Faye’s Thoughts On… TBR’s

Posted on 19 June, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

fayesthoughtfulfriday1

I am constantly creating mini-TBRs and talking about the books on my massive TBR and so today I wanted to talk a little bit about TBR’s in general.

The Overall TBR

For those of you who don’t know, to clarify a TBR is your To-Be-Read list or pile or bookcase. For me, books on my TBR are ones that I own either in physical format, in ebook format or that I’m currently borrowing from the library or friends. Any book that I don’t have to hand goes on my wishlist. For the sake of clarification, I probably have over 500 books on my current TBR. Which is a lot. It’s more books than I read in a year and will probably take me over 5 years to read through them all. Thus, to make it more manageable, I generally make min-TBRs.

The Mini-TBRs

There are many reasons that I make mini-TBR’s. There’s the monthly TBR’s that I make because those are the books I want to read. The season TBR’s, the read-a-thon TBR’s and the book-buddy TBR’s. These are all small and usually larger than necessary so that I can pick and choose what I feel like reading. However, what I have noticed is that I very rarely stick to my mini TBR’s.

Choosing What Books to Read

My mini-TBR’s are supposed to be a way to help me decide what to read next. They’re a small selection of books related to some theme or mood I’m in which I can then pick and choose from. They’re all books I’m desperate to read or was desperate to read at one point and usually I start off well with them but eventually I digress and start choosing books from my larger TBR instead of my mini-TBR. Which always makes me wonder why I make mini-TBRs in the first place.

Does It Matter?

So what I want to ask is whether or not choosing books that aren’t on my mini-TBR but are on my TBR is a problem. Does it matter that I stray from my original picks and decide to read something else? Is the fact that I am still reading books I want to read okay? I ask because I can sometimes end up feeling guilty for not reading what I say I will read. And also because this is how books I was super excited for end up on my bookshelf unread for years. What do you think?

And what about you? Do you always stick to your mini-TBR piles?

faye1

Posted on 19 June, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


It’s Not A Diet, It’s A Lifestyle Change

Posted on 18 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

Hey Guys!

Today I am here to talk to you about my recent lifestyle change. So last week I posted this post about how I feel paranoid that society judges me on my size and instantly assumes that I am lazy, inactive and obviously not trying hard enough. I wrote the post to let people similar to me to know that they’re not alone, to air out my thoughts and to make it known that everyone is different and what is on the outside or what you see for a few moments isn’t all there is to know about a person.

From that post I had a few comments about my diet and what I was eating. So this week I decided to write a post about how my eating habits have changed and how much better I have felt because of the change. I have been through so many diets in my life for many reasons but none of them ever stick because I usually end up craving something that I’ve not allowed myself to have. So I knew that for this to work, I needed to make sure that I was keeping a good balance to avoid that ever-present desire to eat some of my favourite foods; ice cream, chocolate and cake.

Thus I sat down and looked at the foods I was eating. I looked at what sugars I was ingesting, what fats I was consuming, and how many fruits and vegetables I was putting into my body. The result was easy to see why I had gained a lot of weight and quickly. My diet mostly consisted eating out at restaurants, cooking up foods using sauce jars or eating food that was easy to just bung in the oven. I rarely had any vegetables and I was stocking up on all the sugar you could possibly imagine.

So I then worked out what I needed to change.

Now the first thing I did was cut back on gluten products. Last year I feared I had celiac’s disease and on the doctors advice, cut back drastically on eating gluten foods. It was definitely a shock to the system finding out just how many items in the supermarket contain gluten. But in the time that I stopped eating gluten I lost almost two stone, in a four month period. I was also going to the gym and swimming but this had been going on before so it wasn’t something new to my lifestyle. Upon hearing I did not in fact have celiacs, I jumped straight back to the gluten products because bread is one of my food weaknesses. I could eat it for every meal of every day for the rest of my life if I had to.

One Stuffed Mushroom

But clearly my body wasn’t taking many nutrients from it, so I decided that I needed to cut back again. Not completely but just less, allowing myself only one meal a day to contain gluten.

Then I wanted to look at my sugar. I have heard some terrible things about sugar and the amount that we consume. We are only supposed to consume six teaspoons of sugar a day. Considering I am a coffee fiend who drinks it with two sugars, I was drinking that much on a daily basis. Add in continuously drinking cocoa cola and other fizzy drinks, and I could already see how much I was probably damaging my insides. I could, of course, just change to the diet fizzy drinks but the horrors of sweetners terrify me and I would rather have no fizzy drinks then swap them over.

tea

So I did just that. I now drink water as my main drink, trying increasingly hard to drink two litres a day. I also reduced my coffee intake to one a day with one sugar and no milk and one to two teas a day with no sugar and a splash of milk.

But, scarily, it was not only the drinks that I found hidden sugars. It was the sauce mixes that I was cooking with for ease. They were riddled with preservative sugars. It’s the only way that companies can make sure the sauces last for a long time and also still taste good. But it wasn’t doing me any good. So I have stopped cooking with ready-made sauces and now cook everything from scratch, and have found some meals that are incredibly easy to cook from scratch, perfect for when you’ve had a late or long day at work and really just want to bung something in the oven.

