book review

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

5:14 PM

Star Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Forgive me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult

Where to buy:
Amazon Waterstones
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
You may have noticed the lack of words I have used for the genre of this book and that's because it's really difficult to talk about its themes without giving away parts of the book. I basically went into this book knowing very little - I knew what was revealed by the blurb and that's what had sold me on picking the book up, that and I wanted to give Matthew Quick another go after reading The Silver Linings Playbook.

I really loved this book, I really loved that you learnt a lot about Leonard Peacock throughout this whole book, it's almost like you are going through his journey with him. At first it's pretty unclear as to why he wants to kill himself and his former best friend, it gets more obvious as the book goes on why he wants to kill himself but the reason for wanting to kill his former best friend is unknown until quite far into the book.

I was devastated by this book, it took me on a rollercoaster ride and it made me feel things that I didn't know that I could feel. The whole way through this book I just wanted to give poor Leonard a huge hug and after we find out his reasons for his murder-suicide plan, I just want to hug him even more.

He's an incredibly lovable character and he is incredibly well written, I adore Matthew Quicks writing and the things going through my mind that I thought may be the reason for the murder-suicide were nowhere near the truth. In other words, Matthew Quick did an amazing job of not giving anything away and not making the ending predictable, which I absolutely adored.

In terms of the characters in this book, it makes you very sad when he explains about how he knows these people, why they deserve a goodbye, it shows how lonely he really is and how much he has shut himself out from the rest of the world. I would have to say my favourite character was Walt, the old man who lived next door to Leonard who he would watch old films with, I just adored the two of them together.

I think that if you enjoy books with twists, that keep you guessing and that have slightly darker themes, you would really love this book. So far I love this so much more than The Silver Linings Playbook and I really enjoyed reading it.

book review

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

5:14 PM

Star Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Forgive me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult

Where to buy:
Amazon Waterstones
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
You may have noticed the lack of words I have used for the genre of this book and that's because it's really difficult to talk about its themes without giving away parts of the book. I basically went into this book knowing very little - I knew what was revealed by the blurb and that's what had sold me on picking the book up, that and I wanted to give Matthew Quick another go after reading The Silver Linings Playbook.

I really loved this book, I really loved that you learnt a lot about Leonard Peacock throughout this whole book, it's almost like you are going through his journey with him. At first it's pretty unclear as to why he wants to kill himself and his former best friend, it gets more obvious as the book goes on why he wants to kill himself but the reason for wanting to kill his former best friend is unknown until quite far into the book.

I was devastated by this book, it took me on a rollercoaster ride and it made me feel things that I didn't know that I could feel. The whole way through this book I just wanted to give poor Leonard a huge hug and after we find out his reasons for his murder-suicide plan, I just want to hug him even more.

He's an incredibly lovable character and he is incredibly well written, I adore Matthew Quicks writing and the things going through my mind that I thought may be the reason for the murder-suicide were nowhere near the truth. In other words, Matthew Quick did an amazing job of not giving anything away and not making the ending predictable, which I absolutely adored.

In terms of the characters in this book, it makes you very sad when he explains about how he knows these people, why they deserve a goodbye, it shows how lonely he really is and how much he has shut himself out from the rest of the world. I would have to say my favourite character was Walt, the old man who lived next door to Leonard who he would watch old films with, I just adored the two of them together.

I think that if you enjoy books with twists, that keep you guessing and that have slightly darker themes, you would really love this book. So far I love this so much more than The Silver Linings Playbook and I really enjoyed reading it.

barry lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

6:44 PM


Star Rating: 5/5 
Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Corgi
Pages: 96 
Genre: Self-Help, Anxiety, Mental Illness 

Where to buy:
Amazon  Waterstones
You're seventeen years old and your father is the most notorious serial killer America has ever produced. He brought you up. Taught you everything he knows. Everyone in your ordinary American town knows who you are.

So even though Dear Old Dad is safely behind bars, when the killing starts all over again, you are the first person the police come to see. They don't know whether it's nature or nurture. And neither do you.



Anyone who knows me at all would probably pick up this book and assume I would like it, even just from the title. I have actually wanted to read this for a long time, it had been on my wishlist for a while and when I was sent the third book in the series (Blood by Blood) in the post, I took this opportunity to buy the first two, and I am now halfway through the second book.

I'll start off by saying if you love crime, psychology, criminal profiling... you need this book. It was everything I had hoped for in a book and this is definitely now up there with my favourites right next to 1984 by George Orwell.

This is about a boy named Jasper Dent whose dad is a world famous serial killer, he taught Jasper all the tricks of his trade right from when he was a young boy. There is a constant theme throughout the book that you want to know if Jasper is going to be able to not turn out like his dad, it has a subtle Nature vs. Nurture debate throughout which I absolutely adore. We follow Jasper as murders start to happen again in his town, it's also about him trying to prove that he's not like his dad.

In terms of characters. I really love Jasper, I feel sorry for him, with the upbringing he has had and the effect it has had on him, but admire the fact that he's not just going to give in and turn out like his dad had planned and how everyone thinks he is. Admittedly, there are times where I thought he was a little strange, but what can you expect when you've grown up with a serial killer for a dad?

Howie is another character in the book, Jaspers best friend, he is featured heavily in this book and we get to know him quite a lot, I really like Howie, I also really like the uniqueness to him of his disease, I've never read a book where someone has had haemophilia and it was really interesting to learn about. I could tell throughout the book that there was a strong bond between Jasper and howie, which made me warm towards Jasper more.

The story in general had me on my toes the whole way through, I was gripped. I wanted to know more about Jasper's upbringing, I wanted to know more about Billy Dent (Jaspers father) and at the same time I also wanted to know about the murders that were happening in the town. There was also the need to know more, and there still is at the end of the book, especially when it comes to Jasper himself, the general story of I Hunt Killers may be over, but Jaspers is not, which is what made me pick the second book (game) up which I am thoroughly enjoying.

