Top Ten Tuesday: 28th October 2018

I couldn’t pass up today’s Top Ten Tuesday! The theme is perfect as we near the end of Blogtober! This is a tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week it’s:

Halloween

which witch1. Which Witch? – Eva Ibbotson

2. Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball – Laura Ellen Anderson

3. The Beasts of Clawstone Castle – Eva Ibbotson

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

5. The Grotlyn – Benji Davies

img_06406. Breathe – Cliff McNish

7. The Poisoned House – Michael Ford

8. Newes from the Dead – Mary Hooper

9. Witch Child – Celia Rees

10. The Crucible – Arthur Miller

I love a good witchy book! I posted more recommendations in my Spooky Reads for Young Readers, Children and Older Readers posts earlier this month! I’m very excited for Halloween tomorrow – will you be celebrating it?

GIRL IN PIECES – Kathleen Glasgow

girl in pieces5/5

SundayYA today has involved a lot of recommendations, both books that are out already and books that are most anticipated for next year. One author that came to mind immediately for both of these topics was Kathleen Glasgow; I adored Girl in Pieces and am incredibly excited for How To Make Friends With The Dark! As I’m making my way through all my old reviews on retail sites and transferring them on to here, I figured that today is the perfect day to finally upload my review of Girl in Pieces from when I first read it way back in 2016 as a longlist reader for a children’s book award. I went on to nominate it for the shortlist, insist on copies being stocked in the bookshops where I worked, and sell sell sell!

img_3485I could not shut up about this book since I started and finished reading it; it’s an absolutely incredible debut! It’s filled with such raw emotion, but not to the extent that it is an uncomfortable or triggering read, and, although this is an extreme case of depression/self-harm, it’s one that sheds a very realistic light on the issue. For people who have experienced this, the book is inspiring and easy to relate to, but equally it’s enlightening for people who do not know much about the mentality behind self harm and suicide. One of my personal highlights is the BEAUTIFUL author’s note at the back. READ IT!

img_3483

My heavily tabbed copy!

It’s surprisingly easy to read and get totally lost in because of the way it’s written. The book is separated into parts and the chapters are all of varying length, which added to the overall feel of the book as I felt that the “chapter” lengths sort of represented the state of mind of Charlie at various stages of her mental health. It’s also brilliant how Kathleen has touched upon the problem of young adult homelessness, and how often the reasons behind it aren’t the fault of the young people themselves but more a result of their situation at home.

All in all though, this book shows how you can hit rock bottom but it IS possible to carry on and survive despite all the stuff that life can throw at you.

 

Six for Sunday: 28th October 2018

Hello! Today’s topic has been a really interesting one; so many amazing books have come out in the past couple of years since I wasn’t a teenager anymore and I really wish that I’d had when I was younger. It’s also interesting to think about what you would’ve liked back then. Anyway, you can find the prompts for Six for Sunday here, and this week’s topic is:

Books you wish you’d had as a teen

the exact opposite of okay1. I Was Born For This – Alice Oseman

the truth pixie2. The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

the goldfish boy3. The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig

4. The Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson

5. Worries Go Away – Kes Gray

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

It was actually really hard to narrow down! Would you have liked any of these books when you were a teen?

I Spy Book Tag

I was looking for a tag to do, and I came across this one that La Ronda @FlyingPaperbacks did on Thursday, and it seemed like a really fun little tag!

RULES:

  • Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category.
  • You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes! I haven’t stuck to the five minute rule; I’m tired!

 


Image result for how to train your dragon bookTransportation: 
How To Train Your Dragon

Image result for the goldfish boyAnimal: The Goldfish Boy

 

 

 

Image result for thirteen reasons why book coverNumber: Thirteen Reasons Why

Image result for my swordhand is singing

Weapon: My Swordhand is Singing

Image result for words in deep blueSomething You Read: Words in Deep Blue

 

 

 

Image result for mistress of the storm

Body of Water: Mistress of the Storm

Image result for firebloodProduct of Fire: Fireblood

Image result for the princess diaries book one

 

 

 

 

Image result for back to blackbrickArchitecture: Back to Blackbrick

Image result for witch for a weekClothing Item: Witch for a Week

Image result for mum and dad glueFamily Member: Mum and Dad Glue

 

