Thursday, 25 February 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts | 004


One | Taking part in Book Blogger Appreciation Week last week was such a great experience. I'm really happy to have taken part and discovered some new to me bloggers sharing a host of amazing and varied content. Although I had a blast, I feel like I wasn't prepared for how big of an undertaking being a participant would be. At least in future years - because I hope there are future years - I won't be going in so blindly.
 
Two | It feels like there hasn't been enough hours in the day these past couple of weeks... That, or I've been a bigger procrastinator than usual and feel like very little has been done. Let's be honest, it's most likely the latter.
 
Three | You know when you leave your emails to build up and have a little freak out when you return and there are like 700 emails. Yep, I know that feeling all too well. I recently tackled my primary email inbox after letting it build for far too long. It's kind of a daunting task, but if you're in that situation, I'd advise to just jump in and do it because you'll feel so much better afterwards. The vast majority of my emails were junk - you know the daily circulars you get from companies you've bought from etc - so it wasn't too bad. The next task is to un-sign from some of those because I clearly don't pay any attention to them when they build up like that.
 
Four | We headed out on a little family adventure to Caerphilly Castle and had such a good time wandering where we hadn't before. I was doubly happy with our outing because not only did we get to spend some nice quality time together as a family, but I also captured some of my favourite pictures taken this year so far. If you're interested in those at all you can see them here on my other blog - Captured By Jade.
 
Five | Recently I watched a documentary on Netflix UK called Twinsters. The documentary follows these two Korean adoptees, one adopted by an Parisian family and the other a US family, but by coincidence come together and discover they are in fact twins. It's such an amazing story and it's really beautiful to see the relationship they develop and how they help each other in many ways. I'd highly recommend giving it a watch if you can.
 
Six | I'm still that blogger that fan girls inside, and clearly here too, when an author reads or replies to a review of mine - even more so when I haven't interacted that post in any way other than literally sharing it. Throughout my comings and goings in the book community I've always been that way, and I don't see it changing. Am I the only one?!

Seven | I'm a little behind on reviews at the moment, having only shared one this month despite reading quite a few books. I'm hoping to catch up on them early in March because I do tend to stay on top of my reviews. Typically I won't read a new book without having written my review of the last first, but because I've been reading a lot of shorter length books I've just been jumping on in.
 
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Journeying Into Audiobooks


In January I completed my very first audiobook.
 
I'd always been hesitant to give the format of audiobook a try. I've listened to a few podcasts before, but that's the closest I'd gotten to something being narrated to me in my adult life. My initial hesitation stemmed from the possibility of not being able to take in the goings on... I thought that without physical words in front of me, perhaps the story wouldn't transform in to something in my mind like it does with reading a physical book, because in many respects a lesser concentration level is required.
 
That was my main gripe with giving audiobooks a try. So after I listened to a podcast last year (yep, it was Serial, if you were thinking it) I knew I could follow the goings on of a layered narration - I managed to keep up with that investigation easy. So what was stopping me?
 
Honestly, I think I was being a little bit stubborn. Audiobooks were on the rise, e-books are a much read book format, and I kind of wanted to hold on to physical books. I very rarely see people reading an actual book these days. I do live a bit out in the sticks, so I don't encounter as many people in a day as I once did living in the city, but honestly I was actually surprised the other day when I saw a man reading an actual book on the bus - I couldn't tell you the last time I had seen that in public, other than in the library.
 
For the record,  I do own an e-reader, I do read e-books, but very rarely. For me my Kindle is more a source for reading on travels, as well as in situations when it's too dark to read an actual book. But it was actually the gift of a Kindle Fire tablet at Christmas that pushed me that little bit closer to audiobooks. That, and the discovery of the YouTube channel Today In Jen's Library about three quarters in to 2015.
 
A culmination of things led me to step out of my comfort zone in January and read an audiobook (Question: is it still classed as reading? I think so). I'm always trying to broaden my reading horizons, whether that be trying a new genre, giving a new to me author a try, tackling a particular book that has been sitting on my shelves for some time, reading more non fiction etc. For me, in January, that meant the purchase of an audiobook.
 