The writing in this book is amazing, the characters are written just as they should be with so much depth, the story is so cleverly planned out and there has clearly been a lot of research when writing this book which I highly admire. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.

barry lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

6:44 PM


Star Rating: 5/5 
Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Corgi
Pages: 96 
Genre: Self-Help, Anxiety, Mental Illness 

Where to buy:
Amazon  Waterstones
You're seventeen years old and your father is the most notorious serial killer America has ever produced. He brought you up. Taught you everything he knows. Everyone in your ordinary American town knows who you are.

So even though Dear Old Dad is safely behind bars, when the killing starts all over again, you are the first person the police come to see. They don't know whether it's nature or nurture. And neither do you.



Anyone who knows me at all would probably pick up this book and assume I would like it, even just from the title. I have actually wanted to read this for a long time, it had been on my wishlist for a while and when I was sent the third book in the series (Blood by Blood) in the post, I took this opportunity to buy the first two, and I am now halfway through the second book.

I'll start off by saying if you love crime, psychology, criminal profiling... you need this book. It was everything I had hoped for in a book and this is definitely now up there with my favourites right next to 1984 by George Orwell.

This is about a boy named Jasper Dent whose dad is a world famous serial killer, he taught Jasper all the tricks of his trade right from when he was a young boy. There is a constant theme throughout the book that you want to know if Jasper is going to be able to not turn out like his dad, it has a subtle Nature vs. Nurture debate throughout which I absolutely adore. We follow Jasper as murders start to happen again in his town, it's also about him trying to prove that he's not like his dad.

In terms of characters. I really love Jasper, I feel sorry for him, with the upbringing he has had and the effect it has had on him, but admire the fact that he's not just going to give in and turn out like his dad had planned and how everyone thinks he is. Admittedly, there are times where I thought he was a little strange, but what can you expect when you've grown up with a serial killer for a dad?

Howie is another character in the book, Jaspers best friend, he is featured heavily in this book and we get to know him quite a lot, I really like Howie, I also really like the uniqueness to him of his disease, I've never read a book where someone has had haemophilia and it was really interesting to learn about. I could tell throughout the book that there was a strong bond between Jasper and howie, which made me warm towards Jasper more.

The story in general had me on my toes the whole way through, I was gripped. I wanted to know more about Jasper's upbringing, I wanted to know more about Billy Dent (Jaspers father) and at the same time I also wanted to know about the murders that were happening in the town. There was also the need to know more, and there still is at the end of the book, especially when it comes to Jasper himself, the general story of I Hunt Killers may be over, but Jaspers is not, which is what made me pick the second book (game) up which I am thoroughly enjoying.

The writing in this book is amazing, the characters are written just as they should be with so much depth, the story is so cleverly planned out and there has clearly been a lot of research when writing this book which I highly admire. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Beauty Review

XO Beauty Brushes

4:49 PM

I wanted to write this review, not only due to the fact that I can tell you UK people how much it costs and my experience with the shipping but also to share my thoughts on the brushes themselves. I have had these brushes for just over 3 months now and feel am I ready to be able to give an all round opinion on them.


Price
I bought these brushes off the xoBeauty Shop and I bought the 4 Piece Synthetic Eye Brush Set which cost $50 NZD and the shipping cost $12 NZD, this altogether is $62 NZD, in GBP I was charged £30.50, which for coming all the way from New Zealand is pretty good, and it's four eye brushes, so this would probably be similar price to the Real Techniques brushes here in the UK (which I also own). I am quite happy to pay these prices for the brushes, I think they're reasonably priced, especially once the money is converted, I was shocked at how cheap they actually are!


Shipping
I was super impressed with how quickly these brushes dispatched, it was shipped the very next day after I ordered it which I was not expecting at all and was super happy with! The brushes were sent out on the 29th of May 2015 and I received them on 3rd of June 2015. I couldn't believe how quickly they came, I was expecting to have to wait weeks and weeks for them! Obviously this may vary depending on where in the UK you are (For reference I'm in the North-west of England) but still these came faster than some thing I have ordered from the UK!

Quality
I am super impressed with these, they are incredibly soft, they blend even the most annoying eyeshadows out really well and they keep pigment! That's something which can sometimes be really difficult with brushes, you can use your finger and an eyeshadow will be gorgeous but once you use a brush there's barely anything there! But these brushes help to keep that pigment, they're amazing I am super impressed! Another thing is the brand name and brush name it seems like it's not going to fade or scrub off which I love.

Cleaning and Drying
For reference, I use the Dr Bronner's Organic Almond Castile Liquid Soap to clean my brushes, I just put one drop of this in my hand and swirl the brush in it and then swirl the brush in water. This always has worked really well for me, and it comes in a lot of different smells if you don't like the smell of Almonds!


They cleaned really easily which I love (minimum effort makes me able to push myself to clean more often!) and also all the product came out which is perfect. Below is a before and after with it looking a lovely dirty brown colour back to it's brand new looking white ends, which I was super happy with.


The only thing I would say is that the brushes (like most) can take a while to dry, so make sure you have already used them for the day before cleaning them so that you give them plenty of time to dry out!

Would I Buy Them Again?
To conclude, I am absolutely in love with these brushes, they are absolutely amazing quality and seem like they will last a very long time, they have multi uses and the shipping was super quick. I will definitely be getting more of her brushes!

anxiety

Why am I Scared of Everything by Bethany Straker

5:44 PM

Star Rating: 5/5
Title: Why Am I Scared of Everything?
Author: Bethany Straker
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Pages: 96
Genre: Self-Help, Anxiety, Mental Illness

Where to buy:
Amazon 
Meet Regina Sharpe. She has full-blown anxiety, but she’s not alone. More than forty million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders, and women are twice as likely as men to be riddled with unfettered anxiety. Author and illustrator Bethany Straker has had personal experience dealing with anxiety, and wanted to adopt a humorous approach at addressing our common fears.

