The Stationery Book Tag

stationery book tag.png

Well here’s a perfect going back to school tag… So let’s pretend like this is the beginning of September (which it isn’t) and I am going back to school (which I am not). That way we can all agree that I am super organised and put this tag out when I intended to- aka 6 years ago…

Ah whatever- everyone loves stationery- right? Right?! (I can’t be the only one with this unhealthy obsession!) Thank you so much to the wonderful RiverMooseReads for tagging me to do this!

The Rules:

  • Thank the creator (me) Sam @ RiverMooseReads
  • Answer the questions.
  • Add pictures! (If you want to)
  • Tag (about) 5 people.

The Tag:

Pencils: Favourite MG or children’s book

Hard question! I really really need to not pick Peter Pan (because I always do!), so I’m gonna go with Anne of Green Gables because I read that for the first time recently and really liked it! It was just so sweet!🙂

anne-of-green-gables

Pens: A basic staple for any reader

To Kill A Mockingbird– because everyone needs to read that at least ten times.

to kill a mockingbird

Notebooks: What books do you own multiple copies of

Ermm I have an awful lot of versions of Grimms fairytales and have requested another edition for my birthday… so yeah

Markers: A book with a beautiful cover

shadowshaper.jpg

Glue: Two characters that work well together even if they aren’t together

So lately I’m shipping Adam and Ronan from Raven Boys like mad- but I haven’t read the last two books so NO SPOILERS!!!

raven boys

Scissors: What book would you like to destroy

Just one??? Okay- I’m gonna go with The Bronze Horseman (*shudders*) because I haven’t mentioned it in a while and because, well, it’s shit. If you want to know just how bad it is you can check out my review.

Bronzehorseman.jpg

Art kit: What completed series do you own 

Quite a few! I have the complete: Northern LightsNoughts and CrossesLord of the Rings, and Harry Potter series, plus a ton of other complete series I’ve either forgotten about or are on my kindle!

the_lord_of_the_rings_first_copies

(also I don’t have this version of LOTR- but I wish I did!)

Bonus: Show us your desk/ stationery that you own for each question

Hahaha I’m really not going to do that because my desk is always a tip. It’s covered in paper and books and notebooks and pots of pens and paintbrushes and paints and pencils and sketchbooks and drawings and there’s even an empty plate… I’m not saying I’m a slob but… yeah… it looks like the stationery tornado hit. (Just from writing this I’ve realised what an unhealthy attitude to stationery I have!) (Also I need to clear up my desk!)

I Tag:

I Wuv Books

The Little Wise Owl

Books at Dawn

Kirsty Reads Blog

Books and Bakes

Inked Brownies

Sugar Quills

Bookshelves and Biros

Imagalaxygirl

The Not Really Adventures But the Adventures of a Constantly Dazed Unicorn (seriously- how cool is that name??)

And to everyone else- are you as obsessed with stationary as I am?!? 

(I’m not even gonna ask if you’re as messy as I am because the answer would be: “hell no! Shame on you for being so messy!”)

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Exploring Endless Worlds

endless-worldsHi all! So moving away from Italy- let’s take a trip into space and talk about the awesome collection of sci fi stories I read while I was away! As you may (or may not) know I’ve been trying to read a bit more sci fi lately- and this was an excellent place to start. I came across this collection through Matthew Wright, a blogging star, who wrote one of the stories! (you should check him out!!!)

Now in the interest of fairness, I think it’s best to rate the individual stories- so without further ado:

The Trees – E. R. Robin Dover

What a fabulous place to start!! It was super sinister and intriguing. It was full of cultish creeps and was tinged with philosophical discussions. It was oddly (and unsettlingly) easy to see parallels with reality.

Side note: I’m guessing the author really hates pecans.

4.5/5 bananas

half bananahalf bananahalf bananahalf banana half banana

The Unconnected – S. J. Bryant

I wasn’t sure about the second one at first, but when it got going my heart was racing. Loved the idea and the layers of reality, playing with the idea of “is this even real”? Very cool!

4/5 bananas

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Carbon to Carbon – James Peters

I liked how this one was about finding humanity and recovering parts of yourself you might have thought were lost. There was a lot of good world-building here for such a short piece, but the plot was a little obvious and it didn’t get me as excited as some of the others.

3.5/5 bananas

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Missionary – Matthew Wright

Missionary was a technically very well written, had a great story and a compelling main character. The best thing about it was the mystery behind it. I won’t spoil the ending- but I will say that it made me break my “no aliens” rule – because the use of extra-terrestrial activity gave rise to some brilliant questions about humanity.

