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.

Letters to My…

Hello and welcome back to another blog post! This one’s going to be a bit different and slightly book-related today.

So at the end of December, a friend of mine from work and I went to Amsterdam for 5 days/4 nights to celebrate the New Year! We did want to go to Dublin in Ireland but it worked a lot more expensive than going to Amsterdam and plus it was a very last minute decision. We decided late September/early October that we wanted to go away for the New Year and looked up Dublin and then Amsterdam. Then we found a cheap hostel to stay in and booked it then and there. I have, honestly, NEVER booked a holiday only a couple of months in advance. Ever. And it was definitely not without it’s stresses but Amsterdam is without a doubt an amazing place to go. I want to go back during Summer/early Autumn just to experience it without the cold temperature.

Although I could have done without the sea legs for two days after we got back!

Anyway, whilst we were there we went into a cute little independent shop that sold nic nac’s and I saw this book (pictured above) on one of the tables towards the front of the shop. There was a bunch of different types of these books;

Letters to My Future Self

Letters to My Friend

Letters to My Dad

Letters to My Mum 

etc…

But I found the one to my future self really interesting and I liked the whole ‘time-capsule’ kind of feel except with letters instead. So each page has a piece of paper folded up in an ‘envelope’ style where you can write what you want (with little prompts along the top to help you along a little);

I thought it was an amazing idea, especially to see how my life would turn out to be in the future (or even how my hand-writing may have changed!). There’s a lot of prompts to help as well like: ‘These are my roots…’, ‘Where I want to go…’, ‘All the things I’d like to try someday…’, ‘This is what I live for…’, ‘It was an extraordinary day…’, ‘I promise to myself…’, ‘There’s no place like home…’, ‘A pep talk for the future me…’, etc…

But it also comes with little stickers as well to seal the envelopes, you can date what date it was written and what date you would like to open it in the future. I assume most of mine or going to be maybe 5 or more years later. Just to really get a feel on how much my life has changed since now.

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It was created by the artist Lea Redmond, who has a creative workshop called Leafcutter Designs, in case any of you wanted to check her out. It’s also part of the ‘Letters to My…’ range so there’s bound to be one that you think you could use as a present or for yourself! And it only cost me €15.95 which is about £10, or $14, if you convert it. So not bad really!

I thought I would share this amazing idea with you all in case any of you are interested or looking for a personalised/touching gift for someone close to you! Or in case you quite fancy the idea of writing to yourself in the future! I know I certainly can’t wait to get started on this!

See you all on Thursday (hopefully!) and hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know what you think in the comments, I love to read them!

Happy reading!

~A.

Wishlist Wednesday

Hello all! I’m back with another little update to my Wishlist Wednesday list. It’s grown substantially since I last wrote it so hopefully you can bare with me. I have a tendency to make lists of books I want and just keep adding them and then adding them before realising the list is now 3 pages long.

I, of course, can cross off one of the books that I have already purchased recently and the rest I can hopefully buy before the end of this year. I’ll write the new additions in bold so it’s easier to distinguish. Let’s get on with the list, shall we?

 

1. The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle

2. The Harrowing by James Aitchen

3. The Crow Girl by Axl Sund

4. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

5. The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffery Archer

6. The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

7. Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

8. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

9. Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel by Erin Summerhill

10. Windwitch by Susan Dennard

11. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

12. The Star Touched Queen by Roshanu Choksi

13. The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

14. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

15. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

15. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

16. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

17. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

18. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

19. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

20. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

21. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

22. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

23. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (cannot wait for this to come out!)

24. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

25. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

26. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

27. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

28.Skellig by David Almond – I read this in English Literature class one of my last two years in High School and I just remember how much I loved this story!

29. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd

30. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

31. The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis

32. The Scarlet Contessa by Jeanne Kalogridis

33. The Devil’s Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis

34. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

35. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

36. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

37. Lord of Shadows: The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare – this is coming out this year and is the sequel piece to Lady Midnight! I’m really excited to read this!

38. All Grown Up by Jami Attenburg – I remember reading a review of this a couple of days ago and though the premise of it was completely unique. It’s a coming of age story but for someone who is middle-aged. I can’t wait to read this!

 

There’s certainly a lot more books than I planned on there being but hey ho, one can never have too many books! I really hoped you enjoyed today’s blog and I’d love to hear your comments on some of these books. Have you already read them? What did you think? Would you recommend them to anyone? Or are you excited to read one of these?