A selection of anxiety-inducing fears highlighted in the book include: Being a failure, Aging, Changing jobs, Having children, Flying, Becoming a bag lady And many more!

A little disclaimer before I begin, I was sent this book to review by the author, however this will not affect my opinion of the book and I will be as honest as I usually am.

I was incredibly excited to receive this book from the get go, it sounded just up my street. When Bethany emailed me asking me if I wanted to review it I was quick to accept! As you all know I am incredibly interested in anything related to mental health but what you may not know is that I am someone who also suffers from anxiety problems and I was interested to see anxiety from another sufferers perspective.

I like to feel like I am not alone, especially when it comes to thoughts which I think may be seen as quite unusual and this book made me feel like I was normal! I had a lot of moments where I was saying "I thought I was the only one" and there was certainly a heck of a lot of laughter.

I loved the whole layout of the book, it is beautifully illustrated by the author herself, each page a different source of anxiety explained by a character of Regina Sharpe, I don't think I have ever related to a character more than I have her!

For a book that deals with mental illness this is an incredibly light book, I sat and read it in one sitting, feeling so happy that I wasn't alone in some of these things, Poor Bethany was bombarded with tweets from me about how relatable this book was!

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially those who are big worriers, you will wonder if Bethany has crawled into your head and wrote down your thoughts!

andrew joyce

Interview with Andrew Joyce

2:45 PM

Today I am going to be doing something very exciting, my first ever author interview! I have been wanting to do this for a while now but was looking for just the right person, after Andrew contacted me and I could see his passion for his writing, I knew I wanted to interview him. Andrew has currently published three books and tends to write within the genre of Historical Fiction. This is definitely a genre I would like to delve into, so without further ado, let's get on with the interview.

Thank you for coming onto my blog!
You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Start off by telling us a little bit about your latest book, Molly Lee.
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.

What inspired you to write Molly Lee?
I was not inspired to write MOLLY LEE. I was cajoled into writing it by Molly and my agent.
My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.
So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel.
I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months; then I sent out query letters to agents.
Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But not quite.
My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 142,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I had tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly came to me and asked that I tell her story. Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again. At least not until her book came out.

Did you have to do a lot of research to get the history authentic in the story?
Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do writing my stories. Sometimes more.

Going back to the beginning, what is it that got you into writing?
One morning, about five years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. It was soon published in a print magazine (remember them?). I’ve been writing ever since.

Do you always have a full story mapped out from beginning to end before you start writing?
I usually sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will lead me. I start out with (I hope) a killer first sentence and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long . . . only a few steps to my computer.

Do you ever base your characters in your books off real people? If so, when have you done this?
In some respects all my characters are based on real people. I read a lot non-fiction (history) and biographies and I’ll incorporate aspects of the people I read about into my characters

What type of books do you like to read yourself?
My favorite author is John Steinbeck. I also love to read Lee Child and David Baldacci. Actually, the list is too long for this venue.

If you had to pick three books that were the only ones you could ever read again, what would you pick? 
The Grapes of Wrath, The Collected Plays of William Shakespeare, and The Jacket (Star Rover) by Jack London.

Where do you find out about books to read?
Nowadays, mostly by accident.

Do you have any hobbies? Or anything you like to do in your spare time? 
I like to emulate Hemingway, London, and Fitzgerald . . .  I drink a lot, mostly vodka. I also like watching old movie from the ’30s and ’40s.

Have you got any advice for those budding writers out there?
Read, read . . . and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on! Reading to a writer is as medical school is to a doctor, as training is to an athlete, as breathing is to life.

Thank you very much for coming onto my blog! Anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you for having me. I can only append that I have very much enjoyed your mild inquisition.

If you are interested in Molly Lee head on over to Amazon where you can purchase a copy!

help

What I Have Learnt from my Undergrad Degree

12:22 PM

I am currently going into my third (and last!) year of my undergraduate degree and realised that there may be some of you out there who are starting university next month! Therefore I decided to give you some tips of things that have helped me and things that haven't worked for me during my time at university, some of you may already do these things and think I'm an idiot for not knowing that but hey we are all here to learn!

1. You do not need to go out and spend £394839439 on textbooks.

Contrary to popular belief you do not need every single textbook that a lecturer mentions or that is on a reading list, you also don't need to buy them brand new either. Ebay is your best friend, always check Ebay for your textbooks as that is generally where you are going to find them the cheapest. You don't even actually have to buy textbooks, libraries exist! And every university will have at least one library, at my university you can even check for the books online without having to go in. Most importantly never buy a textbook in a shop, I guarantee it's cheaper online. Plus you can always sell your textbooks on at the end of the year! Ebay, amazon trade-in and blackwells are all good ideas! But I always put mine on Ebay to help out those in need in the years below me.

2. Printing off the lecture and taking it in with you may actually make you less likely to concentrate.

This may sound a little strange but I'm sure those of you who are in university currently will know what I mean. I'm assuming this is the same with all universities but my lecturers put up a copy of their powerpoint slides before a lecture for you to print off and take in with you so you only have to take notes when they say anything extra, which is great if you have a good attention span... which I don't. What I found works for me is not taking the powerpoint slides in and making notes on all the things I think are important, that way my attention is kept the whole 2 hours of a lecture instead of staring off into space because the lecturer isn't saying anything that I haven't already printed out.

