Top Ten Tuesday: 29th January 2019

Hello and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, could easily have been a top 20, top 50, top 100! The topic is:

The 10 Most Recent Additions To My TBR

  1. The Colour of Shadows – Phyllida Shrimpton
  2. The Skylark’s War – Hilary McKay
  3. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
  4. Happy Girl Lucky – Holly Smale
  5. Frostfire – Jamie Smith
  6. Gabriel and the Phantom Sleepers – Jenny Nimmo
  7. The Ice Monster – David Walliams
  8. Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James
  9. And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness
  10. The Train to Impossible Places – PG Bell

I really could keep going! I’ve just gone for books that I’ve bought/received most recently! Have you read any of these?

kayleigh

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My Final (for now) Feelings About Bookshops

A while ago, I did a rambly post about my feelings about bookshops, and in some of my mental health posts I’ve mentioned my experience as a bookseller. I’m now in a much better place with my mental health, and I’ve been thinking about how I feel about Waterstones, both at a local level and as a whole.

I can’t keep on cutting off my nose to spite my face; just because two managers were vindictive and malicious, and the member of HR that I was referred to refused to give a satisfactory response, doesn’t mean that I should be denied the simple pleasure of going to a bookshop.

This has been made slightly easier by having the knowledge that one of those managers is now at a shop that’s not particularly local to me, and the other has been transferred to another shop (although it’s a branch that I always liked, I can deal with not going in there; it’s not my local one) and, again, whilst I can be a bit annoyed that although she’s no longer a manager she gets paid the same for doing less work (a bizarre thing is that Waterstones can remove your position to a lower one but can’t deduct your pay), I can now easily avoid having to encounter her.

I’ve decided to let go of the fact that HR didn’t do anything. Sure, bullying and unfair dismissal are things that should be investigated, but I have to accept that, for the person who received my letter, they’re not issues that the company takes seriously.

So, what next?

My local branch now has a new manager, and by all accounts she’s lovely! I’m excited to be able to go into this shop and see it thrive, and in all honesty, I’ll be happy to support it again. I think that if I’d had a manager who actually knew how to manage people and get the best out of people, I’d’ve progressed a lot more. I had ambitions and managers from other branches saw that, and it’s just a shame that I had the misfortune of working under someone who resented anyone who thought for themselves and wanted to progress. I hope to see the booksellers in my local shop fall back in love with bookselling and the company.

Whilst I resent the fact that I never got to demonstrate my full potential as a bookseller and it makes me feel sad, in the end it all worked out for the better. My mental health has improved tenfold, I’ve got my confidence back, I’m in a job that I LOVE and I’ve discovered the world of book blogging, bookish Twitter and bookstagram! I get to talk books with like-minded people, essentially be a bookseller on the internet and read for the love of it.

kayleigh

ENCHANTÉE – Gita Trelease

47584789_2034450909979277_7616072665545668784_n5/5

RELEASED: 21/02/2019
PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fantasy

A compellingly beautiful tale of magic, intrigue and deception, set against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Paris on the cusp of revolution.

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries – and magicians . . . 
When seventeen-year-old Camille is left orphaned, she has to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the `Baroness de la Fontaine` and presents herself at the court of Versaille, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille’s resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one leading a double life . . .

Enchantée, a word which translates to enchanted…and that is quite literally how this book made me feel throughout my whole reading experience.

As a student of French, I am a sucker for a book set in Paris so of course as soon as I heard about this book I knew that it was one that I’d have to get my hands on. I squealed when I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy from MyKindaBook and was desperate to dive into the world of revolutionary Paris. I had very high expectations going into this book, and thankfully it was everything and more!

Camille is a very likable main character. She’s not perfect and has basic human flaws, but she is definitely a good person and cares deeply for her sister. The family unit in Enchantée is an interesting one, and it’s one that changes significantly as the story progresses. We see how situations can have a massive impact upon a person, and yet how, even in the hardest of times, love and caring for others can make a huge difference.

Talking of love…we meet a host of different characters both in Paris and at Versailles, but the one who absolutely stood out to me was Lazare. I adore him. He’s got his own brilliant character arc throughout the story, and, again, he’s not perfect! But that’s part of why I finished this book loving him so much.

