2016: Reading Resolutions

Each year I make a few reading resolutions. I am normally quite good at following what I aim to do!

Over the last few years I have really focused on enjoying what I have been reading, not counting the books I have read, re-reading old favourites and generally trying to go back to how I read before I began book blogging. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this, it was pleasant to not have a Goodreads goal to follow and I stopped worrying about it taking me a week or more to finish a book!

I do still want to carry these principles on, with the exception of not setting a number of books goal – I feel in the mood for a target again so I have indeed set one.

  • This year I aim to read around 50 books.I think this is quite achievable as 1 book a week tends to be what I currently read.
  • As I have said in the last few years, I want to re-read books again this year – I’m thinking that some Stephen King, Charlaine Harris and Harry Potter books will be what I reach for!
  • Read what I have on my shelf. I am so lucky to have a full bookshelf with around 25 unread books,I want to reach for those this year and by doing that I also want to save money on buying books.I really don’t have the money to blow on lots of books this year!
  • Make more use of the library. I think that a monthly library visit (even if I only take out one or two books) would be really good for me. Borrowing free books means I can step out of my reading comfort zone, and try new things!
  • Use my kindle more. Last year I only read 4 books on my kindle over the year, which is a real shame. I actually have about 10 unread books on there, which I would like to get to, and there are probably some titles on there that I would  like to re-read as well.
  • Lastly, I want to have fun reading. Really, that’s all it comes down to – having fun and enjoying my hobby.

Thanks for reading!

Have you made reading resolutions this year? xx

Favourite books of 2015

Here are my top 10 reads from 2015

10. The Cellar – Natasha Preston

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This book kept me hooked and I whizzed through it in about 24 hours! It was very interesting to see the thoughts of the women who have been abducted and held hostage, and the guy who is keeping them. This book gives you an intense look into a twisted mind, explores the feelings of those who have been captured and also the anguish of the families of the missing. A highly recommended read!

9. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J K Rowling

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This particular edition of Harry Potter made it into my list because of its sheer beauty! I absolutely loved every single illustration within and  I felt like it gave me a “new read” of a book that I have picked up many times before!

8. Horrorstor – Grady Hendrix

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This book has the layout of an IKEA catalogue, and is essentially about a haunted  furniture store. I felt that this book was extremely unique, and the physical presentation of the book helped me really appreciate the book. I also read this at the time we were buying IKEA furniture for our re-decorated bedroom, which I found quite amusing! I didn’t predict the end of this book at all – and I think it one I will be happy to re-read in the future.

7. Dance with Dragons part 1 &2 – George R R Martin

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If you have been following my blog or You Tube channel for a while, then you may know that I am a huge fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series. In 2015 I finished the (so far released) books in the series. I loved them! I am very much looking forward to the next one being released!

6. Midnight Crossroad – Charlaine Harris

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This is Harris’s most recent series and it combines mystery and supernatural elements. I adore her writing and story building and thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into a new book! There is also a character (Bobo) who appears in a previous series, which I found to be very exciting!

5. Drowning Instinct – Ilsa J Bick

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This book is about a student/teacher relationship (I really enjoy books around this topic for some reasons – there’s another one in this list as well!) The thing I loved about this book is the bit I can’t really talk about – the ending!

4. Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

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I have a full review of this book already (which you can read here) This book depicts anxiety and depression really well, and I found it very easy to relate to. After sharing my review I also had some friends and family thank me for sharing the book as they also found it helpful.

3. Me and Mr J – Rachel McIntyre 

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This is probably one of the best student/teacher relationship books I have ever read – although saying that it focuses on so much more than just that. The relationship she builds with her teacher is a bit of an outlet for some horrendous bullying and troubling home life, which is something she does eventually figure out for herself. Excellent YA novel that I will return to again in the future.

2.  Do not Disturb – A R Torre

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This is the sequel to ‘The Girl in 6E’ which I read in 2014. These books focus on Deanna, a woman who is driven by an intense need to kill. In an effort to keep people safe, she has isolated herself in her apartment – earning money as a web cam girl, getting everything she needs delivered and having her neighbour lock her door from the outside each night. In the first book i was pretty shocked by the graphic descriptions of her murderous thoughts, but (and I know this sounds bad), I was more used to it by this sequel. In fact, it almost seemed to be less important, Deanna is beginning to control her impulses somewhat and I very much liked seeing how her character has developed over the last 2 books. I am very much looking forward to future books in this series!