3. Filofax's are your best friend.

When I started university I decided I wanted to get a Filofax. If you don't know what a Filofax is, it's essentially an organiser with a diary in, to do lists etc but it's set as a sort of little ringbinder so you can personalise it to what you want to have inside and then every year you don't have to buy a diary you just have to buy the pages to go inside your filofax! I got mine at the beginning of first year from paperchase (you don't have to get the make filofax you can get a "personal organiser" which is the same thing but a lot cheaper) for £12, I have the A5 size, but there are plenty of different sizes to suit you and loads of different inserts, you can even print off and make your own!

4. Plan ahead for deadlines.

I was incredibly bad at this in first year. From going to college where they tell you when to start and what you should have done by certain times to going to university where you just get given the deadlines for the whole year at the start and then you're on your own... It's pretty difficult to know what the hell to do. I would suggest planning for deadlines, write down in your diary what you're going to get done for each essay/coursework/lab report. So you could say on one day you want to collect all the journal articles, next day you want to have your plan done, whatever works for you, but make sure you plan ahead and don't try to cram it in the week before because it will never be as good!

5. You do not need a trillion textbooks, one for each module is fine.

Generally I would say to buy at least one textbook for every module you have and try to get one that is a broad textbook with lots of topics, for instance my lifesaver in statistics was Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics by Andy Field (if you are a Psychology student and don't want to spend money on a load of books, at least get this one, it lasts all three years and will help so much trust me). I would say if you are struggling with what book to get maybe going into a shop, looking at a few textbooks to seeing what may be right for you and then buying it online is the best way to go, I've done that a few times myself. 

6. You don't always need the latest edition of a textbook.

Quite often in textbook lists it will say a certain edition of a book that you need, but if you ask a lecturer you can sometimes have an edition or two before the latest and still be fine which will make the books a lot cheaper so it's definitely worth finding out.

7. Make sure you write down when a lecturer explains a word on a slide or gives more information.

Plenty of times I've been reading back slides and there's been a word which I haven't wrote the meaning to or I haven't wrote the simple explanation for a diagram and have no idea what it's about even if I understood it at the time. So make sure you write down everything you need, you may think you won't forget but trust me, there's a chance you will!

8. Sticky tab notes. Lots of Sticky Tab notes.

I actually didn't discover these until my Auntie bought me them for Christmas in my first year of university in a cute little set with sticky notes. These are a life saver when it comes to textbooks/journals, you can stick the notes on a specific section and write on the notes and they come right off again, perfect if you're loaning a book from a library or want to sell your books on again at the end of the year!

9. When writing essays, write down where you got a piece of information from as you go along.

So many times I will have wrote down a piece of information, it's really good and useful for my essay, I go to write it in and... I can't find the reference. Make sure you write what reference things are from as you go along, don't ever think you will remember, make sure you do it!


There we have it, some tips for those going into university or those that are already there, I hope you found this post useful!

book

Booktubeathon Wrap-up

1:49 PM

If you don't follow me on Instagram or Goodreads (which you totally should by the way, we can be buddies!) then you won't know how I did with the Booktubeathon! So I decided to write a little wrap-up post for you all! Altogether I managed to finish three books (and three challenges!) which I am pretty proud of as I have quite a short attention span and don't tend to read for hours and hours so was expecting to only finish one book!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
One of the challenges I wanted to complete was reading someone else's favourite book, I asked the lovely Kelly from Diva Booknerd what her favourite book was and she said Alice in Wonderland! Pictured is the back of the copy I own and I wish this was a poster because its amazing. I gave this book 5/5 stars, I really enjoyed it, it was a lot easier to read than I thought it would be, considering it was written in the 1800's, it's obvious that the book was aimed at children and in my copy there is even a letter from Lewis Carroll to children who are reading the book though I'm unsure if that's in every edition but my edition is called the Puffin Chalk Classic. Thank you Kelly for suggesting this!

Why am I scared of Everything by Bethany Straker
I have owned this book for a while now and it was kindly sent to me by the lovely author, Bethany Straker, herself. She does all the illustrations in the book as well as the writing which is amazing! This book surrounds anxiety and the thoughts that people with anxiety have on a daily basis, each page has an illustration and topic of worry that it talks about. This made me laugh a lot as well as also made me feel comforted as it made me feel less alone, knowing that other people have these kind of worries as well. This is a perfect book for people with anxiety and for people who generally worry, though I would suggest for everyone to pick this up because I guarantee you have thought about some of these at least once in your life! I gave this book 5/5 stars and this completed the challenge of reading a book with blue on the cover.




Aphorisms on Love and Hate by Friedrich Nietzsche
I own three of the Little Black classics books, if you haven't heard of these they are penguins 80p short classics by tons of authors, a great way to introduce you to an author, great little gifts, I just love them. I have always wanted to read some Nietzsche and I own his book called Beyond Good and evil but was a little reluctant to read it as I wasn't sure what his writing was like or if it was easy to understand. It's actually suprisingly easy, he broke up the topic into paragraphs so you know when hes changing what he's talking about, he writes almost as though he's sat infront of you explaining it, which I love. I really enjoyed this book it was very interesting and a great introduction to Nietzsche. I gave this 4/5 stars and this completed the challenge of not letting go of a book!


I hope you enjoyed my wrap-up! I'd love to know how you did in the booktubeathon and whether you have read any of these books.

book

Booktubeathon TBR

11:21 PM

If you haven't already seen over on my Instagram, then I am taking part in the booktubeathon this year! I have taken part every year since I knew it existed and last year I managed to finish three books, therefore I would like to beat that goal this year! I have given myself a TBR pile of 6 books and am going to be adding a 7th, if I get round to it, depending upon what I feel like at the time. 



For those of you who don't know about the booktubeathon you can head on over to their Youtube Channel or Twitter for more information, but this starts on midnight August 3rd of your own timezone and as this is approximately 40 minutes away for me, I thought that I would share with you what I plan on reading. I have chosen these books based on the challenges that have been set for this years booktubeathon! 

