Fact File: Cressida Cowell


No, I’m not screaming and running around and knocking over Christmas trees. How dare thee accuse me of such a thing.

And no, this post isn’t even Christmas themed. Shame on me.

Today I’m doing another fact file, this one on Cressida Cowell, the fantastically amazing writer of¬†How to Train Your Dragon, one of my favourite children’s books (and films) of all time. We actually have a lot in common, Cressida and I, because we both are dragon queens with degrees in dragonology. Yeah, I know. I have many hidden talents.

Anyways, Merry Christmas for Sunday! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re enjoying the holidays! And remember, Jesus is the reason for the season ūüėČ

Cressida Cowell:
Gender: Female
Age: 50
Occupation: writer
Famous for: How to Train Your Dragon series
Cowell grew up partly in London and partly on an island off the
west coast of Scotland. On this island, there were no roads,
houses or electricity, so Cressida spent a lot of her time
drawing and writing stories. Her father told her legends of the
Vikings who invaded their island and the dragons thought to have
lived in caves in the cliffs. These legends helped her to form
her stories of Vikings and dragons and, eventually, the How to
Train Your Dragon series we know and love today. She studied
English and later graphic design and illustration, before
beginning her work of writing children's picture books. Her most
famous book, How to Train Your Dragon, was made into a film in
2010, with a sequel in 2014. She still lives in London, but now
with her husband Simon and their three children.

To learn more about Cressida Cowell, click here.

Definitely not irr-elephant to Christmas

An Elephant in the Garden ~ Michael Morpurgo

Well, hallo bookworms and elephants and other living things in the world.

IT’S ONLY 9 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. And, if you didn’t notice, I’m feeling punny today.

You know how I said I was going to read more Michael Morpurgo? I actually don’t think I did say that, but I thought this book looked like a happy little book therefore I decided to read it. You know how they say don’t judge a book by its cover? Well that’s what I did with this book and I was proved wrong. This book is not a happy little book; it’s actually pretty depressing most of the time, but what else can you expect from a book about war and animals written by Morpurgo?

Dresden, Germany. World War II. Lizzie’s father has gone to fight the Russians and her mother becomes a zookeeper at the local zoo, where she grows especially close to one of the elephants: a young orphan named Marlene. When the bombs begin to fall on Dresden, Lizzie, her family and her new sister Marlene are forced to flee from the only home they’ve ever known and into the endless German countryside along with thousands of other refugees from across the country. But when they find a fallen enemy pilot, Peter, in their uncle’s abandoned house, their journey is packed with hundreds of new dangers and risks round every corner. They still have a long way to go but, with the Russians gaining on them and a Canadian pilot by their side, their journey is becoming¬†even more difficult. Will this new family be able to survive the cold trip to safety before they are captured by the police? Is it really possible for an elephant to be the one who keeps them alive?

So first of all I’d just like to mention that 97.53% of this book was walking. It’s basically all they did. (In case you’re wondering, the other 2.47% was sleeping). There was literally so much walking¬†and at times it was a little boring because there were constant descriptions of the cold weather. Nevertheless, the descriptions were very well written and I think Morpurgo is a brilliant storyteller. A few times I was genuinely petrified to turn over the page because there were plenty of surprises, sometimes terrifying, sometimes exciting and sometimes both. But then it just went back to more walking and whining about aching legs and empty stomachs and I was a bit disappointed. BUT, even if it was a bit boring, I got some pretty clear images of how much this journey would suck and I’m not surprised Lizzie complained. As I said, Morpurgo is fabulous when it comes to descriptions, and all of the characters were really sweet and I loved them all. The choir children were so cute and I love how they would just sing as they walked to lift everyone’s spirits. And even though Marlene couldn’t really talk, she was my favourite character because who doesn’t love an elephant that is basically adopted by a German family and is a total ice breaker/life saver? Marlene just being with them would interest soldiers so much that they wouldn’t ask suspicious questions about Peter and might even share their food. I think everyone should have an elephant to be honest.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣ (6/10)

