What to Read When You’re Feeling Super Lazy

Hello again!! Yes, I’m actually posting twice in a week- you’re not seeing things! Oh you thought you’d seen the last of me for this month? Well sorry to disappoint 😉 I wanted to do a great “here’s what I’ve been reading this summer guys!” post- but let’s be real, I’ve not actually been doing much reading. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been reading/to give myself an idea of what I *should* be reading.

orangutan list

Labels on food packets– ermmm yeah this is one of the things I’m actually reading at the moment- to be fair, it’s helping me practice another language, so it’s not cos I’ve become a food nut and I’m not totally weird (okay I am a little weird but you knew that already 😉 )

Road signs– same reason as above- it’s practice! (also directions probably count here, but I think I’ve got enough boring things on this list).

Blog posts!– that way you can be productive…  but I’m not even slightly productive right now, so yeah, this is why this is also a “what I should be reading” post.

My own writing– I can’t even say this is editing- it’s more like I’m reading and rereading the same chapter out of frustration that I can’t get past it- what did I say about being unproductive?

Half of articles Google recommends– let’s be honest, I click on a lot of the articles Google sends me, whether I’m interested or not (I am weak), even though I feel like a lot of the topics Google only thinks I’m interested in cos I keep checking out the articles they send me. But because I’m not actually that bothered about them, I’ll usually read the headline and maybe skim the first couple of paragraphs. So yeah, this is super lazy reading.

Headlines of articles on topics I care about– which, again, are most Google recommendations. But the thing is, if I am genuinely interested in the topic (let’s face it, it’s probably book related) then I’m probably going to “save it for later”- and yes, I used quotes because, I’ll be real, I’m never going to read all those things later.

Two or three pages of a boring book– and yes, I deliberately chose to say a boring book, because obviously if it’s dull then I don’t have to get invested and I can quit it after a few pages… which is perfect for lazy reading (also, yes, I should probably just DNF said book).

So yeah, as you can probably tell my attention span is something like this right now…

squirrel attention span.gif

That’s all for now- what do you read when you’re feeling super lazy? What do you think I should be reading as well? Let me know in the comments!

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Relaxing Reads!

orangutan list

Recently I’ve felt the need for some serious down time. And obviously being a bookworm, I ALWAYS turn to books in my hour of need. I thought I’d share some of the book series I turn to when the going gets tough! Here’s a quick list:

Discworld– this is my go to whenever I just need to chill and have fun. These eccentric, witty and hilarious books never fail to put me in a good mood!

howl's moving castle

Howl’s moving castle– another wacky writer that I consider every time I’m looking for some fun has to be Diana Wynne Jones. And while I grew up more on the Crestomanci series, I’ve been trying more of the Howl’s Moving Castle series later. Honestly, if you need a break from anything heavy, I recommend either of these.

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Song of the Lioness– this is one of the few series on the list I haven’t been reading lately, but I used to take these on holiday, because they are such a fun read. They’re often described as “gateway to fantasy” books and I think that title’s pretty apt. If you’re looking for fantasy, but don’t want to read anything dark, grim or grimdark, this could do the trick!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians– this one is fairly new to me. Surprisingly (and despite recommendations *for years*) I didn’t start this till about a year ago. I thought it was too young for me so didn’t continue until recently when I realised how much I missed out on this as a teen- and how great it is when you just need to chill!

harry-potter-books

Harry Potter– Good ol’ HP has been there for me through virtually every stage of my life. It’s like turning to a good friend in my hour of need. I know many of the kinks and turns in the story, and yet, like all the best friends, it never fails to surprise me.

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Anna and the French Kiss– I certainly appreciate a good contemporary companion novel series and this one really works for me- especially the last one in the series Isla and the Happily Ever After– which… well, swoon!

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Summers of the Sisterhood– since I’m talking contemporary, let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. As a contemporary series, it deals with a lot of issues like family, friendship and love- all with a charming deftness that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside (well, except for the last one- it’s my favourite, but it’s quite the change of tone- maybe save the last one for a different kind of mood!)

And that’s all for now- do you have any go-to books when you’re looking to relax? Let me know in the comment! I’d greatly appreciate all the recommendations!

