Bookish parties I’d love to attend

 

orangutan list

Back when I did the fictional places I’d like to visit, the lovely Isobel Necessary @Literally Literary requested that I talk about fictional parties I’d like to attend. This is such a *fab* idea, cos everyone loves a good party (even if their idea of a good party is drinking hot chocolate and reading with friends in their pyjamas this… although I may just be talking about myself 😉). Before I get to it, I have to recommend checking out her site- cos it’s like a full-on rave over there! I’ll wait for you back… okay hope you didn’t get too drunk on books while you were over there… now, get your glad rags out and let’s go to town!

celebration monkey

 

Gatsby’s Party– there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party! I’ve always had a bit of a penchant for the roaring 20s, but Gatsby goes to a whole other level, so naturally this tops my list.

Yule Ball– there are so many get-togethers and feasts in the Wizarding World, but nothing compares to the Yule Ball. Give me half a chance and I’d be dusting off my dress robes and dancing along to the Weird Sisters with the best of them!

A Court of Frost and Starlight– I just really want to go to the Night Court, is that so much to ask? And the best time seems to be the Winter Solstice- the festivities and magic in the air seems stronger somehow…

Bilbo Baggin’s Eleventy First Birthday- Tolkien really does know how to set things off with a bang- and I’m not just talking about Gandalf’s fireworks. This is one of my favourite book openers- and for good reason. I think we all feel like we’re a part of the action when we’re instantly thrown into this fun, Hobbit tradition.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party- of course, as a British person, I have to throw in a tea party 😉 Now, this may not be your traditional fare, but no one could argue against the sheer entertainment value of your hosts. This bonkers fare will (probably) put you in a good mood (or else drive you crazy). Just don’t expect to get any more tea…

Macbeth’s Banquet– rather an inconvenient time for a haunting, but this is precisely the moment Banquo’s ghost picks to turn up, making murdery Macbeth look a little mad. Granted, I’m not sure this is the kind of party you necessarily want to attend… but imagine the tall-tales you’d have to tell afterwards.

Fancy dress ball at Manderley– I won’t say what happens- because it’s spoilery- but it’s a little bit of a shocking moment in the book where *drama goes down*. It’s such an iconic moment and I urge you to check out the book to know more… 

Victor’s Party– not just because the setting and costumes are elaborate, but also because of the schemes. The real reason it’s so good is… (highlight for spoilers) any party where Hitler gets shot- even if it’s not a real Hitler- is a good party.

ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball- moving into the (sort of) real world, this modern take on a traditional tale makes me want to attend a real con someday, because this sounds such fun. Plus, I get to say: Geekerella shall go to the ball!

The Party at Blackheath– this whole book is centred around a party- though I shan’t say more than that because there’s more to it than it seems…

Well that’s all for now! I’d love to hear some recommendations from you guys- what fictional parties do you think are worth attending? Let me know in the comments!

Advertisements

Bloggers who deserve more attention #5

 

orangutan list

It’s time again for another post celebrating just some of the lovely people on the blogosphere! Before I got started, I just wanted to thank everyone who nominated me for the Blogger Awards- I didn’t see many of the posts, cos I was taking time off last month, but I’m super grateful and it means a lot to me! (especially when I saw the other wonderful people who were nominated- my word- I hope you’re following all of them already!) Which brings me to the first blog recommendation…

May@Forever and Everly– May’s an incredible young blogger, who’s been hosting the award this year and deserves a follow for all the hard work she’s been putting in. In case that wasn’t enough, I started checking out her content because of that and I’ve kinda (definitely) got addicted to reading her content. Her posts are brimming with personality and were so entertaining- so I urge you all to go and get as hooked as I have!

Jenna @Bookmark Your Thoughts– Jenna’s one of my favourite people on here because she’s such a sweetheart- she’s always super friendly and happy to share the love. She does lots of memes, tags and reviews- all written in her outgoing and fun style. I also happen to like her aesthetic and it doesn’t hurt that I love her taste 😉

Daley Downing– Daley’s not only an indie author, she covers interesting discussions on topics most people don’t cover. Most recently, I liked her excellent post on the positive aspects of negative reviews. Whether it’s reviews or anything else, I always appreciate her unique take.  