I had no idea where to start! After some consideration, I decided going down the route of familiar was a good option. For me familiar means something I comfortable with and hold fond memories of, so naturally I downloaded the first of the Harry Potter series - honestly, Harry Potter is the optimum of comfort reading for me. At over 8 hours long, by the time January concluded I'd finished the book... And I have now moved on to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I'm planning to get through an audiobook a month currently.
 
Getting in to the swing of things didn't come easily however, it took me a while to get used to this new format, and one of the struggles with this was finding the time to read my audiobook. I set aside time each day to read, typically of an evening, and then I wanted to read an actual ink and paper book. People are forever talking about these great ways in which they incorporate audiobooks to their lives, but none of them seemed to apply to my lifestyle: in the car - I don't drive, on the commute - I'm a stay at home mum, whilst exercising - ha!, in the bath - I read an actual book, whilst doing the cleaning - not with a toddler on the go, I was kind of stuck.
 
When I did come to my solution, it was kind of a 'duh, why didn't I think of this sooner' moment. I listen to my audiobook in the morning whilst drinking my cup of tea. I get up before my toddler every weekday, and so I have anything from 30 minutes to an hour in which to faff about and have a little me time before the energy of toddler all day long (honestly, where do they get it from?!). Prior to listening to an audiobook of the morning, I didn't do much in this spare time of mine, and I rarely ever picked up a physical book that early, but now I get to start my day off by reading and I love that!
 
I'm really happy to have incorporated audiobooks in to my own lifestyle because I enjoy the method of storytelling and who doesn't want the opportunity to read more than what they normally would?! If you're hesitant to give audiobooks a try, as I was, that would be my number one tip - allowing them to fit you and your lifestyle.
 
This post isn't just about my journey into audiobooks though - I'm looking to you, readers, fellow audiobook listeners, to where I go from here. It's going to be a good while before I'm done with the Harry Potter reread, but I'm open to recommendations of what books to listen to after; what books have you found that translate well to audiobook format? I've just one other rec so far and that is from Trish's blog - Between My Lines - in the form of the Millennium series. I also purchased Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell when it was on super sale for just £2.99 - I've wanted to read this book for the longest time but the length of the physical copy put me off committing.
 
Leave me your recs below! I'd be especially keen to know what your first audiobook was.
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Friday, 19 February 2016

BBAW | Day 5 | Blogger Burnout And How I Avoid It

Burnouts and slumps are so common in the book blogging community - when immersing yourself so deeply in a given topic, naturally you may need a little breather now and then. There is nothing wrong with being in a slump or feeling uninspired, so don't beat yourself up about it if you find yourself in that situation - we've all been there! Today I'm going to share three ways I avoid both blogging and reading burnout.

One | Don't force it.
Blogging shouldn't be a chore... If you're ever at a stage where you feel like blogging is tedious, an effort, or you just aren't enjoying blogging as you once did - step back. Don't force blogging. For the most part we're all hobby book bloggers, and hobbies are something to be enjoyed. Stepping back doesn't mean disappearing, you aren't going to fall in a black hole, people aren't going to forget about you or your blog. Your readers will enjoy your blog more when the content you are sharing is sincere and content you yourself are excited about.

Two | Mix it up.
In a reading slump? I have two tips - it depends on the kind of person you are. My number one tip, and the thing that works for me, is to pick up an old favourite. Delving into a book I know and love is a sure fire way to pull me out of a reading slump. Not everyone is a keen re-reader like I am however, and for those my tip is to mix it up. Step outside your reading comfort zone and pick up something you perhaps otherwise wouldn't. Sometimes, as readers, we stick with what we know and so the books we're reading could tend to be a bit samey or just feel like plots rehashed. When that is the case, reading a book that you would normally avoid is good for mixing things up. It's good to have that break, because often times a slump isn't necessarily material, more mood related.