1. A Book with Blue on the Cover: Why Am I Scared of Everything by Bethany Straker
For this one I went for a book which I have read a couple of pages from and that is Why Am I Scared of Everything by Bethany Straker, this is a funny and helpful book which has been very comforting to me in my reading so far, beautifully illustrated by the author herself. This book is based upon anxiety, each page being a different worry from day to day life, so far I've really enjoyed it so I can't wait to dive into the rest of this one!

2. An Author who Shares The Same First Letter Of Your Last Name: Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I decided to stick with a book which I was supposed to finish for the TBR Takedown but only managed to finish one book *fail* and that is Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, I am forever bombarded with reviews of this on booktube and they have been insanely positive ones, therefore I am very excited to read this really creepy and intriguing book. For those of you who haven't come across this, the concept of the book is an unusual one, it is based around old creepy photos that the author has collected and written a story around, weird huh?

3. Someone Else's Favourite Book: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
For this one I asked for the assistance of the lovely Kelly from Diva Book Nerd and asked her to tell me her favourite book! She said her favourite book is Alice in Wonderland, so I grabbed my incredibly gorgeous copy and stuck in on my TBR pile, I'm looking forward to reading this as I have never read it in its entirety and the parts I have read were from when I was very little, about time it was revisited!

4. Last Book you Aquired: Violated by Sarah Wilson
Easy pick. Was the last book I bought, have been into wanting to read real life stories of some quite sensitive and difficult topics, seeing as I am interested in Psychology I am interested to know how these negative experiences affect and shape people as a person. Look forward to checking this one out as it is definitely a new genre that I am exploring.

5. Finish a book without Letting Go of it: Aphorisms on Love and Hate by Friedrich Nietzsche
Yes, I picked a really tiny one, but in my defense, I have such a short attention span that I will definitely have to pick this one, I know that I could take it around with me but I have a feeling if I do this I'll end up accidentally putting the book down, plus I've wanted to try out some Nietzsche!

6. Book You Really Want to Read: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
I simply thought to myself, what book do I really want to read right now? And American Psycho is the first one that came into my head!

7. Read 7 Books.
This is a sort of to be announced book, as this will only be chosen if I finish the other 6 and will depend upon my mood at the time.

I feel like I am being incredibly ambitious again with this TBR pile but I prefer to be ambitious than underestimate my reading. Is anyone taking part? What is your TBR pile?

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TBR Takedown Readathon: What I plan to read.

4:37 PM

If you haven't heard of this readathon it takes place from July 25th to July 31st and involves five challenges which you complete in order to take down that TBR pile! This was a very last minute decision to join in with this, but I thought it would be perfect as my boyfriend is going on holiday on Wednesday and it would be a nice distraction. Onto the books!


1. Read the first book in a series: For this I chose Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children as I haven't ever picked this up and it is about time that I did, I decided now was the perfect time for it!

2. A Sequel: After reading I Hunt Killers and really enjoying it, I thought that going onto Game would be a good idea and probably a book that I may actually finish! This series follows a young man named Jasper Dent whose dad is a serial killer, we follow him in his attempt to not end up like his dad as well as learning about his horrific childhood where his dad teaches him in the ways of being a serial killer.

3. A Book that Has been on Your TBR for Over a Year: Siege by Sarah Mussi, I think I have probably had this for at least two years and still have yet to pick it up, it seems really interesting though, about a school shooting which I feel like isn't as often explored in books.

4. A Book in your Most Recent Haul: Tortured by Victoria Spry, recently I bought two non-fiction books on rather sensitive topics and am really interested to read them, this is about a woman telling a story of her abusive mother and the toll that this had on her as an adult.

5. A Book Out of Your Comfort Zone: He's just not that Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, I absolutely adored the film, but I'm not one for reading these kinds of books, I decided to take the plunge and have this on my TBR list, hopefully I enjoy it!

I'm hoping to at least finish one book as I have been in a little bit of a reading slump recently, who else is taking part in this readathon? What's on your TBR list?

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Books that I feel like everyone has read but me.

10:51 AM

Even as a reader, we often have books that everyone talks about and it just makes us think "I really should read that already." I have to admit, some of these are pretty embarrassing and make me want to hide my head in shame, but I have to be in the mood to read certain books and it just happens I've never picked these books up when I'm in the right mood, either that or I don't actually own a copy of the book yet  *don't judge me* so I'm going to share with you some of these books and hopefully I'm not alone in not having read them. Also a lot of these are classics, clearly I need to get into classics more.


The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger - I've had so many people tell me to read this book and that I would love it, I finally got a copy at Christmas and still am yet to even try and read it, what is wrong with me?!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - Ever since reading Wintergirls I was desperate to read speak, I've heard lots of good things about it and have been excited about it for a long time. I got a copy of it off my parents last Christmas and once again have yet to even pick it up.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - That's right, I've never read price and prejudice, probably one of my more embarrassing unread books. Which is a shame because I do actually own this beautiful copy that you see in the image, its leatherbound with yellow edges to the pages and it's gorgeous. I've just never read it! I think that I'm more intimidated by it than anything, I'm worried the language will be difficult to follow, worried that I might find it incredibly boring and be shunned from the bookish corner of the internet... But I will get to it eventually, I promise!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Another book that's pretty damn embarrassing that I haven't read it. Probably for similar reasons to Pride and Prejudice to be honest. I don't even really know what Jane Eyre is about so maybe if I looked into that a bit more I may be more inclined to buy it because I don't even own a copy of this one! Which is pretty bad considering you can get classic books really cheap nowadays... I don't really have a valid excuse it's just not something I've ever tried to pick up!

