What makes me pick up a book?

 

orangutan list

Well, the simple answer is that it is book shaped and contains a story 😉 Just kidding! I have all sorts of *actual reasons* (beyond just that bookworm impulse to see books and shout GIMME!!!)

book love belleCover Love! I’m just gonna get this out the way first because a) we all do it and b) I’m as guilty as the next person 😉 And boy this can set off the book lust!

 

book loveA sexy blurb– naturally. As I’ve mentioned before, I can be tempted to read pretty much any genre, and a compelling blurb will definitely do that.

 

Yall of youou guys! It’ll come as no surprise that I take reviews very seriously. I definitely pay attention to what other bloggers are reading/what I might have missed/what’s lived upto the hype. Speaking of which…

 

book pusherRegular peer pressure also works. As much as I like to tell myself it doesn’t, hype can definitely push me towards a book. And that’s not the only type of browbeating that can get me on board. Nagging family, friends, a persistent librarian, a list titled “must read before you die”, a throwaway comment… if someone insists loud enough that I should do more reading, who am I to argue? 😉

 

choose booksAlso, I can’t resist books by my favourite authors. I mean this one’s self-explanatory- if I love a book by an author, I’ll keep coming back for more 😊 I could say the same for genre, but I think I get a bit more specific there…

 

dragon gifMythical creatures capture my attention! But most specifically DRAGONS! Granted, this can be hit or miss, because let’s just say I’ve been burned before 😉 Still I can never resist hoarding shiny new dragon books!! And it’s not just magical creatures that tempt me…

 

magicMAGIC will always lure me in! Beyond all the creatures, I can’t get enough of the worlds, the quests, the spells… I am here for it all!! The whisper of magic will have me intrigued; a bold new fantasy system will make me want to shout from the rooftops! Although, I’m not gonna pretend to have the most discerning palate all the time- a good banana is a good banana no matter where it’s been imported from 😉 While I do appreciate a little different, I’m gonna be happy if you put that banana in a banana split or banana bread 😉 (jeez that might be the worst analogy I’ve ever used 😉) Point is fantasy is my jam, whether it’s something wildly different, or something samey done well.

 

lily and jamesRomance– errr yeah I’m gonna admit to being one of those readers who prefers a hefty dose of love in my literature. Though I won’t say I need it in everything I read, a little romance is always a plus for me 😀 Speaking of romance, I can never say no to a few…

 

Beloved tropes– aka romantic tropes I die for. I absolutely adore hate to love and fake boyfriends in particular- and they’ll definitely have me reaching for a book!

And finally…

shameIt’s been on my tbr so gosh darn long that I’m beginning to feel guilty… although this isn’t always the most compelling reason 😉 (see all the books on my tbr I’ve failed to read glaring at me).

 

So do you relate to any of these? What makes you pick up a book? Let me know in the comments!

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I confess: I am an audiobook convert!

 

audiobook2

Hallelujah! I have finally found a “new” bookish way! And I’m here today to share these all-mighty teachings with you! (although no doubt many of you have heard these reasons before 😉) Here are the reasons I have finally caved and started listening to audiobooks:

mood reader 1More reading time! Ever wanted just a bit more time to squeeze in books? This totally works! Audiobooks, it turns out, are perfect for multitasking. Admittedly, you may want to do something that requires minimum brain function, like hoovering or washing up, because if it’s a good audiobook you may feel the need to stop (people who cook and don’t burn their dinner while listening to a great audiobook need to tell me how they do that 😉 ) Plus, if you’re really pushed for time, you can speed them up- result!

 

are you not entertainedSo entertaining! While audiobooks have always had some great narrators, I swear I’ve found more modern audiobooks have a lot of added bonuses to keep us readers on our toes- they have music and multiple narrators to create a more immersive experience. Some genres and stories work brilliantly in this format, such as my recent reads Daisy Jones and Sadie.

 

read-fastSqueeze in more learning. The way I’ve been using audiobooks for the longest time is to listen to non-fic. It’s never been my favourite genre, but discovering I could listen to non fic while I work was a gamechanger for me.

 

 

baboon glassesGreat for your eyes! If you don’t have the best eyesight (like me)/just need to give your eyes a rest, I’d definitely recommend giving audiobooks a go. One of my favourite times to read is before bed- however sometimes I’m too tired to focus, so regretfully put aside the book… not anymore! People had been telling me about this benefit for ages, but I hadn’t really listened and now I wish I’d done it sooner! 

 

reading anywhereListen on the go. So admittedly, I have walked and read before- but now I can do it safely! Without the risk of being run over! PRAISE BE BOOKISH GODS!

