Review: Hidden Figures

Welcome back to another review!

I’ve finally managed to finish Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly today and thought I might as well get my review up whilst the story is still fresh in my mind.

I have to say that although I really enjoyed the story and the background surrounding the actual events taking place, I did find that sometimes the style of writing was quite difficult to get through at points. Maybe because I’m more of a fiction-kind of reader? Also, there wasn’t a lot of dialogue in this book so if that’s something you find quite interesting then I’d suggest this book for you to read but if you struggle with that, maybe try and see if they do an audiobook of it? But I still thoroughly enjoyed it and learning about the women who were in the behind-the-scenes of NACA/NASA.

The transition between the different stories of some women were a little muddled at times but I took it at face-value and continued to read on. The book is so insightful and really makes you appreciate the efforts and the hardships that African-American’s went through during the years after the abolishment of slavery (and even before it!), even something as simple as going to the bathroom and eating lunch in a cafeteria is something that was not normal back then.

I feel like it is an amazing book which is definitely worth the hype it gets and I can’t wait to watch the film now after finishing the book. It’s something I would highly recommend to anyone who likes this sort of book or someone who would like to gain a bit more knowledge on the subject. It’s an insightful piece of literature and I’m glad I read it.

4/5 stars.

 

Happy reading!

~A.

Sunday Funday: Update!

Hello all! 

This is only going to be a quick update on how I’m doing with my 2017 Book Challenge, my monthly challenge, and my yearly challenge as well. Boy have I set myself a lot of challenges this year!

So let’s start! At the moment I’m reading Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and as I said in my previous blog post, I went through a seriously bad bout of procrastination and just all round hectic schedule so I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to to read the book. Meaning I have fallen behind on my monthly reading list, which also means that I’ll probably have to shorten my list for next month down to possibly 4 books a month instead of 5 just to see how I get on.

I am currently on page 161 and I’m just about to start chapter 16 at the moment. I have to admit I am finding it quite difficult to read as it’s in a different style than I am used to but so far, I am really enjoying it. It’s eye-opening for sure!

My goal for this book is to finish this tonight or by tomorrow so I can at least read one more book for this month before March is officially over. And the next book I’m hoping to read is either Heartless by Marissa Meyer or The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Still haven’t watched Beauty and the Beast yet so I don’t want to spoil myself by reading that first!

I apologise if this is not as interesting as my usual blog posts but I just want to keep you updated! And if you have any questions, or if you want to chat about this particular book, then leave me a comment down below!

As usual, happy reading!

~A.

Sunday Funday and New Purchases!

Hello all!

I’m back, finally, and managed to shift this bug that I’ve had for the last week that has left me practically bed-ridden! But I’m back and full of ‘umph’ to get this blog back up and running again.

So today’s blog is going to be a little update on where I’m up to in regards to my 2017 Book Challenge and some new books that I’ve recently purchased.

As some of you will already know, I finished reading ‘Dear Amy’ by Hellen Callaghan, I put up a blog post about it a couple of days ago, and moved onto ‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly and am currently still in the midst of reading that. I haven’t managed to get a lot of reading done this week mainly due to the sickness bug but I want to rectify that because I still have 3 books left for this month and only 2 weeks left to read them! My reading gear needs to shift into overdrive if I want to get this month’s reading list done!

But, without further ado, let’s get into my new purchases from this weekend. It’s a long one again because I have no self-control when it comes to books. I know, it’s a serious problem, but one that I’ll think about another day!

 

  1. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

I didn’t actually end up getting this book from a normal book shop, which is strange given that that’s practically where I live, but we were walking around Toys R Us in the next city over from us for my nephew’s Christening presents and I thought I’d have a browse through the book section (even though it’s only kids books) and lo and behold, I came across this one. Now I remember reading this in either Year 7 or Year 8 of High School and I absolutely loved it! I used to love reading Michael Morpugo books and I remember reading another one of his books, ‘Born To Run’ about a dog. So I knew I just had to buy this one. Plus it was cheaper than what I would have paid in a bookstore so it’s a win-win!

Summary:

‘I saw the grey soldiers ahead of us raise their rifles and heard the death rattle of a machine gun…’

A powerful story of the truest of friendships in the worst of wars from the award-winning former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo.