Lastly, but certainly not least, were my snacks. I was eating one to four chocolate bars a day depending on the size of the bar and how hungry I was. Either way, it was a lot and it was not good. Finding healthy snacks is still something I struggle with but I have stopped eating chocolate bars everyday and instead try to eat a handful of nuts instead, which are high in protein and full of those good fats our bodies need.

Since implementing these food changes I have lost one and a half stone since February. I had a bit of a bumpy month in April wherein I gained some weight because I had a few bad days and needed some comfort food but I’ve managed to lose it all again this month which is always a good thing. This is a lifestyle change for me. It means that if I want something that is “bad” for me, I allow myself to have it but only in moderation. It means that I am allowed chocolate so long as I haven’t had it yet that day and I don’t eat more than one bar, even if it’s just a small Rocky. What this then means is that I don’t crave bad food. It means that greasy food actually makes me feel a little bit sick now. The idea of having a McDonalds? Only if it’s a truly last choice.

Because the thing about eating healthier is that you will feel the benefits in your body and it will thank you for it and will is probably not going to want to eat badly again. It’s about re-training our brains.

For me being healthy does not equal a salad. It does not mean that I have to walk around drinking smoothies and only having small portion sizes. It is about having a healthy balance and eating foods that are beneficial to my body.

And if you’re curious, my daily food goes a little something like this;
Gluten in the morning (often a bacon roll, maple&pecan twist or porridge), carbs at lunch (often a jacket potato), little or no carbs or gluten at dinner (unless I’m running the next day, in which case I will allow myself a smattering of carbs).

It may not be the quickest way to lose weight, it may not always allow me to lose weight, but it works for me. And so this is how I will continue. It is a lifestyle change afterall.

Have you ever had a lifestyle change or managed to stick with a particular diet?

faye1

Posted on 18 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Top Ten Tuesday; Summer TBR

Posted on 16 June, 2015 by Faye - 14 Comments

top ten tuesday2
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is given and this weeks topic is Summer TBR


Summer TBR

I’m always doing TBR’s and never really read the books I put on them because other new and exciting books reach my hands but these are the books I would very much like to read this summer.

Ensnared An Ember In The Ashes Never Always Sometimes

Ensnared by A. G. Howard; I keep meaning to read this one, it came out in January for crying out loud but other books keep jumping up instead. I really want to read this before the summer ends!

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir; I have been dying to read this book for months and am a bit ashamed I didn’t jump on the chance to read it but I definitely want to do that very soon!

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid; I really loved Adi’s first book and I think this one sounds super intriguing. Will definitely read this soon.

Black Cairn PointPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00026]Both of Me Read Me Like A Book

Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall; I cannot explain to you how much I cannot wait to have this book in my hands. Claire McFall has become one of my favourite authors so I am just jumping with excitment to read her latest book.

Becomming Death by Melissa Brown; This book is written by one of my friends. She was actually the person who organised the NaNoWriMo meet ups in Norwich while I was there so I have a lot to thank her for. Her book also has death and grim reapers in it so you can definitely see why I’m excited for this!

Both of Me by Jonathan Friesen; I picked this up from the library a while back and aside from needing to return it soon, this book sounds super interesting and I cannot wait to get stuck into it.

Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler; How have I not read this book yet? I keep hearing good things about it so I definitely need to get on it. It’s the first book I plan to read for the LGBT Readathon I’m hosting at the end of June!

The Art of Being Normal All The Bright Places the sky is everywhere

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson; Yet another book that came out in January and has a stream of amazingly positive reviews about it. All my friends have gushed about it to me so I definitely need to read this over the summer.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven; Look above! This one has people in tears and it sounds like a book I know I will love so I need to read this!

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson; Apparently I don’t read many books with high praise quickly enough! This is yet another book that is reaping in the high reviews and still waiting to be read. I will change this before the end of the summer, I will.


What books are on your summer TBR?

faye1

Posted on 16 June, 2015 by Faye - 14 Comments


Film Review; Jurassic World (2015)

Posted on 15 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

Title: Jurassic World
Director(s): Colin Trevorrow
Writer(s): Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Ty Simpkins
Production Company:
Country:: US
Release Date: 12th June 2015
Source: Cinema
More Info: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes Amazon UK

Summary:
22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed, the new park (also known as Jurassic World) is open for business. After years of studying genetics the scientists on the park genetically engineer a new breed of dinosaur. When everything goes horribly wrong, will our heroes make it off the island?


In A World

While it is not a film I have seen a million times before, Jurassic Park has always held a special place in my heart. Thus, just like countless others, I could not wait for the release of Jurassic World. As we drew nearer to release day and the first few reviews and hype started to file in, I got even more excited and quickly made sure I was watching it on release weekend – something that is very important for films. Upon coming out of the cinema on Saturday, I was incredibly pleased. Jurassic World was well worth the wait and will be a film that I am certain I would happily watch over and over again – and I’m already planning to go see it in the cinema again!