La magie in Enchantée is also a fascinating take on the whole magician thing; the knowledge of how it works builds up gradually throughout the book and slowly intertwines itself in the story. It’s a very clever world that Gita has crafted; you truly believe that you’re in Paris at a time of change, and that magic truly can exist!

If you haven’t gathered by now, I can’t recommend this book highly enough! It’s perfect for fans of historical fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and the comparisons to The Night Circus and Caraval are very much deserved. If you like any of those, I implore you to pick up Enchantée and discover a new favourite book!


Thank you to Amber at MyKindaBook for sending me a copy of Enchantée!

Six for Sunday: 27th January 2019

It’s the last Six for Sunday of January – one month into 2019 already! This is a meme hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Bookish Beginnings: Bookish Hates

  1. Cover changes mid series
  2. Poorly written books, such as those by PC and Kristin Cast, where it’s very clear that the authors wrote it for a class and it isn’t good enough for publication!
  3. Books about abuse that are too graphic or uncomfortable to read, such as Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. I don’t get why people love this book; it’s awful!
  4. Picture books with no purpose or with poor morals…which leads on to my next point:
  5. Julia Donaldson
  6. This is going to be more controversial, but I really dislike books where the diversity is thrown in your face; I like it when characters of different races and sexual orientations are part of the story and it’s just a matter of fact, rather than being such a massive deal. I hope that makes sense!

This was quite an interesting topic to think about; something that one person hates, another may love! What are your bookish hates?

kayleigh

 

WWW Wednesday: 23rd January 2019

Hi! In a week where I’m so so close to hitting 1000 followers on Twitter (yay!), I’ve really been falling back in love with reading and talking about books! I’ve read one AMAZING book this week, and started another which I am loving! So…

the star-spun web
What are you currently reading? 

I started The Star-Spun Web by Sinéad O’Hart this week, and I’m really really enjoying it so far! Plus, it’s beautiful. I’m very excited to be on the blog tour for this book next month, so keep an eye open for an exciting post coming this way!

47584789_2034450909979277_7616072665545668784_n.jpg
What did you recently finish reading?

Enchantée! I ADORED this book, and I can’t wait to start writing my review…although, I have no idea how to express all the feels I got from this beautiful book!


What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up…I got approved for I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella on NetGalley, and so I think I shall pretend to be a grown up and read that one next!

kayleigh

Top Ten Tuesday: 22nd January 2019

Hello and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. I hope you’ve had a good start to the week! This week’s topic is:

Books I Meant To Read In 2018 But Didn’t Get To

  1. Lady Mary – Lucy Worsley
  2. The Astonishing Colour of After – Emily X R Pan
  3. I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman
  4. Clean – Juno Dawson
  5. The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
  6. I Stop Somewhere – T E Carter
  7. Tradition – Brendan Kiely
  8. The Summer of Us – Cecilia Vinesse
  9. The Cradle of All Worlds – Jeremy Lachlan
  10. Peril in Paris – Katherine Woodfine

I could go on…that’s so bad! I really need to read more backlist books this year and get on top of my NetGalley TBR!

kayleigh

Six for Sunday: 20th January 2019

Typing the title…one month until my birthday! I’m gonna be 25…I feel so old! Anyway, welcome back to Six for Sunday, hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Bookish Beginnings: Bookish Loves

  1. Glitter! I love a cover with glitter on it; it just makes them look so beautiful and magical.
  2. Sprayed edges. They just make a book that little bit more stunning.
  3. French and Spanish editions of my favourite books, or just foreign editions!
  4. Sassy female lead characters.
  5. A love triangle.
  6. Book boyfriends. I have so many; they can be so wonderful!