My Bookish Dreams

Hello all! Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday! As it says in the title I’m gonna share some of my bookish dreams today- I’ll admit this list started rather sensibly annnd then went totally bananas- so, sorry if this isn’t the most realistic list! But here are some things I’ve always wanted because of books:

orangutan list

castle in ruinsI Capture the Castle– I want to live in a castle tbh- even if it is crumbling and cold and financially ruinous. And I blame this book.

 

 

secret garden doorSecret Garden– I’d love to have my own secret garden, even if I am not remotely into gardening. Whatever, I love gardens, even if I am one of those can’t-touch-a-plant-without-killing-it kind of people. And obviously this would be completely remote and hidden away so I can read in peace 😉

chocolateChocolat– having a chocolate shop in some remote French town would be awesome (minus the suspicious townsfolk preferably). Sure, I have no skill when it comes to baking/making confectionaries and I would most certainly eat all of my profits, but it’d be a delectable experience anyway.

 

hidden libraryShadow of the Wind– I want to go to the Cemetery of Forgotten books in Barcelona (okay this is not a real place, but we can pretend 😉 ) and pick out a forgotten masterpiece. Hopefully no murderous nutjob will pursue me for my choice…

 

thudThud!- I have actually played the game Thud- but I’d really like to own my own set one day (I think this is the most plausible thing on the list by a long shot). I’m as lousy at this as I am at chess- but who cares? It’d be such a fun thing to have!

 

gatsbyThe Great Gatsby– I’d love to go to a Gatsby style party. I wouldn’t want to throw said party, cos, hehe, that’s not me, but I think it would be a once in a lifetime experience to go to a shebang worthy of the roaring 20s!

 

orangutan and ocelot

For those wondering what my daemon would be: it’s an ocelot

The Northern Lights– moving on to the slightly less realistic, I want a daemon. My very own basically-represents-my-soul animal companion would do very nicely for a sort-of pet.

 

 

 

 

time turnerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban– I could do with a time turner- in fact this is a very high priority for me right now- so I’d ask if you know any wizards that can hook me up, but unfortunately Harry & co smashed them all in book 5.

 

narnia cupboardChronicles of Narnia– I’d like to go into my cupboard one day and find Narnia. Oh dear, this list started off so sensibly, but if I’m being honest, I used to regularly check cupboards as a child to see if a doorway to any other realm would turn up. I must not have been looking in the right cupboards and I still live in hope 😜 Since we’re talking childhood dreams…

peter pan robin williams flyingPeter Pan– one day I will learn to fly like Peter Pan! I did also try this as a kid by jumping off the bed- it did not work as I was armed only with happy thoughts and no fairy dust *sigh*. Otherwise, it totally would have worked 😜

 

supervillain orangutanRenegades– I think it’d be fun to be a vigilante (before they get control of a city and start meting out “just” laws). I’d get to wear a funky costume and save people. Nuff said!

 

 

 

mr knightleyEmma– and last but not least, the silliest thing on this list that would make Jane Austen blush, one Mr Knightley. I know most people would pick Darcy, but you can have him, in terms of bookish boyfriends, my heart will always belong to this respectable gentleman 😉

 

Okay- so be honest- what did you think of my list? On a scale of one to bananas…? And more importantly, what would your bookish dreams be? Let me know in the comments!

What comes after Harry Potter?

Well, a horrible book slump, that’s what.

slumps suck

In case you didn’t know, I was doing a series of Harry Potter rereads that came to an end yesterday. Now obviously, I read the books last month, so I can tell you that I had to employ some *serious* strategies to get over the worst slump I’ve had in a while (topped only by the one I’m in now, but we’ll get to that later). I gave it some thought and came up with some recommendations of what you can read after you’ve finished reading/re-reading Harry Potter:

orangutan list

gulag archipelagoThat absolutely grim non fic book– you know, the one that you know that will depress the hell out of you- but hey, at least you know it’ll kill your HP buzz and you won’t be thinking about *those traumatic deaths* anymore.

 

 

war and peaceA very sophisticated classic– you’ll be thinking too hard to give a moment’s pause on the problem of WHY AM I NOT A WIZARD GAH!?!

