflected in a cast of characters with a range of skin tones. A gorgeous book for all the family to share during the festive season.”

img_3947

Christmas is coming and what’s more perfect than one of the greatest Christmas carols beautifully illustrated? Silent Night is one of those classics that everyone knows. I even know the chorus and the first verse in German (I’m not sure why!). I think Christmas is such a lovely time of year and music is an important part of that. 

img_3948

Silent Night has been beautifully illustrated in this book, with the lyrics of the book broken into little scenes of the night that Jesus was born. The book features the key people in the Christmas story – angels, shepherds, Mary, Joseph, kings and the stable! 

This book is going to be SO perfect to use at school. Whether kids know the song or not, it is a brilliantly simple, yet beautiful, way to teach them the story of Christmas. 

img_3953

I also love that it comes with this information page in the back all about the song. Great for older children to find out more about the song. This could inspire some of your KS2 kids to make their own book of a Christmas song and write their own “about the carol” page. 

img_3952

This would make the perfect Christmas present. I already know it’s going to go down brilliantly at school. 

A massive thank you to the wonderful Quarto for sending me a copy of this book! I do now however want to start singing Christmas songs… (but not yet… I can’t until after Halloween!)

Silent Night is out now! 

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?
Is Silent Night up there in your top 10?
What’s your Christmas rules?

Talk to me! Which carol would you like to see made into a book?!

S x 

S4S – Christmas books

IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE!

WHAT? HOW? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?

How excited is everyone? But seriously? I hope you’re all on the nice list. 

But anyway, the important things…#SixforSunday

Today’s category is quite simply:

Christmas books

So today I come to you with books I have asked for/bought myself/bought for other people for Christmas:

  1. Mythos – Stephen Fry
  2. The Magic Misfits – Neil Patrick Harris 
  3. It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
  4. Paris for One – Jojo Moyes
  5. Du Iz Tak? – Carson Ellis
  6. The Creakers – Tom Fletcher

So there we go! 1 book I’ve asked for, 1 book I bought for myself and 4 books I’ve bought for other people! I’ll let you have a guess at which books are which! 

Don’t forget to share your#SixforSunday post on twitter and I’ll check it out! Thank you everyone who joins in! 

S x

Christmas movies!

We’re getting closer!

Christmas is on its way!

Yesterday, I shared my favourite Christmas songs, and today I am sharing my favourite Christmas films

Now… confession time, gather around everyone. I’m not a massive film watcher. I LOVE going to the cinema, but I’m not great at watching films at home. Maybe I just need to find someone to watch films with? Who knows! So yes, I don’t watch films OFTEN but Christmas is an excellent time to sit and watch films. Here’s a few I watch at Christmas!

Love ActuallyImage result for love actually

I know, I know, a lot of people think this is problematic, BUT I love it. I think it’s lush. The message at the start in the airport gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I like the love stories. Are they believable? No. I don’t watch for believability; I watch because I’m a romantic at heart. It makes me cry so much at many different things. 

The Grinch 

Image result for the grinch

I really like Jim Carrey’s performance as the Grinch, he’s pretty spot on. This is definitely one I will be hoping is on some streaming service or another as I want to watch it again! It makes me laugh and gives me festive feels!

The Holiday

Image result for the holiday

I’ve only seen The Holiday a handful of times but what I remember, I really loved it. I will seek it out this holiday season and reignite my love for it. I’d quite like to swap homes with someone in a warmer climate and fall in love this Christmas… *sigh*

Elf

Image result for elf

If you don’t love Elf, I don’t know if we can be friends. I love this film. It is so quintessential Christmas for me that I watch it EVERY SINGLE Christmas. I may in fact even watch it tonight. Will Ferrell plays SUCH A BRILLIANT Buddy the Elf in this film. He is HILARIOUS. If you’ve never seen it, please go watch it (although I will find it hard to believe anyone hasn’t seen it!)

Miracle on 34th Street

Image result

For me, THIS Santa is the one and only Santa there is. I love this film, so much. I don’t watch it often, but when I do I absolutely adore it. It’s one of those savour the moment kind of films! 

