Good afternoon bookworms. Or good morning, or even good night, depending on where you are in the world, and when you are reading this. Maybe under the covers at 2 am or on top of the Burj Khalifa at noon. But let’s not dig too deep into this because honestly there is no time to faff about because there are books to be read and posts to be written.
So, it’s 2017 and I’m trying to set myself some unachievable epic goals for this coming year and I’m struggling it’s going great! I’m actually kinda super excited because I have filled another row of my bookshelf after Christmas and I CAN’T REALLY CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT TO READ THESE BOOKS. I’VE TRIED, BUT IT’S NOT GOING TOO WELL. So, before I explode, let’s get on with the post, shall we?
~Books I got for Christmas~
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde ~ I didn’t particularly enjoy the first book in this series, The Eyre Affair, but apparently this one is a lot better so I’m hyped because the first book, even though the plot was a bit slow, was actually pretty well written so I’m hoping this book is good, but my expectations aren’t sky-high. We shall see!
The Two Princesses of Bamarreby Gail Carson Levine ~ I’ve actually already read this but it was around 4 years ago, so I can’t remember, like, anything. Which is why I’m rereading it and hoping it’ll be as good as I remember!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeby Mark Haddon ~ I read this book in English at school but never actually got round to finishing it like I was supposed to, so I’m determined to finish it this year. And earlier last year I saw it in the theatre in London and it was SO GOOD so I’m really excited to read it.
Fantastic Beasts Movie Handbook~ I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the cinema and really enjoyed it but I’m still a little bit confused about some parts of the plot, so this book is going to be super helpful and hopefully enjoyable.
The Maze Runner seriesby James Dashner ~ I’ve always wanted to read these books, mainly because Thomas Sangster is in the film, but also because I don’t read many popular book series and this one actually sounds decent so I am all a-buzzing.
Pick Your Poison and Blink and You Dieby Lauren Child ~ wow, it only took me a millenium to get round to finishing this series but I finally am and I’m so excited because I absolutely loved the first 3 books and this series is one of my favourites ever and ah I’m so excited!
Holesby Louis Sachar ~ I’ve seen bits and pieces of the film on TV and I really like Shia Labeouf so I thought I’d give this book a go. To be honest, I’m reading most of the books on this list because of the films haha.
I hope you all had a happy Christmas or, if you don’t celebrate it, a relaxing day of being awesome! My Christmas was 100% fabulous because I ate a lot of food and received a lot of books and I am currently all flail and no chill. I literally sent my mum my Goodreads TBR and it’s now in my hands and the books are all shiny and new and I definitely have not spent more time petting them than reading them… But you’ll have to wait till next week for me to tell you which books I got because haha I’m evil that way. But for now I’m going to be looking back at my favourite books of 2016 because I’ve read some EPIC books this year and I hope you have too so we can flail together in the comments.
And EXCITING news: I’m doing my FIRST EVER link-up oh my goodness I can feel the excitement radiating off my laptop because it has never experienced a link-up before (or maybe it’s just overheating haha) and so it is buzzing and I am buzzing and the world is buzzing and the bees are confused. I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday so I can tell the world my Top 5 Best Books of 2016 because you definitely want to know and it’s definitely Tuesday today. Wait, did I hear myself right? It’s Top Ten Tuesday and yet I’ve said I’ll share only 5? Well, I don’t want to bore you to Tartarus and bookworms are hungry busy things so I’m only doing 5. Sheesh, stop complaining. Now, let’s get this 2016 book look back party started!
~Top Ten Five Best Books of 2016~
The Book Thiefby Markus Zusak ~ so, this book is AMAZINGLY EPIC AND EXTREMELY HEART-WRENCHING BUT ALSO EQUALLY BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL. It is such a classic and I love it to pieces and everything about it should be given mince pies because it’s utterly fabulous.
The Positively Last Performanceby Geraldine McCaughrean ~ this book is horribly underrated and it breaks my heart because it is honestly a masterpiece. I mean, who doesn’t like a book about cute little ghosts with sad little pasts that you want to hug but can’t because they’re transparent?
The Titan’s Curseby Rick Riordan ~ so, this is probably my favourite Percy Jackson book, mostly because of the fabulous characters. My favourite, of course, was Nico – the most broken, complex, rejected but adorable little soul to ever roam the Earth and be betrayed by his official art and capture my squishy heart and make me cry just thinking about him. All he needs is a hug, a plate of mince pies and a slice of love and care and acceptance and I’m sobbing a river now argh.
The Boy in the Dressby David Walliams ~ basically every character in this was squishable and so awesome and encouraging and I loved them all. I felt like it was pretty different from your normal children’s book which is why I loved it.
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan ~ my year has basically revolved around Rick Riordan and his legend-ness. This was my first Riordan of the year so I can’t remember much about it, but I do remember that I adored the characters – especially Magnus and Sam. Magnus is an awesome, witty little mince pie and Sam is so badass and Blitz and Hearth too are the sweetest little things and this book is so diverse and I love it.
How was your Christmas? What were your favourite books of 2016?
P.S. I have a signature now because it makes me look professional.
IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE EVE OH MY GOODNESS ONLY TWO MORE DAYS AHHH.
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 😉
Famous for: How to Train Your Dragonseries
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.
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.
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 bookto 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.
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…
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.
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?
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…?
Meerkat Madness – this 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).
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.
Yes, I know, I have been awful with posting lately. And here I was thinkingI 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 Boonebooks.
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.