 

piles of booksDoesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Beyond audible (and various other sites), there are libraries and beyond that are apps like Overdrive. Discovering that you can get library ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby was a complete revelation to me. I didn’t know about this resource for ages (cos I’m a dinosaur apparently) so for the handful of you that are as clueless about technology as me, if you have access to a library, check to see if you can get access too. 

And that’s all for now! I hope I’ve convinced a few of you to step into the dark side *ahem* I mean the light… This is pretty new to me, so do any of you have tips on where to get audiobooks? Or reasons you love them too? Let me know in the comments!

Books set in the UK that have a special place in my heart

 

orangutan list

Hello all! So, after my little trip, I’ve been feeling a little Wanderlust… but since I can’t go far at the moment, I thought it might be fun to take a (digital) bookish trip round the UK, stopping off in places that are special to me. I was completely inspired by Book Nook’s brilliant interpretation of Top 5 Tuesday, so I highly recommend you check that out!

Confessions of a Justified Sinner– this is not only one of my favourite gothic books, it’s also strongly evocative of Scotland. To me, this captures the creepy atmosphere better than any other book. One of my favourite parts is a particularly chilling scene set up on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh- in fact, I remember reading it when the mist came down over the city and only seeing the peak just rising above it and thinking “this is a little too real”. Soooo moral of the story is beware the devils in Scotland 😉

Peter Rabbit– like Book Nook, I had to pick this one. Beatrix Potter reminds me of the Lake District, possibly the most beautiful part of England. I went there as a child and I have fond memories of the magic of the place, especially as it felt like stepping into Potter’s world 😀 Also, Beatrix Potter understands that the way to a reader’s heart is through their stomachs 😉

The Hobbit– this may seem an odd choice for people (including me) who grew up with New Zealand as Middle Earth- BUT since Tolkien actually based his descriptions on the English countryside, I felt it was very apt for this list. Particularly as I distinctly remember the first time I read the Hobbit, then going for a walk in some woods near where I lived and (bearing in mind I was a child at the time) running delightedly yelling “wow this is Mirkwood!!”

A Darker Shade of Magic– cos I’m a Londoner and all of these Londons are perfection. Yeah, it’s not by a British author, but that doesn’t matter. No one could have captured the city more authentically! (well, aside from the magic 😉)

Peter Pan– I mean, I’ve got to include this, it’s one of my favourite books. Plus, he’s rather a famous resident in Kensington Gardens.

La Belle Sauvage– keeping to the realms of fantasy, I could hardly ignore Lyra’s Oxford. Northern Lights was hugely influential on me as a child and I can tell you Oxford definitely reminds me of Pullman’s novels!! (or, technically speaking, his books remind me of Oxford- but shh I won’t tell if you don’t 😉)

Return of the Native– really, I could’ve chosen any of Hardy’s books to represent his Wessex, but this one felt fitting for its heightened romanticism. If you do fancy going in search of Hardy’s Wessex, then you won’t actually have to look so hard- head down to Dorset and you’ll find many of the spots in his novels (and his life). I was lucky enough to do a tour once with school and highly recommend it!

Frenchman’s Creek– Du Maurier has always been the queen of making her landscapes feel like another character in her books. And I could easily have chosen the moors in Jamaica Inn or the memorably dreamlike Manderley in Rebecca, but none are so special to me as the rugged Cornish coastline depicted in her Frenchman’s Creek. I can easily picture the smugglers and spirit of Cornwall from all the descriptions she snatches in this book. I adore it.

And finally…

carry on

Carry On– I have no idea if Rainbow Rowell has ever been to Watford, but it is the most hilarious thing that she chose it as the place to set her HP parody. Intentional or not, it’s bloody hilarious.

So, have you read any of these? And what are your favourite books about your home country? Let me know in the comments! 

Let’s have a quick spring fling… fluffy fun books!

 

orangutan list

It’s been a hot minute since I talked about purely cutesy reads- in fact, the last time I talked about fluff and nothing but fluff was 2015! So I think it’s safe to say that list could do with a little updating. I know I’ve definitely read more sappy reads since then.

the hating game

The Hating Game– let’s start with something that has hate in the title, shall we? 😉 If by chance you haven’t heard of this book, don’t be deceived by the title, this is one helluva of the sappy, rewarding, funny read AND I LOVED IT.

night of cake and puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets– it’s no secret I am a MAJOR fan of Laini Taylor’s- but I don’t feel like I go on about this book enough, because it is less in the fantasy category and more in the OH MY GOODNESS THIS DELICIOUSLY SWEET BOOK JUST MADE MY HEART MELT! So yeah, I think it’s a good contender for this list 😉

love and gelato

Love and Gelato– speaking of sugary things- this has all the ingredients of a fun contemporary! Ice cream- check! Romantic Italian location- check! Love- double check!

