Sunday 28 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #14: Us by David Nicholls

Us - David Nicholls*

 Showcase Sunday is hosted by the lovely Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a chance for bloggers to show of their weekly book swag and an opportunity to meet other bloggers and talk about all things bookish! 
Good morning, bookworms! 
I've got a very exciting Showcase Sunday post for you this week - I received a signed copy of Us by David Nicholls. 

I first became aware of David Nicholls' books a couple of years ago when I first read One Day. I was hooked ever since and read his previous books - which is why I was so excited when I discovered that a fourth was in the works. 

Us follows the story of Douglas Petersen who is desperately trying to keep his family together as his son leaves home for university and his wife drops the bombshell that she's leaving, too... In true David Nicholls fashion I can image this book being both heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure - my favourite type of book!

I can't wait to start reading this and it's taking everything in me to not completely abandon my current read in favour of Us. (Let's be honest, that will probably still happen!)

Us will be released 30th September so make sure you keep an eye out for it in your local book shop. 

I'd love to know what books you've gotten this week - leave your Showcase Sunday links in the comments.
*Thanks so much to Bookbridgr and Hodder & Stoughton for sending me this copy for review! 
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Tuesday 23 September 2014

September Reading Challenge: The Man Between by Amelia E Barr Review

The Man Between by Amelia E Barr

This month I read historic romance novel, The Man Between as dictated by my Waterstones Literary Calendar. Each month I challenge myself to read a novel or an anthology by the writer displayed on my calendar. 

I initially started the challenge as a way to introduce myself to new authors and September has been the first month that I've reviewed a book by an author I'd never actually heard of beforehand. 

The Man Between, that was published in 1906, follows the life of Ethel Rawdon, a wealthy young woman of nineteen trying to find her place in love, family and society. Based in glamorous New York, your transported back to a time when you only associated with people of your own class and marriage proposals occurred after just two meetings.

For me The Man Between felt like a mixture of The Great Gatsby (the glamour, the wealth, New York!) and Pride and Prejudice. Ethel is an incredibly strong-minded and caring woman, who reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Bennet. 

Although it reminded me of two of my favourite books, the book fell slightly short. The plot revolved around social status and class however the story was actually quite weak. The "twists and turns" that were promised were also quite predictable - however, was probably seen as quite scandalous back in 1902! 

Overall, it was an easy read and quite enjoyable. I must admit, it's always great to read old stories and be faced with such a strong female presence. It was also very well written so although I doubt I'll pick read it again, it still deserves a good write up.

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Sunday 21 September 2014

Review: The Second Life of Amy Archer

The Second Life of Amy Archer - R.S. Pateman
Happy Sunday bookworms,
I hope you've all had a great week.

It's only a quick update today as it's been a bit of a crazy week. I spent all yesterday house hunting with my boyfriend - we're finally taking the plunge and I've also spent a night at the theatre watching the hilarious Avenue Q.

I've also gotten around to reviewing my second book for GeekTown last week - I've got a few more thrillers/horrors on the pile so I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into those. Head over and read my thoughts on The Second Life of Amy Archer by P.S. Pateman. It was a very gripping read so I'd recommend it for fans of thrillers.

Hope you've all got a fantastic week planned. I certainly have as I'm seeing Alt-J tomorrow! 

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Wednesday 17 September 2014

From Book to Screen: Before I Go to Sleep Film Review

Two of my favourite psychological thrillers, Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl have been adapted into big screen blockbusters, so naturally I was the first in line to grab my tickets for the screening of Before I Go to Sleep.

I had very high expectations for this film as I adored the book. The story follows Christine, a woman in her forties who wakes up everyday believing she is in her early twenties and has absolutely no recollection of the past twenty years. 

I often describe the story as "50 First Dates - but evil". Christine's amnesia is the result of a traumatic experience from her past. Pulse racing twists and turns ensue as the truth slowly reveals itself. But, did this translate well on screen? 

For the most part, yes - suspense and mystery were definitely major themes in the film. One slight change that I really enjoyed was that in the book Christine has a diary, whereas in the film she documents her findings with videos. This worked so well and really helped drive the plot along and the book version wouldn't have been half as effective.

However, not all change is good - one particular annoyance of mine was that Christine's career before the incident wasn't mentioned - not even once! The film portrayed her as some kind of 1950s housewife who actually didn't have anything worth giving up before her traumatic accident and lived solely for her husband. 

There was also some other minor changes that some fans of the book seemed to get annoyed about, however I wasn't too bothered by them and understood why they had been changed for a film audience. Overall, a very good adaptation - but I doubt it will be as celebrated as the book. 