Let me know!

Happy reading!

~A.

New Purchases!

Hello all!

I’ve gone a little bit overboard with the books this month I think which I usually don’t do but I’ll explain why I bought this books down below and it’s going to be a pretty long one today as well as I’ve bought 16 books in total. Whoops…

 

1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

The first book I picked up was Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Now, I’ve not read any of the Mortal Instruments series yet but I have watched the movie and started watching the TV show on Netflix recently as well so I have a vague understanding of how those stories are going and I will get to them eventually! Anyhow, this story is separate from Mortal Instruments, I believe, but still in the same world. The first thing that drew me to the book in the first place was the front cover, it’s so artistic and very pleasing to the eye that I picked up. And then, oh my God! The pages on the side/top/bottom are blue! The pages are actually blue! And you all know my favourite colour is blue so I had to buy it. Plus the first page was really interesting!

lady midnight

Summary:

“In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other – but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter. She lives for battle. Alongside her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries – the most powerful of supernatural creatures – teeter on the edge of war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries are found murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held by the faerie Courts. All they have to do is solve the murders within two weeks… and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents – and can she bear to know the truth?”

Price: £7.99

 

2. Roald Dahl Collection by Roald Dahl

I was really excited when I came into work maybe a week or so ago because we have this company called The Book People who come in every month (I think, don’t quote me on that) to deliver a bunch of books. You can then choose which ones you like and buy them off them but it always varies and because of where I work, a lot of the choices are usually for younger children. But every so often I hit a goldmine and they have some AMAZING books on sale. For instance, this collection here of Roald Dahls’ books and all I could say when I saw it was ‘Whoa! I need these books!’. At first I was a bit put off by the price but then I realised you get 15 books in there and that works out quite cheap per book… so why not? 

But seeing as there are 15 books I’ll only do a quick picture of each one and a quick summary. These are my childhood books and I used to love reading his books in Primary School and then the early years of High School, the think I loved the most were the illustrations (all done by Quentin Blake, brilliant artist by the way!). They really brought the stories to life!

  • The BFG

BFG

Summary:

“Human beans is not really believing in Giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist.”

 

  • Matilda

Matilda

Summary:

“We saw Miss Trunchbull grab a girl by the pigtails and throw her over the playground fence!”

 

  • Esio Trot

Esio Trot.jpg

Summary:

“I do actually happen to know how to make tortoises grow faster, if that’s really want you want.”

 

  • George’s Marvelous Medicine

Georges Marvelous Medicine

Summary:

“The rule would be this: whatever he saw, if it was runny or powdery or gooey, it went in.”

 

  • Fantastic Mr Fox

fantastic mr fox

Summary:

“Did you hear that, Mr Fox! It’s not over yet! We’re not going home till we’ve strung you up dead as a dingbat!”

 

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

charlie and the chocolate factory.jpg

Summary:

“I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children to visit my factory this year. These lucky five will be allowed to see all the secrets and magic.”

 

  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

charlie and the great glass elevator.jpg

Summary:

“What a load of luck!’ cried Mr Wonka. ‘We’ve landed ourselves slap in the middle of the biggest space operation of all time!”

 

  • Danny the Champion of the World

danny and the champion of the world.jpg

Summary: 

“A stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves in a parent who is sparky.”

 

  • The Magic Finger

magic finger.jpg

Summary:

“Suddenly a sort of flash comes out of me. Like something electric. It jumps out and touches the person who has me cross…”

 

  • The Twits

the twits

Summary:

“To pay Mrs Twit back for the worms in his spaghetti, Mr Twit thought up a really clever nasty trick.”

 

  • The Witches

the witches

Summary:

“One child a week is fifty-two a year. Squish them and squiggle them and make them disappear.”

 

  • The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

the giraffe and the pelly and me.jpg

Summary:

“My jewels! Somebody’s stolen my jewels!”

 

  • James and the Giant Peach

james and the giant peach

Summary:

“Bigger and bigger grew the peach, bigger and bigger and bigger.”

 

  • Boy

boy

Summary:

“I am only eight years old.’ I told myself. ‘No little boy has ever murdered anyone. It’s not possible.”