Roman holiday 2.0

Mark of Athena ~ Rick Riordan

OH MY GOODNESS IT’S A MIRACLE I’M POSTING A REVIEW. I know, it’s been awhile, my bookish friends. But they’re back with brains (reviews with brains…? eh) bursting with, um, Greek/Roman-ish-ness and I’M STILL SO OBSESSED WITH RICK RIORDAN’S BOOKS ARGH PLEASE HELP. I just can’t get enough of his books. And can I just say, this book is actually really educational? And, for some reason, I love it? But more on that below.

The heroes of Olympus have finally united… but they’re not off to a great start. The seven have just begun their epic quest to save the world from being destroyed by Gaia, but have (unintentionally) started a war with the Roman legion and are now being chased across the country by them. In addition to this, they have only a week to rescue Nico Di Angelo from Gaia, and stop her from demolishing Rome. On their journey, they encounter many threats from their Roman enemies and Gaia’s monsters that follow them on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean; what they don’t know is that they must each face an even more hazardous challenge once they reach Rome and, if they fail, risk Gaia’s rise and the end of the world. But Annabeth must take a different path – she must prove herself as a true daughter of Athena and defeat her mother’s old nemesis… Alone. This is the biggest Riordan adventure yet, but do the heroes of Olympus have what it takes to save Nico¬†and¬†Rome? Does Annabeth have the courage to take on the most important quest of her life?

So, THAT CLIFFHANGER. MY FEELS. PERCABETH’S REUNION. THE LEO, HAZEL, FRANK LOVE TRIANGLE. JIPER TOTALLY NOT GETTING LEFT OUT. THE DAM JOKE AT THE BEGINNING THAT ONLY PERCY UNDERSTOOD. Oh, and the plot of course. But oh my goodness, I can hardly breathe right now. This book was so crammed full of stuff I’ve literally forgotten the first, like, 400 pages. No joke. It’s probably my only query in this: I feel like there was so much plot that it sometimes sidetracked a little from the main storyline. I think it was just Uncle Rick sneakily slipping in little facts about the history of Rome and the Mediterranean and I actually learned a lot from this book about Italy that I never knew. See? Educational, yet slightly sidetrack-y. I feel like it could’ve been at least 100 pages shorter. Although, saying that, I think there was some pretty decent character development. Like Piper? I used to not really like her because she was a little annoying at times, but she was so awesome in this. AND ANNABETH HOLY HEPHAESTUS where do I even start with that girl? I’m really happy that she was sort of the main character in this book because she hasn’t really had a quest in¬†Heroes of Olympus until now when she gets a¬†whole book¬†to herself and I love it and every Riordan book should be this way. Her little quest thingy? I would’ve died within about 3 minutes. I probably would’ve not noticed the hole in the basement and just fallen down and broken my neck and been eaten by rats or mice or dinosaurs or who even knows what. Annabeth is officially 10000000% more epic than she already was.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (8/10)

Top 5 favourite childhood books

Hey people of the Shire.

Look at me, posting on time! *rapturous applause* What was that you said? Where have my reviews gone? I don’t really know either. I think they just felt like taking a break and going on a 2 month holiday to Thailand. But they’ll be back for Christmas, never fear! For now, I am going to share some of my most beloved books from my childhood years. Ah, those were the days. The dinosaurs were so friendly – speaking of dinosaurs, I haven’t seen any in while…

  1. Rainbow Magic – these books were the very first chapter books I ever read, so they’re pretty special. I was (and still am)¬†obsessed with fairies, so I was instantly hooked to these books. I was never stuck with nothing to read because THEY JUST KEPT COMING OUT. There must be around 300 different rainbow magic books in the world, all of them with EXACTLY THE SAME PLOT just a different fairy. But it seems like I didn’t mind too much, because I owned around 100. I’ve given all of them away of course, except around two which I kept for old time’s sake. Trust me, when I was little, these books were the HYPE.