Three | Keep up with the community.
When we're feeling meh about our blogging or reading, taking ourselves away from the book blogging community seems like a natural thing to do. I've found the best thing to do is the opposite. Staying active in the community is a great way to pull yourself out of a slump. You'll be reading a lot of book related content, discovering new to you books and recs, jumping into discussions about all things bookish, and with the impressive variety of posts to be found in the community you'll be sure to find something inspiring that leaves you wanting to jump right back in to blogging. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by content that someone else has shared, but of course always give credit where credit is due.

How do you avoid blogger burnout?

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

BBAW | Day 4 | Community Connections

Being active within your given community is a large part of blogging whatever the area, but I feel like book blogging is one of the most interactive communities - we just can't stop gabbing, about books and so much more!

With social media ever evolving, there are a number of ways in which we can keep in touch with our favourite bloggers, authors, and even publishing houses. We all tend to have a preferred method of communication and today I'm going to be talking about my own - commenting.

Commenting is an important part of the community, but perhaps often overlooked nowadays in favour of other social media platforms. Sites such as Twitter, and even Instagram, are used widely now with the book blogging community, especially because they are an instant way to keep up with our favourites and friends. Commenting is more of a commitment in comparison, if that makes sense. It's not necessarily at the touch of your smartphone like a social media app may be. A comment tends to be longer, requiring more time and thought, than a message that is 140 characters or less. That's not to say a tweet, or any other form of communication, is lesser than commenting in any way shape or form.

So, why do I prefer commenting over all else?

I'm very much an old school person... I'm not very tech savvy, nor up with the trends, social media or otherwise. I don't own a smartphone, although I do own a tablet. Commenting feels like more of a natural way in which to communicate for me. Being able to return to the one place, chit chat with everyone all in the one go, spending dedicated time in which to communicate with those who have taken their time to reach out.

In the similar vein, I like to interact with the bloggers I follow largely through the comment system. It's nice to receive comments, and get feedback on what you've shared, with opinions going to and fro.

I know many of us would blog without the comments, but they do make blogging a whole lot more fun. I think commenting is also the easiest way to connect with new to me bloggers, and I tend to fall in an abyss when it comes to the comments section - finding one new blog, and from there more and more.

What is your preferred method of keeping up with the community?
 
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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

BBAW | Day 2 | Meet Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity

As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week we were given the opportunity to opt in for interviews, meaning being paired up with another blogger who has a similar taste or blog style to you. I was a little unsure about joining up for the interviews at first, but I'm so glad to have opted in. I was paired with Trish from Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her through both email and her blog. I wasn't aware of Trish's blog prior to this but am glad to have discovered it. Not only does Trish share all things bookish, she also has a variety of other content including chronicling mummyhood, sharing craft activities and much more. Trish's blog is very much an all rounder, and Trish herself is just wonderful! Go check her out!!
 
I wasn't too sure how to proceed with the whole interview element, given that this is my first BBAW, but a Q&A format suited us both perfectly. I asked ten questions, all bookish but drawing influence from some of Trish's own interests, and she supplied some great answers.

We introduced ourselves yesterday, but could you tell us about yourself / your life using only a book title? (It doesn't have to be a book you've read).
One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest? Ha! Life with three kids 4 and under gets crazy pretty quickly. I live in Dallas, Texas and am currently staying at home with the new baby. I've always loved to read and try to squeeze in books, amongst all the other things, as often as possible.
 
Speaking of books read, what was the last book you read - tell us a bit about it.
 I've been reading a lot of comics this month for #ComicsFebruary, but the last regular book I read was The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. It takes place in post-apocalyptic London where "hungries" (zombies) have overrun the population. Melanie, a child who has grown up on a army base, slowly discovers just why she and a group of kids have been living such a sequestered life. It was a book that was truly difficult for me to put down! It had a great mixture of mystery and heart and I highly recommend it! (Zombies and post-apocalypse are not usually my thing, but it really worked well in this book).

What was the last five star book you read and why did it receive that rating?
Five star books don't come along often for me--maybe one every other year. I think that's because I'm really particular about what makes a book a five star read. It really has to speak to my soul to earn those stars! The last one was Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It's a collection of advice letters from The Rumpus's Dear Sugar column. The way that Strayed speaks about life really hit home for me and there were many times when I clutched the book to my chest just sobbing. That's what makes a five star book for me!