 

  • Going Solo

going solo

Summary:

“A life is made up of a great number of small incidents and a small number of great ones.”

Price for the whole collection: £20

 

I really hoped you enjoyed my long winded blog post about my new purchases! I’m excited to get stuck into them eventually, especially the Roald Dahl books because they were the dominant books of my childhood – even before Harry Potter!

Let me know if you have any of these books or if you have already read them, leave me a comment and tell me what you thought about them! I love to hear your opinions!

Happy reading!

~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

blog-post-28022017

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;

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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;

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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;

blog-post-28022017-6

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.

New Purchases!

Hello all!

I’m back again with another ‘New Purchases!’ blog post for you all to enjoy! I know I certainly enjoyed purchasing them, although I think my bank account will disagree.

So I’ve literally just got home from another lecture at University in a city about 40 minutes away from the little town I live in. It was definitely a trek and a half but I noticed a quaint little Waterstone’s near the building where my lecture was… and you can probably guess where this is going. So I lied on Twitter yesterday when I said I had purchased 3 new books, it’s now actually 5. And I think I have the problem of purchasing new books faster than I can read them and having a small bedroom probably doesn’t help either. I’ve had to resort to piling them size order on the floor in order to make room elsewhere (I already feel bad!).

Anyway, onto the actual purchases!

 

1. Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

I picked this book up purely because two ladies I work with were talking about the TV show on the BBC. They said it was amazing and they were hooked from the very first episode and that I desperately needed to watch it! Then as I was browsing through my local bookstore, I spotted the book on the shelf and was pleasantly surprised that the show was actually originally based off of a book. Now I love books that turn into films/TV shows, plainly because I can see what other people have in mind for the appearance of specific characters. Plus I love to read the book first and then watch the film/tv show to compare it (the only ones I haven’t done that for are Game of Thrones, the Divergent Series, and The Girl on The Train). I know, slap me on the wrist! It definitely seems to be an interesting novel and I can’t wait to start reading it.

Summary:

“Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage.

But when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair.

Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first.

But she can’t control what happens next…”

Price: £7.99

 

2. Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Books that are ‘detective’ style books or anything to do with mysteries that the police/FBI/CIA must solve are without a doubt one of my favourite type of books. I love the mystery of it. I love the way you are guessing throughout the whole novel of who you think it might be to find out actually, you were wrong! I love the way the novels are set out and the format of them, the descriptions especially considering I always tend to imagine the scenarios in my head like a little movie screen (please tell me I’m not the only one!). Plus the beginning page really makes you dive first into the action and the mind of the killer. It’s super addicting and seriously makes me want to know more!

Summary:

“The perfect death leaves perfect remains…

On a remote Highland mountain, a body burns. All that’s left behind are the victim’s teeth and a fragment of silk. Meanwhile, in the hidden room of a house in Edinburgh, a second woman screams into the darkness.

It’s D.I. Luc Callanach’s first day with Police Scotland, and he’s handed a homicide investigation. With everything to prove, he and his new colleague D.I. Ava Turner are up against a killer who meticulously covers his tracks.

When a third woman is taken, Callanach is desperate to prevent another innocent death – but the real fate of these women is more twisted than he could ever imagined…”

Price: £7.99

 

3. Corpus by Rory Clements

If I’m honest it was definitely the cover art of this hardback book that really drew me in. It must be the deep red/black contrast that seems to make me gravitate towards specific books. I bought this one in the local bookstore as well a day or two ago along with the other two above. But this book is set in 1936, in the midst of World War II (a definitive favourite subject during my History lessons at school) and much like Dan Brown’s novels surrounding Robert Langdon, the main protagonist is a Professor also. However, I suspect that will be the only similarity of the two books. I’m really looking forward to reading this novel especially because of the historic value and the mystery surrounding the plot. I hope it peaks your interest as well!

Summary:

“1936. Europe is in turmoil. The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland; in Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror; Spain has erupted in civil war.

In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.

When a renowned member of the country set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe – and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson…

Professor Wilde’s specialist subject is the Elizabethan secret service. As the scope of the conspiracy is revealed, he must use all the skills he has learnt to save the woman he loves and prevent a massacre.”