Fahrenheit 451 by Rae Bradbury - I've seen this on a lot of favourites lists and a hell of a lot of instagram posts because of the really pretty cover. I think it's a popular dystopian due to its link with books, I know it's something to do with book burning and firemen, but that is my extent of knowledge for this one.

Emma by Jane Austen - My knowledge of this book is literally only because of clueless (the film)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott. Fitzgerald - Yet another book that everyone raves about which I am yet to finish, I have actually started to read this and I have no idea why I haven't finished it yet as it is an incredibly short book.

Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - What should probably be known as one of the YA classics, that everyone who reads YA has read and I own, the concept of the book is really interesting but still I have yet to pick this one up!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - A book that I know I would love if I gave it a try, I'm obsessed with fairytales and this is one of those with a twist, I know that I'd enjoy it if I just picked it up but I just haven't yet!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - This is one of them books that I don't own, have no idea what it's about but have heard everyone talking about how great of a classic it is, maybe it is something I need to pick up on my trip to London this August!

The Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham - My mum actually was shocked when she saw this on my amazon wishlist, she asked me had I ever read it because it was one of the books she had read in school. I actually haven't and I still am yet to own it, it probably doesn't help that there are some really pretty editions of this book... which to chose?!

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I suppose you could say I've started to read this, back when I was in primary school, around 10 years old, on a Friday afternoon we would all go into the same classroom and have a book read out by a teacher, the hobbit was one of them but she never ended up finishing it and we just watched the old original film. I do actually own this one, and I really want to read it... honest!

Have you read any of these books? What books are you most embarrassed about not reading?

anniversary

One Year Blog Anniversary!

5:50 PM

Today is my one year blogaversary! I know you are most likely wondering where I have been recently. For those of you that don't follow me on instagram you won't know that I recently got a job! Even though it's a part time job, I have been doing a lot of overtime and have been exhausted in the spare time I have had. My cat of 16 years also passed away a few months ago and it hit me harder than I thought,,, But, I decided that this day may be a good time to sneak back onto the blog and see how everybody is doing! I have been thinking for a while about what to do for my blog and I really loved Kelly's blogaversary post and wanted to do something similar, after getting the okay from her, here is what I have come up with!
My biggest audience comes from the United States (5542 views), closely followed by the United Kingdom (5535 views). It's good to know my own country is high up in the ranks.

My most viewed post is my 10,000 views giveaway (232 views) proving to me how greedy you all are ;) closely followed by my Top Ten Books I Would Classify As My ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS from the Past 3 Years (136 views) so least I know you are actually interested in my bookish tastes :P

I have 272 comments, which is way more than I expected, I love getting comments they make my entire day.

As I write this post my blog has 13,570 views, which is so unfathomable that my blog has been read that many times, it makes me smile every time the views go up.

I currently have published 89 posts (including this one) and have 14 drafts... oops.

My most viewed page is my about me page (255 views).

Most of you are discovering my blog through The Broke and The Bookish as I take part in their Top Ten Tuesday post.

42% of you are using Chrome as your browser to look at my blog. I use chrome too!

I have currently read 13 books this year and am 14 books behind schedule for my yearly goal of 50 books... Don't think that's happening, was a bit optimistic there. Think now is the time to change that goal to 30.

I currently have 3 books on my "Currently Reading Shelf".

The last book I rated 5 stars on Goodreads was I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.

I have currently reviewed 21 books.

My Favourite book that I've read since having this blog has got to be Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, I always talk about this book so I'm sure you're fed up of hearing about it, but it's fantastic.

I've been really loving watching Dexter this year which I managed to finish a few months ago.

I've had a huge obsession with the crime confidential magazine which I discovered this year.

Cara Delevingne. 'Nough said.

Lilac, obsessed with Lilac.

Shaaanxo on youtube has literally been my life this year.
I want to say thank you to each and every one of you, for sticking by me, for reading my blog, for caring about what I have to say. I love and appreciate all my readers, views and comments and without them my blogging would be pretty pointless and you all make my day that little bit brighter.

What I really loved the most about this year is all the amazing blogger and instagram friends that I have managed to make, to name a few; KellyRachelSusanneAmenaHannahJessAlly and more. Who always make the experience of blogging 100000x more enjoyable, managing to make me smile everytime I speak to them.

Thank you to my amazing real life friends and boyfriend too. Such as Ren who is amazing at her youtube, has so much passion and is there for me more than anyone else.




I hope that next year I can look back at this and see how much my blog has changed, I hope that I will be able to do a massive giveaway next year and have tons of blogger friends and still be in touch with the ones I know now.

Happy blogging and Thank you. <3

advice

When to do when... You're in a Reading Slump

7:41 PM

I have to admit I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently, its really annoying because now I have lots of free time I just don't want to read! I'm determined to get out of it though and as I was in this exact same position last summer, I thought that I would share with you some tips that helped me to get out of it.

1. Reread your all time favourite book.

My all time favourite book is 1984, I also really adore the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Its a book that you know you love, a book that you're probably going to read quickly because you enjoy reading it. Makes sense right? So grab your favourite book, sit down and give it a read!








2. Read a short book.


Last year this was the book that got me out of my reading slump, it was incredibly fast paced and so interesting and very short, it was nice to have a short book that kept me interested the whole way through, i'd definitely recommend reading a short book, or short stories or even some poetry, just something quick and snappy.









3. Read a book you've really been looking forward to.


Speak is a book I've wanted to read for so long. Grabbing a book that you have really been excited for, especially if you've got it more recently, might be the thing to bring you right out of that slump!









4. Read a book that's a completely different genre to what you usually read


The thing that may be keeping you in a slump is the fact that you're not in the mood for your usual read. Perhaps try reading a genre that you don't usually read. I normally read a lot of dark, crime books so every day by David Levithan is completely different to my usual reads.