180 seconds

180 Seconds– I don’t feel like I mention this book enough, but it takes the MEET CUTE/love at first sight trope to a whole different level. Unexpected and surprisingly emotional, this is one romance that will capture your heart in record time.

simon vs the homosapien agenda

Simon Vs the Homosapien Agenda– everyone that’s read Albertalli’s modern romance must surely know how perfect it is for this list! It scarcely needs introduction at this point- so if by chance you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely push it up your TBR, cos you won’t be disappointed! And be sure to check out the movie as well if you’re not quite satiated!

carry on

Carry On– while this does have a satirical edge, Rowell is the master of CUTE romance and this has all the best components of a fun read. And with the second book coming out this year I COULDN’T BE MORE THRILLED!

ForbiddenWish_BOM.indd

Forbidden Wish– I really should talk about this book more, cos it’s a perfectly charming Aladdin retelling. Beautifully told and delightfully romantic, this is a lovely YA fantasy.

nimona

Nimona– yes, this may technically be a book about a supervillain BUT I can safely say this delivers on the fun, humorous side enough to qualify for this list! Plus, I defy you to not fall in love with spunky, bonkers, hilarious Nimona!

anne-of-green-gables

Anne of Green Gables– would you believe that 4 years ago I hadn’t read this gem? Naturally I had to rectify that and I’m glad I did! While it does have some dark themes (which the Netflix show decided to run with much to its detriment) Montgomery lends such charm to her writing that all you come away feeling all warm and fuzzy inside (but also a little heartbroken).

secret countess

The Secret Countess– keeping to more classic of cuteness, you can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned Eva Ibbotson book! Now, I’m often biased and name this one since it’s my favourite- but that shouldn’t mean you rule out any of the others! They’re all perfectly gorgeous, gilded with the same fairy tale feel and worth picking up.

So have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments! 

Blogger Love in Books!

orangutan list

Is it just me, or do any of you get a jolt of recognition when there’s bloggers in books? Either main characters or those starring in more of a side role- it’s so fun to see some blogger rep in books! Here’s a quick list:

obsidian

The Lux Series– Katie is a surprisingly fun and relatable character- and I’ll admit, a large part of that comes down to her being a reader AND a blogger. I mean, that’s so cool, right? (hehe okay, maybe just in our circles, but you know what I mean). What I like even more is how the number of her followers aren’t made a big deal of- but it is a big presence in her life (and Damian, when he starts to get cuter in the second book, recognises how important it is to her aww).

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters– technically Eliza has a webcomic, but I *adored* her character in every sense, because it was so relatable. From her online presence to her creating stories from scratch to her social awkwardness, she was a down to earth heroine and a lot of fun to read about.

serpent king

Serpent King– funnily enough, Lydia in Serpent King had a blogging persona that I took a while to warm to. But once I did, I appreciated her all the more because my conflicted feelings made her feel all the more real. Plus, this is an amazing book- you should go read it!

geekerella

Geekerella– the heroine is a blogger again here- woot woot! Beyond this just being about fandom, which is already a super entertaining premise, this also delved into the world of blogging a little.

cinder and ella

Cinder and Ella– yes, another Cinderella romance, BUT this also involves living on the internet AND I love the idea of blogs bringing people together PLUS it’s also good so why not? (I’m giving away my Cinderella obsession again 😉 ) I don’t know what it is about Cinderella-types, but apparently they’re obsessed with blogging and I’m for it!

So, have you read any of these? Do you have any tips on books that feature bloggers? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers who deserve more attention #4

 

orangutan list

Hello all! Wow I can’t believe it’s been two months since I’ve done one of these- time has flown by! Anyway, as always I am delighted to share some more marvellous bloggers- who you may or may not have run into!

What Jane Reads Next– Jane does such phenomenally thorough reviews. She has wonderfully varied tastes, so there’s plenty of different books to sink your teeth into. Plus, she recently did a lovely list on how to read more– which I think I can safely say will interest most bookworms, since we’re always trying squeeze every second of reading time out of our day 😉

Stephanie’s Novel Fiction– Stephanie not only has fabulous recommendations, she’s also a gem of a person and so fun to talk to. She covers all sorts of genres, most notably: mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction and women’s fic. As someone who’s taught English at university, she most certainly lends her expertise to her reviews!

Mary Drover– with awesome reviews, lists and *wonderful* writing, Mary runs such an exciting blog! Best of all, she has some really interesting discussion pieces on writing, which are particularly thought provoking. I especially liked her piece on letting go of old projects and found it very relatable!

Liis @Cover to Cover– where to start with Liis’s amazing blog? Aside from being great fun to talk to, Liis also has an EPIC collection of reviews- ranging from classics to thriller to sci fi/fantasy and MORE! I have personally found so many incredible recommendations from her over the years. This is all the cover to cover goodness you could want!