Of Danger

It would be foolish to believe that the plot of this film would be anything other than predictable but that didn’t mean it was not enjoyable or entertaining. Even knowing the ultimate outcome, it still created tension, romance, heart-warming emotions and many “phew” and “yay” moments. All of which helped to make the film that much better in the long run. I really liked the script for this film as the dialogue was well placed and intriguing. I have heard that the film is a little misogynistic and I can definitely see that, especially with a cast overrun with males, but that didn’t stop my overall enjoyment of the film, fortunately.

Things Are Bound

What always makes films with predictable plots easier to stomach are likeable and relatable characters and this definitely happens in Jurassic World. I will admit to very much appreciating Chris Pratt’s performance in this film. His character was strong, powerful, and overwhelmingly charming. He was caring and protective and lovely and just a simple joy to watch. I also really enjoyed that the Dinosaurs became characters themselves as you cared about them and what happened to them. I felt many emotions while watching the film purely because it was possible to see the dinosaurs as you would any other pet. The main female in the film, Claire, did frustrate me at times but overall I did like her character by the end of it.

To Go Wrong

I very much enjoyed this film and I would highly recommend it, even to someone who hasn’t seen the first three films. It was great to see that they didn’t ignore Jurassic Park’s existence though and I really loved all of the small references to it. On top of that, this film is definitely a scary one when you really think about it and I’m certain some people may feel jumpy over it but I love it when films do that, it pulls you into the story that much more. On that same note I loved how intense the film became at parts and just couldn’t help but find it completely entertaining. This is a film that will stay with you. It will make you feel many emotions and it comes across as a true experience, almost like being on a ride. On a final note, I watched this film in 2D and think it was really interactive and brilliant, I’m not convinced watching it in 3D would add anything new to the experience.

Four Stars

faye1

Posted on 15 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


Don’t Judge Me On My Size!

Posted on 11 June, 2015 by Faye - 11 Comments

Hi Guys!
Today I’m here to talk to you about a rather personal and sensitive topic that has been shadowing me for many, many years. I think it is time to share my thoughts. Today I want to talk to you all about what may just be my own paranoid thoughts but how I believe that people take one look at me and my size and instantly judge my lifestyle and how I live.

And the first thing I want to let you all know, because it bugs me to no end is this;

Fat and Fit are not mutually connected

It is quite possible to be fat and fit or thin and unfit. Just because you are one, does not mean that you are automatically the other. And the reason I know this is because I am fat and fit, and have been for most of my life.

But when people see me, I am certain that they believe I;
a) need more exercise
b) should eat less
c) eat more of the “right” food

And I’m a little bit fed up of how damaging these thoughts and comments can be, especially when I already feel like I am trying my hardest to “look better”.


My Story

wpid-20150610_190800.jpg

This is me. This is what I look like. It is more or less, how I have always looked – with a little bit of extra padding. Yes, I have had moments in my life where I’ve been slimmer and moments in my life when I’ve been bigger but for the most part, this is a good average representation of how I have always looked. I have not, and doubt I will ever be, incredibly skinny. The best I have to hope for is to fit into a size 12. But that is totally okay. Because even at the size I am now, I know that I am fit and active and that makes me incredibly happy with myself.

I have always been active

Ever since I was a young girl, I liked to run around. From what I’m told, I would run around the playground, ride my bike, going for long walks and get involved with sports. I didn’t care that I wasn’t any good or very fast because I enjoyed it. And I still do. I have this slight problem wherein I can find it very difficult to sit still for long periods of time. (Anyone who has sat next to me in the cinema will know this for certain and often hates me for all my fidgeting!)

What this essentially means is that I rather enjoy being physically active and find it hard to not do some sort of exercise from time to time. In fact, I know there is a link to my moods and how often I exercise. Whenever I get too low, I try and force myself to go and be active for a little while.

So, when I was in primary school, I was always running around at breaktime, playing hopscotch, doing handstands over and over, playing football and even participating in gymnastics. At secondary school I walked thirty (eventually twenty when I kept waking up late) to school every morning, loved PE and was on the school rounders and netball team. I went to Guides where at camp we did Kayaking, Rockclimbing, Absailing, Hiking, and various other activities that I enjoyed. At fourteen I got a paper-round where every morning I would cycle for thirty minutes with heavy bags of papers. Then when I went to college I would walk fourty-five minutes to the train station and then walk up the largest hill for another twenty minutes (and back again in the evening). I would play badminton in the evenings, went swimming every Friday afternoon and I also joined a ten pin bowling club on Saturday mornings. (You may not think ten pin bowling is a lot of effort but it is when you do it for three hours without stopping and you’re the only one in your lane).

Then I went to Canada for six months and went skiing twice a week, every week. It was during this part of my life that I lost the most weight I ever have. The problem being that I did so because I got the flu. On my return, I went to university and one of the first things I did was sign up to the Waterpolo team. This was also the year that I first started running for charity so I started training to run my first 5K. I did another 5K run a year later and stayed with the Waterpolo team which included vigorous training three times a week. Admittedly in my third year of university I stopped doing Waterpolo training but I did keep my running up and still went swimming regularly. While finishing university has been tough as I haven’t found another team to join, I do have an active job which involves going up and down four flights of stairs, shelving books, carrying heavy items and generally almost always being on the go. And now I’m running and swimming again too.