5. Read a book with lots of things constantly happening


I read this recently and it is the first book I have finished in a very long time, it sucks you in straight away and keeps you constantly interested the whole way through. This is the kind of book I recommend to help get you out of a reading slump, something that constantly has things happening and keeps you reading. Definitely a way to drag you out of that slump!







6. Take a break


It's also okay to take a break from reading. Chill out, eat your favourite snacks and drink, watch TV and come to books in a week or two, don't force yourself to read because you could end up going further into a slump!








7. Get comfortable and relax


It's also important that you are comfortable and relax when reading, its no good if you're uncomfortable, forcing yourself to read. Get in your pj's, treat yourself and get ready to read!

I hope you enjoyed this post and took some advice and tips from this, and if you are in a reading slump, I hope you get out of it soon!

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How to... Add a Background to your Book Synopsis in Blogger!

5:32 PM

I've been pretty uninspired to write a blog post recently, hence why my last two posts have just been book reviews, which of course there is nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to write a post that my readers may actually benefit from, that they may learn something from. I was hacking my brain thinking what could I do and I remembered that it took me a while to find out how to add the rounded sort of shadow background to the little synopsis that I leave when writing book review posts, if you're not sure what I'm talking about I mean this:
This little square that is usually filled with the blurb/synopsis of a book. You may not have even noticed it that much or questioned how it got there, but if you want to spice up your review posts this may be a good way to do it.
I know that a lot of people may think its easy and know how to do it straight away but as I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to things like coding, I had to do some extensive research to find this out. I also want you to note that this is a tutorial for blogger so it might not help you if you are on another platform though you may still be able to get some tips. Please also note that this may not be the only way to do it this is just the way that I grasped easily.

First off, what you want to do is go to your blogger homepage and click on template which can be found down the left hand side.


Next you will be greeted with this screen and you want to click customise underneath the "Live on Blog" square.


Next you will be taken to the screen where you are able to edit how your blog looks. Now you want to go to the top of the page where all the tabs and such are, and click on Advanced.

You will then be greeted with a number of options which you can play around with if you wish, but what we want to do is scroll right down to the bottom and click on Add CSS.

This will lead you to an empty white box which you are able to add CSS to, obviously mine is not always empty but for the purpose of this tutorial I emptied it.


What you want to do is add in this code:

blockquote
{
  background-color:#BDBDBD;
  border-radius: 10px; #000000;
padding: 5px;
}

For the purpose of this tutorial I have put the background colour as a light grey. This is the colour that you want the box to be. Incase you are unfamilar with HTML colour codes, this website may be helpful to you as it allows you to chose any colour and gives you the code for it which you then should insert into this code and replace the "#BDBDBD"

In terms of the rest of the code, the padding is the number of pixels you want the text to be away from the edges, you'd really need to play around with this to see what you like best but I have left in the values that I use for mine. (please note that the css will not work unless you press enter and then save)

Now you probably want to know how you actually get to use the box, its very simple. When you create a blog post there is the "blockquote" button, as shown in the image below, you press that and start typing, when you want to stop the text from being in the blockquote press enter.

Hope this tutorial helped in some way and I hope that it was clear and simple enough to follow! Happy blogging!

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How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

12:02 PM

Warning: Some people may find the content of this book disturbing, it may also be a trigger for some people, read with caution.


Star Rating: 5/5
Title: How I Lost You
Author: Jenny Blackhurst
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Where to buy:
Amazon Waterstones
They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you?

My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.

This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he's dead?

If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?
Disclaimer: I was sent this book to review, this will in no way effect my judgement of the book and I will always be 100% honest in my reviews.

I first saw this book on Twitter, it looked incredibly interesting and when I saw that it was available to request on book bridgr, I decided to give it a go. I hadn't finished a book in a very long time and as I was in a crime fiction sort of mood, as soon as this arrived I decided to pick it up and boy did I read. I read the most in one sitting that I have in a very long time, it was so interesting and so intriguing, the more I read the more I wanted to read on. 

This book is the kind of book that sucks you in purely on the premise, it is about a woman who was sent to a mental institution as she suffered from post natal depression and murdered her 3 month old son, after four years she's gotten out, built her life up and now she's being sent anonymous messages that suggest her son may still be alive. How amazing of a story does it sound already? I was sucked in instantly, desperately wanting to know what happened. There are a hell of a lot of twists and turns, you keep trying to guess the whole way through and each time nothing is as it seems, I would never in a million years have guessed that ending, it was so unexpected but it just all fit together so well, the plot is so incredibly well thought out that it shows how talented Jenny Blackhurst actually is.

I want to talk a little bit about the characters, I think they were all written so incredibly well, especially Susie, the main character, it was as though when you read how she was feeling, that you could feel her heart breaking, that you could feel how confused she was and how much she just wanted to not be the person that murdered her own son, it was done so well. I've learnt a lot about depression in university and some people don't get it, they get it completely wrong, some authors just don't write about it properly where as Jenny Blackhurst just seemed to nail it on the head for me. Her friend Cassie was so well written as well, I would've liked to have heard more about her story and how she ended up in the mental institution, because we only got snippets (she could probably have a book of her own) but she was so snappy, said it like it is, entirely opposite to Susie that it was such an incredibly unlikely friendship and I think if it weren't for the institution there is no way they would have ever even spoke, but Cassie looked out for Susie and I liked that. 

As I said I am trying to ease myself into crime and this is a lot more hard hitting than Dying for Christmas, there is more detail in some scenes and I can see why some people may find this difficult to read (I've read about too many real life serial killers and crime for this to affect me too much) but I know that there are books which are a lot more graphic so this may also be a good place to start to get into crime too! 

This book is just really well written and one of the best books I have read in a long time, I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone and I can't wait to read more by Jenny Blackhurst. 

abduction

Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen

12:00 AM

Warning: Some people may find the content of this book disturbing, it may also be a trigger for some people, read with caution.