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Sunday 14 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #13: Roald Dahl Day

 Showcase Sunday is hosted by the lovely Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a chance for bloggers to show of their weekly book swag and an opportunity to meet other bloggers and talk about all things bookish!
Happy Sunday, bookworms. 
I hope you're all having an incredible day - I'm hopefully going to have a productive day as I'm going to attempt to tackle my bookshelf. I'm planning to move out with my boyfriend soon and the amount of books I own is a little ridiculous, so I'm finally going to challenge the great big book piles and wittle them down to my favourites. 

Having said that, I bought two new hardbacks yesterday, so I'm not off to a great start! As a lot of you will know it was Roald Dahl Day yesterday and like so many others, his stories had a huge impact on my childhood. I've been wanting to buy a library of his children's stories for a while, however yesterday I decided that I'd invest in two of my childhood favourites in hardback instead.
I found these lovely illustrated editions at Waterstones in the 'buy one, get one half price' offer. I couldn't race to the counter quick enough - especially seen as I bagged the last Matilda on the shelf! I'm really looking forward to revisiting his work as an adult - particularly with these two as they still remain my favourite Roald Dahl stories. 

As well as my lovely new books, I picked up a lovely red hair bow from Forever 21 yesterday to add the finishing touch to my Snow White birthday outfit - I'm having a Disney/Pixar themed night out next month and I also used up some Boots points and bagged myself a free Barry M lipstick. 
I'd love to know what books you've bought, borrowed or received this week - leave your Showcase Sunday links in the comments or tweet them to me. 

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Saturday 13 September 2014

How are you celebrating #RoaldDahlDay?

Oompa-Loompas' are throwing themselves out of planes, a family of thieving foxes are being celebrated and gooey chocolate cakes are being eaten across the country, it can only mean one thing - it's Roald Dahl Day! 

The genius himself is being celebrated in so many different ways as people around the world share their childhood memories. I've started off the day by reading this great post by Penguin Books UK - it outlines 17 ways to celebrate Roald Dahl Day. If you only do one thing on the list, I'd advise the Roald Dahl character quiz - I got James from James and the Giant Peach!

As for the rest of the day, I'm going to be traveling into Birmingham city centre to explore what activities will be going on in bookstores and the library. I've been wanting to get myself a collection of his books for quite so time, so today might just be the day! 

For me Roald Dahl Day is about celebrating the messages behind his famous stories: let your imagination run free, be curious, embrace who you are and most importantly - treat people will kindness because as the man himself once said: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

And chocolate cake. Today is also about eating a lot of chocolate cake.

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Wednesday 10 September 2014

What I'm reading this month....

September TBR pile

To make sure I keep on top of my ever-growing TBR pile, I was inspired by the lovely Lauren at A Blonde Liberian to create a monthly book list. I've gone a bit made and selected quite a few books that I'd like to read, but in no way is this a challenge, I just got over excited when I was trying to make my choices.... 

Alongside my monthly calendar read I'm hopefully going to make a start on:

  • The Time Traveler's Wife - I often feel like I'm the only person in the world that hasn't read this book yet. I got this sent to me by an anonymous book-lover on Valentine's Day (d'awh!) So this book definitely feels special.

  • The Second Life of Amy Archer - With Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep film adaptations hitting cinema screens, I was in the mood to read another heart-racing thriller and hopefully I'll find that in The Second Life of Amy Archer. 

  • Solitaire - I met Alice Oseman at the Solitaire book launch in Birmingham recently and she was an absolute joy. I can't wait to finally start reading her debut YA novel.

  • It's Kind of a Funny Story - I saw the film version of this sometime last year and looooooved it. Can't wait to explore the original version.

And that's it! I'm going to try and get through as many of these as possible this month. I'd love to know what you're planning to read. Let me know in the comments or tweet me. 

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Sunday 7 September 2014

September Book Challenge: The Man Between by Amelia E. Barr

Am I the only one that's still completely baffled by the fact that it's September already? It only feels like a moment ago that I was ringing in the new year... I'm very excited about the beginning of autumn though, it's my favourite season - I can't wait to start wearing woolly hats and scarves and watch all of the beautiful colours of the changing leaves. 

And Pumpkin Spice Latte's are back in Starbucks! (I'm only a little bit addicted...)
With a new month, comes a new reading challenge for me and this month my calendar has decided that I will be reading a book by Amelia E Barr. I must admit, I hadn't heard much of about her before, and I'm looking forward to reading The Man Between.
The Man Between - Amelia E. Barr
The blurb on Amazon informs me that it's a tale of romance set in New York City (Great start, I'm already interested!) It's only 77p on Kindle at the moment too, so if you fancy reading along with me - it won't cost you much! 
I've also set myself a challenge of reading four books this month - it will probably be quite testing as I'm not the fastest reader, but it's nice to plan out which books you'll be reading next.

What books are you planning on reading this month?

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