  2. Tumtum and Nutmeg – this series isn’t as popular, but it’s definitely one close to my heart. Every night, my mum and I would read them together, and I¬†adored them. They told the story of two little mice, who live in the house of two children, who only have an eccentric scientist father to care for them, so the mice take it upon themselves to look after the children and it’s the sweetest little story. What’s not to like about two little mice who live in a tiny little mansion behind a broom cupboard and write letters to the children upstairs?

  3. Terry Deary’s Egyptian Tales – I don’t really remember much about these books, except that they were¬†amazing. We were learning about Egyptians at school and I think I got these books as a gift and I LOVED THEM. The stories were actually pretty gripping for kid’s books, and of course the illustrations were amazing. May I also add that Terry Deary has a really nice voice? Am I right? Anyone…?

  4. Meerkat Madness Рthis is also another series that I read every night, except this one I read with my dad. I remember it being about three little talking meerkat siblings who go on little adventures and find hunter camps and try not to get eaten by eagles and the such, and it was pretty funny (at least for a kid my age).

  5. Little Foxes – for Christmas one year, my mum bought me around 50 Michael Morpurgo books but, for some reason, I never really got into his books. I’ve literally only read about 5 of them, and got them around 5 years ago… But the ones I have read, I’ve loved. This was probably my favourite because it was such a sweet little story about a boy who feels a little isolated from everyone else but loves animals (from a Morpurgo book? I am shocked to my socks) and ends up running away from home with a little fox and the story is SO CUTE and sad and ah. I should reread this some time. And read all of the other Morpurgo books I have, SHEESH SIMI.

Hope you enjoyed this little post! What are some of your favourite childhood books? Do you share any of mine? Lettuce converse.

Aha, LETTUCE converse. Does anyone else miss Avatar: The Last Airbender? I literally just spent an hour watching Sokka’s funniest moments… And Zuko’s saddest, but let’s not talk about those because I will probably melt into a puddle of feels. Who’s that, drowning in The River Simi? Oh, just me.

Fact Files are back! Where did they go?

Bonjour mes amis!

Yes, I know, I have been awful with posting lately. And here I was thinking¬†I should take December off. Well, this shall not be the case, at least not this year. I think I owe you all some posts! My goal for December: post every week. I’ll most likely fail but WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER. Here is a really cheesy¬†encouraging quote for December that I shall insert here: “If you believe in yourself, anything is possible.” What a load of codswallop.

Quick announcement: I now have Goodreads (took awhile, I know) so if you have any recommendations then you can tell me there!

Anyway, on this very special day, FACT FILES SHALL RETURN. They just went on a special quest to return some ring to a Mount Doom or something like that. No biggie. But yes, they’re back with a little bit of a twist… I’ve decided to change the focus of my lovely gifts of factual knowledge from book characters to authors! Partly because I don’t really know which characters to choose and partly because I really don’t know anything about authors. I feel as if they are quite underappreciated. So, hop on y’all! Also feel free to comment below which authors you’d like to know more about, or whether you hate this idea passionately and wish for me to go back to character fact files. If so, you’re not alone; this idea scares me too. Today, I’m starting off with¬†a fact file on the epic John Grisham, author of the¬†Theodore Boone¬†books.

John Grisham:
Gender: Male
Age: 61
Occupation: writer, attorney, politician
Famous for: A Time to Kill, The Firm
Grisham was born in Arkansas in 1955 and, when he was young, dreamed
of becoming a professional basketball player, but soon switched his
aspirations to being a lawyer. He practiced law for a decade in
Southaven, sneaking in a few hours of writing before work after
overhearing a 12-year-old's testimony and being inspired to write
about it. His first book, A Time to Kill, sold over 2 million copies.
His writing hobby soon became a full-time career and over 7 of his
books have been made into films. No one can argue against the fact
that he is the king of legal thrillers. Although, from time to time,
he still plays a bit of basketball.

