Category Archives: Books

2013 Goodreads Challenge

Last year I signed myself up to take part in the Goodreads 2012 reading challenge.

I set myself the challenge of reading at least 30 new books within the year….needless to say I didn’t quite make it! I managed the grand total of 21 books throughout the year which I am still quite pleased about!


These included:

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

The Silver Linings Play Book – Matthew Quick

Dinner With a Vampire (The Dark Heroine, #1) – Abigail Gibbs

PUSH – Sapphire

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

The Hobbit – J.R.R Tolkien

Me Before You – Moyes, Jojo

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) – E.L. James

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2) – E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) – E.L. James

My Name Is Memory – Ann Brashers

Carmilla – Joseph Sheriden Le Fanu

The Lorax – Dr Seuss

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) – Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) – Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) – Suzanne Collins

Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher


Whilst i’m pretty pleased I tackled a few classic books…i’m also ashamed to say I gave into the hype and read the 50 Shades trilogy!






I have quite a few books in my ‘to read’ pile for this year. These include:



The Passage – Justin Cronin (Currently reading and I love it!)


The Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee


Wonder – RJ Palacio


The Fault in our Stars – John Green


The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time – Mark Haddon


Stardust – Neil Gaiman


The Odyssey – Homer

If anyone else is taking part in the reading challenge, let me know! It would be great to follow others progress too…hopefully it will encourage me to keep on track.












Clothbound Classics

I will always be a book fan – theres nothing better than a great collection on your shelf! I will always choose a physical book over a download, theres just something about getting a brand new book.

My sister introduced me to the Penguin Clothbound Classics range in October 2012. As soon as I started reading the clothbound edition of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ I just knew I had to collect them all!

The Clothbound Classics range are designed by the immensely talented Coralie Bickford-Smith in partnership with Penguin. If you are interested in learning more about Coralie and the process to create these fantastic books, you can find a fantastic interview here.

In the meantime…..heres some lovely photos (Thank you new camera!!) of the books i’ve already collected.

Sense and Sensibility Clothbound Classic Pride and Prejudice Clothbound Classic Oliver Twist Clothbound Classic IMG_0800 Clothbound Classics Treasure Island Clothbound Classic Edgar Allen Poe


My dream Clothbound versions would be:

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Wizard of Oz


The Chrysalids

Game of Thrones Series

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More information on the Clothbound Classics can be found here and if you are interested in perusing them in person, head over to your local Waterstones and I hope you find them as beautiful as I do 🙂

The Edgar Allen Poe Leather-bound book is a Barnes and Nobel edition – also available at Waterstones! Not all of this series is available in the UK, although you can order then from the USA Barnes and Nobel website for quite reasonable shipping costs.

I would love the Jurassic Park and Wicked versions – Waterstones please get these in!

Recent Reading – Camilla – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

***** Spoilers!!! I will be discussing the plot!!! Please do not read anymore if you do not want to know *****

I started to read this book after a review I read on Gil Ts Pleasures blog, supernatural books are right up my street! It was written in 1872, around 25 years before Dracula, making it one of the first mainstream vampire stories to be published. Heres a little run down of what its all about thanks to trusty Wikipedia:

The story is presented by Le Fanu as part of the casebook of Dr Hesselius, whose departures from medical orthodoxy rank him as the first occult doctor in literature. The story is narrated by Laura, one of the two main protagonists of the tale.

Laura begins her tale by relating her childhood in a “picturesque and solitary” castle in the midst of an extensive forest in Styria where she lives with her father, a wealthy English widower, retired from the Austrian Service. When she is six years old, Laura has a vision of a beautiful visitor in her bedchamber. She later claims to have been bitten on the chest, although no wounds are found on her.

12 years later, Laura and her father are admiring the sunset in front of the castle when her father tells her of a letter he received earlier from his friend General Spielsdorf. The General was supposed to bring his niece, Bertha Rheinfeldt, to visit the two, but the niece suddenly died under mysterious circumstances. The General ambiguously concludes that he will discuss the circumstances in detail when they meet later. A carriage accident outside Laura’s home unexpectedly brings a girl of Laura’s age into the family’s care. Her name is Carmilla…..

Wow. Ive left out a big ‘chunk’ of what its all about in case you fancy reading it yourself.

This was a great read, i’m really glad I looked it up and made the time to read it. It was a really easy read as it wasn’t too long ( 108 pages) and was broken down into small chapters – things I like in a book!

Vampires are a very ‘hot topic’ right now, what with shows like Vampire Diaries and the Twilight Saga popping up all over the place. It was a change to read a book that turned a conventional love story on it’s head. Although it was written almost 140 years ago, its scary how easily it could fit right into todays world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any fantasy fans out there. You can read it for free here via Goodreads.