Price I Paid: £3.99
Retail Price: £6.99

 

2. Mini Classics: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

I was really excited when I saw these as well because we walking through yet another toy shop and I, again, was drawn towards the kids book section. These weren’t obvious at first, I was actually quite disappointed because there weren’t at lot of books to choose from in general as most of it was just nursery rhymes and books to help with reading for very younger children. Then I saw these and immediately picked them up! I’m a sucker for old stories and then I flipped through them, they are so beautifully illustrated as well (by Easter Garcia Cortés). I can’t wait to read through these books as they were part of my childhood as well. Plus, again, I saw how much it should have cost me and how much it actually cost me and it definitely was well worth it the buy!

Summary of The Jungle Book:

When the boy Mowgli is found by a wolf pack he embarks on a series of thrilling adventures with his friends and protectors Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. 

Summary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass:

When Alice sees a white rabbit take a watch out of its waistcoat pocket she decides to follow it, and a sequence of most unusual events is set in motion.

Summary of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

After a cyclone carries Dorothy far from home on the grey Kansas prairies, she is stranded in the magical and mysterious land of Oz. Here she encounters adventures and surprising characters, including the Wizard of Oz himself, as she searches for a way back home.

Summary of The Wind in the Willows:

When Mole leaves his little underground home he meets up with a water-loving Rat. Together they mess about it boats, get lost in the Wild Wood, and join Toad and Badger in the battle to take back Toad Hall.

Price I Paid: £4.99
Retail Price: £40.00

 

3. As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell

These next 3 books were bought in a bookstore this time round and I had just had to pick these up! The first is As Old As Time by Liz Braswell because the premise and the book cover really intrigued me the most. It’s a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast (who doesn’t love re-tellings!) but it’s from the perspective of what if it was Belle’s mother who cursed the Beast. That just sounds mysterious and it makes me wonder how on Earth this is going to play out! I just had to pick this one up! And just in time as well as Beauty and the Beast was just released in the cinema as well!

What I really like about this is that it is the third book of a series where Liz Braswell takes fairytales and twists them into something else. I think the other two are Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty so I’ll have to invest in those two as well and look into whether she’ll be writing anymore in the future!

Summary:

Can the enchanted rose reveal hidden truths? Could it be that Belle’s mother was the one who cursed the Beast all those years ago?

Experience the third title in a thrilling series that puts a twist in much-loved tales, exploring what would happen if key turning points did not work out as planned.

When Belle touches the enchanted rose hidden away in the Beast’s castle, memories flood her mind – memories of a mother she thought she would never see again.

And, stranger still, it seems her mother was actually the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants.

Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel the dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

Price: £7.99

 

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

So, so, so excited for this book! I saw it a while ago, read the blurb and the first page and knew I had to buy it but I was saving up to go to Amsterdam with my friend at the time so I couldn’t. Boo! But I was just browsing through the shelves after picking up the book above and immediately saw the green cover out the corner of my eye! I picked it up almost straight away with no second thought! It’s such an intriguing story and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the main character is a fanfiction writer or a twin story for that matter either so really excited to read this!

Summary:

Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there’s romance far more intense than anything she’s experience in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realising that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible…

Price: £7.99

 

5. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

This book was a bit of a guilty pleasure kind of buy because I was watching ‘Hailey in Bookland’ on YouTube again and I saw her mention this book in a couple of her videos (go check her out if you haven’t already!). I saw the cover and picked it up, knowing it’s not usually my cup of tea, and thought I’d give it a go! The synopsis and first page seem interesting enough but only time will tell I guess. Not as excited to read this but I suppose my mind will change once I start reading.

Summary:

Before the scandal, Andie had important plans. And zero of them involved walking an insane amount of dogs, being in the same house as her dad or hanging out with Clark. Now there’s a whole summer stretching out in front of Andie without a plan. And Andie always sticks to the plan.

But here’s the thing – if everything’s always mapped out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

Price: £7.99

 

I hope you enjoyed my long blog post again and enjoyed reading through the new purchases I have bought! Let me know if any have piqued your interests or if you’ve already read them! I love to read your comments!

As always, happy reading!

~A.

Sunday Funday!

Welcome back to another edition of Sunday Funday!

