8 Jan 2016

Yearly Wrap-Up 2015


It's that time of year again when I take time out to reflect on the best and worst of 2015. It's been an amazing year for me, the highlight being the arrival of my little girl, Leona May.

Check out the 2015 End of the Year Book Survey to find out all about my favourite books from last year and have a look at my 2016 Reading List and Challenges to see what I'm planning to read in the year to come.

7 Jan 2016

My Little Girl is Here!

I'm afraid my blogging is going to be a bit sporadic for a while as I adjust to life with my newborn. Leona May was born on 29th December at 12:18pm, weighing 7lb 3oz. She is very demanding and I am struggling with sleep deprivation but she is totally worth it. We are all completely in love with her and excited about our new life together.




As I get into a better routine I hope to be able to post regularly again, but it's not so easy typing one-handed! I'd just like to thank all my readers for their support and patience. Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2016.





2015 End of the Year Book Survey

I always enjoy completing the annual end of year book survey hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. It's a good chance to reflect on the books I've read throughout the year and see which books other bloggers are raving about. This year is the 6th edition.

If you'd like to take part, visit the sign up post to add your link.

Keep reading to see my response to the survey.



3 Jan 2016

2016 Reading List and Challenges

It's that time of year again! I love joining in with all the reading challenges. Even if I don't meet all my goals it's always fun to participate. I have plenty of books on my shelf and on my kindle, including some new ones that I received for Christmas. This year I have to be realistic about how many books I can read with a new baby to look after. I've narrowed my huge TBR pile down to books that have either been on my shelf for a while, that I need to review or that I'm really desperate to read.

This year I'm aiming to complete the following challenges:

2016 Women Challenge
New Author Challenge 2016
2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016
Read My Own Damn Books
Full House Reading Challenge 2016

Keep reading to see all the books on my 2016 'To be Read' list.

2016 Women Reading Challenge

I'm taking part in the fourth edition of the Women Challenge hosted by Valentina at Peek a BooK. The aim is to read more books of any kind written by female authors. You don't need a blog to participate and audio, ebooks and re-reads are acceptable. You can sign up with the Linky here.

There are 4 levels:

Level 1: BABY GIRL - read 5 books written by a woman author
Level 2: GIRLS POWER - read 6 to 15 books written by a woman author
Level 3: SUPER GIRL - read 16 to 20 books written by a woman author
Level 4: WONDER WOMAN - read 20+ books written by a woman author

Target: I'm aiming for Level 3: SUPER GIRL (15-20 books)
Progress: 0/15 (0%)
Last updated: 01/01/2016


 


2 Jan 2016

New Author Challenge 2016 #NewAuthorsRC2016

The idea behind this challenge, hosted by Literary Escapism, is to find new authors that you've never tried before, not necessarily ones that are debuting this year. They can be in your genre of choice or you can be brave and try something new. You can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. The sign up post is here. After reading your new author, write your review and then go back to the sign up page and add your link to Mr. Linky.


Target: I'm aiming for 15 books by authors that are new to me.
Progress: 0/15 (0%)
Last updated: 01/01/2016

 

24 Dec 2015

Merry Christmas!

It's finally Christmas Eve and Santa will soon be on his way. I'll be taking a break from blogging over the next few days to spend some time with my family. I hope to be back soon, but all will depend on when my baby decides to make an appearance. I'm one day overdue now, so it could happen at any time! We're hoping for one last peaceful Christmas before the sleepless nights begin, but we shall see! Wish me luck and I will be back with an update soon, hopefully.

In the meantime, I wish all my readers and fellow blogging buddies a happy and peaceful festive season, whatever holiday you celebrate.



My Top Ten Christmas Films

One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is to get cosy on the sofa in my pyjamas (preferably with a nice mug of hot chocolate) and put on a fun, festive film to get me in the mood for Christmas. There are so many Christmas films around now, but I always seem to come back to my old favourites and it just doesn't feel like Christmas without them.

Below is a list of my top ten Christmas film recommendations. I hope you enjoy.

23 Dec 2015

Last Minute Gift Guide Part 4: for Fans of Game of Thrones

Welcome to the fourth and final part of my last minute gift guide, which focuses on gifts for fans of Game of Thrones, or the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Below are some of my recommendations for GOT merchandise that you should be able to get hold of quickly in-store or through Amazon Prime next-day delivery.

Happy Shopping!


Last Minute Gift Guide Part 3: for Fans of YA Books



Welcome to the third part of my last minute gift guide, which focuses on gifts for fans of YA books like The Hunger Games, Divergent and Maze Runner series.

Below are some of my recommendations for YA book merchandise that you should be able to get hold of quickly in-store or through Amazon Prime next-day delivery.

Happy Shopping!


Last Minute Gift Guide Part 2: for Harry Potter Fans

Welcome to the second part of my last minute gift guide, which focuses on gifts for the Harry Potter fan in your life!

Assuming they already have all the books and DVDs in the series, below are some of my recommendations for HP companion books and merchandise that you should be able to get hold of quickly in-store or through Amazon Prime next-day delivery.

Happy Shopping!


Last Minute Gift Guide Part 1: for Book Lovers

Still hunting for a last-minute gift for the book lover in your life? Don't panic, there's still time to find a gift they'll love just in time for Christmas.

Below are some of my recommendations for gifts that book lovers of all kinds will appreciate. You should be able to get hold of these fairly quickly in-store or through Amazon Prime next-day delivery.

Happy Shopping!


Triple Chocolate Christmas Cookies!

Yesterday I felt like doing some Christmas baking so I had a go at making some triple chocolate cookies. They turned out pretty well, even if I do say so myself.

Kids would easily be able to join in with this recipe and the cookies would make nice gifts for family and friends if decorated and boxed.

Below is the recipe I used:




21 Dec 2015

Thoughts on the casting of Hermione: Does the race of an actor really matter?


After today's casting announcement for the 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' stage play, it seems that a lot of fans are up in arms about Hermione being played by black actress, Noma Dumezweni. I've been reading through a lot of the comments and it's got me thinking about how much the race and general appearance of an actor matters when casting an iconic role like this.



Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth


Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Release date: October 22nd 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
No.pages: 526

Synopsis


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.