Price: £12.99

 

4. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen

This book was one that I bought today from Waterstones. It was on my original wishlist that I had saved a while ago on my laptop but I completely forgot about it until I saw the cover on the shelf. It was so lucky that they had it to be honest as it wasn’t exactly the biggest shop that I’d ever been to so I was so excited when I saw it and I knew I had to buy it then and there otherwise I’d probably not find it for a while. Or have to buy it on Amazon. And the reason I really wanted to buy this book was due to the summary/first page because I don’t think I’d ever read a book like this before. It’s like those stories that you sit back and think ‘How on Earth did the author think of this? It’s brilliant!’ and the cover is so creative yet simplistic at the same time. And judging from the reviews on the back of the hardback copy, it’s more intriguing than even the cover suggests. It’s just going to an absolute favourite of mine, I can already tell.

Summary:

“Since the age of twelve, Kit has been a phenomenaut, her consciousness projected into the bodies of lab-grown animals for the purpose of research.

Kit experiences a multitude of other lives – fighting and fleeing, predator and prey – always hoping, but never quite believing, that her work will help humans better understand the other species living alongside them.

But after a jump as an urban fox ends in disaster, Kit begins to suspect that those she has trusted for her entire working life may be out to cause her harm. And, as she delves deeper into the events of that night, her world begins to shift in ways she had never thought possible.”

Doesn’t that sound amazing?!

Price: £14.99

 

5. Treason by James Jackson

This definitely isn’t the first book that is based around the 5th of November/Guido (Guy) Fawkes and it certainly won’t be the last. But there’s something so interesting to me about historical fiction, along with thriller novels, historical novels come close second of my favourite types of books. It’s the knowledge of it being a genuinely true event that happened in history yet has an interesting spin on it that makes it believable. The 5th of November is quite a big holiday in the UK with fireworks and a huge bonfire, which has been widely celebrated since the Gunpowder Plot took place. It’s a very fascinating part of Britain’s history if anyone would like to have a look around or a search for it (only if you want to though!). This book, like The Many Selves of Katherine North, is a hardback copy and like I’ve said previously I don’t tend to buy the hardback copies if there are paperback copies available. They do look prettier I have to admit but the outer casing really does annoy the living heck out of me, especially when I’m reading the book. Usually I end up taking the cover off but then the cover gets damaged. It’s an endless cycle but I’m probably just being snobby. Anyway, I would highly recommend this for those of you who love historical novels.

Summary:

“Gunpowder. Treason. Plot…

On a cold November night in 1605, Guido Fawkes is discovered with thirty-six kegs of gunpowder beneath the Palace of Westminister.

His plan: to blow to pieces the Kind, royal family and the entire Protestant ruling class. But there is a wider plot, one that goes far beyond a simple explosion… one that calls for an uprising and the kidnap of a nine-year-old princess, with the aim of placing her on the throne.

In a desperate race against time, government spy Christian Hardy must uncover a web of deceit that runs from the cock-fighting pits of Shoe Lane, to the tunnels beneath a bear-baiting arena in Southwark, and from the badlands of Clerkenwell to a brutal reckoning in The Globe theatre.

But, amidst the chaos, one threat above all cannot be ignored: the renegade Spanish agent, codenamed Realm…”

Just as a sidenote, I actually was in York over the 5th of November which is actually where Guy Fawkes was born and where his body parts were eventually placed around certain parts of York as a reminder to the inhabitants of what would happen to them if they ever committed treason. If you live around the York area or are visiting there, I highly recommend doing either one of the ghost tours or the tours surrounding Guy Fawkes! Definitely worth the cold I got afterwards!

Price: £12.99

 

I really hope you enjoyed reading through my new purchases! And I want to know whether or not you’re interested in any of these books? Or whether you’ve already got them and read them? If you have, I’d love to you hear your thoughts on them! Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

~A. 

 

The image taken above is from my own copies of the aforementioned books. I do not own any of the summaries listed above, they are from my own copies of the books.

New Purchases!

Welcome back!

So today’s an exciting blog because I recently just purchased three new books (pictured above) and I’ll be going through my first impressions of each one. Hopefully inspire a few people to go out and purchase these to support the authors. I’ll also put the story synopsis in case you are interested in what these stories are about.

 

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

The first book I picked up was Dear Amy and I’ll have to be honest, the first thing that attracted me was the fact my name was in the title of the book but I wasn’t entirely sure about just buying it straight away so the next day I went back to have a proper look at it but unfortunately for me, they didn’t have any left on the shelf so I was quite frustrated. I left it for another two days and went back to the shop and luckily, they had just re-stocked it therefore I grabbed the last copy for a quick read.