Xandra @Starry Sky Books– a delightful, newer blog, Starry Sky Books is the place to go for fresh ideas- like her “discussions I’d like to read from you” and other helpful posts. Xandra’s also super friendly and interacts loads!

Lindsay @Slow to the Party– my goodness, Lindsay writes some of the most articulate and entertaining reviews I’ve ever read! They’re not only super thorough, they’re lively and witty. She’s really at the top of her game. I especially liked her take on Sally Rooney. And her list on childhood faves really took me back too.

Emme @A Literary Latte– Ahh I love the discussions on literary latte- especially her post on bookish guilt– so relatable! It also goes a long way (with me) that she’s a Ravenclaw 😉

Anna @My Bookish Dreams– I’ve been following Anna for a while and for good reason! Her reviews are always stellar, her tags are on point and I like her blog design. But it’s not just her bookish content that’s brilliant- she freely covers all her passions- from BTS to Good Omens! 

Jennifer @Out of Babel– Jennifer’s blog is a new discovery for me and I frickin’ love it!! (and her!) Her arguments are well thought out and researched- covering a range of topics from psychology, history, books, religion etc! I’ve learnt a lot from her history posts already, but especially liked her post on why religion in fiction is so hard to handle. It was a truly nuanced discussion, fairly examining both sides, and shows what a freethinker she is!

Yesha @Books Tea and Paperbacks– Yesha not only participates in lots of blog tours, writes comprehensive reviews and reads loads of books- she somehow manages to be really active on the blogosphere as well. I don’t know how she does it all and I’m ridiculously impressed!  

Kristin Kraves– I’ve always thought Kristin has such sophisticated taste- reading lots of contemporary and literary fiction and classics (among others). What’s more, her *fab* lists make this the place to go to curb all your cravings.

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #4

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!

More Endings That I LOVED!

 

orangutan list

A while back, I did a little piece about some of my favourite endings and I thought it was right about time for part 2- because everyone loves a sequel 😉 Which is why I’m kicking this off with…

carry on

Carry On– speaking of sappy endings, this one makes my heart melt!! I don’t have much more to say about it than I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SURPRISE SEQUEL COMING OUT THIS AUTUMN!!

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– I mentioned Persuasion last time, but Austen deserves another shout because she is the queen of happy endings. The reason I chose Emma this time is because it culminates in the perfect character journey- Emma has changed so much from the beginning, but in a completely organic way that stays true to her generous heart.

secret countess

The Secret Countess– let’s be real: Eva Ibbotson = ultimate wish fulfilment. With her fairy tale style stories, it is entirely appropriate that she gives all her heroines the happily ever after they deserve- and none more so than the lovely Secret Countess!

daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone– I absolutely adore the twist at the end!! And it sets up the rest of the trilogy perfectly.

vicious

Vicious– I mean, this was the book that sold me on Schwab!! Originally a standalone, this has all the right twists and turns and surprises to bring everything to an epic conclusion. What’s even better is that it closes off the story, whilst still working as a series opener.

one word kill

One Word Kill– I really feel like Lawrence sticks his landings, just sayin’. I chose this one, because while I love his series enders, I am also a massive sucker for mushy endings (and I just love the last line!!) It definitely got me excited for the sequel as well!

crooked kingdom

Crooked Kingdom– now, this is what I’d call “bittersweet”. But somehow the fact it’s not entirely happy suits the story Bardugo was telling better- after everything the characters went through, there’s often a temptation to give them everything they desire, and yet it makes so much more sense that not everything is smooth sailing. It’s the proper finale for an wickedly dark duology.

1984 book

1984– because truthfully I think dystopias should end on a dark note. Sure, this depresses the hell out of me, but what do you expect from a book about a totalitarian government?

sadie

Sadie– I am going to sing the praises for this book (and audiobook) forever! Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say you will be simultaneously satisfied and heartbroken.