Star Rating: 4/5
Title: Dying for Christmas
Author: Tammy Cohen
Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Kidnap

Where to buy:
Amazon Waterstones

I am missing. Held captive by a blue-eyed stranger. To mark the twelve days of Christmas, he gives me a gift every day, each more horrible than the last. The twelfth day is getting closer. After that, there’ll be no more Christmas cheer for me. No mince pies, no carols. No way out …

But I have a secret. No-one has guessed it. Will you?
Another Adult Crime Novel! I really enjoyed this one, it was my mums and she passed it onto me, the benefits of having a mum who is almost as big of a reader as me! She basically only reads crime novels though, so I am using this to my advantage!

This book is about a woman who is held captive by a man over the 12 days of Christmas, every day he gives her a new present which explains something to do with his life and childhood, or hers. The writing of this is so well written, I found myself being able to imagine everything so clearly, at times it was difficult to read. For those of you who may be wondering, there is no form of rape or sexual assault in this book, it is far more on the sort of "lighter" end of the crime section, its not very Gorey or descriptive, so it's a really good one to start with if you're wanting to get into crime.

It's pretty hard to describe or talk about without giving anything away. What I will say is that if you like a lot of mystery, confusion and plot twists then you will definitely like this book. It was so unexpected and just when you are sure of something, it gets incredibly confusing.

The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is simply because I started to get annoyed with the main character (this makes me sound like a really horrible person I realise - she is held captive, how can I get annoyed? You need to really read the book to understand what I mean) and I think this may have been intentional, and she was exceptionally well written, I just can't get past the fact that towards the end I started wanting to slap her, I was also a little disappointed with the ending, I wanted it to be a bit more... action packed, I felt like it was a bit cliche and should've gone differently, but of course I respect the authors decision and I still really enjoyed the book!

I know this is a very short review, but like I said its hard to talk about without giving too much away, so I would say, this is the perfect book if you want to get into crime but don't want all the gory details, and especially if you like twists and turns!

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Stacking the Shelves #8

1:56 PM

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Remember me? Yes, I know it has been a while but I swear I have a good excuse. Exams! It's taken over my life right now, I had my two big ones this week that were essay exams (boo) and my next exam is open book so I thought I would take time to write a post for you all! I'm also stewarding for the BPS Annual Psychology Conference next week so may be absent then as well (oops) but I will try my best to at least get one post up! But anyway...Another month, another stacking the shelves! Heres what I've bought this month. I decided this time to put in brackets what I paid for them and also link them up so that if anyone wants to get them for yourself you can! The links are all from amazon unless I got them online elsewhere.



War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (£1.99) - I went on a bit of a classic binge and decided to buy some of the Wordsworth classics which are only £1.99 each! There are loads which I wanted and I did have to restrain myself, these are all books that I think everyone should probably read in their lifetime, in fact this one was mentioned on BBC the big read list of books to read before you die, and I have heard a few people mention it so I thought I would pick war and peace up!

Looking for Madeleine by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (Sent by Headline) - I requested this book from headline and they kindly sent it to me, I'm incredibly interested in both non-fiction and fictional crime, I thought that this would be an insightful read as I haven't read too much on this case due to me being around 12 years old when she went missing.

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (£2.50) - So I've had a lot of mention of Darwin and Evolution in my Psychology lectures and seeing it for £2.50 I couldn't resist and decided to get this one as well,

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (£8.99) - I got two treats for myself for getting 82% in a piece of coursework and this cover matches my animal farm and 1984, I am so excited to read this one!

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald (£1.99) -  I have actually never read this book myself and I haven't seen the film either so I decided that I would get this one and i'm surprised at how small the book is! I've started to read some of this but due to my exams I haven't finished many books in a while.

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (£1.99) - This was a completely random purchase, I have never heard of this one before but after reading the summary it seemed quite interesting and so... I added it to my basket! I'm a sucker for anything related to insanity.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (£1.99) - This book is the reason I started looking at these classics, I was actually watching Coronation Street and one of the characters had lent this book to another character and I realised that I don't own nor have I ever read it, and the way the character spoke about the book had me intrigued.

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among us by Robert D. Hare (£14.99) - my second present to myself for getting 82% in a piece of coursework, a book I have wanted for so long because Robert D. Hare is the leading psychologist on psychopaths and the creator of the psychopath checklist, I've always been so interested in this and am so glad I own this now.

The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoevsky (£1.99) - Another completely random purchase that had me intrigued from reading the description, plus Fyodor is supposed to be an incredible author.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (£1.99) - Another one that I have never read and really need to, it's such a classic and everyone seems to love this one, it definitely sounds like my kind of thing and I can't wait to get into this one.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (£3.99 from HMV) - My mum and I decided to go shopping together because she got some vouchers as a goodbye present fro her job as she has got a new one! We went into HMV and both of us bought books! I can't wait to get into this one, I've heard how weird and wonderful it is and I haven't even seen the film, all I know is its something to do with drugs.

He's just not that into you by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (£2.99 from HMV) - This is literally one of my all time favourite films and I decided to get the book version because it seemed quite quirky and a nice simple book that might be a good read after something heavy!

Hippo Eats Dwarf by Alex Boese (£2.99 from HMV) - A book that has been on my wishlist for a very long time, I really enjoyed his other book Elephants on acid and when I saw this I knew that I needed to get it, especially for that price.

How I lost you by Jenny Blackhurst (Sent by Headline) - This book is one that I have found hard to put down recently, I keep having to tell myself to stop and do revision, I'm really enjoying it, its so interesting and right up my street and I can't wait to sink my teeth in after my exams.

How have you all been?! What have you bought recently? Have you read any of these books?

Readers

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