4/5 bananas

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Ravens Nest – Ken Mann

Okay, so here’s a heads up: calling something cliché doesn’t mean it’s not a cliché anymore.  And this one was as clichéd as they come. That said, it kept me entertained for all the graphic gory descriptions- perhaps because of them. (I’m guessing this is why people like the Saw movies?)

3/5 bananas

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The Awakening – K. C. May

So I really liked this one… until the end. The plot started off interestingly enough with a patient being treated for amnesia. It was going swimmingly well until they cured him of his schizophrenia (*watch out I’m gonna get ranty/spoilery*) which then made him kill himself. Now the idea that someone suffering from a mental illness is so defined by their condition that they wouldn’t be able to live with a cure was frustrating enough- without the doctor saying “If [he] wanted to keep his imaginary friend, who would it have harmed to let him keep it?” *Facepalm*- do I need to answer that? I know the author means well, but it just shows a phenomenal amount of naivety and a fundamental misunderstanding of mental illness. I bloody hate this kind of misguided moralising.

2/5 bananas

half bananahalf banana

Dusted Dreams – Peter Koevari

This last one was truly a rollercoaster ride! Again, I had to break my “no aliens” rule for this one- because Dusted Dreams was out of this world! I loved the main character and his voice was especially compelling- it was just a shame about the cliffhanger!

4/5 bananas

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Overall I highly recommend this collection for sci fi lovers and people who are just dipping into the genre (boldly going where loads of other readers have gone before!!)

So will you be giving this a go? And what are your thoughts on sci fi in general?

So Where Was I? Romeing About Italy!

(Yes it took me two weeks to come up with that godawful pun!)

Hello again folks!! And by “again” I mean hello for the first time in a really long time! Because I’ve been pretty pretty absent lately. Well, we all know that sometimes life gets in the way of blogging- and sometimes that’s a good thing, because sometimes life is going on an *incredible* trip round Italy!

I went to Naples…

…Capri…

…Pompeii…

…Rome…

And Florence!

For anyone that’s never been to Italy/would like to go/has been and likes reminiscing, I can sum up my trip thus: gelato (every day), pizza (almost every day), landscapes, beauty, art, classics, and… stories! Now if you’ve followed this blog for even a second you will know how obsessed I am with stories. But what you might not know is that I am equally obsessed with visual stories. I love more than anything how a single sculpture or painting can capture the beginning, middle and end of a whole epic narrative. A sculpture like this…

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…says more than a thousand words.

Sure, I could go on about some of my favourite classics (go and read Ovid’s Art of Love that’s all I ask!) but that’s really not what this trip was about for me (teaser: if you’re interested in what I read while I was away I’ll probably discuss it in my next post). For me, this trip was all about rediscovering my love for stories without words. I mean, just think about Hemingway for a second- his greatest attempt at innovation was his creation of the six word stories, and yet for thousands of years artists have been creating entirely wordless stories.

So instead of recommending a book that resonated with me after seeing so much beauty, I will suggest using your eyes for something other than reading (I know that’s hard for us book worms!), and go to an art gallery or even just a beautiful landscape and find a story with no words!

I’m Back, Baby!

Yes, I’ll admit that was a very long two week hiatus (it almost became three weeks!) But now I’m back!!

Now while I have *a lot* of stuff I want to share about my trip and book reading habits- I won’t be posting much to start off with- because at the moment I just want to catch up with all your lovely blogs!

Right- I’ve made my stalkerish intentions clear- I will see all you bananaholics later!

Coffee Book Tag

Clearly I am just using this Hiatus as an excuse to catch up on tags- which I sorely need to do!

And today I’ve been long overdue for a coffee break! So thanks so much to the sensational Words and Lyrics and the lovely Dreaming Through Literature!

 

Black: A series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans

the-lord-of-the-rings-book-cover

I say that as a fan

Peppermint Mocha: A book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year

chronicles of narnia.jpg

Gonna go with Narnia- cos it always makes me think of Christmas!

Hot Chocolate: A favorite children’s book

ballet shoes

Okay- for the sake of originality, I’m gonna go with Ballet Shoes- just cos I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here before! Anyone else read it?

Double Shot of Espresso: A book that kept you on edge of your seat from start to finish

gone-girl-PB

Easily!

Starbucks: A book you see everywhere

serpent king

There’s a lot of those- I think for now I will mention Serpent King cos hopefully I’ll be reading it soon!