Looking at all of that, would you believe that I’m a size 18-22 dress size?

But what about food?

Obviously, you are thinking, well, if she’s THAT active then she must be eating very badly. I will admit that I have moments in time when I do eat badly. I know growing up we did eat a fair amount of junk food because it was a lot cheaper to feed six kids at McDonalds than at a posh restaurant (cheaper and easier), but as I’ve gotten older, my diet has changed dramatically. I now cook all of my own foods, although, I am only just starting to cook everything from scratch after finding out about all the hidden sugars in ready-made sauces like Dolmio. But I still occasionally like to have cake, and ice cream and chocolate. I don’t think this should ever be denied to me just because I’m a little chunky round the middle. And I honestly want to stop feeling guilty every time I eat these comfort foods.

Food is probably the reason I’ve never fully lost weight and is probably the reason I will never go past being a size 12 but food will never be the reason that I am not a fit individual. I am learning a lot of new things about food lately and sharing my new recipes on this very blog, recipes that are low in sugar, carbs and fat. I’ve learnt that some fats are good for you (the right fats) and sugar is only bad if you don’t use the energy it provides. And I’m finding everything I am learning fascinating and definitely noticing changes in my body and my cravings, but even with all these changes, I still allow myself the cake, ice cream and chocolate on occasion without feeling guilty or judged because I know that I am fit and well on my way to being healthy too.


Think Before You Speak

My story is one of being fat and fit without knowing a true underlying cause for it, aside from potentially the years of eating slightly badly, but there are many others out there who are fat and fit because of medical issues. There are many illnesses out there that cause people to gain weight, those who may be on steroids, people who have bodies that refuse to ingest nutrients correctly, people with other underlying causes. So the next time you see someone with a few extra pounds, don’t instantly judge them for it.

But it’s also a two-way street. Just because someone is thin, does not mean that they are necessarily fit. There are many reasons why they may be thin such as illnesses that make it difficult to absorb food correctly, high metabolisms and hidden dangers. They also could just be naturally thin, unfit and completely healthy. But just as I don’t want people telling me I need to lose weight, it’s not fair to tell skinny people that a) they should put on weight or b) they don’t need to diet/get fit because they look great. Everyone has their own personal reasons for what they do and just because you may not think they look fat, does not mean they don’t feel that way and want to do something about it. It may be difficult to understand, and this is something I personally struggle with and am trying to work on, but it is their body not yours. I would never tell anyone not to diet or gain fitness or vice versa, but I will admit to feeling jealous sometimes but I am only human, afterall.

Personally, I think everyone should just stop telling other people what to do but most importantly can we please stop judging people on their size? If you don’t know, don’t judge/speak.

Everyone is beautiful, unique, and will live how ever they want whether you open your mouth to intrude or not.


I’m really hoping this doesn’t sound like I’m moaning about my weight and how there are people skinnier than me who are less active than me because I’m really not. I’m just fed up of society placing me in a stereotypical pigeon hole and always looking at me incredulously when I tell them that I’m an active person. (I swear my doctor thought I was lying to her and that is so not okay).

I don’t want to live in a world where, when I tell people I ran 10K without stopping, they think, “I’ll believe that when I see it.”. And maybe they aren’t thinking this, maybe this is just my paranoid brain but it feels like they do because that is how society has trained my brain with their constant diet advertisements and television programs like “You are What you Eat.”

But enough about my ramblings.

What do you think?

faye1

Posted on 11 June, 2015 by Faye - 11 Comments


Top Five Things About Gracefully Grayson

Posted on 10 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

Hi Guys!
Today I am here with a different kind of post but one that I want to do more often. This is a sort-of-review where I tell you all my top five things about the book. To start with I am talking about Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polansky.

gracefully graysonTitle: Gracefully Grayson
Author: Ami Polansky
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Published: 4th November 2014
Pages: 250
Format: Hardcover
Source:: Library Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body.

The weight of this secret is crushing, but leaving it behind would mean facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection. Despite these dangers, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson might finally have the tools to let her inner light shine.

Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.


Grayson

One of my favourite things about this book was the main character. He was strong, unique and just such a lovely character to read about. It was easy to feel emotional about his journey which made the reading experience that much better.

Transgender/Transvestite

This was the first book I had ever read that contained a transgender/transvestite character. This book really shows the struggle that society-constructed genders place upon those who feel uncomfortable fitting in with the stereotype. I felt that the situation was enlightening and was dealt with incredibly sensitively.

Drama

By this I don’t mean plot-drama! There was a play at the centre of this book and I loved it. I loved reading about the rehearsals and the camaraderie; it really made me miss my youth drama days. I thought it was the perfect way to portray the story too.

