Tag Archives: Books

Adventures in Books… 2017 Part 1

I’m going to share the books I’ve read a little differently this year – with as short a review as possible!

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – loved it!

The Twelve Dates of Christmas – fun, easy read!

Wishful Drinking – fab, I miss Carrie Fisher!

Get Your Shit Together – loved it even more!

Shockoholic – perfect timing for me to read this!

Cheer Up, Love – another one hits the spot!

The Princess Diarist – Star Wars from a different perspective!

Getting my geek on

This year I decided to make my first visit to the London Film and Comic Con at Olympia. I’ve been following a lot of people on Twitter for the past couple of years who always seem to have a fantastic time and I thought I would give it a go. I decided to wear my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child t-shirt!

I bought a ticket that allowed early access to the YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), which I’m told was a much shorter queue than the standard entry. I got off the tube and was directed in the opposite direction than everyone else and headed to the YALC entrance on Hammersmith Road and got in the queue around 8:30am. The queue was fun and everyone was talking to each other. I was by a lovely group of ladies who were all there by them selves like me and it was nice to then bump into them at odd points the rest of the day. The doors opened at 9am and I was through the doors and in the convention by 9:30am.

The YALC was held up on the top floor and although it said you would not be able to get into the LFCC part until 10am, there didn’t seem to be any restrictions in place once you were inside. I got the elevator up (as I didn’t know where the stair were) with the girls I queued with and we went straight upstairs.

My first impression was that is was spaced out and much quieter than expected. I picked up a programme and decided to go sit in on the first panel of the day at YALC. It was all about rebellion in YA and it made me decide to buy a book I wasn’t planning on, but because the author spoke so enthusiastically and was super fun I decided to give it a go (I later ended up queuing to get it signed and it made me extra happy).

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I then decided to head down to the LFCC on the bottom floors. This was much busier, but still not as full as I expected. I had a good wander around looking at stalls, figuring out what areas were for signing and photographs and really just getting a feel for what it was all about. I went with no plans, I just wanted to see everything I could and get a feel for if I would want to go back next year to do it properly. 

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There were lots of fun stalls selling all sorts of film and comic related things. I ended up buying a Hobbit Hole doors necklace (I’ve been looking at one online for ages, but never bought it). I really wanted Rivendell Cider and the Prancing Pony t-shirts below, but as I had just recently bought two Harry Potter t-shirts I decided to take a photo and add to the list of future purchases. I otherwise kept it quite light in purchases and only bought 3 books and some sushi.

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My t-shirt was a great conversation starter as I wandered around as people wanted to know what I thought of the play. I was so relieved as I was nervous about wearing it for some reason, but it turned out great, the only downside was the Harry Potter Party was on the Sunday and I was only there on the Saturday! The main theme of the convention was the release of Suicide Squad and the place was decorated with banners and they had the original costumes on display (which for some reason I totally forgot to take photos of when I wandered round it). There were lots of people dressed as Harley Quinn in a variety of forms. All the cosplay I saw was amazing and so much fun. The effort everyone puts in amazes me and it made me appreciate it so much more getting to see so many different people in person. I don’t know if I’ll ever go cosplay, but it certainly inspired me to think differently about what could be possible.

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The downstairs area became busier as the day went on and also warmed up with more people and warmer weather outside. After I had had my fill I went back upstairs and it still felt very peaceful in YALC. It was busier, but there was still lots of space to find a space to sit and chill out for a bit. I then saw Alwyn Hamilton still had a queue for booking signing and as I bought her book after the panel in the morning I decided to go for an autograph.

Alwyn was super nice and even after three hours of signings was talking to every single person about their day. She loved my t-shirt and asked if I was staying for the party as she was going to the Hufflepuff team captain and I was super sad I couldn’t make it. I started reading the book in the queue and was honest when she asked what I thought of the book as I said I was inspired to try it out after hearing the panel and she was super nice and hoped I enjoyed it. There is a sequel in the works as well so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Overall I had a pretty fantastic day. I enjoyed taking the day out to indulge in my geekness and join a community doing the same. I was nervous to go, but once I was there I felt like I fitted in no problem. I definitely want to go back and next time for more than one day (maybe even all three) and fully immerse myself into it. I would want to go to more panels and maybe a workshop in YALC and get some autographs and/or photos with my favourite stars in LFCC. I would love to meet people from Buffy and Angel or LOTR. I would want to feel more part of the weekend rather than just a flying visit. So I’ve jotted down some things for me to remember for next time!

