Thank You for the Literature

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally started by The Broke And The Bookish, where a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is Top Ten Books I Am Grateful For. As Thanksgiving fast approaches for America, it’s nice to take a moment and think back to the books I’ve read that I’m so glad are in my life…

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

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I feel like this will appear on a lot of lists today! Everyone who has ever loved Harry Potter should be thankful for what it has given us. For me, it gives me somewhere to turn when I’m down, a magical place I can go in my mind escape reality. I’ve also learnt so much from so many of the characters, so many life lessons that I will carry with me for a long time!

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

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As most of you know by now, Ballet Shoes is a very special book for me. It’s the book that got me in to reading (I read before this, but I can’t remember what…) and taught me so much that I have lived by ever since.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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I am so incredibly grateful for all of John Green’s books, but TFIOS in particular is really special to me. There are some moments that really touched me, and there are plenty of life lessons as well!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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A more recent book for me, but I can’t stop thinking about the story and the characters! I’m so grateful for having read this book because I feel like I learnt a lot about myself as a fangirl and book lover, as well as falling in love with a few of the characters.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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Another book series I only read this year but completely changed my outlook on the fantasy genre. The relationships between the characters were amazing and I’m so thankful for Cassie Clare’s ingenious world building.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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I’m so happy that I got round to reading this when I did. It was the first classic I read after starting my blog and I’m grateful for the fact that it opened me up to whole other world of classical literature.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief is such an incredible book! For 3 days I was consumed by the story of Liesel and her family and friends in wartime Germany, and it made me see the war in completely different way, and feel emotions I never I had in me. I am so grateful for this story!

That’s all for today! I’m extremely picky about the books I call ‘important’ to me, because, like a lot of us bookworms, they really have to speak to us to earn a special place in our hearts. Let me know what books you’re grateful for in the comments below, and feel free to link your Top Ten list so I can check it out!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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Like so many others, I am jumping on the Orient Express to find out who did ‘it’ before I see the movie at the cinema. I’ve been desperately wanting to read Agatha Christie’s books for a while, and there was no better one to start with! (very minor spoiler ahead that you might not spot but hey I’m warning you just in case!)

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again..

My Review

Murder on the Orient Express is a classic crime thriller, and one of Christie’s many Poirot novels. Set primarily on a train called, you won’t believe this, the Orient Express, travelling to England, the story follows Poirot when it comes to his knowledge that someone on the trains been murdered. Temporarily employed by Company Director, M. Bouc, Poirot sets about interviewing the passengers and gathering evidence that will ultimately solve the crime. Everything that happens in the book has been meticulously planned, like any good crime novel should be, and we are shown through Poirot’s though process as he works his way through the evidence. The ending was certainly not predictable, and the ending was definitely climactic. I almost thought it would end on a cliffhanger, but it reigned in on the very last page. Christie really does leave you having until the last moment, which is a very clever writing skill to have. Everything mentioned throughout the fast paced plot was brought together at the end, nothing was left for us to wonder.

It is difficult to get attached to any characters in these sorts of books, as they all seem guilty until proven innocent. There is something very much reserved about all the passengers on the train, and M. Bouc didn’t seem the friendliest at times. I did find it strange in parts when we read Poirot’s thoughts as though he were speaking out loud, and he could also seem a little bit closed off at times, but as with many great detectives, they need time to organise their thoughts to solve the crime. The characters were certainly given plenty of background to their passenger personalities and their real identities, which made them feel a lot more realistic than some characters in crime novels can be. Especially seeing as this book is under 300 pages, it is packed with at least 12 very well developed characters.

As mentioned earlier, I was constantly trying to guess throughout the novel who the murderer was, and there were times when I guessed correctly, but when you’ve read the book you will understand why that’s the case! I felt like Poirot’s sidekick, trying to work through the evidence and unfold the crime. My favourite part was definitely the end when you finally find out who did it and how it all happened, it was extremely clever and well constructed on Christie’s part! The entire book was very well written, if a little difficult to grasp the wording at times, but this is probably due to the lack of classical literature in my read pile, and through no fault of the author. I was certainly gripped, and wish I had more time to sit down and really get deep into the novel, rather than reading it chapter at a time.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of crime novels, and all Christie fanatics who haven’t got to it yet!

