Saturday, 29 December 2012

Books I'm looking forward to in 2013

2013 (nearly). Wow. Already?! How did that happen? How did it get to the end of December?!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I meant to sit down and write my essay now, but instead I'm doing this. Whoops. Anyway.

I got a HUGE stack of books for christmas, which was awesome - loads that I'd asked for and the entire shortlist of the Man Booker prize, which was pretty cool! Already working my way through my books, of course... just finished Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor, which was awesome. Christmas I always find is a great time for doing lots of reading!  

There are plenty of books I'm looking forward to in 2013!

Here are some:

1. The next Gallagher Girls and Heist Society novels by Ally Carter
2. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
3. Legacy by C J Daughterly
4. Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
5. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (hopefully!)
7. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
8. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
9. The Summer I became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
10. Rules of Summer by Joanna Philba
11. Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

And no doubt many many many more....

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Books and Authors I loved/discovered in 2012: Part Two


Authors I discovered and loved/series I devoured

1. Ally Carter. Oh man, how did I not read anything by Ally Carter before?! It was one of those cases where I was following the person on twitter long before I read anything by them, and when I found one in the library (the library has given me so many gems!) I devoured it. I adore the Gallagher Girls. So much. I love the characters. The setting. The humour. The plots. The writing. Ally Carter is just magical. I would have put this in the series section, but then I loved The Heist Society novels too. How could I not?

2. Stella Gibbons. Cold Comfort Farm had been on my to be read list for a LONG time. I finally read it last Christmas, and fell in love with this author. Over this year I have read many more of her novels, and I just love her humour and style.

3. Morgan Matson. I loved reading Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour earlier in the year, having heard a lot about it, it was great to finally read it, but Second Chance Summer which I read over the summer cemented Morgan Matson as one of my (many) new favourite authors. The prose and plot were beautiful and haunting, the characters I grew so attached to... just everything about this book was wonderful. I think I've raved about it before so I'll leave it there....

4. Diana Wynne Jones. I discovered Wynne Jones because of my children's literature course earlier in the year and it made me wonder why I'd never picked up one of her books before. Her books are magical and are just enchanting. I've devoured many of hers this year, and loved in particular Howl's Moving Castle and Charmed Life.

Series I devoured

1.Joss Stirling. Joss' books all fit together in the same story world so I figured it was a series. I love these books and these characters, and have eagerly read each one this year.I love the world she creates and the characters and these perfect little stories, that are kind of paranormal, but not quite, and it's so different and unusual I loved it.

2. Garth Nix. I read the Sabriel Triology over Easter when I should have been writing my dissertation and I loved them. I had heard of them before but never read them, and I stole them from my brother's bookcase. They were awesome!

3. Veronica Roth. The first two books in the Divergent series. These were books I heard a lot about, and so I read the first one, which was awesome and preordered the second I loved them so much. Awesome series!

4. Lauren Oliver. The Delirium series. I devoured the first two of this series in about 24 hours... seriously I found the first one in the library, thought I'd give it a go, and I was hooked. I couldn't put it down and unable to wait to get the next one, bought it for my kindle and read that one too... I can't wait for the last in the series. So good... and such horrible cliffhangers!

Books I should have read before and only did this year

1. The Hobbit. J R R Tolkein. I know, I know. Well, I finally read it in honour of the film coming out. And I loved it.

2. LOTR. J R R Tolkein. This is another of those epic books I have always thought I wanted to and should read, and it was only this summer I finally restarted it again and committed myself. I've never even seen the films (I've seen bits... I know....) so it really was an epic adventure for me. And it was awesome!

Rereads of the Year 

1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. My favourite all time book. I reread this a month or so ago, having not done so for ages and I reread loads of du Maurier's for my dissertation but it was nice to return to this one. Haunting and beautiful as always.

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. You may remember me raving about this earlier in the year when I got to do a presentation on it. Well I loved rereading it as ever. Magical book.

 3. Anna And The French Kiss and Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.These two books, especially Anna, have fast become some of my comfort reads and there's a very good reason why. I love revisiting these characters and their worlds, and it's so easy to become immeresed in that world. And I can't wait for the next one... which brings me onto my next blog post.

4. But first one last reread - Harry Potter. No year is complete without rereading a Harry Potter or two. Ultimate comfort reading when I'm down or need something familiar and comforting.


That's it for now.

Planning to do a 'books I'm looking forward to in 2013' post, maybe in the week after Christmas.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Home For Christmas!

Home again for Christmas - and I can't believe how quickly the last few days have already gone. So much to do before Christmas, although I think we're getting there, the tree is all decorated, things are more sorted out and organised. I can't believe Christmas is on Tuesday! TUESDAY!

Oh man.

So soon.

I'm excited to see all my friends who are just getting back, although the novelty of being home is definitely wearing off. Oh, family politics. So frustrating.

Trying to settle down to write my essay and get on with some work and some poetry, but it's hard. Trying to make lots of time to do edits too, but that's hard around this time of year with so much other stuff to do!

Very exciting news though - yesterday they announced John Green's UK book tour... and guess who's going?! I am UNBELIEVABLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!! And Hank Green will be there too... I never thought I would be able to see these two, EVER! It was all rather sudden really, so I guess it hasn't really sunk in yet. But oh man, I cannot WAIT!!


Monday, 17 December 2012

Books and Authors I loved/discovered in 2012: Part One

I was thinking of posting a list of books I was excited about being released in the New Year and I was looking back through some old notebooks and thought why not post about some of the books I'd loved this year, and the authors I'd enjoyed reading and those I'd discovered? So here we go. (While some of these were published this year, many were not. And this is an edited selection of things I've read this year!)