Things I learnt for a future visit:

  • Take drinks and a flask of coffee – made it much more enjoyable to just stop when you wanted without having to search out drink stops
  • Comfy clothes and shoes – it wasn’t that hot the day I went, but it got warmed inside
  • Take lots of cash (within budgets of course)
  • Be prepared to queue a lot – make new friends in the queues!
  • Look at the programme for everything first and plan what I want to do and see
  • Stay over local to the venue (note for any convention!)
  • Take more photos! With people!

I’m looking forward to next year already 🙂

Recent Reads… 2016 part 2

So it looks like I have been extremely rubbish with my book reviews this year, all the while I’ve been reading more than I did last year. I’m currently thinking of different ways I can review the books I read to make it easier on myself to review them and be able to look back and see what I enjoyed or did not enjoy. That is the main reason I like reviewing as it is a journal for me so that I can look back on things.

So catching up on things since January here is everything I’ve been reading:
strange weather in tokyo

Strange Weather in Tokyo – This was a wild card for me and I enjoyed it in a weird way. It was an intriguing story and not one I would normally chose, but I liked the idea of reading something set in Japan when I’m going there later this year.

Dead Beat

Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book Seven (The Dresden Files series 7) –  This was another audiobook for me that moved the story along in the series with this time battling necromancers.

Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book Eight (The Dresden Files series 8) – This was another audiobook in the series and I enjoyed it as it bought back in the White Council. Harry is assigned to investigate black magic and this gives some insight into his past.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Coffee Nerd: How to Have Your Coffee and Drink It Too – I’ve been reading up on making better coffee as this is a skill I want to improve upon. This gave me lots of information about the amount of water versus beans and brew time. I’m still experimenting but I like having this as reference.

the lie tree

The Lie Tree – This was a gift from my friend and I read it in one day. It was a good read; quick and easy, while engaging and entertaining.

White night

White Night: The Dresden Files, Book Nine (The Dresden Files series 9) – Another one in the series and another engaging story.

moranifesto

Moranifesto – Loved this book. It was a great listen and one I want to get in paperback now so I can scribble in it and underline sentences to commit them to memory.

the invisble library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library series Book 1) – I decided to get this on the recommendation of my friend and really enjoyed it. I wish this was what it was really like to work in a library with multiple realities each with slightly different books and stories, but similar at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

a court of mist and fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses) – I really enjoyed the first one in the series and as expected I enjoyed this one as well. It’s a simple read, but engaging and intriguing all the way through. I liked the characters and the their development through the book. I love straight forward fantasy with fae and high lords and magic as it’s not reality at all. Plus you can look at all the fandoms and really get to understand the characters through different perspectives.

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Adventures in Books… Illumicrate Subscription Box

I’m a big book lover and have been watching online all the different subscription boxes available in the US with envy. The only this that has stopped me from ordering from overseas is the outragores shipping costs and custom charges. It’s taken me a few months to sign up, but I finally did to Illumicrate, which is currently a quarterly subscription box!

The box arrived almost two weeks ago and I was so busy I only unpacked it this last Friday in time for the Bank Holiday. My aim with these boxes is to read the book that is included as my next book so that I stay on top of them and they do not get added to the TBR pile and disappear. I want to broaden my bookshelf and enjoy treating myself to something like this (instead of food) and the extra goodies you get are lovely to spread over more time that just reading the book.

The box comes all packaged nicely with everything protected. It was lovely to open it and receive the this positive thank you straight away.

Pippin wanted to help me open the box – the only issue when trying to take unpacking photos!

I loved opening right to a list of what is inside so that as I pulled things out I could refer to the specifics of each item and where they come from.

My unpacking was hinder a bit my Pippin wanting to smell everything so I ended up taking one big photo of everything to save time!