My Rating: 4 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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Future Classics? Books the Next Generation Should Read

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally started by The Broke And The Bookish, where a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is Top Ten Books the Next Generation Should Read.  In an increasingly technologically demanding world, a lot of children are now turning to iPads and phones rather than books. I can allow an eReader if they are really attached to having a robot run life, but I think it’s important to teach the next generation to love books as much as we do, and to be engaged in literature. I think these books will do just that…

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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Of course this will continue to be one of the greatest book series of all time, even when we’re disappearing off the face of the earth! If you can get a future child to pick up Harry Potter, they will fall in love with reading for life!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Every young bookworm should read Matilda! It’s also a great book to encourage children to read instead of watching the TV, and how reading can be so much more beneficial for you!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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For the slightly older children of the upcoming generation, Fangirl is great to see what an affect a book or book series can have on you life.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs9460487

Another one that’s not for the young’ens, but Miss Peregrine’s will present them with such a magical and powerfully constructed world that (hopefully) they won’t want to leave!

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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This might be a struggle to get through for some, because it is a classic, and by the time they’re reading it, I predict everything will be written in abbreviations and emojis anyway. This would be a great one to continue teaching in schools, because it would let them see how privileged they are to live in a society which now (pretty much) wholly accepts race and gender equality.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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I stand by my opinion that John Green is one of the best YA writers in history and will continue to be in many years to come. TFIOS was my first Green book, and I do believe the lessons it teaches will be invaluable to the next generation of YA readers

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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This book will be particularly important to those in the future who unfortunately end up struggling with grief, and/or caring for a loved one in pain. It will show them that it is ok to want to have some time when you don’t have to think about what’s going through your head.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

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Ending on a slightly lighter note, Ballet Shoes was my favourite book as a child, and still remains so. While the story is an uplifting one that will fill young girls hearts with joy, it can also tell them it’s ok to not like the girly stuff, and you can do whatever you set your mind to. Beyond that, it shows them how important it is to help your family out, not necessarily if they are in times of financial worry, but just small good deeds that they will be grateful for.

That’s all for today everyone! Let me know in the comments what books you think will make it to be the classics of the next generation, and do you agree with any of mine?! Feel free to link your Top Ten Tuesday too so I can see what you’re writing about this week!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Questions I Frequently Get Asked as a Reader

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Hello fellow bookworms! I haven’t posted a Time for Tea in a while, and I’ve had this idea sitting in my drafts for a while, so I thought it was about time I actually posted it! How many times do family and friends comment on your reading habits? Are they awestruck by your commitment to literature, or annoyed by your devotion to something fictional? Either was, we all get those questions from people who just don’t understand what it’s like to be one of us, so I’d like to share some of those I frequently get asked…

How do you find time to read so much?

I don’t find time, I make time. Between university, part time job, and seeing family and friends, it is crucial I make time for myself. I have certain points in the day when I know I can get some reading time in, so I use them wisely!

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Why don’t you just watch TV?

I find it a lot more difficult to stay focused on what’s going on in a TV show than I do staying focused on a book. I am actively engaged in what I’m reading, whereas staring at a screen seems a bit mundane for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do watch TV, but it probably averages out to about 4-5 hours a week! This is also ties in with the next question…

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Why read the book when you can just watch the movie?

I like to have read a book before I see it as a movie, whether that’s before it’s even announced as a movie, or whizzing through it before a cinema showing. Reading a book beforehand allows me to use my own imagination for character appearances and setting, and seeing the movie definitely ruins this for me! Once I have my own image in my head, even if I then go and watch the movie, I still have my own imagined scenarios if I come to re-read the book.

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Why do you not get rid of your books?

I’m sorry, what? Shall I ask you why you don’t get rid of stamps from your stamp collection? Or a rubber duck from your rubber duck collection? I am a collector of books, and each book on my shelf, whether read or un-read, has a meaning to me. It might be where I got it from, or who gave it to me, or why I chose to pick it up in the first place. I am also a designer, so I have some books I picked up purely because I like the cover. There’s a reason behind each book on my shelf, and no, I won’t get rid of them! (I do occasionally unhaul books I know for a fact I won’t read, and I’m keeping for no particular reason, but my unhauls are few and far between!)

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It would be so much easier to use a Kindle, wouldn’t it?

I own a Kindle, I just don’t use it. I’ve had one for quite a few years now, in fact, I’ve two Kindles in my lifetime, and I did use them religiously at first. It was actually book blogging and bookstagram that took me away from eBooks and back to physical copies. I just love the feeling of a book in my hands, and looking at them all lined up neatly on my shelf. They smell amazing and they’re pretty. What more is there to say?

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Why do you keep re-reading [insert book title here]?

Re-reading my favourite books is so important to me! It gives me somewhere to go, somewhere I trust will make me feel better whatever mood I’m in. Reading new books is great, but you never know until you finish a book if it’s going to turn out the way you want, so it’s important to have those books you know and understand, the same as they know and understand you. For me, Harry Potter is an obvious choice, but I also turn to The Fault In Our Stars a lot as well (I’ve read this a total of 5 times now!) because there are messages within it that are quite comforting for me.