I could go on; there are so many tropes that I love and bookish aesthetics that I could talk about! What are your bookish loves?

kayleigh

 

A CHILD OF BOOKS – Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston

a child of books5/5

RELEASED: 1/9/2016
PUBLISHER: Walker
GENRE: Picture Book

The book: nothing is more important or more precious. In his first collaboration with the award-winning Walker Books, illustration hyperstar Oliver Jeffers – the genius behind the instant-classics Lost and Found and How to Catch a Star – has joined forces with ground-breaking typographer Sam Winston to present the extraordinary A Child of Books.
Soaring passages from masterworks such as Little Women, The Wind in the Willows, Great Expectations and Treasure Island form a very literal and brilliantly-released landscape of adventure. Two children – one a girl who lives for reading, the other a boy yet to understand – embark on a stunning voyage of discovery, gloriously captured by Oliver Jeffers’ unique imagination.
A Child of Books will be one of those very rare volumes that will bridge both those new to the pleasures of a book and for those already deeply in love with its promise.

Ironically, words can not do justice to this book. It is simply stunning, utilises the wonderful storytelling and illustration of Oliver Jeffers and an exciting new talent in Sam Winston who uses typography to incredible effect in this book.

A Child of Books makes the perfect gift for children to treasure and enjoy, and for adults; every time you read it you take something new away from it and everyone can interpret it in such a different way. The use of typography is such an innovative idea for a picture book and I loved how the texts chosen had clearly been selected carefully as they related to what was going on in the story at that point; if you want to spend some time fully appreciating each page you can find extracts from many of your favourite books growing up accompanied by Oliver’s lovely illustrations.

The campaign that surrounded this release has really stuck with me and is something that I closely relate to the book; we are all children of books, and it’s interesting to think how there is usually a specific book or author that sparked that love of reading and literature within us all, thus creating “a child of books”. For example, Enid Blyton made me A Child of Books! I’ve loved seeing the different titles that have inspired so many authors, booksellers and readers.

A Child of Books is an essential upon every child’s bookshelves; it’s a wonderful story for bedtime, to read with family or to read independently. There is so much to discover on every page if you want to spend time on it, so it’s a book that brings joy time and time again.


Thank you to Jo at Walker for sending me a beautiful copy of this book!

Top Ten Tuesday: 15th January 2019

A tag that I’ve wanted to get back into doing regularly is this one – Top Ten Tuesday. It’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, where you can find all the prompts that are coming up! This week’s is:

New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

  1. the truth about aliceJennifer Mathieu (The Truth About Alice)
  2. Alice Oseman (I Was Born For This)
  3. Rachael Lucas (My Box-Shaped Heart)
  4. Beth Reekles (The Kissing Booth)
  5. Chloe Seager (Friendship Fails of Emma Nash)
  6. Pamela Butchart (The Secret Seven: Mystery of the Skull)
  7. amelia fang and the barbaric ballLaura Ellen Anderson (Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball)
  8. Melinda Salisbury (Floored)
  9. Non Pratt (Floored)
  10. Isabel Sánchez Vegara (Little People, Big Dreams)

As you can see, I read some really good books last year from authors who I really wish I’d discovered/got to sooner!

kayleigh

HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE – Jennifer Niven

holding up the universe4.5/5

RELEASED: 6/10/2016
PUBLISHER: Penguin
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary

“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours. 

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are – and seeing them right back. 

I LOVE All The Bright Places so naturally was desperate to read Holding Up The Universe and it didn’t disappoint! That said, it is totally different to ATBP since it’s a slightly more cheerful topic, making it better suited to younger teens, and the ending wasn’t sad – since its publication I’ve reassured lots of fans of Jennifer Niven who were hesitating over not wanting a read that needs a box of tissues to hand and so I would like to reassure people that THIS BOOK ISN’T THE SAME!

Something that I love about Jennifer’s writing is that on the surface we have a typical contemporary teen romance, but underneath there are layers to the story and characters which confront common and often serious conditions (although Jack’s debilitating condition of prosopagnosia is one that isn’t commonly known about) in a way that makes the writing enjoyable to read. It feels like a key element of the characters is showing that even the people who appear to have it all can have problems behind closed doors and that it is okay to be different. The issue of weight and body image also continues to be a massive problem in the modern world and this book joins the ranks as one of the brilliant books for teens dealing with this.


Thank you to the Penguin Huddle for sending me a copy of this title!