That Hipster Coffee Shop: A book by an Indie author

the martian

I don’t read many of these- but The Martian was technically an indie book first (technically so was Fifty Shades of Grey– but I think it’s best to give acolades to good books only!)

Oops! I Accidentally Got Decaf: A Book You Were Expecting More From

miniaturist-978144725089001

Where do I start? I’m gonna go with the Miniaturist cos I reviewed that most recently- but to be honest there are loads! (Unfortunately!)

The Perfect Blend: A book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying

amber spyglass

You’ll know why if you’ve read it!

Green Tea: A book or series that is quietly beautiful

brideshead revisited

Ooh quietly beautiful- that’s a lovely term- definitely Brideshead Revisited.

Chai Tea: A book or series that makes you dream of far off places

Journey_to_the_River_Sea_cover.jpg

Earl Grey: A favorite classic

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You know what I never mention this, for some reason, even though I love it

I tag:

Eve Messenger

Keira

Kirsty Reads Blog

River Moose Reads

Magini

Rose Reads

Kimmiegg

Read Diverse Books

That’s all for now- I will be back shortly- can’t wait to catch up! In the meantime  what book genre do you best like to enjoy over a coffee break?

Sadly I Did Not Fall Blindly In Love With All The Light We Cannot See

All_the_Light_We_Cannot_See_(Doerr_novel)Okay, so let me be clear this was extremely well written. I mean, anyone- and I mean *anyone*- would be proud to write a book like this. Technically it is as close to perfect as a book can be. The author demonstrates in the crispness of the writing style that they have *absolute* control over their material. The play with chronology, in particular, was very impressive. And I had to admire the author’s skill for that.

So why didn’t this blind me with its awesomeness? Why was I not looking beyond the literal words on the page and letting it wash over me?

Because it definitely felt like something was missing. Although a dreamlike quality of the book is something I might usually praise, I felt like this distance made me feel disconnected from the characters. Furthermore, this made it feel far from the realistic, raw world of the subject material. The book gave the impression of being a snapshot, a faint outline of the world, rather than making me feel like it was something that could have been real.

More than that, I just wanted to *feel* something.  I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for it to tug at my heartstrings in some way! And that niggling feeling that it just wasn’t fulfilling my emotional needs (yes I sound like a needy girlfriend- but that’s what all us book lovers are with books) continued as the plot forced its way on past the point when the story was effectively over.

But while it was missing that *bam* factor- I don’t really feel confident about criticising it for anything else. Because the perfection of the writing (and it really well-crafted from a technical point of view) it didn’t go too far as to feel try hard. Granted, I didn’t see it as being up to the all the sweeping statements of praise I read on the blurb, but on this occasion I can’t really take it out on the book. That’s why I’m giving it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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I’m still away- so this is just a quick *now you see me, now you don’t* (ooh spooky!) Either way- have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments!

Desert Island Book Tag

desert island book tag

Okay- so if you were hoping for a clue about my whereabouts, then this is totally misleading, cos I’m not on a desert island. But I am somewhere sunny! And I have been meaning to do this for sooo long (for the love of god- don’t look at the dates I was tagged to do these if you click on the bloggers that tagged me!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful Novel Glimpse and awesome The Paper Dragon for tagging me to do this way back in that distant, unspecified past!

Water — A book you simply cannot live without
A part of me is thinking “don’t say The Hobbit, don’t say the Hobbit…” which means I totally have to say the Hobbit

Hobbit_cover

Food — A book that is a close second on your favourites list
It’s joint favourite actually

peter pan and wendy

Shelter — A book that makes you feel at home and safe
Easily Capture the Castle (or any Austen or Bronte or any girly classic really- kind of cheated with that one)

i capture the castle.jpg

Flare Gun — A book you would recommend to someone who doesn’t read
I always go for Picture of Dorian Gray and this time is no different- this book is has everything!

Arkham cover D final

Matchsticks — A book that warms your heart
Isla and the Happily Ever After just gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings!

isla and the happily ever after

Compass — A book that directed you towards your love of reading

Okay, I was born in the 90s- could there be any other answer?

harry-potter-books

And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this!

I tag:

Embuhlee

Quirky Book Nerd

Donna

Jill

Tattooed Book Geek

Book dwarf

PoojaG

Upside Down Books

Book Blather

Bookception

Codie

(Feel free to ignore if you’ve already done this)

And to everyone else- what would be your number one pick for a desert island?