To learn more about John Grisham, click here.

The Book-Room Challenge which I was totally definitely nominated for…

Hola mis amigos!

‘Tis been a while, I know. I’ve been really lazy busy lately, which is why I didn’t post last week. And I’m even more disappointing because 1) today I’m not even posting a review and 2) I put ‘and’ at the beginning of this sentence which is a crime on many levels and I may be arrested by the Blog Police any minute now, so we must hurry, my friends.

I wasn’t even nominated for this challenge, but I was browsing The Sea Calls us Home (a wonderful bookish discovery I have recently made and which you should visit in 3.47 minutes) and this challenge looked fun so… I’m doing it with no permission because I’m a rebellious little bookworm who enjoys such challenges.

Just so you know, I’ve never actually written a legitimate book before, but I do have many plans/ideas for future books, so I’ll just use those.


  1. Write 3 of your own books as rooms. They can be finished, works in progress, or even just ideas, but they have to be your own.
  2. Write 1 of your favorite books to read as a room.
  3. Tag 5 other people.

The Young Traveller:

A dusty path winds it’s way across the room. Light pours through the windows, making the path almost sparkle. Weeds tickle your feet playfully. In one corner, buzzing and hissing emits from a door without a handle, which appears to be rickety and wooden but fades into glass, then to oak with a large brass knocker. Tall pine trees tower above, casting dark shadows along the walls.

P Major:

The small room has dim lighting, shining only from a candle that sits atop a grand piano. The piano is glossy black with a velvet cushioned seat. A sad but beautiful song echoes softly around the room, played by a girl. Her fingers dance across the shimmering keys. Dark hair tumbles down her back, the shadows covering her face. A briny smell hangs in the air.


Jazz music tinkles in the background. Small, round tables are dotted across the tiled floor, like a café. On the tables are colourful Italian dishes and steaming cups of coffee. The faint hum of chatter mingles with the jazz. Hanging upon the walls are delicately made but ancient tapestries of rising suns, tidal waves and Japanese women swaying to the music.

The Book Thief:

Along the walls are shelves of old books, most hidden under layers of dust and ash. However, a few of the books are peppered with little fingerprints. A girl wanders around the room, one hand prising books from the worn cases and studying them closely, the other clutching a stolen apple. A window stands open, allowing a cool draft to spill through. The girl shivers.

I nominate:

Alyssa ~ WritingAnyone

Ide ~ Copper Beech School

Jessica ~ the Introvert’s Books (Alyssa’s sister! ūüėÄ )

Grace ~ From the Tip of Grace’s Pen

Loren ~ Let’s Be Lost

…and of course any other rebellious bookworms like me who like the look of this challenge.

Thank you Rubix for, um, letting me steal this ūüėČ

Also, I kind of want to rename my blog because, let’s be honest here,¬†What’s Simi Reading?¬†is just a teensy tiny little insy bit EXTREMELY BORING. So if you have any ideas, please share below ūüôā

National Author’s Day

Hello readers and writers and other human beings of this world.

So, as you may or may not know, this Tuesday is National Author’s Day! Exciting times. Therefore I thought it would be a nice idea to formally rant about why my favourite authors are so amazing. I know you’re excited. Stop throwing confetti around! Throw authors around instead.

Now, because I am an honourable fan of lists, this is how I shall present my formal rants. Here is a list of my top 3 favourite authors! I know that seems a little amount, but I am a busy child (aka my TBR awaits).

Please note that these authors are in no particular order, accept the order in which they came to the top of my head. I love all of my authors equally, how dare you say otherwise.

1) Lemony Snicket Рwriter of A Series of Unfortunate Events

Shocking, I know. I literally¬†never¬†talk about him… Ever… Oh be quiet, IL EST¬†AMAZING. Ignore what I said about loving authors equally, we all know he’s my favourite. Snicket rules supreme. Admit to his fabulousness or suffer certain death.