The Bullying

Wait! Don’t get me wrong. I do not condone bullying or physical violence, however I am glad that it appeared in this book as it made it more realistic and authentic. It was also good that the bullies didn’t get away with it. It is incredibly disheartening that bullying occurs in the world but it would have been truly damaging for the story if everyone just accepted Grayson – which in itself is also incredible sad but either way, very glad it was in this story.

Coming-Of-Age

The final thing that I loved about this book is that it was, simply put, a coming-of-age story about someone learning to find and embrace his true identity. It was heart-warming, emotional and cute. It is the kind of book that I absolutely love to read and I urge you to read it too if you feel the same!

Four Stars

faye1

Posted on 10 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


Blogger Spotlight – Interview!

Posted on 8 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

DanielSpotlight

Hey Guys!
Today I am here to introduce you to the wonderful Daniel! I’ve done a little interview with him and here are his responses.


Tell us a little something about yourself!
Hey guys, I’m Daniel! I’m a 22 year old Primary Teacher with a passion for reading. Hopefully this comes across to the children I teach! I’m a proud book hoarder, lover of Tumblr, and am extremely passionate about the use of the oxford comma.

How long have you had your blog?
Err, ooh that’s a tricky one because I’ve had my blogs on and off for about 4 years? There’s thebloggersbookshop.com which is my Tumblr and I’ve had that 4 years, until recently I created thebloggersbookshop.blogspot.co.uk and I’ve owned this for about a year and a half. I’m ever so slowly trying to transition over to blogger, but whether my followers will take the bait I do not know…

Do you enjoy running your blog?
Oh goodness, of course! I adore running my blog, even if it doesn’t extend to a very large audience. It’s all about expressing my creativity and opinions, and hey if I’m having fun and enjoying it, does it matter if it isn’t overly original?

When you started, did you ever think it would end up the way it has?
Ha, ha, ha. Oh Faye you make me chuckle. No I never thought my little old Tumblr blog would get where it is today. I mean, I’m coming up to 1000 followers and why that may not seem a lot to some people, for me that is crazy. 1000 people in the world want to stalk me. I don’t think you could under-appreciate that, right?

Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog?
Not particularly. The original name of my blog was Rectus-Litterae. I discovered the phrase years ago, and the website I found it on told me it meant literature fanatic or something to that nature. I can’t find the translation to date, but I just decided having the word ‘rectus’ in my blog name reminded people too much of the word rectum. A got a large following of porn blogs soon after I created it, so I thought it would be better to change it! For me, bookshops are a place where you can come to relax, de-stress and get lost in your own imagination. That for me is heaven as I’m sure most of you will agree. It just seemed right, as a blogger to create a fictional bookshop just for book bloggers, and well almost 4 years on here it is!

As we’ve got this far without mentioning it, why not tell us a little something about your blog? What you post, how it runs, who you cater to, etc
Ooh okay! Well as I mentioned in my previous answer, my blog is a place where I aim to welcome book lovers and book bloggers especially to relax, de-stress and just share a general passion for literature. I’m always open to people’s opinions and quite often get very invested and interested in what people have to say about a book – especially if they don’t agree with me. It’s fascinating! In terms of what I post, I’m afraid it’s not overly original. I tend to post book reviews, weekly features, monthly wrap-ups and then general posts that could be about anything. I’ve recently discussed about #SecretBookBloggers which is a fantastic project set up that focuses on book blogger pen pals. We’ve just done our first month as a trial and while there are a few kinks to sort out, I feel it’s gone really well! In terms of who I cater to, it’s mainly to my Twitter audience (which happens to be a lot of YA readers) purely because that’s where I try to reach out too the most! Social Media is the way forward for book blogging in my opinion! However, I’m happy to accept anyone into my theoretical bookshop, as I said before, I love opinions!

Do you participate or host blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
I do, I post in 3 blog memes (or weekly features as I prefer to call them) and those are Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday and Falling Behind on Friday. As for my favourite, I do like the originality of the Top Ten Tuesday and they are fun to do, but sometimes the ideas can be quite time consuming. Due to this I’d say my favourite is probably Falling Behind on Friday because it allows me to remind myself and discuss with you guys about books that have been sitting on my TBR for a while and I haven’t got around to reading them yet. I don’t know what it is but I guess it gives me a bit of self-motivation? With the posts on my blog I can see what I need to read and it kind of takes preference I guess? Sometimes but definitely not always!

What about blog tours? Have you ever or do you ever participate in them?
I love blog tours although I am recently new to them! I do try and participate in them because I’m all about trying to expand the awareness of an author and their books as far as we can as a reading community! They’re really fun and encouraging. As for whether I’ve participated in them, I have done! I was part of Deborah Install’s lovely blog tour for ‘A Robot in the Garden.’ If you haven’t checked it out, it’s amazing (blowing my own horn I know) but Deborah provided me with an awesome guest post about being the CEO of a robotics firm from her novel. Also, check out the book. It’s an epic adventure. My next upcoming blog tour however is for Wendi Nunnery’s ‘The Best Kept Secret’ and I’ll be hosting on June 8th! Wendi has prepared a guest post discussing her Top Ten Things To Know as a Published Author. Keep an eye out for it!