And there you go! There’s 5 of my faves! Nothing out of the ordinary, but good films deserve their praise! 

What are your favourite Christmas films?
What’s your favourite snack to accompany your films?
Do you prefer the cinema or at home watching?

Talk to me! Tweet me! Comment! Email! Send a pigeon! 

S x

Christmasssssssssssssssssss!

Hello!

As if this time next week it will be Christmas Day. What is that about? Where has this year gone? BUT ALSO HOW EXCITING. How excited is everyone? On a scale of 1-SANTAAAAAAAAAAAA. I’m about a 5 at the minute. Get me through this last week of school and we’ll be grand! 

Today I’m sharing some of my favourite Christmas songs… I’ll try and stick to 5, but there may be more!

First on my list will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me… 

Michael Buble – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

CLICK

I love this man. I love this song, it makes me feel SO FESTIVE. The whole album does, but the music for this one just gets me!

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

WATCH

YEP I LOVE IT. It’s just so brilliant. I often dance around my bedroom to this on a morning, to inspire mysef to get up. It’s a great start to the morning.

Pentatonix – Away In A Manger

LISTEN

For those of you who don’t know who Pentatonix are, they’re this incredible acapella group who make EVERYTHING SOUND AMAZING. They released this version of Away in a Manger this year and I may have listened to it 600000 times already! 

Kelly Clarkson – Underneath the Tree

GO GO GO

This is another one of those that you can properly dance to! I love Kelly Clarkson and her voice is just brilliant. This is one of those brilliant boppy songs! (Yes, sorry I did just use the word bop). The whole Wrapped in Red album is excellent – would recommend.

Frozen soundtrack – Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

OK BYE

I have grown to absolutely LOVE THIS SONG. Not really Christmassy BUT Frozen screams Christmas and winter at me! 

I could go on and on if we’re honest! 

Honourable mentions to: Last Christmas and O Holy Night.

I am a massive fan of carols, I love going to Christmas carol services! They’re just so beautiful. I’m hoping I can get to one this year!

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?
What’s your favourite carol? 

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me! Happy singing!

S x

December bullet journal…

Today I bring you another bullet journal update post.

Now, I would normally share pictures of November’s pages here BUT as you may have gathered from a few of my other posts, November was a bit of a disaster for me (stress and illness being the main perpetrators), so my bullet journal took a sideline. The first third of November I successfully filled in, then it went a bit downhill from then!

However, I felt that a new month, a new approach so I am going to try and be better at keeping up with my bujo now that it is December. I took these pictures as I was almost finished, so there’s still 1 or 2 elements not quite finished, but my pictures will give you a feel for the December-ness!

img_0781-1

Title page – I love my little lights. I’m not so much in love with my Christmas trees, I wish I were a better doodler/drawer BUT my lights make my heart SO happy that I can forgive them!

 

Next up is my mood tracker and my gratitude page. I used a Christmas tree and its baubles as my mood tracker – I think it looks really cute! I am still trying to get the right mix of moods that I want tracked, so I’m still playing about. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out at the end of the month. My gratitude page as you can see is really embracing the red and green of Christmas! I changed it to a more simple layout this month just to give it a go!

 

Next up are bookish pages – my ever trusty book post page, and my monthly reading page. I was able to write in 4 books already on my December Reading page, because I powered through them really quickly before starting my bujo designing! My book post page is ready for any bookpost I get this month!

 

(Apologies for all of the blurring in these pictures… there’s secrets that I don’t want to share!) These 2 pages are new this month! I thought it would be good to have a gifts page to remind me who I need to buy for and what I need to buy – hence the blurring out! The other side is a dates to remember page. Currently not very full, but I can guarantee that it will be full PRETTY soon. I have lots to add already! December is a busy month!

img_0788-2

Finally, we have my weekly spread. I’ve found that this kind of layout really works for me, so I think it is one which will stay. As you can see, it isn’t quite completed yet (date and steps graphs aren’t quite done) but this is the general layout. I’ve found it useful tracking my mood daily, as well as monthly – there are some interesting patterns arise once you look over a few. My weekly overview helps me to stay on top of planning and other school stuff, as well as uni assignments and locations for training!