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue– this is such a powerful novel about grief and recovery. Admittedly, I spent most of this book’s journey in tears (a trend for some of the books on this list) but the part about this book that really worked is how everything comes together at the end and the reader is given the catharsis they truly deserve.

A thousand perfect notes

A Thousand Perfect Notes– on a slightly lighter note, this was a tough book to get through for all the dark subject matter, BUT stick with it because the way it plays out in the end is its own reward.

circe

Circe– this is one of my favourite new endings- there is no ending more beautiful, more poignant, more powerful. It takes my breath away how perfect this is.

a thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns– this is one of those books written on such an epic scale, it’s hard to know if everything will come together by the end. And yet, for all this made me cry, by its final pages it had my heart uplifted and that cemented it as one of my favourite modern reads.

So have you read any of these? What did you think of these endings? And do you have any favourite endings of your own? Let me know in the comments!

 

Mid Year Resolutions for 2019!

 

resolutions 2019

Hello all! It’s time to check up on my resolutions for the year *DUN DUN DUNNNN*. I’ve never done this on my blog before, though I’m a big fan of mid year resolutions in general, but I figure this was better than doing my usual mad-dash-to-the-end panicked check up around November. So, let’s see how I’m getting on with it now, shall we?  

Bookish:

number 1

10 More Books from My Challenging list

Ermm yeah, this isn’t going that well. I have only managed 4. Frankly, this is cos I haven’t had much luck with the ones I have picked up. The first of the year was Atlas Shrugged… and we all know how that one turned out for me. Then there was Maps of Meaning, which contained interesting ideas, but the writing style was flawed (I recommend sticking to the lecture series for this one). Finally, I tried Vanity Fair, which was superbly written, however I didn’t connect to because the characters are AWFUL people. So yeah, excuses aside, I have a long way to go with this goal. Lastly, I recently finished Faust, which sadly ended up being a plodding “poetic” translation and I preferred Marlowe’s version. 

Updated goal: 6 to go!

number 2

10 Non-Fiction Reads

Well, I can say I’m on track for this one- I’ve managed 5 so far this year- most of which have been good. The highlight of these was definitely the Man in the White Sharkskin Suit– a random find that was super emotional and well worth the read (review to come). I’d better not be complacent though- there’s still 5 to go…

Updated goal: 5 more non-fic

number 3

5 Rereads

I’ve knocked this one out of the park! I’d actually like to try and read more, but we’ll see. 

COMPLETED!

number 4

5 Poetry Collections

Oh wow, I suck. I have completely failed this. To be fair, I’ve been reading a lot more poetry- but collections? I’ve managed just the one:

poems to live your life by

I’m also counting Faust again, because I had to get through 350 pages of verse!

Updated goal: 3 more to go!

Non Bookish:

number 5

Compile notebooks

I’ve managed to do a lot of this. In fact, I did all the ones I thought I had… then finished another notebook, which I’m gonna save for the second half of the year. I’ll calculate that as 4/5.

Updated goal: type up wolfy notebook

number 6

Complete another language on Duolingo

Soooo this one is weird, cos I did go through all the lessons in the first few months of the year- and what have I learnt: nada 😉 Okay maybe I learnt something, but I don’t remember it now. I do think I’d benefit from trying to do some grammar practice- but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to do this- until I have time to reassess, I’m gonna give myself 5/5 and say…

TENTATIVELY COMPLETED

I do feel like I might be letting this guy down though…

duolingo sad

number 7

THE DREADED EDITING

monkey typewriter

I have done so much of this! I’ve edited books 2 and 3 of my #OverlyAmbitiousWIP and am nearly finished with 1. The problem with editing, though, is that it’s not the most straightforward of processes. I have a lot more edits for the second and third books now. Still, they’re pretty straightforward and I have high hopes for finishing this on target (if not before!). I’ve calculated this as 25/30 in terms of how far I am.

Updated goal: nearly there!

Which means I’m 71% done and my current grade is…

C-

Not fabulous, but I have time to rectify that.