What is the best book you read in 2014?
Ahh Faye this is so difficult! Why did you ask that! I read so many wonderful books in 2014 because there were some amazing releases. However, from looking over my reviews I mentioned in my review of Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer that it was my favourite read of 2014 because of it’s emotional traum-I mean impact on the readers. Although it was a difficult book to try and rate due to certain elements I discuss in my review, I focused my classification of best book based on it’s impact on me and my life as a reader.

What about so far in 2015?
This question is worse. I mean, harder. How do I even begin to contemplate that?? I’ve read so many amazing books in these past few months alone! I’ll Give You the Sun, Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda, Rogue, Remix, Red Queen, The Darkest Part of the Forest! So difficult! Okay, I think I’ve chosen. It has to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab. It’s the first book of Victoria’s that I’ve read but oh goodness it was so good it left me rolling on the floor in emotional need of the next book. Just saying.

Has there ever been a book that haven’t been able to finish? If so, what was it? And why couldn’t you finish?
Oh there have been plenty but I do try to force my way through a book for the sake of giving books chances they probably don’t deserve, but it has to be The Coldest Girl in ColdTown by Holly Black. It’s the only book this year I haven’t been able to finish. I discuss more about my feelings on it in the review, but I picked this book up and down, up and down, up and down and I could not get any further. It just felt very fragmented – the story went one way and then suddenly took a tone that wasn’t in line with the story at all. It’s such a shame because I loved Holly’s The Darkest Part of the Forest. One of my favourite books of this year! Unfortunately though, not everything can be as perfect as you want it to be.

What is your favourite book genre?
YA? I take it that’s a genre? If not then Contemporary/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian. All in one book, clearly.

Quick Fire Round

ebook or hardcopy?
Ah! Hardcopy! My shelves need to look pretty!

YA or Adult?
YA.

Vampires or Werewolves?
Vampires? I’ve not read a werewolf book…

Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla. Plain and simple.

Harry Potter or Twilight?
Does this even need to be asked? I live in a bedroom surrounded with Harry Potter wallpaper from when I was 11… Take your best guess.

Four or Peeta?
The Boy with the Bread all of the way! Sorry Four.

Series or Single?
Series? I like having multiple books, but only if they’re decent sequels! None of this first book is amazing and the rest are awful rubbish!

Blogger or WordPress?
Never tried WordPress… Blogger all the way!

And finally, is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
I suppose this is where I’m supposed to write a full length speech about how amazing my blog is and how welcome everyone would be if they came to visit. Instead let me replace it with a quote that I came across recently and I feel summarises my thoughts on it perfectly. “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend” – Paul Sweeny. If you feel like that at any point in your life then The Blogger’s Bookshop will be a place you can come to mourn that friend and remember why it was you picked up the book in the first place.I also offer suggestions! Feel free to come and and talk to me on Twitter (@theblogbookshop) – I love engaging with you guys. I hope you all enjoy your stay over at my little theoretical bookshop!


What a fab guy! You can follow him here.

faye1

Posted on 8 June, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


LGBT Readathon; JUNE Announcement

Posted on 5 June, 2015 by Faye - 4 Comments

lgbtratjune2015a

Hey All!
On the back of the success of the last one, I’m here today to announce that I’m hosting another LGBT Readathon!
This month the readathon will run from 22nd June – 28th June.

The idea is to read a selection of LGBT reads with a bunch of other awesome readers. You can read as little or as many books as you wish, so long as they are somehow related to LGBT either through theme, characters or story line.

At the end of the readathon I will also be hosting another UK LGBT Chat. This will occur on the 28th June at 8pm. The hashtag for it will be…

#UKLGBTChat

To sign up for this week-long readathon, all you need to do is add a link to your blog/youtube/twitter/facebook/instagram, etc that you’ll be using to participate in the chat to the linky below.

A sign up post is not required.

The hashtag for the event will be #LGBTReadathon.

faye1

Posted on 5 June, 2015 by Faye - 4 Comments


Blog Tour; Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Posted on 4 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

Hey Guys!
Today I have the lovely Maria Dahvana Headley on the blog sharing with you her top ten fantasy books/influences.

Maria’s Top Ten Fantasy Books & Influences

I’m a huge reader of everything, and always have been, so this list is actually sort of difficult! I have a tendency to consider things outside of genre boundaries, because I’ve always just swept whole shelves into my reading pile, regardless of categorizations. But, here are a few things I consider crucial reading, at least as far as becoming the kind of writer I ended up being. I’m still changing, and a lot of it is because I see writers constantly reinventing themselves over the course of their careers. Lots of these writers seem to grab from a lot of shelves too. I’m organizing by date, I guess. Here’s a piecemeal of inspirations, by no means complete. This is just what happened when I shook my brain and looked at what came out on the page.

1. Apuleius. The Golden Ass. The first Roman novel. 3rd century. This is a story about a guy who accidentally transforms himself into an ass while trying to become a bird. It’s crazy. It’s also full of stories within stories, that kind of raconteur Canterburian structure I always enjoy, because the ass, in his woeful wanderings, ends up eavesdropping on lots of things, including a stunning version of the Cupid & Psyche story.