Do you have an all time favourite read?
I often joke that Wuthering Heights is my favorite read--really it's just the book that acted as a gateway drug for literature. If I had to choose one all-time favorite read, it would be Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Such a beautiful and emotional book!

In the same vein, do you have a favourite book to movie adaptation? I recently watched Still Alice and that's now my favourite.
I need to read Still Alice! My absolute favorite movie adapted from a book is The Princess Bride, but I haven't read the book!! I keep meaning to, but I'm afraid that it will fall flat after having watched the movie so many times since I was a child. Recently, though, I really loved The Martian--it's one of the rare cases where I like the movie more than the book.

Do you have a reading comfort zone? A preferred genre, author, theme/element etc.
My reading tends to be all over the place. Fiction, nonfiction--this month I'm focusing solely on graphic novels and comics. I've really come to love Stephen King over the past couple of years--it seems ironic to call him a comfort read, but I've come to feel at home when I'm reading his books. I love the way that he builds his characters and worlds. But I'm definitely not a horror fan!

An element I greatly enjoy when it comes to reading is travel and escapism, have you ever added a destination to your travel bucket list after reading about it in a fictional book?
Oh great question! The one that immediately comes to mind is the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States--I first learned about this trail when reading Wild by Strayed and learned even more when reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I love being in the outdoors and it's a part of the country that I haven't really explored yet. While I don't know about the actual hiking part, it did make me want to visit all the places discussed in the book

Being a mummy, I have a list as long as my arm of books I'd like to one day share with my son, do you have any childhood books that you'd like to share with your beautiful girls one day?
Yes! My oldest is almost five and I've wondered if she's old enough to read through a longer book over the course of a few weeks or if her attention would wane. I can't wait to read Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Secret Garden--and I was thinking we might start with Mary Poppins. We read stories every night before bed, so books is definitely part of our daily routine.

I know that you like to craft, have you ever completed a bookish craft? If so, do you have a favourite?
Other than making the odd bookmark here and there, no bookish crafts. I do love crafts so I think I need to figure out how to incorporate the two.

Lastly, why did you sign up for Book Blogger Appreciation Week?
One of my very favorite things about blogging has always been the community. Over the years I've connected and met so many awesome people--some I've met in person and some that I've been friends with for years. While in the past this week has been tied to blogging awards, I love that it's now just a great gushing appreciation for other bloggers. Plus it's a great way to connect with other bloggers! The community has gotten so big that events like this help make it feel a little smaller.
 
Feel free to go and show Trish some love on her blog, Twitter, and Instagram.
 
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Monday, 15 February 2016

BBAW | Day 1 | Introduce Yourself!

Today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week hosted over at Estella Society, and I'm super excited to be taking part for the very first time. I've some fun posts lined up for the week, with today's prompt asking us to introduce ourselves using five books that represent us as a person / our interests and lifestyle.
 
In the politest of ways, I'm really not that interesting of a person - that may sound like a negative or debbie downer thing to say, but in no way do I mean it as a negative. I'm very happy with who I am, my interests, my hobbies, my life, but I understand how it could look to an outsider. I'm very much a homebody, family oriented, and with the exception of walking and exploring outdoors in nature, all my interests have a focus on being indoors.
 

The books I've shared below are a mixture of interests, but with a large focus on reading interests.
 
Matilda by Roald Dahl
First of all, I love Roald Dahl as an author - both his adult & children's writing - which you'll note from two books featuring on this list, but for obvious reasons Matilda is my favourite Dahl book. I love reading, Matilda loves reading, as a child she was a person I could relate to and that's always nice in your reading material, regardless of age.
 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
I'm still holding on to that childhood dream of owning a chocolate factory because a. who doesn't?! and b. I'm pretty much a chocolate addict.
 
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I'm not a wizard, sadly, but I have always had an interest in things of a magical / fantastical nature. Not only do I own the series in paperback, but I've also started collecting the illustrated editions as well as listening to the audiobook version this year.