And for extra credit…

I’ve decided to add a few new goals to the roster:

number 8

Art- start painting again and finish sketchbook

drawing

I’ve been working on drawings a lot more this year and I kinda want to start an Instagram for it (but I’m super nervous and not sure about it). I do want to start doing more painting (beyond Watercolours).

number 9

Yoga challenge x2

orangutan and monkey baby disco0003

Thanks to my sister dragging inviting me to disco yoga earlier in the year, I’ve actually started doing yoga (it surprised me as much as it probably does you 😉 ) I’ve been doing it a few times a week and managed one 30 day yoga challenge. So, quite simply, this is to do another two of those challenges. I think there’s enough time before the end of the year to get this done… hopefully… wish me luck!

And that’s it for now! I have made a note of some tentative goals I might add later in the year, but you won’t have to hear about them till I have my *freakout* at the end of the year 😉 I want to know if any of you have goals this year? How have you been getting on with them? Let me know in the comments!

Summer lovin’ – fun (& sometimes super emotional) beachy books to read in the sun!

 

It’s that time of the year again- time for us bookworms to be packing up our books to take on picnics/beaches/park benches. Although I gotta admit that the title is a little misleading- cos I don’t know about you, but I love something with a bit of an emotional edge for summer holidays. Something, like, say…

the boy who steals houses

The Boy Who Steals Houses– I. can’t. even. with this book- such an emotional rollercoaster. Read it. Read this incredible Goldilocks retelling. That’s it. That’s all I have to say- this book steals the words right out of my mouth.

words in deep blue

Words in deep blue– if you don’t mind being a blubbering mess in public, then this is the book for you! Seriously though, I absolutely loved this romance about second chances, loss and books!

sisterhood of the travelling pants

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants– it’s not all sad- I invite you to read this and be terrifically happy! (and then sad again when you get to the last book)

lucky star

Lucky Star– another emotional read, only this time it’s more of a middle grade/younger YA style book. Cassidy is known for her sweet books, but this one always stood out to me as the one that packs the biggest punch. I loved this when I was younger (and, if I’m honest, I still do)

kiss quotient

The Kiss Quotient– moving onto a more mature romance- I read this recently and have been looking for any excuse to recommend this more!!

far from the madding crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd– there had to be a classic on the list and of course this is one of the most romantic. Now, be warned, this is Hardy- it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. BUT I did pick one of his few books with a happy ending- you’re welcome 😉

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– it’s not all doom and gloom though- if you’re looking for a laugh, this will certainly do the trick. An alternative Tudor England (with magic!) this hilarious book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face 😀

wizard heir

Wizard Heir– of course I had to squeeze some amazing fantasy onto the list- and who better to promote than Cinda Williams Chima? I absolutely love her books and this happens to be my favourite. This one’s more of an urban setting than her high fantasy series and I don’t believe gets the praise it deserves.

song of the lioness

The Lioness Quartet– oh and what a surprise- more fantasy! I did actually take this to the beach once and it was exactly the ticket!

charmed life

Charmed Life– okay, let’s be honest, you all knew I’d start stuffing as many fantasy books as I could onto this list 😉 And this is just the epitome of cute and fun and inventive that I couldn’t resist!

Alright, now that I’ve overloaded my book bag, I have to ask what kind of books do you like to take on summer holiday? Let me know in the comments!

Chill thrills for hot weather!

 

I don’t know about you, but when the summer weather hits, there’s nothing I like more than chilling out with a good book. And what better than a good thriller to keep the shivers running down my spine when it’s hot outside!

ice twins

Ice Twins– of course the clue as to why I picked this is in the title 😉 Evoking the cool atmosphere of wintry Scotland, this book definitely provides a thrill… or two!

gone-girl-PB

Gone Girl– betcha you saw this one coming! Unlike everyone who read this book, cos that was quite the twist! 😉

woman in the window new

The Woman in the Window– on the topic of dark and twisted reads, this book, with its echoes of Hitchcock, will certainly keep you up at night.