The box this time contains some exciting and fun things:

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord – I’m intrigued by this book as I have seen it on a couple of YA mental health book lists and it’s perfect timing for where I am right now. Also a signed bookplate I have already stuck in the book as I felt that is where it needs to be.
  2. What happens in bookclub, stays in book club mug – this is going to be perfect for picnics and travelling as it’s lightweight and fits my personality.
  3. To Be Read List – a little notepad I will probably use for all kinds of shopping lists or little review notes for books I’ve read.
  4. Bookworm clip – a very cute extra large paper clip. I’m not sure where I am going to use this, but its so cute I might just pop it in one my books to display on my bookshelf.
  5. Readers Gonna Read pin – I love this and was only thinking the other day I wanted to start finding some fun pins to put on a bag or on my work lanyard maybe.
  6. A stamp – this is also very cute, but again I have no idea how I’m going to use it. It’s on a lovely label so I could put it on display by keeping it on the label.
  7. Extras – fun badges, postcards, and a preview of Strange the Dreamer!

It was lovely to receive a box of non-food goodies through the post. I’m going to continue with this for a while, but I think these boxes are things I will sign up to for a bit then stop, but then sign up to again in the future!

Recent Reads… Catching Up!

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It’s been quite a while since I wrote a post about books and I have a bit of catching up to do. I have a couple of books I finished at the end of last year and a my great start to this year so far!

Queen of Shadows – The 4th in the series and I enjoyed it a lot. After heading off to another continent in the previous book Aelin is back in the Empire and ready for revenge. I love a series and being able to read them as they come out is both exciting and infuriating. I find these fairly fast to read and enjoy being transported to another world. Overall a good read in my opinion and worth starting the series if you like fantasy  with strong female heroines.

The Red Queen – This book kept coming up in various book blogs I follow on Tumblr and so when I decided to treat myself to a selection books for my birthday I chose to give a new series a go. This is set in what feels like a post apocalyptic fantasy world where the world id divided between those with red blood and those with silver blood. I found it an engaging read and the class politics thrilling. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer – I have a soft spot for the Percy Jackson series so when a new series came out set in the same world, but based on the viking gods I couldn’t wait to read it. I was waiting for the paperback as although hardbacks are lovely books on shelves I’m not a fan of carrying them around, however this was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. I found this book good fun! I love how the author manages to teach you about the mythology while embed it within a really engaging story. Another series I am looking forward to reading as the books are published.

The Girl on the Train – A book I borrowed form a friend after she recommended it. I don’t think I would have chosen to pick it up if someone hadn’t recommended it. It’s a crime/thriller. I can’t say I really enjoyed it and I definitely skimmed some of the parts that felt like they were moving slow. I always base my opinions on these types of books on whether I can guess who did it, and with this one I didn’t until just before it was revealed and that’s good. I like it when they don’t give it away too quickly. However I didn’t really like any of the characters and found them in all honesty quite annoying. I’m not sure I will see the film when it comes out.

Blood Rites – An audiobook this time to change things up a bit. I’ve really gotten into listening to an audiobook when I get into bed. I love that I can put the sleep timer on and then usually find I just need to recap a couple of minutes from the previous chapter then next night to find where I fell asleep. Some nights I listen to quite a bit, other nights I drop off very quickly. I think I’ve said it before, for me it all comes down to the narrator for me with audiobooks and each night currently I have James Masters reading me to sleep. This was a good book and revealed some background about Harry, which I needed as it was all a bit of a mystery.

The Queen of Tearling – Another book with queen in the title! A little trend developed in my book purchasing in January I think. This was a wildcard for me, but I liked it a lot. It was a cross between chicklit and YA fantasy for me – chick fantasy – and I liked it a lot. A lost princess returned to her throne and the politics that surrounds it and the legacy of a mother she never knew. It was gripping and I am looking forward to reading the next one to find out happens with the countries on her border.

I’ve been reading a lot since January and am finding it relaxing. I needed to pick some books I really wanted to read, rather than force myself to read ones I have won or because it was a bookclub choice. For me reading should be fun and exciting and transport me to other worlds I can only imagine. So I’ve set my reading goal for 2016 to read 24 books. I’ve also set my budget to buy new books as 24 so I can enjoy going out and explorng book shops and buying the books that interest me.

Right now I am currently reading three books that fit that bill:

Strange Weather in Tokyo – a find on my birthday bookshop trip. It sounds intriguing because of my trip to Japan planned for later this year.

Dead Beat – Another audiobook and the next one in the Harry Dresden series.

The Miniaturist – a gift from bookclub and one I am intrigued by as I kept seeing it in shops, but hadn’t bought it. To me this is similar to The Night Circus, which I loved!

I have few books in my ‘to be read’ pile and I plan on buying some new ones in March when I go exploring some new bookshops.

Happy reading adventures everyone!

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