Grimms' Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm
These encompass a couple of things for me - firstly, an interest in folklore and fairy tales. Not just the hearts and roses variety, but I do quite like those too. Secondly, I'm a big Disney enthusiast and often times those stories have a tie with folklore and such.

The Art of Rise of the Guardians
Much like the above book, this title shares a couple of things about me. I love animated films. I know many think of animated films being only for children, but that really isn't the case. Some of my favourite films are of the animated variety, and they are properly my most often watched films - not only because I have a child! The other element that stems from this title is my want and love of delving deeper in to things. Some people are happy to see a finished product of something and be fine with that, not wanting to know how everything came together for that one specific thing, but me, I like backstories.

| Bonus Book |
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
This is a book I'm currently reading but have read many times before - I thoroughly enjoy ghost stories, and Susan Hill's are some of the absolute favourites thanks to the muted but powerful prose. The copy I'm reading actually features five ghost stories by the author, all of which I've read before, but will work my way through again because a. I'm a big rereader and b. because with the British weather acting the way it is (think wind howling, rain falling), all I want to do is curl up with a good old ghost story - winter is my favourite time to read ghost stories.
 
I hope you've learnt a little bit about me from the books I've featured above, and I look forward to meeting some new faces during Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

Be sure to share a little bit about yourself in the comments below!
 
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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts | 003


One | Recently I watched the film adaptation of Still Alice and just loved it! I'm someone who is very hesitant when it comes to book to movie adaptations but even more so when I have read and adored the book, so it was tentatively that I stepped in to the film format. No hesitation needed however, the film was wonderfully well down and stayed quite true to the book. I'd highly recommend you experience the story of Still Alice, whether in book or film format, as it is one of the most powerful stories I've read in quite some time.
 
Two | I've been having a lot of issues lately with commenting on the blog posts of others, especially those hosted by Blogger. I don't know if this is just something happening with me, or others have experienced it too, but when I try to comment on some posts the comment box is just not there. Typically there are other comments before me trying to comment, so I don't know if this is just an issue on my side of things. I don't know. Either way, it's annoying, especially when I'm commenting as part of linky/meme.

Three | Sticking with blog posts and linky type posts, you may or may not have noticed there was no 'It's Monday!' post from this week, nor a 'Tuesday Intros' post from me either. This wasn't due to sheer laziness on my part, it was simply because I didn't want to repeat the posts from a couple of weeks ago because that is what I'm reading now. I'm deep in to The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and I've already shared that book on both linkys.

Four | Whilst still on the topic of blogging and blog content... The content is set to alter a little here on Reading With Jade - not the theme of the content (it'll always be bookish) but the amount of posting. Going into 2016 I was on top of blogging, feeling pumped and motivated for the year, and aiming to put out as much content as possible. Whilst I enjoyed that, and all the new connections I was making, I felt like I didn't have a proper balance to my hobbies - I was literally blogging and reading, when I do in fact have hobbies outside of those. Whilst I will still be participating in certain link ups there will be no fixed regularity to any type of post here on my blog - I'm taking the approach of posting as and when I want to share and feel inspired to share.

Five | Although I am reading Harry August as my main book, I'm loosely rereading a bunch of Susan Hill's ghost stories after purchasing a bind up of all of them to date late last year. If you're a fan of ghost stories check Susan Hill's out, I highly recommend, especially if you're keen on subtle and understated prose in a ghost story.

Six | Random... But I recently got a garlic mincer. Why I haven't got one of these devices sooner I do not know?! And it came in pretty handy dandy when a recipe I made this week called for 12 cloves of garlic, yep 12. You can find the recipe here.

Seven | As well as the new to me dinner recipe above, I also tried a new snack/dessert recipe this week. Although I altered my method of making ever so slightly, I attempted the simple task of making Frozen Greek Yogurt & Fruit Bark - I'd recommend, especially if you're trying to give up a chocolate obsession like me!

Eight | I'm participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week this coming week and I'm so excited!!
 