You- Caroline Kepnes

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So this is my top favourite read of the year. Interesting fact – I finished this book sitting in Tesco car park! I had popped in to grab lunch and a drink, when I thought I’d read a few pages while having my drink, and I basically ended up sitting there glued to the book!

I love psychological thrillers at the moment, and this one was so unique being from the perspective of the stalker. In fact, while reading it I stopped finding his actions so shocking. Logically I knew what he was doing was horrendous, but I got so drawn into his mind I really did get used to it. This freaked me out more than a little bit!

I believe this is in fact going to be a series (or maybe a trilogy?!) and I will be back to read the next ones as soon as they are out!!

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Thank you for reading! What have your favourite books been in 2015?

 

2015: What I Read Montage

Hi guys,

I wanted to share the wonderful books I read in 2015, and I thought I would do it in a slightly different way – by creating a fun video montage!

The video below shows you everything I read during the last year, and I included kindle and library books at the end. I hope you like it, and if you do then I can do more creative videos soon.

I’m really happy with my reading last year. I achieved my goal of re-reading some old favourites and I indulged in re-reads of old point horror books, Jacqueline Wilson books and some Harry Potters!

Towards the end of 2015 I did not read very much (half a book in a month). This is due to having a stressful, traumatic experience – I just couldn’t face picking anything up. Thankfully, a month on and I’m ready to jump back on the reading wagon!

I have super high hopes for the year ahead!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

 

 

Christmas Book Haul: 2015

After a short break I am back making new videos for my YouTube Channel!

I thought I would start with a simple book haul – sharing my lovely Christmas gifts with you all!

I was also lucky enough to receive some new editing software for Christmas so the quality of my videos will be much higher now! I hope you enjoy the video!

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Christmas Book Wish List 2015

As always I have a few book wishes that I would love Santa to bring this year and I thought I would share them with you.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys

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This is a collection of short horror and psychological thriller stories. I already love books of this genre and I have been looking out for some new short story collections so this one sounds perfect!

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

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I’ve heard some amazing things about this book over the last few months, and I really want to give it a read. I’ve really enjoyed thrillers this year so I hope this will join some of my favourites.

What stands in a Storm – Kim Cross

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I’m really interested in weather but have not read many books about the subject. This is about a super storm that hit Tornado Alley in the USA and I’ve read some great reviews.

The Dead House

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I’ve heard my friend Charley (DuvetDayDevours on YouTube) rave about this book and we tend to like similar things so I want to check it out. It sounds really creepy and I can’t wait to give it a go!

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Thanks for reading 🙂

What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?

 

 

Suicide Forest – Jeremy Bates [Book Review]

Title: Suicide Forest

Author: Jeremy Bates

Publisher: Ghillinnein Books (2014)

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I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while now, and I was saving it specially for an creepy October read! I’m glad that I waited, I think this book made perfect October reading and I’m glad I picked it up!

This book is set in the real life place of Aokigahara forest in Japan. This sprawling forest is at the base of mount Fuji and is known as ‘suicide forest’ due to the high volumes of people that take their lives within the trees. It is rumoured to be a chilling and haunting place. You can immediately see why this is a great place for a scary novel to be set!

In suicide forest, a group of friends have to delay their climb up mount Fuji due to bad weather, and when they meet Nina and Ben who are going to camp in Aokigahara forest, they decide to join them. They enter the forest to explore and camp, but they get more than they bargained for!

My favourite thing about this book is the atmosphere – Jeremy Bates has created an amazing, tense and chilling feeling within the book and I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding while reading. Knowing that the setting is a real place also adds to the creepy element!

The plot was a little slow to begin with, and I didn’t love all of the character flashbacks, but things really did pick up once I was a few chapters in and I whizzed through the book in just a few days. The ending had a great twist – very unexpected!

This felt like a character based novel – each person really felt like they belonged in the story and the dialogue and interactions within the group made it very genuine and believable.

Overall, this was a 4 star read for me – I very much enjoyed reading Suicide Forest and will be checking more work by Jeremy Bates.

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Book Photography

A few years back my boyfriend and I had a ‘book photography’ session, where we took some fun shots of me with books. I have been using these images for blog posts and You Tube art since then, but I decided I wanted some updated ones – so out came the camera and the books!

In the first session we used a bright blue background which was definitely fun, but I wanted a more polished look this time, so we chose a white background – and we were both really happy with the results.

These are the images we took!