PS….Siri has been consulted!! I will post his thoughts tomorrow!

The Hunger Games – Another wallpaper attempt!

Another attempt at photoshop, im pretty pleased with this even if I do say so myself!

Hope you enjoy it – the only photo I used that is mine is of the trees, all other images are official Katniss and Peeta images.

If you haven’t already you can read my Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay  reviews here 🙂

Recent Reading – The Lorax

This is one book that I have been meaning to read for such a long time now! Im a big fan of Dr Seuss, nonsense just seems to make sense to me!

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What a wonderful book! Not only is it beautiful to look at, the story is something anyone can enjoy. Heres a run down curtesy of Wikipedia….

A young boy residing in a polluted, grim world visits a strange creature called the “Once-Ler” (whose two green arms are his only features that are seen) inquiring the history behind the poor state in which the world is now. So, the Once-Ler explains to the boy that he arrived in a beautiful, cheerful world containing happy, playful fauna that spent their days romping around blissfully, but soon began to chop down “Truffula trees” in order to craft a useful invention that he thought of, insisting that his new creation is highly necessary for everybody. Soon the Once-Ler starts to make profit off of these versatile yet simple-looking inventions, contacting all his relatives to help him with his business. However, a small orange creature called the “Lorax” tries to urge the Once-Ler to cease cutting down so many Truffula trees, pleading that doing so could harm the environment, but the Once-Ler ignores him and continues to grow wealthy off of selling his invention. However, eventually the supply of Truffula trees runs out and not only is the land left environmentally compromised and out-of-equilibrium — the Once-Ler’s new family business goes bankrupt and the creatures who once resided within the forest must leave. Having related this information — the Once-Ler provides the boy with “the last one [Truffula seed] of all,” and instructs him to plant this tree and nurture it — to re-introduce and re-establish the Truffula Tree with the final statement “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not,”.

The once-ler, to me anyway, takes the form of industry and the human need for ‘things’ at the expense of other ‘things’. Too much of this seems to be happening in the world today. Not a day goes by when we dont hear about global warming, over fishing, rainforest (or just forest) destruction, unnecessary slaughter or over population. It does feel as if we are living in the middle of a time bomb waiting to go off. This posting seems to link quite nicely to one I did a few days ago about the earth being full. Its a good watch if you haven’t watched it already (I would say that as its my post!).

I think the story of The Lorax is more needed now than ever. The next generation of our world are growing up where iPods grow on trees, bottles are thrown away at a rate so fast its frightening and everything the tv says is true.

The story of the Lorax is pretty straight forward with its message. It shows how economic and industrial needs can sometimes trivialize the needs of the environment with disastrous consequences. The once-ler shows the reader that when theres a profit to be had at its expense, the environment takes a back seat. It’s a shame that today being an environmentalist and environmentalism has grown to take on a negative connotation when we should all be taking responsibility for our environment.

With the recent movie being so popular at the cinema ($70 million in its opening weekend apparently!), I hope all of the young people that watch it can take away its message.

We won’t have a once-ler to offer us a Truffala seed further down the line…

Recent Reading – Style Me Vintage

I’ve finally had the time to sit down and jump into this beautiful book!

After a hectic weekend of rummaging through the vintage shops of Manchester’s northern quarter, I had chance to sit down with a cup of delicious tea and take in all of the vintage awesomeness (yes thats a word…) of this book! ‘Style Me Vintage: Clothes’ is one of three books that cover vintage clothing, hair and make-up. It offers information and tips on creating and finding vintage clothing from the 1920’s up until the 1980’s. Continue reading

Have you tried Goodreads?

Catching up on some bloggy reading a couple of nights ago and I came across a fabulous post by Free Page Numbers on Goodreads!

Goodreads is an online way to keep track of things you’re reading and to share your recent reads with others. It also lets you set reading challenges (squeal!) for yourself and review and rate what you have read.

So i’ve set myself the challenge of reading 30 – yes 30! – books this year. I’ve been keeping a ‘recent reading’ category on here for a month or so now which so far has included the Hunger Games trilogy(The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay), Thirteen Reasons Why and One Day. I’ve added a nifty little widget on the side here so you can keep track of where i’m up to and heckle me when I fall too far behind.

I plan on doing a little write up of each of the books on here once I finish them.

In my pile to read I have ‘1984’ to finish off, a Wallis Simpson biography and a book on the way called ‘Carmilla’. I ordered it after reading a fab review here

I would LOVE to be a part of a book club, but with little time and a slight fear of talking in a group (I get serious word vomit), keeping an online diary seems to be the best plan!

Has anyone else tried it? If you want to follow my reading you can here, I would love to chat about books!

Im feeling really rotten right now with this flu bug thats going around so no serious reading until i’m better 😦