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

| Title: These Things Hidden | Author: Heather Gudenkauf | Publisher: MIRA |

In Heather Gudenkauf's second novel, These Things Hidden, we meet four women whose lives are intrinsically connected by the presence of a five year old boy, Joshua. The story is told from the perspective of all four women, which makes for a layered plot and lends to the mystery and suspense of the book - as a reader knowing what another character doesn't etc.
Opening the book is Allison, a young woman convicted of an heinous crime in her late teens, now fresh out of prison and wanting nothing more than to start over. In order to escape the town she grew up in, the town where she is known for her crime, she has to live out six months there whilst committing to her release terms. With taunts from the fellow convicts in her residence of half way house, and her family not wanting anything to do with her, Allison wants nothing more than to just leave, but with a job at a local bookstore available there's hope to hold on to.
Brynn, Allison's younger sister, is a college student living with her grandmother after the aftermath of her sister's crime was too much to live with in a small town community. Wanting to escape that fateful night, Brynn seeks solace in building a new life for herself, working with animals, and medication to beat her demons. Brynn also wants nothing to do with her sister. But after much determination on Allison's part, the two sisters finally meet and it is this that brings Brynn's world crashing down all over again.
Claire is owner of Bookends, the small town bookstore in which Allison finds herself a job... Except she finds a lot more there than just a job. Claire is lovely; wife, mother and small business owner, she has had her fair share of trials and tribulations, but she feels settled now. Claire has all she ever wanted, but is Allison about to take all that away with a long held secret?
And lastly we have Charm, a nurse in training who is taking care of her sick stepfather, Gus, but who also has a personal interest in the Kelby family - Claire, her husband Jonathan and their young son, Joshua.
I love the plot of These Things Hidden, and the way in which these four lives are entwined, cleverly so. Without saying too much, I also liked how at the start of the book as a reader we were being lead to believe one thing only to be taken down another path.
With a lot of contemporary mystery reads, it's hard to talk about the plot because they are best experienced first hand - although the same could be said for any book - but the unfolding story in These Things Hidden is so emotive and very much the kind of book in which you connect with the characters resulting in hard pulls on your heart strings.
In particular for me, as someone who was at the bedside of a relative when they passed away from cancer last year, the scenes in which we see Charm's stepfather deteriorate and ultimately pass away as the result of cancer were just heart breaking - the realness of those scenes just really got me. With his raspy breaths being likened to that of a teapot and so much more, the narrative and it's observations were powerfully written. Perhaps they wouldn't have the same affect on everyone... I'm sure my own personal experience lends to those particular parts sticking out in my mind.
Sticking with the narrative, I did just want to mention why These Things Hidden received four stars, instead of five, from me given that I did enjoy it so much. My one and only gripe with the book is how Allison and Brynn's narratives were told from a first person perspective while Claire and Charm's were not, they were written from a third person perspective. This didn't dampen my reading experience, or get in the way of following the story, I just didn't really understand why it was that way.
Despite that, I'd still highly recommend checking out These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf, or just her work in general. This is the second book I've read by her, the first being One Breath Away, and both stories were well crafted, capturing my attention and entirely enveloping me in the lives of the characters.
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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Valentine's Day Books For Toddlers

 
With Valentine's Day fast approaching I thought I'd share a couple of books that we'll be reading focusing on the love shared between child and parent. Typically Valentine's Day is thought of as a romantic holiday, often times a commercialised holiday, but whatever your thoughts on the day itself reading a book appropriate to a given season or holiday is a great way of exposing your child to the sentiment of said period of time. I'm very much in the camp of people who thinks a day shouldn't be needed in order to show a loved one just how much you care for them, but we'll be exploring love through our bookish material all the same.
 
We own many books in our collection that feature love, affection and so on, but our two favourites are I Love You, Too and Guess How Much I Love You.
 
 
I Love You, Too shares the story of a mother and child bunny, with the mummy bunny telling the child bunny all the reasons why she loves her young child. The story itself is short but wonderfully told and full of all the tenderness a bond between parent and child holds.
 