So I’ve managed to finish reading ‘Dear Amy’ by Helen Callaghan by today so I can finally cross that off my list! Yay! And I can move onto my next challenge of the year which will be *drumroll*…

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly for challenge number 8; ‘A book that became a film’ and this book has 265 pages so I should hopefully finish that by either Wednesday/Thursday this week and get onto the next book to be read! And I’m also really excited, because if you haven’t seen on my Instagram, we visited some family today for my nephew’s Christening (I was a Godparent, it was very nerve-wrecking!) and my Grandma brought along a HUGE bag full of second-hand James Patterson novels and he is definitely one of my favourite authors so I was super excited! It’s just been a very good day indeed!

My review for ‘Dear Amy’ should be out tomorrow so be on the lookout for that as well as I don’t want to spoil anything on here about it.

 

Updated 2017 Book Challenge List;

  1. A book you read in school.
  2. A book from your childhood.
  3. A book published over 100 years ago.
  4. A book published in the last year.
  5. A non-fiction book.
  6. A book written by a female author.
  7. A book written by a male author.
  8. A book that became a film.
  9. A book published in the 20th Century.
  10. A book set in your hometown/region/country.
  11. A book with someone else’s name in the title.
  12. A book with a character with my first name.Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan
  13. A book with a number in the title.
  14. A book somebody else has recommended to you.
  15. A book with over 500 pages.
  16. A book you can finish in a day.
  17. A book that has previously been banned.
  18. A book with a one-word title.
  19. A book translated from another language.
  20. A book that will improve a specific area in your life.
  21. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year.
  22. An award-winning book.
  23. A book on the New York Bestseller’s List.
  24. A book published in your birth year.
  25. A book where the main character is part of the LGBT community.
  26. A book where a character has a physical illness.
  27. A book where a character has a mental illness.
  28. A playDoctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post for today and let me know any suggestions you may have for future challenges in the comments below.

As always, happy reading!

~A.

Sunday Funday!

Hello all!

I’ve managed to finish reading The Invasion of the Tearling and so… that means… I can FINALLY MOVE ON TO A NEW BOOK! But I won’t be doing a review of this book (The Invasion of the Tearling) mainly because I took a long break between reading parts of it that I’d have to properly read through it again regularly to even give a decent and worthy review of it.

And so, because it’s Sunday Funday and because of the books that I included on my March Reading List, the book I am going to choose for the next two weeks (might not take me that long to finish it) to read is *drumroll please*

 

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan!!

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The reason I have chosen this one is because it’s the first one that I thought that I could probably get out of the way first and to really get me buckled down and into reading again. It always tends to be thrillers/horrors/mysteries that get me reading after a long bout of not doing so.

Plus, it has a name in the title AND a character with my name in it so it’s a win-win really but alas, I can’t use the same book for two challenges. Stupid rules that I came up with!

 

Here’s my Sunday Funday list as a reminder, and hopefully in two weeks, I can cross through the one with a character with my name in the story. And I’m excited to be able to cross of number 28 after finishing reading Doctor Faustus. I’ll let you know probably next Sunday how I get on, how far I am into the book and my first impressions of it so far.

  1. A book you read in school.
  2. A book from your childhood.
  3. A book published over 100 years ago.
  4. A book published in the last year.
  5. A non-fiction book.
  6. A book written by a female author.
  7. A book written by a male author.
  8. A book that became a film.
  9. A book published in the 20th Century.
  10. A book set in your hometown/region/country.
  11. A book with someone else’s name in the title.
  12. A book with a character with my first name.
  13. A book with a number in the title.
  14. A book somebody else has recommended to you.
  15. A book with over 500 pages.
  16. A book you can finish in a day.
  17. A book that has previously been banned.
  18. A book with a one-word title.
  19. A book translated from another language.
  20. A book that will improve a specific area in your life.
  21. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year.
  22. An award-winning book.
  23. A book on the New York Bestseller’s List.
  24. A book published in your birth year.
  25. A book where the main character is part of the LGBT community.
  26. A book where a character has a physical illness.
  27. A book where a character has a mental illness.
  28. A playDoctor Faustus: the A Text by Christopher Marlowe

 

And as always, happy reading and I’ll see you tomorrow for another exciting blog post!

~A.

New Purchases and March Reading List

And here I am for another blog post for the third day in a row! It’s like I’m on some sort of reading/blogging extravaganza!