 

 

Image result for caravalTime of Day: Caraval

The Phantom of the OperaMusic: The Phantom of the Opera

Image result for wingbound heather trimParanormal Being: Wingbound

 

 

 

Related imageOccupation: Me Before You

Image result for the story orchestra the four seasonsSeason: The Story Orchestra – The Four Seasons

 

 

Image result for red tears joanna kenrickColour: Red Tears

Image result for angel cliff mcnish

Celestial Being: Angel

Image result for sunflowers in februarySomething That Grows: Sunflowers in February

 

 

 

This was such a fun tag to do, and gave me the opportunity to find some books I don’t think of as often! I tag anyone who is looking for something fun and quick to do on their blog! 

HIDING HEIDI – Fiona Woodcock

hiding heidi5/5

Last year I discovered a wonderful new talent, Fiona Woodcock, who with her debut has created such a beautiful book that passed the baby sister test with flying colours! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to read this one with her…and I definitely don’t mind because I love it.

Heidi is so good at hide and seek that it’s not as fun as she thinks for the other children and, as she soon realises, herself. However, when they play different games as well as hide and seek, they can all have fun and enjoy it regardless of whether they’re the best.

Aside from simply adoring the illustrations, the story has the lovely message of how you don’t have to win to have fun because everyone has different talents and it’s (forgive the cliché) the taking part that counts.


Thank you very much to Simon & Schuster for my copy of this title!

WILD – Emily Hughes

5/5

This book. The wild child. The illustrations.

I love it.

I suppose I am slightly biased because the little girl in this story reminds me so much of my little sister, and always has done since I was shown this book for that very reason! However, I think that that is all part of the charm of this beautiful book – we will all be able to find something within ourselves that reminds us of the characters in this story. You can take this book at surface level and interpret the need to embrace our wilder sides and not feel trapped by what is considered “normal”, or you can look deeper (still on the same lines though!) and think about how we shouldn’t remove animals from their natural habitats because they often can’t adapt to a strange new environment. As I was writing this, I’ve realised how those aren’t even the limitations – there are more interpretations to be made!

This is a firm favourite of mine because of the simply gorgeous illustrations, the simplistic story that’s full of meaning, and the fun that leaps off the pages. The wild child is such an adorable character, full of warmth and humour, making this book one to be loved by both children and grown-ups!

Six for Sunday: 21st October 2018

It feels like so long ago that it was last Sunday! I’ve been off all week which has been lovely, and I’ve actually been keeping up with Blogtober which I’m so pleased about! Welcome back to one of the best tags on the internet, Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here). This week’s topic is:

Books I want to reread

1.  Image result for the great good thingThe Great Good Thing – Roderick Townley 

I remember adoring this book when I first read it, and it’s one that I’ve been meaning to pick up again for years!

Image result for inkheart

2. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

I think everyone was reading this when I was in year six, and we all absolutely loved this series. I’ve been meaning to reread it for years so I can continue with the trilogy.

3. Image result for the thief lordThe Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It took me ages to pick up, and I regretted not reading it sooner; it’s such a good one. I also love the film adaptation, although the book is way better.

Related image4. Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo

I’ve read this series so many times, but I still need to read it again! It’s one that just keeps you gripped from book to book, and is definitely very underrated!

Related image5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

I reread this every year…I haven’t read it so far this year so it’s due!

Image result for the silver child cliff mcnish6. The Silver Child – Cliff McNish

I adore this book; it took me ages to actually get into when I initially read it, but as soon as I gave it a proper read I couldn’t put it down! I remember when I got my copies of this series signed and Cliff said that he hadn’t seen the hardback for years, which makes mine very special!

I could go on; I have so many books that I want to reread! Have you read any of these?

My Favourite Book to Film Adaptations

This is a post that I’ve wanted to do for a while, since so many amazing adaptations have been coming out. With some, I’ve read the book before the adaptation for the big/little screen, but others I’ve discovered the book before the film. I’d like to share a few of my favourites with you today!

Image result for to all the boys i loved beforeTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (Netflix)

Image result for to all the boys i loved beforeOkay, so I haven’t actually read this book yet…but it’s imminent! However, I couldn’t not include it in this list because the Netflix adaptation is SO GOOD! I became addicted to the story of Lara Jean as soon as I watched it for the first time, and I have now lost count of how many times I’ve watched it! From what I’ve heard, the book is just as good!