Books I adored (and I read many of these authors for the first time and love them dearly now) 

1. The year started off with the release of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. And oh man, what a good start to the year this was! It started as it meant to go on. Of course this book has been covered so much this year, but it deserved it. It was amazing, heartbreaking, heartwarming and perfect.

2. I have been gradually working my way through the beautiful and lovely novels by Sarah Dessen. One that I read this summer was The Truth about Forever and I fell in love, like you do when you read a Sarah Dessen. I could see why this book is so quoted on tumblr! I loved the characters, the set up, everything.

3. A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd, is one of those big books that I had heard a lot about, before I picked up a copy at the library. This was such a lovely but emotional read and I was glad I was able to read it. It was beautifully written, and so well constructed I just adored it.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor was another book I had heard a lot about, and so when I finally got it this summer I was delighted and instantly hooked. I was drawn into this world and these characters, and I'm hoping I get the sequel for Christmas!

5. The Book of Summers by Emilya Hall was a lovely summer novel which I devoured. The first one on this list which isn't a YA book, I know. I loved the rich setting and characterisation, and this was the perfect book to read on a lazy summer afternoon!

6. Another 'grown up book' as it were that I loved reading was The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I loved how this was about sisters and how all the threads tied together. It was a really enjoyable read and really explored family dynamics!

7. Julia Albain is one of my heroes, and so A Glamorously Unglamourous Life was a must read for me. I don't know why I hadn't read it until this year, but I read it with a coffee just before I graduated - the right time to read it I guess. It is such an inspiring little book, I felt instantly inspired and determined to go out and do!

8. Night School by C J Daugherty was one of those ones I stumbled upon and then wondered why on earth I had never come across this book before. The combination of fantastic characters, a boarding school in the middle of the countryside, intrigue and well what's not to like?

9. So one of the big events of the year, of course, was the publication of JK Rowling's first book for adults, The Casual Vacancy, and I was definitely one of those who was very excited and had to go buy it on the day it came out. I was not disappointed. Yes, it was different to Potter (of course it was) but her style is fantastic and I loved the way she creates characters and draws you into the world she creates. I have not one bad thing to say.

10. Unsaid Things, the Mcfly biography, the only non fiction book on this list, is another of those ones I couldn't wait for it to come out and had to order it, so I had it immediately. I spent an afternoon reading it and was emotionally drained afterwards. Felt like I had been waiting forever for this book to finally come out, and to learn all the secrets they'd been keeping, so this was amazing to read. My heart broke though.

11. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was one of those anticipated books and it didn't let down. I loved this book. It was wonderful, with fantastic characters and a plot which drew you in.


Coming soon: Part Two - Authors I discovered and loved, series I devoured, books I should have read before, and rereads of the year.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

End of Term

I can't believe it's the end of term and Christmas is rolling around again!

In fact it's under two weeks until Christmas day (seriously? That seems crazy!) and today is 12/12/12. Yes. Such fun. (I cannot wait for Miranda to start again).

Things have got busy here, they always are at the end of term, yet at the same time, it feels like things are slowing down, if you know what I mean? It's always weird,s aying goodbye to people, saying see you in the New Year, when you've seen them every week for months. And Christmas is a strange time. I'm excited, but not really any more.

I've moved into a stage again where I'm mainly editing. Editing poems, editing my story... and I miss just writing. I know editing is just a stage, a form of, and some people love it, and I don't mind it, I'm growing to love it, but sometimes you just want to write something. Just because. You know?

So you know in my last post I said I was feeling Christmassy and excited for Christmas? HA! I've had a funny couple of weeks, with some strange news and my brain seems to have shut down and won't let me write anything. I've had this happen before, and it scares me, that that period might last longer than last time, or I don't know. I've barely written any poetry since, I've struggled in our classes -which we've now had our last one of, which is very sad :( Bleurgh. I'm sure it'll come back. It's just this season I guess. And it's so COLD.

Anyway, we're having a House Christmas today which should be lovely, so I should go do something useful....

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December Time!

Christmas is coming!

I can't believe it's December already -where has this year gone? Seriously, it has rushed by so quickly - so much has happened, and so much has changed.

I'm feeling particularly Christmassy this year. I normally resist it - or I have for the last few years, but this year I'm very much into the festive spirit, actually (on the whole anyway) looking forward to Christmas, and listening to lots of Christmas music (there's a whole radio station dedicated to Christmas music I was informed and this is amazing!), writing Christmas cards and things (which this year I've made... very exciting!). I even made mince pies on Sunday with a friend! It's hard to believe that there are only two weeks left of term - in just over two weeks I will be at home. There's lots coming up and it's going to be fun to be so busy with Carol services, and Christmas meals and all sorts of fun Christmassy stuff. I can't help but feel like I'm not as busy as I might have been last year (believe me I'll probably take back those words next week) but this weekend has been very quiet, with both my housemates away or working.

I can't believe how quickly this term has gone. It still feels like we're going to settle into it sometime, only thing is that it's nearly over! which is just insane really. 

Walking to work this morning I suddenly fancied a nice warming casserole tonight like my Mum used to make (it's got so cold here in the last couple of days. Now it's stopped flooding you know). So I made that this evening and it was delicious. Now having a nice evening doing some editing, and tyring to make myself do productive stuff, or work out what i need to do. I'm putting together my end of term poetry  portfolio for my module this term, which is exciting and good fun, I just have to work out the critical essay bit! I started editing the story I wrote in the summer too today, and I'm glad to get into that. I am alternating between editing the two stories, and sad as I do feel to not have my NaNo novel open every day, it is actually quite nice to be doing something else! And it gives my hands a little bit of a break.