Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The September Edition!

September is (hopefully) going to be an excellent reading month! 


First up, As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott  
15th September 2011

Squee a new Elizabeth Scott, and it sounds amazing, and the cover - wow!


Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust (from Goodreads)


The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern 
15th September 2011

This sounds so imaginative and wonderful.  Plus it began life as a NaNoWriMo novel (hope for us all). I loved the WSJ article, Conjuring the Next Harry Potter, on it too.


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
29th September 2011

Well I adored Anna and I can't wait to meet Lola! Very excited about this one.



Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
29th Septmber 2011

Even in my writing cave, cut off from the internet I couldn't help but hear about this. The hype has been HUGE, hoping it lives up to it.



 Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

And finally the Jane Eyre movies hits cinema's here on the 9th September- I'm so excited.

What books are you dying to read in September?

(all release dates taken from Amazon.co.uk)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Glass Is Not Only Half Full It Has A Chip In It Too!

I was meant to be having an internet free day, the husband and baby have gone out and I was going to finally finish THE BOOK.

But, of course, I couldn't help myself and clicked on a few of my favourite blogs. Where I saw a book with such a great title I went straight to Goodreads to find out what it was about. Guess what I found?

My Book.

Of course it won't be completely my book. I know that. I know that every author brings their own experiences, style etc.

It has enough similarities to make me want to cry though, or throw something, or eat a large tub of ice cream.

BUT

I am not going to do any of those things. Although my general tendency is to think the glass is half full (and chipped) I am going to try and be a glass half full, with cute umbrella stuck in a lemon wedge, person today.

See about 20,000 words into The Book I had to decide whether to go Path A or Path B. I choose A, but I could go back and do B now.

Or I could work on the shiny new idea.

Or I could brain storm all the ideas I had on holiday.

Anyway I will not cry, or throw things* and I will NOT stop writing. I shall remember how much I learned writing the book, and how much fun it was, and I shall channel Churchill and Never, Never, Never Give Up!

* I reserve the right to eat that tub of ice cream.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Book Review - Guitar Highway Rose by Bridget Lowry

Popular and smart, fifteen-year-old Rosie Moon is the quintessential good girl. She also wishes she could be someone else for a while, someone more interesting. Asher Fielding is the mysterious new boy at school who has dreadlocks and a love of Jim Morrison. On the first day of tenth grade, Rosie develops a crush on Asher, and when the two pair up for a poetry assignment they quickly form a bond. When Asher is falsely accused of stealing a wallet at school, he and Rosie decide to escape it all--their families, their school, their ordinary town--and hitchhike up the Australian coast. They know they shouldn't, and that is exactly why they do. Part road story, part love story, Guitar Highway Rose is a thrilling ride for anyone who has ever dreamed about escaping everyday life, even just for a little while. (from Goodreads)


I inhaled this book, it's so gorgeously told, so vibrant, and sensory. I could see the waves on the beach, smell the salt air, taste the pasta and porridge, and feel Rosie's intense longing for something to happen. It made me want to pack everything up in a blue VW van and head for Australia, to road trip up and down the coast.


Guitar Highway Rose is a coming of age story and it really captures how it feels to be a teen. To have that longing for change and control over your life.


  
I loved Rosie and Asher the two main character, but this book also brims with wonderful secondary characters. The multiple points of view, which dart between characters (there are no chapters and sometimes no punctuation), lets you see a little of everyones' thoughts and I really enjoyed that. The format feels so fresh and original and a perfect fit for the story.


I highly recommend Guitar Highway Rose, it's definitely got a spot on my beloved bookshelf.


Here's a taste


My name is Rosie Moon. My star sign is Aries. I come from a long line of women who have flower names. I am nearly sixteen. I live near the sea. I like reading, roses, swimming, late nights, chocolate, clouds. I'm hungry for a juicy life. I lean out the window at night and I can taste it out there, just waiting for me.





Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday Snapshot


First - stay safe East Coast friends.

Second - I was running in the park and suddenly there was a hot air ballon!



Saturday, 27 August 2011

What's Your Inheritance Book?

While roaming the internt I stumbled across the Orange Inheritance Collection. To celebrate the launch they asked 100 men and women to pick the book they'd pass on to the next generation.

So now I'm asking you!

What would your Inheritance Book be?


It took me a while to decide, but I had to go with His Dark Material Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. I can't imagine the baby not getting to visit Lyra's world, and meet armored bears and witches and feel the chill of the Northern Lights, and imagine what his daemon would be, and of course meet the boy he's kind of named after :)



(also I know Kim is totally going to save Harry Potter!)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Book Review: The Sky Always hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Reading wise this summer has been something of a disappointment. A lot of the books I had saved up expecting to adore didn't engage me. Luckily my summer reading was saved by the arrival of The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, which I won in a competition on Tara Kelly's blog, and which Kirstin kindly emailed internationally

I'm so glad she did, because it is a gem of a book.