And there you have it: December’s bujo SO FAR. I’ll post pictures on my social media (@eenalol on twitter and Instagram, go give me a follow for pictures of books, bujo and more!) as the month progresses! 

What is in your December bujo?
Do you have any staple pages, that you use monthly?
What is your favourite thing about your bullet journal?

I would love to know the answers to these questions, and your thoughts on my bujo! Comment, tweet me, link me to your posts! I’ll come and check out your posts too!

S x

 

S4S – Winter rereads

Good afternoon #SixforSunday folks!

A massive thank you to all of you for your enthusiasm about #SixforSunday! There is a post in a week or 2 about the prompts for 2018. I hope to see you all of you and more in 2018! Invite your friends along! Tell them how awesome #SixforSunday is!

Anyway, on with this week’s theme:

Winter rereads

This is a hard one because I don’t tend to reread books very often BUT there are definitely some that I will, and some that I am hoping to reread this winter! Some winter themed, some not so much!

  1. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – not strictly Winter, but there’s snow, so there.
  2. Matilda – again, not technically Winter, BUT I will be rereading it!
  3. Eleanor and Park – I haven’t reread this since reading it originally, so I am looking forward to this.
  4. The Storm Whale at Winter – gorgeous picture book, well worth a read at all times of year!
  5. Refuge – this book is about Mary and Joseph, it’s a picture book that I bought last year and I absolutely adored it!
  6. The Christmas Mystery – this book was given to me by one of my colleagues last year and it’s the most incredible book where you read a chapter a day from December 1st to December 25th. I must get it back out and catch up!

Share your #SixforSunday with me! Use the hashtag and link me in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

Perfect Presents: Miscellaneous edition

Hello there!

I hope you’re enjoying my “Perfect Presents” series – it has been so much fun recommending books for everyone this year! I AM that person that buys EVERYONE a book. I have strong feelings about books and let’s just say that I think a book is the perfect present, so yeah… that! 

Today’s edition of Perfect Presents features a whole array of things, most of which could be classed as non-fiction. As a prolific fiction reader, it has been great for me to think about some non-fiction recommendations for everyone! From the kids in your life, to the teens, and the adults! Let’s get on with it!

Image result for sarah millican how to be champion

I can’t recommend some non-fiction without recommending this. I love Sarah Millican. I am a proud Geordie. I love an autobiography. This book is definitely on my Top Books of 2017 list – it’s just wonderful. Your mam will probably love it. Your sister probably will too. You’ll probably catch your dad reading it and laughing, despite protests that he wouldn’t read it. It’ll make you laugh, maybe cry (it made me cry): it’s just lush. 

Related image

The next recommendations come from a set of books from the brilliant people of Quarto Books. Their ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ series is an exploration of some of the most incredible women the world has seen. These books give a biography of the women in a beautifully illustrated and accessible way for kids. I was lucky enough to be send 2 of these from Quarto and I adore them. If you can get your hands on them, get your hands on them. I can’t recommend these enough.

33016249

Another incredible book, filled with exceptional stories about brilliant women that I can not recommend enough. Now that there is a second one too, I must get my hands on that! I did have a copy of Rebel Girls 1, but I can’t find it… so I must get back to Waterstones and purchase 1 and 2. 

Image result for dinosaurium

I love Dinosaurium – I see it everywhere on twitter and I reckon it would be a brilliant present for any of the dinosaur obsessed children in your life. There’s been a whole host of exceptional non-fiction books released this year that I don’t think you could go wrong with any of it! 

Image result for doing it hannah witton

This book is brilliant. At 28, it was incredible to read and learn things from this book. Hannah Witton so brilliantly deals with everything from consent, to sexuality, to sex in this book. It would be a great present to buy a teenager in your life, but also… adults. No shame in reading books which explore sexuality and aim to educate. I read this for a book group and I really enjoyed it. 

There are SO SO SO many others I can recommend that I will happily talk to you and give you recommendations! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Perfect Presents series! Let me know if you have any recommendations which aren’t on my lists. Also, let me know if you buy anything for anyone in your life based on my recommendations – that’s always fun!

Merry Christmas! Happy book buying!

S x