Eustea Reads– a tea lover and bookworm- a girl after my own heart! I love her extensive reviews and friendly personality! Plus, not only is she an absolute expert on talking tea, she also spilt the tea recently, writing an amazingly in-depth piece on non-fiction reading habits in Singapore recently. It gave such a fascinating point of view on assumptions made based on reading tastes (and was so well researched!)

Beware of the Reader– Sophie brings her bubbly, vivacious and enthusiastic personality to her blog- and that’s why I absolutely love visiting Beware of the Reader (also that is a great blog name, don’t you think!) She has an eclectic collection of lists, reviews and discussions- so worth visiting!

Nicole @Sorry I am bookedSorry I am Booked boast a great mix of lists and reviews. Nicole doesn’t stop there though- she also gives me plenty to mull over, exploring unusual topics of discussion, like whether reading impacts your dating life? I know that’s something many of us want to know!

Deborah @The Reading Chick– Deborah has such fun book reviews, with really excellent romance recommendations! On top of that, she also hosts the Blogger to Blogger series, which she very kindly invited me and many, many other bloggers to take part in. It’s a wonderful tool to get to know other bloggers and find out more about us!

Ali @I wuv books– I absolutely adore how Ali does the WWW Wednesday meme- I swear no one does it quite like her- she gives such incredible insights into what books she’s reading and I often feeling like I’m following along with her. I also always enjoy her riveting reviews- they’re so discerning and detailed!

Raven @Dreamy Addictions– Dreamy Addictions is a such a great place to get the lowdown on a lot of popular reads- I especially find her blog helpful if I’m trying to figure out whether the hype for YA books is real! She’s fab at finding intriguing paranormal and romance reads too!

Lotte @The Reading Hobbit– well, with a name like that, Lotte’s bound to attract people with excellent taste/fans of the Hobbit like me 😉 And of course, since she does have terrific taste, she also picks fun reads for her excellent reviews and lists 😊

That’s all for now- if you’re looking for more bloggers, feel free to check out the previous posts in this series:

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Social Media Tag

Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Hello all! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. But since I’m having a tougher time keeping up with my own blog, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to revive this series and direct you to check out some brilliant bloggers! You might have heard of some of these and you might not- hopefully I can introduce you to new people. So without further ado, here’s part 3:

Sofii @A Book A Thought– Sofii is such a friendly blogger and her bright personality shines through her blog! She has a fabulous blend of reviews, lists and tags, which are always worth a read!

Mischenko @Read, Rant, Rock and Roll– with some fun features, like Shabby Sunday, Flower Friday and the meme Music Monday, this is a great place to jam and jive about books!

Weird Zeal– featuring a variety of reviews, thoughts, lists, memes and tags- this is the one-stop-shop to fulfil all your bookish needs!

Way Too Fantasy– well, personally I think you can never have way too much fantasy 😉 which is why I can’t get enough of this site! Sharing the love of fantasy with reviews and bookish memes, this a wonderful fantasy-themed blog!

Nina @Cozy Pages– this is undoubtedly the home of cosy mysteries. Here you’ll find an abundance of cute reads and entertaining memes! And Nina is such a sweet person as well!!

Ola & Piotrek @Re-Enchantment of the World– this wonderful duo deliver every time, with detailed reviews of books, films and TV. I also appreciate the huge variety of genres they explore- everything from pop culture to fantasy to non fiction. I’m especially enjoying joining them on their nostalgia trips at the moment!

Bookstooge– lots of you will already know the Great and Mighty Bookstooge. Lots of you will already be familiar with his candid posts and fab sense of humour. But just in case you aren’t, this blog not only features plenty of reviews for fantasy, sci fi and classics, it also has the magnificent World Book Czar series (so far including interviews from Lex Luthor and Rasputin) and a Survival Guide (in case you’re worried about food in an apocalypse 😉 )

Hobbleit– ahh a fellow fan of the Hobbit- of course I was instantly attracted to this blog- and I wasn’t disappointed! Not only is there a great range of fantasy reviews, this is also a great place for historical non fiction recommendations too!

A Novel Glimpse– I swear Deanna knows *every* romance book imaginable- which is why this blog is your best bet when it comes to all things in the love department! With wonderful lists and reviews, you’ll easily find your next romance read.

Lois @My Midnight Musings– Midnight Musings has a marvellous range of bookish, TV and movie related content. All the thoughts on Marvel movies are particularly up my street! (I think I’ve revealed my fangirl tendencies recently 😉 ). Lois also has such cool lists and entertaining wrap ups as well 🙂

That’s all for now- if you’re looking for more bloggers, feel free to check out the previous posts in this series:

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Social Media Tag

Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!