There are many things to love here, but the main reason is Morgan. She is such an engaging narrotor with such a compelling voice. From the first few lines I just knew I was going to love her and I did.

She's funny and fragile and strong and confused and honest and very real. She has a thing about words, wants to write the Great American Novel and fortune cookies. Plus she screams on hillsides. I completely get why quite a few other characters in this book were trying to kiss her - I think I have a crush myself.

The characters in The The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind  are dealing with a lot of things and yet this book has a quiet feel to it.  It is could almost be a segment on This American Life, with Ira Glass narrating ~ I mean that as a huge compliment. It feel reals. It's like we've dropped into Morgan's life, it is at a critical moment, but the huge family secret (and it is huge) that gets revealed, never becomes overblown.

Although Morgan's life is nothing like mine, now or when I was a teenager, I knew her and I understood her.

There are some outstanding secondary characters here too. Morgan's next door neighbour, Tessa, with whom she shares a late night kiss, Rob the boy she works with and crushes on, and Morgan's unconventional Grandmother.

If you like real, relatable, and funny contemporary fiction you should track down The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind.


Kirstin Cronn-Mills blogs here


And here is the trailer for The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind, which captures the tone of the novel perfectly.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hello (again!)

I feel like the blog has been very neglected this summer, but I guess that's what summer is about - taking a break.

Anyway I am back and have that new year feeling. September has always heralded new beginnings for me more than January. Hopefully I'll return to regular blogging and write some reviews!

The holiday was amazing despite slightly dodgy weather and my son's first bee sting (thank goodness for  magic cream and ice cream!)

Books Read - 4 (seems low, but one was A Dance of Dragons which is like five books)

Movies Watched - 4

Flashes of inspiration on WIP - 1 (but a good one)

Shiny new Ideas - 3

Light Houses climbed, carrying child on back - 1 (that's a work out)

Boat Trips taken - 0 (thwarted by bee sting, see above)

Cats adopted - 1

Croissants eaten - too many to count

Gmail inbox - 199

GoogleReader - 629 - but I will hopefully get it under control and catch up.

The Scorpio Races Trailer




So happy I am back from holiday in time to enter this contestThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is one of my most eagerly anticipated reads of 2011. Even more so after this trailer - I'm loving the music!

I may go crazy and order a signed copy from Fountain Bookstore

Thursday, 4 August 2011

So True!










Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. 


Charles William Elliot

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bookish Things I Like

So despite the internet ban, I did pop online occasionally and I have to share a few links to bookish things I have seen and loved.

 Spineless Classics print entire classics on a single sheet. My favouirte has to be Pride and Prejudice poster, which I adore, but I also love What Katy Did and The Secret Garden 



I'm also loving these posters of children's classics by Christian Jackson, one image evokes the whole tale.  Love the Alice In Wonderland image.

Finally Penguin are doing some great covers at the moment. My Mum sent me the cloth bound version of Pride and Prejudice ~ isn't it gorgeous?



I also love there new classics deluxe ranger, which Abby of Abby's Bookshelf blogged about here. The Jane Eyre one is fabulous and on my wish list!


Finally not especially bookish but so fun I love this site dearphotograph. People put a photo of the past in the same spot in the present ~ it's very cool.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Hello August!

Hi! Anyone still out there? I hope so.

It's the 1st August and the finish line is not crossed, but in sight! I managed to write nearly 35,000 words - woo-hoo, go me! I have about 8,000 to go (I think) which will take me to 52,000 total and a finished first draft!

Thank you so much to everyone who left a you can do it comment - it was lovely having so many lovely cheerleaders.

The internet break was interesting. I was more focused on writing. I barely missed Twitter and Facebook at all, but I REALLY missed blogging. I do love my little blog, and getting comments and visiting all my regular reads and adding to my TBR list.

I didn't miss TV too much, but I missed reading. I was reading non-fiction, I can't not read, but I missed my novels so much. I did actually crack three days ago when I won a copy of The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind. I had a quick peak at the first page and then had to keep reading, it's such a great book.

Anyway once the 8,000 words are done, my rewards (aside from the pure satisfaction of finishing) are

A holiday in France! Where I shall be eating seafood (everyday single day!), building sandcastles, watching films and reading many, many books, but these are two I can't wait to dive in to.


I am dying to know the end and have avoided all reviews. No spoilers for this one!


I can't wait to see what happens next, I did sneak a look at the first chapter in Waterstones, but thank goodness for the Kindle I can barely lift this book!

So how have you all been? What great books have you read/movies have you watched? Have you been enjoying the sunshine?