 

 

 

percy jackson lightning thiefMore Middle Grade– sure it won’t compare, but it’ll give your frazzled *I’m just not over Dumbledore’s past* brain a chance to chill out.

 

 

 

the fill in bfLots and lots of contemporary filler– especially since this isn’t my favourite of the HP universe (someone once described it as a weird sexless world, and while I wouldn’t go that far, I do think that romance is the one thing HP is lacking a little, so you stock up on that romance!)

 

 

strange the dreamerThat AMAZING book you know you’ll love– preferable the one you have been saving for a special occasion- guess what? The special occasion has arrived!

 

 

Okay, that’s all I could come up with! It’s certainly not an easy question, even this long since the last book was published. So I want to ask you- what do you think comes after Harry Potter?

Bloggers who Deserve more Attention

Hello! I wanted to do this post a few days ago, in honour of my 3 year bloggiversary, but it’s been a crazy week so I’ve not been blogging nearly as much as I wanted to (annnd I’m totally not breaking my new rule of not apologising all the time, just explaining a little 😉 )

orangutan list

Anyway, I mentioned the other day that I owe a great deal of thanks to the lovely Zezee for basically discovering me as a blogger! If you’re not following her already- what the hell are you doing!? In honour of what she did for me, I decided to share some people’s blogs. Now obviously *everyone* on the blogosphere deserves more attention, but that would’ve taken a bit too long, and while there’s loads of blogs I talk about a lot, and who you should already be following, I think there’s a few that don’t get nearly as much attention. So without further ado, here’s some bloggers you should definitely check out!

Fran Laniado– so Fran is great at keeping up with memes, but that’s not why I love her blog! The best thing about Fran is that she reads so many different books that not a lot of other bloggers are talking about. This makes her lists very thoughtful and stands out a lot. If you’re really interested in classics and literary fiction, like I am, then I highly recommend checking her out! Plus she’s highly intelligent and has some great writing discussions that I very much enjoy.

Cameron Graham @Here be Wyverns– not only is Cameron *super smart* and his content realllly detailed and interesting (really recommend his discussions on mythology– it’s phenomenal!), but I gotta say, he frequently makes me laugh and is absolutely hilarious. So head on over there and say hi to his dragon Ivan!

Lucinda is reading Lucinda is just lovely, sweet totally approachable, really funny and very clever. Her review style is always so varied and tailored specifically for the book! Every review is unique and interesting. Plus she reads a great variety of books so you can’t go wrong! Plus, she agrees with me about not liking Gormenghast, so she must be amazing if she’s on the same page as me there 😉

K L Kranes– I had to include her just for how *awesome* her discussion pieces are- seriously, if you’ve not checked out some of those- you are seriously missing out! They’re really thought-provoking! She talks about writing, reading, grammar, tv, travelling and tons of other things.

Eva O’Reilly– Eva has done something on her blog I could never do: a lot of daily content! I am always so impressed when people blog every day or nearly every day, but what makes Eva more impressive is that her content is often profound and strikes a relatable cord for any writers out there! She talks a lot about writing, life, and just check her out okay!?

Joelendil’s Kingdom of Books– I really love the type of books that Joelendil reviews (a lot of classics and SFF!) and he always gives such a clear picture of his impressions and what to expect. Plus, there’s the added bonus of his reviewing  the type of books that aren’t the run of the mill books you see on the blogosphere.

Lost Art of Reading– speaking of reviews, I had to include Lost Art of Reading on this list, simply because she always writes such top quality, thorough reviews- particularly on books you might never have heard of otherwise. Plus, she’s really friendly and great to chat to!

Simply a book drunkard– Milou does such a fantastic variety of content, it’s hard to pin down a single reason why you should go follow her! Her reading is eclectic and if you’re into sci fi/fantasy and graphic novels in particular, then she’s definitely someone to check out 😀

Wordaholics Anonymous– I really can’t mention Milou without giving a shoutout to her other half as well! I highly recommend you check out both regardless, because he does really interesting reviews on fantasy books, has cool music taste and shares some of his awesome poetry.