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You read how many books a year?!

Again, this comes back to the first question. Making time to read means I get through a lot more books than most people I know, but I also know there are people out there who read a lot more than I can manage! I am devoted to my Goodreads Reading Challenge cause, and particularly now, towards the end of the year, I am focused on cramming those books in to try my hardest to reach my goal (although it doesn’t look good for me at the moment!) My reading goal is important to me because it gives me something to accomplish and feel proud of at the end of the year, and also gives me an aim to beat the following year.

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Is it just me? Or does anyone else get used these questions so frequently you have an organised answer in your head for each? I’d love to know what questions you get asked as a reader, let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

All gifs from giphy.com

Monthly Book Roundup for October

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Hello fellow bookworms! I suck at finding time to read! No, that’s a lie, I think I’m in another reading slump… Why am I only getting through 3 books a month? Honestly, I’m the worst bookworm you’ll ever meet! Anyway, here’s the measley amount I read this month…

What books have I read this month?

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

What am I currently reading?

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Average Rating: 4.3

Number of total pages read: 1,242 pages

Books read toward 2017 Book Challenge goal: 39.5/52 books (I put my goal down because I am a weak human being)

Books I plan to read in November:

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The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I’m only setting one book to read next month because knowing me that’s all I’ll read and I’ll be a failure of a bookworm…

What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy November and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Trick or Treat! Happy Halloween 🎃

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally started by The Broke And The Bookish, where a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is Top Ten Characters I Would Want To Go Trick or Treat-ing With. I’m too old for trick or treat-ing now, and I’m not much of a sweet lover (although don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate!), but that doesn’t stop me from fantasising going out with my favourite characters from literature…

The Golden Trio (Harry Potter)

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You can’t just go with one of them! Harry, Ron, and Hermione would be the perfect companions for Halloween (they are wizards, come on!), but I’m thinking about 1st year of Hogwarts, 11 year old trio, because they’re just adorable!

Clary and Jace (The Mortal Instruments)

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These two are so much fun, and at least I would know I had demon protection everywhere I went!

Cath and Levi (Fangirl)

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These two are so adorable together, and I would want to share Levi’s childish excitement at the idea of getting loads of sweets! I imagine him as a hyper Halloween puppy!

Albus and Scorpius (Cursed Child)

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MORE WIZARDS! You can’t have Halloween without them! I can’t think of a wizard who loves sweets more than Scorpius… (actually, Ron is a strong contender…)

The Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s)

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How much fun would this be! Walking around surrounded by children who have the best ‘costumes’ in town! No one knows how she’s floating, or how that dog is talking…

Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts)

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Can he bring his creatures along, can you imagine people’s faces when they see me next to that Graphorn?!

Margo Roth Spiegelman and Q (Paper Towns)

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She would just be so good at the tricks, I wouldn’t bother about getting any treats!

That’s all for today everyone! Let me know in the comments who you would go trick or treat-ing with, would you go with any from this bunch? Feel free to link your Top Ten Tuesday too so I can see what Halloween-y theme you chose!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

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Unique Book Titles

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally started by The Broke And The Bookish, where a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is Top Ten Unique Book Titles. Most books have fairly average titles, something you would expect to appear on the front cover. However, some books are more secretive, and don’t like to give anything away in their titles, and therefore have slightly different approaches when it comes to naming them. here’s just a few I found on my bookshelf.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

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This is the first book that came to me when I thought of unique titles. When you read he book, you understand where the title comes from, but on it’s own, it’s quite wacky!

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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I haven’t read this book, but it’s not the sort of title that you an grasp anything about the storyline from. It doesn’t really make that much sense out of context… I can’t wait to read it though, I’ve heard it’s one that would pull at my heartstrings a bit.

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

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I chose this one because it’s quite a contradictory title; days can’t be numbered and endless, can they?

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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Why have I still not read this book? Another book with knife in the title… this is quite a strange title, and really doesn’t say much about the book at all, maybe I should read it and try and figure out what it means…

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

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A running club for the end of the world… this may be taken literally in the book, but the title itself is quite unique.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

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Well, yes, actually, it is… but this title is quite unique in the way that it doesn’t really have anything to do with the immediate storyline of the book (I don’t think, I haven’t this one either… why have not read any of these books?!)

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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Again, yes, the sky is kind of everywhere, but the title stands out among other books because it doesn’t really say much about the story.

 

So that’s my collection of unique book titles! Have you read any of these? Can you tell if the titles have any relevance to the story? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

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