Anyway, I’ll admit it… it’s pay day for me, and probably for a lot of people too, but for me it’s worse. Because I’m pretty sure most of my money goes straight to the books I really want to buy in the future and so far, I’ve only bought one of those which I’ll explain below, because there are so many pretty book covers and enticing stories that sometimes I kinda just want all the books there. And yes, my bank account does weep heavily at the beginning of the month.

I bought four new books this month and I’m excited because two of them can be used for my Sunday Funday 2017 Book Challenge and one of them I have had on my Wishlist Wednesday for a good two weeks now ever since I saw it. And I finally have it! Which means I am super excited!

I’ve also decided to include my March Reads of the Month just because it’s going to be the 1st of March tomorrow and I know that I’m incredibly behind on my reading and the Book Challenge. Therefore, I’ve set myself the goal of reading at least 5 books this month and then hopefully increase that as the month goes on depending what I’m in the mood for.

But let’s dive straight into the new purchases I got today!

  1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (top left corner of the image below)

If I’m honest, the only reason I picked this book up was because I had recently subscribed to ‘Hailey In Bookland’ on Youtube (if you don’t know who she is, you need to subscribe ASAP because her book recommends are amazingly diverse and wonderful reads! Plus she’s very honest about them!) and she was doing a comparison of the book covers between the UK and the US. This book came up and when she described it I knew instantly I had to get it. Luckily, I was in my local supermarket and decided to have a wander down the book aisle to see if they had any book deals on. Usually it’s either kids books or books with the generic front cover… BUT this time they had a deal on for 2 for £7 and so I started perusing through them and came across Heartless. There was no doubt it my mind! I had to buy this book!

Summary:

“Long before Alice fell down the rabbit hole…

And before the roses were painted red…

The Queen of Hearts was just a girl, in love for the first time.” 

Price I Paid: Part of the 2 for £7 deal

Retail Price: £7.99

 

2. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (top right corner)

This book! OMG! I always try to make a conscious effort to include more diversity into the books I read and I knew when I saw the trailer for this film and saw what every book-lover is excited about reading – “Based on the novel” – I was sold. All these books were bought as part of the 2 for £7 deal and when I saw that this book was included under that deal, my heart skipped a beat and without hesitation, I picked it up and placed it in my basket. I am so excited to read this because first of all, it’s a true historical event (which if you haven’t gathered, historical books are my faves) and second of all, it’s about a untold story that none of us were really taught in school about how African-American women were actually part of a major event in history and they always have been. They deserve every right for their story to be told and I’m really eager to delve into this book. Plus, Octavia Spencer is in the film which I’m really stoked to see because she was absolutely fantastic in The Help. And every film she’s in to be honest.

Summary:

“Genius has no race. Strength has no gender. Courage has no limit.

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, some of the brightest minds of their generation, known as ‘human computers’, used pencils and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War and the Space Race, Hidden Figures is a powerful, revelatory tale of race, discrimination and achievement in the modern world. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner.”

Price I Paid: Part of the 2 for £7 deal

Retail Price: £8.99

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3. Beauty And The Beast by Disney (bottom left corner)

This book just gets me super thrilled for the movie with Emma Watson! I honestly cannot wait for the film to come out and to go and see it. It’s going to be amazing, I can tell already! Plus this says at the bottom (you can’t see it on the picture) ‘Book of the Film’ so I’ll probably end up reading this after I watch the film so I’m not spoiling anything for myself either way. And I’ll probably read this in a day so that’s another checked off of my Book Challenge! Anyway, I’m really excited (as you can probably tell by the amount of times I used the word ‘excited’) to read all these books! They are just fantastic and I’ve been eyeing this book for a while but I’ve been very reserved until I realised the movie comes out this month anyway so I might as well!

Summary:

“Belle dreams of adventures like the ones she reads about in her books – until she becomes the prisoner of a fearsome Beast in a mysterious, enchanted castle. But life in the castle isn’t as terrible as Belle imagines, and she soon realizes there is more to the Beast than first meets the eye…

Experience this talk as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner beauty in all of us.”