Angelica @Dreaming of Fiction– Angelica runs a really varied blog and I think this comes from the fact she’s completely unique on the blogosphere- I mean, I defy you to find another geeky opera singer in training! So her content is a mixture and I really enjoy reading about her bookish and music tastes!

Bookwyrm Knits– if you’re into discussions, reviews and weekly memes, then you’ve definitely got to hop on over to Bookwyrm Knits (and I know most of you answered yes to all of those 😉 ) Plus, she also shares her knitting WIP, and I know from my Reverse Q&A that a fair number of you are knitters, so you should definitely have a look! 😉

And that’s all for now! And because I want to spread the love around a bit, I think it would be great if you could share some more bloggers who deserve more attention in the comments! 

Books Guaranteed to Make you SMILE :D

sun has got his hat on

It’s been a lovely week, all sunny and summer-like (and okay it was overcast today, but whatever, can’t win em all). Anyway, moving on, I thought I’d share some fun books which made me happy, in the hope that they will make you smile too!

carry on

Carry On– I mention this book *a lot* but some books just deserve to get mentioned all the time- and this one just so happened to make me smile from ear to ear! And yes- it’s a satirical take on Harry Potter– that’s why it’s similar.

wonder

Wonder– this is a “happy” in a life affirming kind of way. This is seriously moving, yet will also undoubtedly make you crack a smile for sure!

howl's moving castle

Howl’s Moving Castle– despite not enjoying the sequel as much, I can’t deny how much I adored the original. The characters and world are so vivid! And of course, like many of Diana Wynne Jones’ books, it made me exquisitely happy.

northanger abbey

Northanger Abbey– I can’t have a list about books that made me happy and not include Austen on it. I absolutely adore the romance in this one and it makes for a fabulous subversion of the gothic tropes.

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– I mean the clue is in the title 😉 I kinda had to include it on this list- it’s such a delightful contemporary.

the hating game

The Hating Game– this is another romance that made me stupidly happy. I didn’t expect to love this quite as much as I did, but it had me laughing the whole way through and I couldn’t stop reading this addictive book.

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– I read this really recently and haven’t done the review yet, but I guarantee it will be positive, cos this book was SO GOOD and made me SO HAPPY. Yes, it was totally out there as a historical retelling, but that’s what made it so brilliant.

the martian

The Martian– a story about getting stuck on Mars- how can that make you *smile*? I hear you ask. Well, that’s thanks to the indomitable Mark Watney! His fantastic sense of humour could make even potato farming in space interesting!

blithe spirit

Blithe Spirit– this is another weirdly happy story- it’s a play about a man whose dead wife comes back to haunt him and it is SO FUNNY. Yup, you read that right, a play about being haunted is funny. I recommend the 1945 film as well 😀

going postal

Going Postal– on the topic of eccentric British work, I could hardly neglect to include Pratchett. This is one of my favourites and happens to be one of the funniest- need I say more?

And last but not least…

 

 

We Go to the Gallery– Yes this may look like picture books, but they are in fact adult picture books! Which is totally different, cos, well they’re hilarious! Definitely recommend checking the series out and plus they make a really great gift if you’re ever stuck for something 😉

So have you read any of these? Did they make you smile? And what books have made you smile in the past? Let me know in the comments!

Series that went on too long- lots of mini rants!

I considered being nice and titling this list something like: “series I lost interest in”- but that would be totally disingenuous, cos if I lost interest in a lot of these, I wouldn’t have bothered to read so many before calling it quits (in some cases 6- yes 6!- whole books!).  So instead, these are my (entirely subjective) book series that went downhill and could’ve stopped earlier:

Poison Study– Jeez- where to even start? I’ve said a number of times that I had given up on this series, because after the first book it was all over the place. It went from really unique to generic fantasy to WTF is even happening to oh gosh why… So yeah, I should’ve called it quits around book 2/3, especially considering how much I hated 3. The first books as well were originally a trilogy and that would’ve been fine- I should’ve stopped there. But, of course it continued and because *I am weak* and saw this in the library last week, I will admit rather shame-facedly that I finished this series the other day (to be fair, I was trying to counterbalance some of the darker books on my tbr as well). Thankfully it wasn’t the clusterfuck I’d come to expect from the series, although that doesn’t mean it was good #somuchguilt