Image result for the kissing booth netflix posterThe Kissing Booth – Beth Reekles (Netflix)

Image result for the kissing boothAnother Netflix adaptation that I’ve been obsessed with this year is The Kissing Booth. I’d never even heard of the book, but as soon as I discovered that it was based on a book I just had to get a copy! I really enjoyed the book, and the adaptation is very true to the book which is good, but I will say that in this case I prefer the film!

Image result for a series of unfortunate events netflix posterA Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket (Netflix)

Image result for a series of unfortunate events the bad beginningOne of my favourite series as a child was A Series of Unfortunate Events, and, whilst I kind of liked the film adaptation starring Jim Carey, the first film condensing books one to three into the one film just didn’t do the books justice and cut out so many brilliant parts and messed up the whole timeline. So, I was so excited to see that Netflix were doing a serial adaptation starring Neil Patrick Harris. And WOW! It’s such a good version with just the right amount of darkness and humour, keeping true to the books and just doing them justice that the first film did not!

Image result for love simon posterSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli (Love, Simon)

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agendaAnother title that I’ve not actually read yet, despite owning the book for years, is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

 

 

Image result for love rosie coverWhere Rainbows End – Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)

Image result for where rainbows endOne of the first books to ever make me cry, Where Rainbows End is just perfect and is one of the most underrated books. As a bookseller, I was shocked to see that this wasn’t a staple book on the shelves and so would order copies in and be delighted to see that they’d always sell! The film adaptation Love, Rosie is just as good and is easily one of my favourite rom coms.

Image result for thirteen reasons why netflix posterThirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher (Netflix)

Image result for thirteen reasons why bookI was a bit hesistant about including this title on this list; I like the Netflix series, but as a separate thing because I don’t think it takes the strengths from one of my favourite books of all time. Thirteen Reasons Why is an incredible book that I think everyone should read, and so I was so excited for the adaptation. I did enjoy it, but I think that the book was more suited to a film rather than a series.

The Fundamentals of Caring poster.jpgThe Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving – Jonathan Evison (Netflix – The Fundamentals of Caring)

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving-ExLibraryThis is a hidden gem on Netflix; this film is so warm and funny and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Again, I haven’t actually read the book yet, but it is one that I want to read because the film adaptation is so good!

Related imageHow To Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

Image result for how to train your dragon book oneThis series is just brilliant for fans of adventure and mythical creatures, and it’s written in such an engaging manner! The film, rightly so, has become a family favourite that people adore. The characters are just adorable with a story that is very touching.

Image result for me before youMe Before You – Jojo Moyes

Image result for me before you jo joOne of my favourite films and books of all time, Me Before You touches upon the serious topic of euthanasia whilst being a funny and heartwarming story. I can’t fault the adaptation, and love the film and book in equal measures. I did feel a bit bad laughing out loud as I read this book that is a guaranteed tear-jerker, but Will is just such a funny character!

Image result for harry potter and the philosopher's stoneHarry Potter – JK Rowling

Image result for harry potter and the philosopher's stoneOf course this book and film series made it on to this list! Harry Potter is a global phenomenon. Whilst the films aren’t as good as the books, as a separate series they are incredible. I do find that some of the humour is lost in the films, but that’s only natural.

Image result for a monster callsA Monster Calls – Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd

Image result for a monster callsA sob-fest for both the film and book, A Monster Calls filled a massive gap in children’s/young adult literature. It’s so rare to have a boy as a main character in such an emotion driven story. I think Siobhan Dowd would be so proud of the story that Patrick Ness crafted from her ideas, and of the film that subsequently was made.

The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline Wilson

Image result for the illustrated mum posterSo you may have noticed the lack of film cover for this one – and that’s because I couldn’t find one! It was a TV film on Channel 4 back in 2003, and is one that I loved! I remember filming it on VHS and watching it over and over. It’s such a good adaptation of a book that I’ve realised as I’ve got older is so important. The Illustrated Mum is one of Jacqueline Wilson’s best books, and focuses on depression and bipolar disorder but in a way that’s perfect for younger readers.