My favourite thing about Lemony Snicket is that his writing is so clever and sneaky and everything is mysteriously connected in some way yet¬†you still have questions that will never be answered because Snicket is a cruel writer. He publishes a new book and you’re praying that it will reveal the answers to all your life questions but NO. Snicket just don’t work like that, innocent little bookworm. YOUR QUESTIONS WILL NEVER BE ANSWERED AND YOU WILL LIVE A LIFE OF MISERY. I have already spent many of my years searching for the Quagmires, looking through files such as¬†The Unauthorized Autobiography¬†and¬†The Beatrice Letters, but I am yet to find my poor little darlings. No, I am not crying right now. I will stay strong… *bursts into uncontrollable sobbing*

Unfortunately, (aha, see what I did there) I don’t think there’s actually a name for the Snicket fandom, and so, as a loyal fan, I feel I am obliged to name it… the Lemons. Pure genius, I know. My purpose in this world has been fulfilled.

2) Lauren Child Рwriter of Ruby Redfort

I feel like Lauren Child is way too underrated. Yes, yes, I know¬†Charlie and Lola is a TV show and all that, but what about her actual novels? The epic¬†Clarice Bean? The amazing¬†Ruby Redfort? GO READ PEOPLES. Just kidding, finish this post first. I haven’t actually read a Lauren Child book in about 2 years, but never fear, I shall be finishing the¬†Ruby Redfort series hopefully¬†very¬†soon, as I shall be forcing my mother to buy the last two books. I’m a nice daughter, I know. “But mum, it’s educational…” And yes,¬†THREE NEW BOOKS have been released since I read the third one. Time flies, am I right? So yes, I hope to be gobbling those up ASAP.

As I was saying,¬†Ruby Redfort¬†has so little appreciaption I’m crying right now. Oh, so many tears in this post. Come on guys, one of the books literally has a BUBBLEGUM SCENTED FRONT COVER. Yes, it is also the only one of the books I have on my kindle. I am very upset. Moving on from the scented covers, these books have everything. Awesome characters, super awesome spy stuff, loads of action and nail-biting scenes… in short, I am¬†in love. When I’m older, I’m so going to be a secret agent. I mean as well as a writer and ninja and pirate. Ambitious, I know. Just you wait…

3) Rick Riordan Рwriter of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I know, I know, this is also a¬†huge¬†surprise to you all. I mean, it’s not like I’ve been blabbering on about him endlessly in my most recent posts. It’s actually starting to annoy me, and I’m sure you will agree, how flawless this man’s writing is. Flawless, I say.

There are many things that make Uncle Rick fabulous. One of the most fabulous things is the awesome characters he creates who are basically my best friends, no lie. If I ever feel lonely I will literally talk to them in my mind. Yes, I am that sad. Yes, when I opened my very first book, I did lose my sanity. Please help.

But probably the most fabulous thing, if I even dare to pick one, is how this fabulous man can stuff SO MUCH CONTENT into one book that it makes my head explode with excitement and my fingers sore from turning the pages too quickly. I, very sadly, suffer from skipping-through syndrome, but I only tend to see symptons in extra-fabulous books such as those of Uncle Rick. The last time I suffered greatly from this illness was, in fact, in the works of the great Snicket (see above) which just proves that these authors are off-the-scale fabulous, darn it.

Other favourites:

  • J.K. Rowling
  • John Grisham
  • Wendy Orr
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Cressida Cowell
  • Markus Zusak
  • Geraldine McCaughrean

Thanks for reading everyone! Hope you enjoyed this little different post. Who’s your favourite author? Do you share any of mine? If so, fangirl with me. If not, how dare you come here. Go sit in a corner¬†and rethink your life.

Also, a big thank you to Alyssa for getting me obsessed with horizontal lines. Thanks a lot Alyssa.