Saturday, 27 August 2016

August Book Haul of Gigantic Proportions!

I haven't done a book haul post in a reeeeally long time, mostly because I always forget to keep track but in the interests of being back on my book buying ban (bookshop crawls excepted) I've been trying to keep a bit of a handle on it this month and since I've got some really interesting looking stuff I thought I'd share with you. Feel free to tell me if you've read any of my books and what you thought in the comments!

The first week of the month I got several excellent book parcels. Firstly my final Secret Sister parcel of the last round arrived and contained Phillip Pullman's Grimm Tales which I've been after for a while and this edition is super beautiful so I'm excited for that. I also got a parcel from my sister containing Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce which is the August pick for our kid lit bookclub - Rhys is reading it at the moment so I've not had a chance to get to it yet, but he's adoring it so that's a good sign! Then I got an excellent belated birthday present from Charlotte (to whom I now owe her own belated birthday present! It's coming I promise!) containing This Savage Song by V.E Schwab which I know pretty much nothing about but since I'm in love with A Darker Shade of Magic I'm pretty much willing to read anything she writes now, and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson which I've been wanting for so long. It's kind of super-villainy and sounds a little bit like Kick Ass but not? Basically I've heard great things! Then I got a thank you parcel from Chantelle who was the Secret Sister I'd been sending to last round and because she is excellent she got me Caramel Hearts by E.R Murray which is YA and contains recipes so that's obviously excellent, and then A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn which is clearly a sign since I've had The Dead Travel Fast on my shelf for a couple of years now recommended because I wanted to read more mysteries, and haven't got to it yet, so clearly now's the time! And finally (for the first week!) I received on request a copy of the excellent The Outrun by Amy Liptrot from the lovely publisher Canongate. You can see what I thought about it here.

The second week I got three books in the post. The first one, The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid is billed as Star Wars meets The Hunger Games, so when the publishers asked me if I wanted a copy I said yes please and am looking forward to getting to it soon! The others were a gift from lovely Ellie who passed them along to me after she'd finished them, having scouted out my wishlist ahead of time - a tactic which I'm now using to guide my reading! She sent me Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein which has been on my wishlist forever. I think it's about gender and how Disney and the 'girls like pink' thing affects girls growing up and obviously that is the most interesting thing ever for me. She also sent me a lovely Persephone copy of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson which I've never read but I will read absolutely anything Persephone publish and I also have the excellent film with Amy Adams so yes, excited for that.

Then the Bath Bookshop Crawl happened and obviously there were books... I'm still working on a post about the crawl but basically it was great and this is what I got:

One by Sarah Crossan is about conjoined twins and is written in verse. I bought it because loads of people on twitter had been saying how good it was and Ellie also recommended it and then I read it when I got home that night in one sitting and it is so good and so beautiful and sad. Read it. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter I'm really going to read soon because I've been hearing such great things about it and it's also pretty short. It's about a family who is grieving and a crow comes to stay with them and help them through the process. It sounds really intriguing and my copy is also signed by the author which is excellent. Then I got a couple of nonfiction titles, both of which were on the recommendation of other bloggers and/or Book Riot. Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland is about forests and their place in our history and landscape and also how fairytales have their roots in forests so obviously I had to get it. I also bought Yeonmi Park's memoir In Order to Live about her family's escape from North Korea. Not easy reading I'm sure, but I've heard many excellent things about it. More things I bought because Book Riot (specifically All the Books) recommended them are Wolf Road by Beth Lewis (which Ellie also recommended) which is about a girl who takes up with a guy who is wanted for something awful I think? (the book is upstairs so I'm kind of ad-libbing here...) Anyway it sounds excellent. I also bought Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho for Rhys (but also for me) because he mentioned it sounding excellent a while ago but also because Rebecca has been talking about it on All the Books for months and it sounds excellent. Magicky school type book? Yes please! I got the second volume of The Wicked and the Divine because I want to find out what happens next although I don't entirely remember what happened in the first one? Something to do with reincarnated Gods... and the art was beautiful. And then finally I got That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson (whose name alone sells books to me because I know they'll be great and twisty and very readable) and The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence because I remembered Charlotte saying how great it was. And then Katie Morag for the boys, of course!

I'm almost done I promise! I got my first parcel from my new Secret Sister for this round. It was Great British Bake Off themed and excellent! Little Bites by Christine Chitnis and Sarah Waldman is a really fantastic recipe book full of seasonal, exciting snack recipes for kids and I am in love with it. It has all kinds of helpful tips for how to eat seasonally and I am so all about that at the moment! She also sent Chocolate Treats which has a plethora of yummy looking things I can't wait to try.