 
Guess How Much I Love You is a staple read in many children's book collection and the range now expands beyond the original book itself, introducing children to the seasons, colours and counting, all whilst spending time with a familiar child and parent duo. The duo at the heart of guess How Much I Love You is Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, we follow them as they scamper around woodlands trying to express just how much they love each other. I think the success of Guess How Much I Love You lies in the fact that we want to share exactly how we feel about our loved ones, and yet love is very much on an immeasurable scale.
 
What books relating to love do you read with your little one?
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

January Wrap Up


READ
Physical Book
The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern
City Atlas: Travel The World With 30 City Maps by Martin Haake
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Life or Death by Michael Robotham
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Audio Book
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Dnf
You by Caroline Kepnes

REVIEWED
My Reading
The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern - 5 stars
City Atlas by Martin Haake + Georgia Cherry - 5 stars
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell - 4 stars
Life or Death by Michael Robotham - 4 stars

Toddler's Books
Introducing Children's Books on Reading With Jade
Peep Inside The Zoo
A Couple of Counting Books

PURCHASED
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
The Murders In The Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allen Poe

POSTS FROM BLOGOSPHERE
Between My Lines | The A to Z of Handy Tips for #Bookbloggers - B Is For Balance (I'd recommend keeping an eye on Trish's entire series - I'm loving it so far)
Nose Graze | If You're A Stressed Book Blogger, Why Are You Doing It?
Twirling Pages | In Defense of Negative Reviews
Word Revel | Bookstagram 101: Introduction (Another feature to series to keep your eye out for - some great posts coming)
Paper Fury | Why It Is Perfectly Acceptable To Have An Enormous TBR Pile
Queen of Comtemporary | Should Book Bloggers Be Paid? (Hot topic at the moment)
Booklover Book Reviews | Literary Quotes and The Books They Come From
The Quiet People | Supporting Self-Published Authors
Bookishly Boisterous | Tricks For Toddler Story Time
The Estella Society | Book Blogger Appreciation Week Sign Up (taking place on Feb 15-19)
Tea, Books & Fun | 5 Tips To Survive When You Live With A Bookworm
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Smiling Shelves | Shiver Language in All The Light We Cannot See (Julie shares these posts every now and then with some stunning quotes shared)

Happy February!
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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros | These Things Hidden

The premise behind First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is to share the first paragraph or so of the book you are currently reading or intending to read soon. I have yet to finish the book I shared here last week - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - as I found myself wanted a page turner of a read, as opposed to slow steady savouring pace I'm getting through that read. Turning to my shelves and looking for a page turner, I picked a new to me author last year, but one I will read many more books of in the future - Heather Gudenkauf.
 

First Paragraph(s)
Allison

I stand when I see Devin Kineally walking toward me, dressed as usual in her lawyer-gray suit, her high heels clicking against the tiled floor. I take a big breath and pick up my small bag filled with my new possessions.

Devin's here to take me to the court-ordered halfway house back in Linden Falls, where I'll be living for at least the next six months. I have to prove that I can take care of myself, hold down a job, stay out of trouble. After five years, I'm free to leave Cravenville. I look hopefully over Devin's shoulder, searching for my parents even though I know they won't be there. "Hello, Allison," Devin says warmly. "You all set to get out of here?"

Would you continue reading?

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Monday, 1 February 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well, things haven't improved on the reading front around here - I'm so flitty at the moment! My lack of sleep is transferring in to lack of concentration which in turn means I'm all over the show with my reading choices. I have been reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August but for me it's the kind of book that requires a slow and steady reading pace, but my mind set of late wants something different. I've been craving the kind of book that I can just pour myself in to and page turn; I just want to devour a story really. I don't know about you, but for me those kinds of books tend to be contemporary reads where you get tangled into somebody else's life for a bit. Turning to my shelves I decided to pick up a Heather Gudenkauf book - These Things Hidden. I'm well over half way through and it has definitely been fitting my reading mood of the moment.


Imprisoned for a heinous crime when she was a just a teenager, Allison Glenn is now free. Desperate for a second chance, Allison discovers that the world has moved on without her… Shunned by those who once loved her, Allison is determined to make contact with her sister. But Brynn is trapped in her own world of regret and torment. Their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden…

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