2. William Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not everyone would categorize Shakespeare as a fantasy writer, but please. Midsummer isn’t my very favorite Shakespeare play, but it uses a lot of things I love to use in my work, namely the notion of our world being parallel to and constantly entwined with another world we don’t always see. The fairies in Midsummer engage with the humans in the forest, both the lovers and the mechanicals, and the result is a lot of surreal comedy and a few moments of strange inter-world conflict – Titania and Oberon battling over the changeling boy, for example, is something that actually inspired Magonia. The idea that the fairies WANT a human, because Titania has fallen in love with him is very interesting to me.

3. Margaret Cavendish. The Blazing World. A utopian novel from 1666 about a polar kingdom that has talking animals, bird men, and a female protagonist wandering through it all. There are submarines in it, folks. It’s partially science fiction, partially wild fantasy, partially feminist critique, and for this, I love it.

4. Toni Morrison. Beloved. Beloved is a ghost story, and a story about history twisting into devastating shapes. The first line, “124 was spiteful, full of a baby’s venom,” gives us so much transgression in terms of easy narrative. A ferocious ghost baby. A house full of those emotions. The book itself is devastating, beautiful, and necessary. I read it at 17 and I’ve never gotten over it. It’s at the core of everything I wish I could do as a writer.

5. Angela Carter. The Bloody Chamber. Fairy tale rewordings done with elegance, brutality, and a great deal of blood. In Carter’s worlds, style is as important as events, and often the plot itself unspools twistingly from the lyrical precision Carter uses to make the world. She’s a massive influence because, well, I’m always awed by her work.

6. Marilynne Robinson. Housekeeping. I know, I know, look how she’s yanking from “literary” fiction. This book, though, is a dreamlike voyage through three generations of women in a small Idaho town, eccentrics, suicides, and a drowned train in the center of it. It’s full of the eldritch. It’s also stunning. There are things in here about the battle between parallel worlds – in this case, the private worlds of recluses who may or may not know something we don’t, vs the outside world. To me, that’s as relevant as books which contain wholly invented worlds. Private worlds are all inventions. I almost put Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle on this list, but it occupies a similar slot, structure wise. It’s also amazing.

7. Helen Oyeyemi. White is for Witching. Related to the above somewhat, in that it deals with the conflict between possibly imagined realities and the outside, judgmental world, this is a contemporary version written with fluidity, strangeness, and sentient houses. The house sometimes narrates. The house is not nice. It’s full of ghosts. The voice is stunningly unique, and the book is beautifully weird.

8. Kelly Link. Get In Trouble. I could as easily list any of Kelly’s other books, because they’re also brilliant, but this is the new one, and it contains wonders, man, wonders. “The Summer People,” involving problematic fairies, is a story in this book, and it’s worth the price of admission, as is “Two Houses,” which is a spaceship ghost story.

9. Kathryn Davis. Hell. Took me a while to decide which of Davis’ intricate, experimental, fantastical novels to put on this list, but Hell was the one that first stole my soul. It has a story about feast, famine, and family which bounces between Napoleon’s chef, the doll inhabitants of the dollhouse in a 1950′s suburb, the actual couple who lives in the house the dollhouse lives in, and their daughter, and a 19th century household expert who periodically shows up list-making. Shades of E.T.A. Hoffman, on whose work The Nutcracker was based, as well as oh, a million other things involving discomfort between one world and another. In this case, it’s worlds within worlds. Animals talk. Dolls consider. A sample line has a mouse speaking to the ghost of a dead child, and saying “You can either be a ghost, or you can be food. You can’t be both.” Oh my god, this reminds me that Ali Smith’s How to be Both should be on this list. It’s genius. I just read it. Again, parallel worlds, this time between centuries, between forms, between ways of seeing. Ah, it’s stunning. Go read it now.

10. China Mieville. Kraken. What can I say? I love all of China’s work – Magonia is dedicated to him, and we work on each other’s writing all the time, editing, scribbling, recommending new things to put in stories – but Kraken, which I read long before I knew him, is especially dear to my heart, because it’s Just. So. Weird. Apocalypse cults, talking tattoos, sentient ocean, alternate London inside and alongside actual London. This isn’t the one for everyone – if I were recommending for someone else, I might go for The City & The City as a starting point – but Kraken’s always going to be the one I loved first, because on every other page, I’d encounter a new thing that’d make my jaw drop. It’s not easy to make my jaw drop, but once it’s happened I’m gonna want to read you forever.


Magonia Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Goodreads. Amazon UK. The Book Depository.


What are some of your favourite fantasy books?

faye1

Posted on 4 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour; Catwalk Criminal by Sarah Sky

Posted on 3 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

Hi Guys!
Today I have a great post for you all by Sarah Sky. She’s here to tell you all about her top ten UKYA books!


Sarah Sky’s Top Ten UKYA Books

It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten, so I’ve come up with a mix of new and old favourites.

