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February 2019

    books, currently reading, WWW Wednesday

    WWW Wednesday #4

    WWW WEDNESDAY graphicWWW WEDNESDAY GRAPHIC 1.png

    WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words.

    CURRENTLY READING

    The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell / Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan / You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

    As usual, I’m reading far too many things at one time. The Diary of a Bookseller is excellent for this though, because it is one of those books that you can dip in and out of and never feel lost. I am making the slowest possible progress through it, but I actually don’t mind.  It is written by the owner of The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland, which isn’t too far away from my hometown but I have never visited, and this book is making me really want to take the drive down.

    I’m also alternating between reading and listening to Hold Back the Stars on my kindle and on Audible. I’ve never really gave audiobooks a shot before, if I am honest, but Jenn from Jenniely gifted me this one so that I could try it! Easing myself in by trying it with a book I also had the e-book version of so I can swap between them if I fancy. So far so good!

    And finally, You’d Be Mine is an ARC set to be released in April which I am working with St Martin’s Press and Erin Hahn on, so although the review will be a little while away, keep an eye out for that! LOVING it so far.

    RECENTLY READ

    Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu / The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

    I’ve really just been doing university required reading recently, including these two texts for my Victorian Gothic literature class, both of which I really enjoyed. Carmilla is a lesbian vampire tale, and I’m sure you will heard at least something about Dr Moreau before and his experiments on animals on the mysterious island.

    READING NEXT

    Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther / Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Again, more university reading to do! I have to read Mrs Miniver for my 1930s lit class as I have to do a presentation on it next week (ugh) and then Dracula is also for next week, for Vic Gothic. I’ve read the Liz Lochhead play version of this before, but never the original, so I am so excited to see if it is how I expect it to be!

    What have you been reading? 

    *This blog post contains affiliate links for Book Depository.

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    book review, books, feature, how to

    How to write the perfect book review (by ignoring all the “rules”)

    photo-1527530527470-c55f85665e89.jpgSource: Unsplash

    I have seen quite a lot of blog posts recently detailing the “Seven Steps to Writing the Best Book Review Ever!!!” They tell you how to lay it all out and what should and shouldn’t be included, which sounds like a pretty good idea at first.

    But, the more of them I see and the more I think about it, they are really starting to get on my last nerve.

    Blogging is all about expressing yourself, right? So how can you do that when you have to abide by a specified set of rules?

    I don’t know how other people do it, but no extensive planning goes into any of my blog posts. I know roughly what I want to say, and so I sit down at my desk (or in my bed, more like) and start typing. Sometimes this means that it turns out as the biggest load of crap you would ever read in your life, but that is what editing as for. I am a big believer in just getting it all down and then sorting it after. I write all my essays and stories this way, and it has been working pretty well so far for me. I do a giant brain dump onto the page/screen, and then sort through it all to find what I was really trying to say in there. You don’t have to do it this way, of course, but this is the method that works for me.

    So how can I then work through a set of rules? That would be changing my writing process entirely.

    This is why I am here to tell you – in an equally unplanned ramble – that I don’t think there can or should be a step by step guide to writing a book review, or any kind of blog post. Sure, it might be helpful if you are starting out and need a helping hand. If using these guides works for you, then great! I don’t want to stop you or tell you you are wrong for doing so.

    What I am trying to say is that things like this feel to me like they are taking the creativity and spontaneity out of blogging, which is part and parcel of the fun. If I don’t want to list the five million places you can buy a book, then fine! If I want to say that I can’t decide whether or not I like a book, cool. If I do or don’t want to use some sort of star rating system, great.

    We all have our style of writing and our own process for getting our thoughts out there, which is why no two blogs are the same. It would be pretty boring if we were all regurgitating the same few things on every blog you clicked onto.

    I, for one, am going to continue abiding by own blog “rules” – and that is that there are none.

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    lifestyle, personal, recommendations, travel

    TRAVEL DIARY: 21 hours in Hamburg

    hamburg.jpgHello! Do you still remember who I am?

    I haven’t been blogging much the past month or so, while I got back into the swing of things with uni after the long Christmas break. I am now halfway through my final semester of classes in my four-year-long degree which I CANNOT BELIEVE I am even saying right now. I really love my classes this semester actually, especially my one on Victorian Gothic literature (Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, The Island of Dr Moreau, some Sherlock Holmes, SO MUCH GOOD STUFF) so it hasn’t even been much of a task making myself sit down at my desk and crack on with it. It makes such a difference to your productivity levels when you really love what you are doing, doesn’t it.

    Anyway, now that I truly have the hang of it again and am back into a good routine, my blog can return from its place on the back burner. I have missed writing on here!! I have a couple of blog posts planned for the next couple of weeks, including a book review on The Wicked King, if you aren’t sick of those already from every other book blog under the sun (although I could read people’s thoughts on Jude and Cardan all day long).

    Today though, I wanted to tell you about a very exciting and last minute trip I took a couple of weeks ago with my flatmate courtesy of Ryanair flight sales.

    Yep, I went to Germany for the day for the same price as it would cost to get the train home for the weekend.

    Warning: long post ahead.

    hamburg 1hamburg 2The week before we went, or even knew we were going, my flatmate got an email through advertising cheap Ryanair flights as part of their January sale. It started off as sort of a joke, wondering where we could jet off to, and we started looking at flight times without really caring about the destination. Most of them didn’t suit because they didn’t fit around our university classes, and since we are semi-responsible adults now we didn’t want to miss anything so close to graduation. Then we spotted one to Hamburg in Germany that meant we would only be away for a day in total, and a few minutes later we were booked. Read more

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