big little lies

Big Little Lies– I especially appreciate the slow burn mystery when I’m feeling all lazy from the sun. 

all these beautiful strangers

All These Beautiful Strangers– I do love my summer mysteries and this one deserves some more love 😊

broken things

Broken Things– grim and tragic and utterly brilliant- this mystery will keep you on your toes!

sadie

Sadie– if your version of “chilling” is sobbing your heart out- cos it’s mine! 😉 I especially recommend the audiobook. Speaking of heartbreak…

we were liars

We Were Liars– I mean, I feel a little cruel putting this on here, cos it’s akin to kicking sand in your face and running off- that ending stings. Moving on to the last book of the list… 

the secret history

The Secret History– at the time of writing this list, I’ve just finished this book. And *wow*. I have to talk about this right away, because despite knowing the outcome from the start, it somehow managed to be one of the most riveting reads I’ve experienced in a while. A chilling story of elite students up to no good, this’ll have you breaking out in a cold sweat, even on the hottest of summer nights.

Alrighty then, that’s all for now! What do you think of these? And do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!

Favourite Fantasy Worlds I’d Love to go on Holiday To…

 

orangutan list

So, this isn’t the first time I’ve thought of packing it all in and going off to fantasy land- I was feeling the wanderlust last month and went on a jaunt a couple of years ago in January 😉 With that in mind, I’m gonna try my hardest not to repeat too many destinations (and if there are any shockers missing from the list feel free to check out my other posts). Also, these are places I actually want to go- so no Panem or Westeros for me! I’m gonna try and play it safe- starting with…

Faerieland– okay perhaps not the safest first choice. However, I’m often captivated by faerie realms, but few are more intriguing to me than Holly Black’s take in Cruel Prince. I’ll just make sure I take some iron and rowan berries for protection!

Iwagoto– aka the world from Shadow of the Fox. I mean, I really want to go to Japan, but a fantasy version of Japan *with* Kitsune?! YES PLEASE! This mythical creation by Kagawa has set my imagination alight and I’d whizz off tomorrow if I could.  

Discworld– well, obviously 😉 My first stop would be the Unseen University, to say hello to say hello to my bestie and stock up on some books/bananas!

Lyra’s Oxford– let’s be fair: real Oxford is a very pretty city. But I have always wanted to have my own daemon and meet Gyptians and witches and armoured bears… so yeah I need to take a trip here. If only I could get my hands on a Subtle Knife…

The Night Circus– I think when people talk about fantasy worlds, this nearly always comes up. And there’s a good reason for that! The Night Circus is a whole other level of captivating magic- and I think most of us would give an arm and a leg to be able to go!

Ravka– oh Russia would be amazing to go to- but how much more so would Grishaverse Russia be?! Preferably with the Darkling as my guide 😉 (he’d be good for tourism, really sells the place 😉)

Narnia– I have to admit, I have checked many-a cupboard looking for Narnia. Alas- to no avail! One day though, I’m sure I’ll stumble into the land that is always winter and meet a friendly lion who will eventually crown me queen monkey… what? It could happen! (also, I wouldn’t say no to a few Turkish Delights- yum!)

Neverland– speaking of the classics, I’d quite like to pop off to Neverland sometime soon. I rather fancy going somewhere I can never get older (even if I’d probably fit in more with the pirates than the lost boys at this stage 😉)

Wonderland– this one might be more of a risk, what with the crazy queen shouting “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” Even so, I think it’d be worth it to say hello to the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. Plus, I could always make a beeline for the mushrooms of course…

Ingo– I haven’t seen nearly enough underwater worlds- and none are done as well as this. It’s the kind of story that has an utterly unique feel and I would love to explore it more for real!

Howl’s moving castle– Wynne Jones always had a magical way with her settings- and none more so than Howl’s Moving Castle. She (literally) brings it to life and I couldn’t think of anything more fun than bouncing round the globe in this awesome travel home.

Alright, I didn’t go to deep into the danger zone there 😉 What do you think of my list? Would you like to go to any of these worlds? Is there anywhere else you’d rather go? Let me know in the comments!