Code Name Verity

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I couldn’t get this book out of my head for a long time afterwards – similarly We Are Liars, which I have to sneak in despite it not being UKYA ; ) I love books with unreliable narrators and plots, which lead me in the wrong direction. I didn’t see Code Name Verity’s plot twist coming: the narrator was the master of manipulation.

Silent Saturday

2. Silent Saturday by Helen Grant

Helen’s writing is filled with suspense and horror, which lurks around every corner. The scene where a serial killer stalks his victim through an empty, luxurious house gave me a sleepless night. I couldn’t put down Silent Saturday and the sequel, Demons of Ghent, is on my very large TBR pile. I could definitely see Silent Saturday being made into a movie.

Now You See Me

3. Now You See Me by Emma Haughton

I love psychological thrillers. Emma is brilliant at building atmosphere and tension. She’s created a compelling page-turner, based on a real-life event. The book made me read up on the original story and I’m desperate to read Emma’s latest book, Better Left Buried, which is getting rave reviews.

True Fire

4. True Fire by Gary Meehan

Brutal, armour-clad witches, mysterious prophecies, gruesome murders and a kick-ass heroine. What’s not to like? The book romps along and is sprinkled with lots of Gary’s distinctive humour. It’s a page-turner that kept me gripped. I’ve started reading the second book in the trilogy, True Dark, and it’s equally fab!

Blue

5. Blue by Lisa Glass

I thought this book was a smasher: a touching love story, a strong female MC, plenty of action, hunky surfers, beautiful locations as well as themes of friendship and trust.
Lisa’s surfing descriptions make you feel like you’re really there, riding the waves along with her characters in Cornwall. Blue is currently being made into a film and the sequel, Air, is out this week.

seven days

6. Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth

Already named one of the Telegraph’s best YA books of 2015, Eve explores bullying from two sides of the story: overweight Jess and her tormentor, Kez, over the course of seven days. The book has a cracking pace and lots of emotional twists. A must-have addition for every secondary school library.

the sin eaters daughter

7. The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Mel Salisbury

A gripping story that immediately sucks you into the dark and scary world of Twylla who can kill with a single touch. Mel expertly ramps up the tension with villainous characters, political intrigue and dark twists. It’s the first in a trilogy, which is already getting rave reviews from across the world. Can already picture the movie!

The Next Together

8. The Next Together by Lauren James

I loved this powerful book, which is published by Walker Books in September. I was lucky enough to get an early read and was hooked from the first page. Two lovers are locked in a fast-paced race against fate, repeatedly falling in love across the ages. Lauren’s attention to historical detail and intricate, clever plotting is seriously impressive.

geek girl

9. Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Who doesn’t like Harriet Manners? She’s funny, endearing and you really root for her throughout. This book made me laugh out loud. I received some strange looks when I was reading it on the tube as I was chuckling so much. I think Holly Smale is a revelation; her Geek Girl series will stand the test of time.

Maggot Moon

10. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Combining dystopia with conspiracy theory, this hard-hitting book is disturbing, harrowing and impossible to put down. It’s brilliantly written and totally original. I’d hoped for a happy ending for Standish Treadwell, right to the end – and cried all the way through. This book stayed with me a long time afterwards and is undoubtedly a modern classic.


Catwalk Criminal Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Jessica Cole has been recruited to Westwood, MI6′s secret division of supermodel spies. Her first official mission seems simple at first, until it turns into the biggest cyber-attack ever known, threatening the security of the whole country. Then it emerges there is a traitor in the midst at MI6 – and suddenly Jessica herself is being accused. With no one believing her innocence, and the country on the verge of chaos, Jessica has no choice but to take matters of national security into her own hands and catch the culprit – fresh from the catwalk.


sarah sky picture Sarah Sky is the author of Scholastic’s Jessica Cole: Model Spy series with Code Red Lipstick and Fashion Assassin. Catwalk Criminal is published in June 2015.

Sarah is a freelance education journalist and lives in West London with her husband and two young children.

She grew up in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, and studied English at Nottingham University before gaining a post-graduate diploma in journalism at Cardiff University. 

She trained as a journalist at the Western Daily Press in Bristol. Her highlight was interviewing screen legend Charlton Heston and lowest point was being sneezed on by a cow at a fatstock competition.

Sarah worked as an education correspondent for a national newspaper before going freelance. She now divides her time between journalism and writing.

She loves reading, baking, table tennis and martial arts. She’s a green belt in kick-boxing and a brown with two white stripes at karate, currently training for black.

Twitter. Goodreads. Website.


Follow the rest of the tour!

CATWALKCRIMINAL_blogtour2

Monday 1st June
Ya Yeah Yeah
Sophie Reads YA

Tuesday 2nd June
Big Book Little Book

Wednesday 3rd June
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 4th June
Queen of Contemporary

Friday 5th June
Tales of Yesterday

Saturday 6th June
Creativity and Crazy

Sunday 7th June
Lauren’s Book Life


Giveaway

Two lucky winners are in with a chance to win the entire Jessica Cole: Model Spy series! All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What do you think of Sarah’s selection? What are some of your favourite UKYA books?

faye1

Posted on 3 June, 2015 by Faye - No Comments