Image result for me earl and the dying girl posterMe and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

Image result for me earl and the dying girl jesse andrewsAnother film that, whilst it did get some recognition, didn’t get nearly enough hype as it deserved. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is such a good book that focuses on friendship and cancer, but in a way that’s accessible and humorous. The film was also a very good adaptation that was just as enjoyable to watch as the book was to read.

Image result for the fault in our stars movieThe Fault In Our Stars – John Green

Image result for the fault in our starsI remember sobbing when I read The Fault in Our Stars, and, whilst I knew what was going to happen, I sobbed at the film too! That said, I absolutely love both the book and the film, and it’s definitely worth all the hype. Out of all of John Green’s books, this one is the stand out title, and is one that I would pick up again and again. The film is a beautiful adaptation.

 

So there we go! A long list of my favourite book to film adaptations – have you read or watched any of these? Have I missed off any of your favourites?

 

AMELIA FANG AND THE BARBARIC BALL – Laura Ellen Anderson

5/5

A stunning young reader book that’s perfect for fans of the not quite ordinary!

I’m not going to lie, I’ve bought the whole of this series without having even read the blurb purely based on the beautiful cover and sprayed edges, and the fact that I love Laura Ellen Anderson’s illustrations. So, I figured that it was about time that I read book one, and luckily I loved it!

amelia fang prince tangine

Baby Prince Tangine

In the Amelia Fang series, we follow the title character, a cute little vampire, and her friends in Nocturnia, where all things glittery and unicorn related are terrifying but blood and darkness are not! In book one, we are introduced to a whole host of brilliant characters from Amelia Fang to her pet pumpkin Squashy (he is so adorable!) as their world is turned upside down by the arrival of the spoilt Prince Tangine. However, all is not as it seems…

I adored this first book which really sets the scene for the series and makes you want to find out more. It is a very unique take on the cuteness of young reader books with the focus being on less traditional creatures for this age range. I would definitely recommend it, and can’t wait to move on to book two!

Octavia’s Bookshop and the Importance of Children’s Books

43040787_936035309933128_6894985969526591029_nLast week, I had the pleasure of discovering Octavia’s Bookshop in Cirencester. This beautiful little independent is primarily a children’s bookshop which meant that gasps were heard all around upon stumbling across this hidden gem! Octavia’s is a stunning little shop that’s all cosy and welcoming, and full to the brim with wonderful children’s books. We also were able to have a chat with Octavia and get excited over books with her, as well as having a discussion about the importance of children’s books.

the goldfish boyThis is something that I’m sure many people encounter – book snobbery. When I first started at Waterstones, a colleague turned around and commented on how I read “rubbish”, also known as books from the children’s section, and I’ve come across this frequently. Particularly with YA, there seems to be this total disregard for its value and importance from individuals right up to the big companies. There is no investment, and yet children’s books and YA are arguably the most important books out there. You’ll notice that the first section to be downsized in most bookshops is the children’s and YA, despite the fact that those sections can often be taking a high proportion of the business. Children need books to be physical – an electronic picture book just isn’t the same as a print version, and there are a lot of children from less affluent backgrounds who don’t have access to an eBook in the same way that they would a physical copy.

that's not my unicornYou see, without these sections, where do the readers of “grown up” literature and non-fiction start? We have to develop that love of reading from children, which means we need books catering towards children. And no, that doesn’t mean that children should only read classics. In my opinion, although there is still something to be loved about them, the classics are often dated and usually irrelevant to the lives of children and young people today. I used to see parents come in and turn their noses up at all the wonderful books that today’s authors are bringing to the table, books that nurture a love of reading and books that I’ve seen make children into bookworms. Without these books, who is going to grow up and read all the books aimed at adults? If a child doesn’t develop a love of reading from a young age, what’s the likelihood of them developing it in adulthood?

words in deep blueAll of that said, children’s books are incredible for adults too; they provide escapism, reminiscence and life lessons. I’m finding that as I grow up, my brain still thinks I’m a teenager at times and so of course I’m going to relate to the angst of a young adult in teen fiction! There is so much that we can learn from children’s books, and especially empathy and respect for children.

 

What’s your opinion? I’d love to know!

kayleigh