The cover is definitely creative and interesting in itself as well, showcasing a gradient read effect along with the illusion that a note has been pinned on the front cover (which ties in with the context of the story). Both this one and another book I purchased were on ‘The Sunday Times Bestseller’ list which was mainly another reason I picked this up. Another reason that intrigued me was after I read the first page (which is something that I ALWAYS do) and it made me want to know more about the first girl that is introduced into the story. 

Synopsis:

“A local schoolgirl has been missing for weeks when Margot Lewis, agony aunt of the ‘Dear Amy’ advice column, receives a letter. 

‘Dear Amy, I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. I don’t know where I am. Please help me. Bethan Avery.’

This must be a hoax. Because Bethan Avery is another young girl, who went missing twenty years ago. As more letters arrive, Margot becomes consumed by finding the sender and – unlike the police – convinced that the girls’ disappearances are connected.

Solving this puzzle could save someone’s life – but could it also cost Margot her own?”

I am really excited to read this book. Mysteries and thrillers are definitely books that I enjoy reading and can’t seem to put down!

Price: £7.99

 

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

This was the other book on ‘The Sunday Times Bestseller’ list. But the main reason why I was fascinated with this book was definitely the weird and (for now) dissociated title to the context of the story. Along with the colour of the front cover, because as you probably all know, my favourite colour is blue and I tend to be more drawn to things that are blue. This is again another mystery that deeply intrigues me as it is set in Britain in the 1970s rather than a modern era or a fantasy era. The other thing that really persuaded me to purchase this book was the review on the back of the book from Paula Hawkins, who is the author of The Girl on the Train (fantastic book!).

“A quirky, moving and beautifully written tale of life in 1970s Britain… a delight from start to finish.”

My book preferences do tend to vary depending on my mood or whatever catches my eyes the most at the time but I definitely haven’t read any books that were both quirky and moving which is making me excited to get stuck into this one soon!

Synopsis:

“Summer, 1976

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

But as doors and mouths begin to open and the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find more than they could have imagined…”

The first page of the book is brilliant, you can instantly tell that it is the narrative of a ten-year-old girl which sometimes is quite hard to do without making the child seem too young at times. Plus it gives you a little map of the cul-de-sac along with which house belongs to who so that you picture it more in your head.

Price: £7.99

 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

The last book I picked up was completely by chance because I was only planning on buying the two books mentioned above but as I was leaving, I saw this on one of the displays towards the side of the shop and immediately went over to have a look at it. The cover was the thing that definitely drew me in the most because of how fantasy-like and simplistic it was at the same time. Usually I’m a sucker for simplistic book covers because it makes me want to know more about the plot of the book. This is also the only one about the three that is hardback and usually I don’t tend to buy hardback copies of books because although they tend to last longer than paperback copies, the loose cover really does annoy me a little more. I don’t mind buying hardback copies if that’s the only copy they have but if they have both hardback and paperback, I lean more towards the paperback copies.

Reading any book’s synopsis is really important to me (as well as reading the first page) because I feel like it can really make or break my interest in wanting to purchase the book or really want to read it. But this synopsis didn’t disappoint because it immediately throws you into the action of two different worlds, both that have insurmountable animosity between the two for reasons you don’t know yet but are desperate to figure out. I just love it already and given how much I loved the ‘Divergent’ series, I really can’t wait to see whether Veronica Roth’s next unaffiliated book will meet my expectations!

Synopsis:

“In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift…

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power – something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive – no matter what the cost.

Then Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable.  Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship – and love – in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

This book really is interesting. I can’t wait to see the relationship between Cyra and Akos, and how that’s going to play out, whether or not Akos’ loyalty to his brother is enough to match Cyra’s mistreatment by her brother. And how on Earth it’ll all play out!

Price: £14.99

 

I hope you enjoyed reading through my first ever blog about my new purchases! And I’m sure I’ll get some more books in the future, who am I kidding… I already have a list a mile long of all the next ones I want to buy! 

See you tomorrow for another exciting blog post I’ve been planning over the last two days!

 

Happy reading!

~A.

 

The image above was taken by me from my own copies of all three books. The extracts were taken from the back of my own copies of the books.