Twilight– I will happily say that the first book isn’t that bad. I know this is unlikely to make me friends in either the Twihard group or the Diehard-We-Hate-Twilight side- nonetheless, I still consider book 1 firmly as a 3* read. Sure, it has sparkly vampires (for which this series has a special place in the circles of hell) but apart from that it’s pretty enjoyable. If it had ended there, with Bella becoming a vampire, it would have been a decent standalone. What, prey, could be worse than sparkly vampires? I hear you ask. Well let’s see, the later books devolved into: the unnecessary breakup book, the “is this whole book really centred on a marriage proposal?!” book, and finally the “did this just accidentally endorse paedophilia?! I am OUT!” book. Yeahhh there are good reasons why I stopped liking that series.

The Mortal Instrument– I’m kind of including all the spinoffs here as well and the reading order I did, just to be clear, was Infernal Devices, Mortal Instruments and now reading Dark Artifices (so help me!) I really loved the Infernal Devices series (though I get why if you’ve read Mortal Instruments first this might feel a bit samey) and thoroughly enjoyed Mortal Instruments overall (even though they are very similar to TID). But then, books 4-6 came and they just felt totally unnecessary (in fact, they were tacked on after the original trilogy ended, figures). And now I’m stupidly continuing with TDA- basically cos I want to know that one thing about parabatai- yet I’m not enjoying it anymore. I’m sorry, I know people love this series- I’m just finding it *so repetitive*, some of the bad guys less nuanced and the rest of them not properly bad at all. I think there are some redeeming features- only it’s not as good as it used to be.

Alex Rider– how many times can Alex Rider save the world in a year? For that matter, why are so many villains trying to *destroy the world* in the space of one year? And before people get annoyed at me for beating on a children’s book, I read this when I was a child and my teenage self could see how totally implausible this was, so… Seriously, why did Alex Rider have to stay 14 for the duration of the series? Plus, how many broken bones does he get that somehow heal? Doesn’t he get shot at one point? And go into space? How could he…? How?? Yeah, this got dumber and dumber.

The Savant Series– erm, I kinda blame myself for continuing this series. I viewed it as a bit of fun, especially the idea is basically *psychic soulmates*- which is basically enjoyable for a couple of books before it gets tiresome. I mean, how many times can this actually work? The primary reason why it’s on this list is cos the characters and situations they found themselves in got more and more annoying. I get it’s a cashgrab from suckers like me and I don’t really know what I was hoping for when it got to book 6- I just think the romance part could’ve been consistently good, even if the concept got old.

Stravaganza– I actually really love the first book and still recommend it to everyone- but you can just stop there and read it as a standalone. Even though there’s hints of bigger stuff going on, even after 4 or 5 books (I lost track of how many I read) it never really goes into the bigger conspiracies. Also, the whole book’s idea was that it’s a way of people from our world resolving their problems in an alternate-universe version of Venice and while the first person has cancer, the problems get significantly less important. This may be a bit harsh, but I like stories to up the ante, not feel tired and been there-done that.

The Declaration Series– again, I think it’s totally worth reading the first book. It’s actually a very cool dystopian take on what the consequences of living forever would be. And while it suffers from that YA need of turning everything into a series and resolving all the dystopia-problems (you know that annoying reset-the-world thing YA dystopias do), I don’t think the later books had to be so terrible. Both the original concept and the basic plots could have worked. HOWEVER, there was so much unnecessary filler- in particular the last book spent about half the page count recapping the first two books- WHY?! I am really not a fan of recaps in books (all the credit to Mark Lawrence who recently came up with the genius idea of sticking that in before the book starts) but I do get why people like a paragraph or two- half the book however?! Nope- no way! And I also thought the ending was infuriating (spoiler alert: they reset the world *and* hinted that in ten years it’d all just end up happening again… why?! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!!) So yeah, this one gets me all heated and no one gets it cos barely anyone made it to the end.

So do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Are there any book series you’ve fallen out of love with? Let me know in the comments!