Price I Paid: Part of the 2 for £7 deal

Retail Price: £6.99

 

4. The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

This is the one on my Wishlist Wednesday list and has been for a while. Just the story compels me because of the mystery element that I genuinely didn’t really see coming until I read the blurb. Mainly that was based on the front cover and thought it was a romance book to be honest (*slaps on the wrist for judging a book by its cover*) and how wrong I was! I really cannot wait to read this book and live this adventure and the heartbreaks between Izzy and Tom, the two main characters of this novel, because I’m sure there will be many! It’s been a while since I cried at a book before and I’m talking like My Sister’s Keeper-a while ago. And since I don’t have a boy to break my heart for me, why not do it with a book? 

Summary:

“A boat washes up on the shore of a remote lighthouse keeper’s island. It holds a dead man and a crying baby. The only two islanders, Tom and his wife Izzy, are about to make a devastating decision.

They break the rules and follow their hearts.

What happens next will break yours.”

Price I Paid: Part of the 2 for £7 deal

Retail Price: £7.99

 

If anyone has these books already, please let me know in the comments so I can ask you any questions or if anyone is tempted to buy them, let me know how you get on!

Onto the March Reading List, which is not in reading order. So this was basically just an idea to get me back into the swing of reading again and to basically get through my huge 20-odd pile of books that I currently have in my room.

The first book I have chosen for my March Reading List is;

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Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan – I chose this mainly thinking of my Book Challenge in mind because it has my name as a character/title of the book so I can cross one of the challenges off my list once I have finished reading this. Plus, I’ve already explained the synopsis before in a previous blog, but this plot line is intriguing as heck and is certainly one that I won’t be able to put down.

 

My second choice is;

blog post 28022017 3.jpg

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – I picked this book for 2 reasons. The 1st was because I want to see the film and I like to read the books beforehand and see if I visualised them the same way. The 2nd was because I can also cross this off my Book Challenge list as a book that has been made into a film!

 

My third choice is;

blog post 28022017 2.jpg

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – As soon as I picked this book up I knew I desperately wanted to read it straight away! Who doesn’t love a prequel to an already widely-known story?!

 

My fourth choice for this month is;

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Beauty And The Beast by Disney – I picked this book for this month primarily because the film is being released this month (Friday 17th March to be exact) and I want to read this straight after watching the film.

 

And my final choice for this month is;

blog post 28022017 5.jpg

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon – This book intrigued me so much because of the plot being centered around two young girls who are both ten years old. I’ve never read a book before (none that I can remember anyway) that are from the narrative of children before – discounting the HP series – but that was also a thriller/mystery as well. Plus the completely unrelated, for the time being, title of the book just pulled me in instantly! Can’t wait to read this book.

 

I hope you enjoyed my especially long blog post today! And if you have any questions or you just want to chat to me about the books for my March Reading List or the new books I bought, please leave me a comment and I’ll reply!

Happy reading!

~A.

Sunday Funday!

I am back with yet another blog! In two days, maybe I’m getting my mojo back!

Anyway, I’ve not managed to start a book for this challenge yet… I know, it’s nearly March and I am so super behind but I am currently reading a book at the moment and I like to finish the one I’m reading before I start another one. That’s going to be another blog post coming at you this week anyway!

So today’s blog is a short one and is just going to be a couple more challenges that I’ve come up with for Sunday Funday and add them onto my already massive list. The new challenges I have added will be at the bottom of the list and I’ll put them in bold so you know which are which!

Let’s get on with the list;

  1. A book you read in school.
  2. A book from your  childhood.
  3. A book published over 100 years ago.
  4. A book published in the last year.
  5. A non-fiction book.
  6. A book written by a female author.
  7. A book written by a male author.
  8. A book that became a film.
  9. A book published in the 20th Century.
  10. A book set in your hometown/region/country.
  11. A book with someone else’s name in the title.
  12. A book with a character with my first name.
  13. A book with a number in the title.
  14. A book somebody else has recommended to you.
  15. A book with over 500 pages.
  16. A book you can finish in a day.
  17. A book that has previously been banned.
  18. A book with a one-word title.
  19. A book translated from another language.
  20. A book that will improve a specific area in your life.
  21. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year.
  22. An award-winning book.
  23. A book on the New York Bestseller’s List.
  24. A book published in your birth year.
  25. A book where the main character is part of the LGBT community.
  26. A book where a character has a physical illness.
  27. A book where a character has a mental illness.
  28. A play

I’m really excited for the 25th challenge, just because I’ve been given a couple of good recommendations for that particular one! And I hope all you guys with give me some good suggestions as well if you have any? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Happy reading!

~A.