Finally I got a lovely parcel from Myriad Editions today containing some really exciting sounding titles!

The Busker by Liam Bell Murray is about a guy who is about to be the next big thing in music and then it flashes forwards in time and he's sleeping rough on the streets, and the novel goes back and forth filling in the gaps I think. Very much looking forward to reading it. Also excited for The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock which is historical fiction about a test pilot who is offered a chance to become one of the first men in space. I love space things, particularly if they're about early exploits into space so I'm looking forward to this. Finally they sent me Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago by Douglas Cowie which has as a character Simone de Beauvoir. I'm excited to read them all and will be reporting back in due course!

That brings my grand total for August to twenty four which is quite crazy considering that I only actually bought nine for myself, so I definitely don't need to be buying books really and many many thanks to wonderful friends and lovely publishers who have made my month so full of bookish goodness!

If you've stuck with me this long then I hope you've found some loveliness to add to your wishlists and I also want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because my goodness that was longer than I thought it would be!

As usual all titles link to Wordery and are affiliate links so should you use the link (or the general one in the top left of my sidebar) I'll get a small commission. You should - Wordery are independent, excellent and will ship worldwide for free and send you a bookmark with your book!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

If you follow the Wainwright Prize (which I didn't until recently!) you'll probably have seen that The Outrun just won it, and very deservingly so!

I got in touch with Canongate way back when I featured them in my Make Mine an Indie series to request a copy of this book, and they were kind enough to send one. Firstly can I just say, the cover is gorgeous! And secondly, my goodness does the book live up to the expectations built by its gorgeous cover.

The Outrun is probably one of the best books I've read this year. I do have a soft spot for stories of people overcoming their demons and when paired with so many other interesting things it's both compulsively fascinating and inexplicably soothing. The idea of escaping the city for somewhere remote has always appealed to me, and although there is more of an element of return than escape in Amy Liptrot's book, the idea of healing through solitude and silence resonates strongly with me.

The amount of history in the book was unexpected too, because it was billed as a kind of biographical nature writing which it is, but it also has lots about Orkney's history and traditional and a lot of really interesting stuff about uninhabited islands. I guess it's a by-product of living on an island and being fascinated by the sea, but I've always wondered about all the islands dotted around the edge of the map of the British Isles, and during the course of her recovery throughout the book Amy Liptrot visits several of them and tells a little of their stories.

At one point after her return to Orkney she works for the RSPB and drives around documenting one particular endangered bird. She talks about the experience of spending the hours she would have previously spent drinking and partying driving around by herself listening for the call of this elusive bird.

Although I've never had any problems with addiction myself (besides sugar and book buying!) I definitely relate to solitude and nature (and particularly solitude in nature) as ways to help manage mental health issues. Something about the vastness of the sea, and the incredible things that happen in nature regardless of us is very grounding and always helps to calm my inner critic - a similar experience to what takes place throughout The Outrun.

For me this book was a bit of a gift. It was a reminder that you can't recover unless you confront the problem and that recovery doesn't look the same for everybody. I particularly loved Amy Liptrot's writing. Throughout the book she blended autobiography with history and nature so seemlessly that it all just became part of the story she had to tell. Often when I read books like this I'll skip over the 'boring' parts but in The Outrun there were no boring parts - everything she wrote became interesting because she is an excellent writer.

I honestly can't recommend this book highly enough. If you're at all interested in biography, nature, or how we interact with and function in the natural world and the effects it has on us, you should pick this up. Bonus - it's beautiful!

Order a copy from independent, excellent Wordery (who will pass a small commission my way!) here.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Little House Read-Along: These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I'm breaking tradition by posting this before the last day of the month! My only excuse is that I've been paying much more attention to the blog than normal since I've been posting daily this month and so I've been scheduling way ahead of time. Until now I think Farmer Boy has been my favourite but These Happy Golden Years just blew everything else out of the water. I actually got a little tearful this month!

This book is mainly focused around Laura teaching school, which she doesn't like but seems to be quite good at, and she and Almanzo working their way up from 'I'm only driving with you so I can see my parents' to 'yes I do quite like this engagement ring you gave me'. I thought their courtship was so ridiculously sweet. I loved how patient Almanzo was and that he just kept on doing things to help her out even when she told him she wasn't interested, and I really enjoyed knowing the way it would turn out. It made me feel really smug when Laura didn't think she liked him to know that she'd end up married to him by the end of the book. It also (as usual) put all the wedding planning we did for our wedding into stark comparison. Yes, we planned a big wedding and they didn't, but come on, Almanzo had to build a house before they could get married! As always, points to this series for making me feel lazy!

My favourite favourite thing this month though was the conversation Laura and Almanzo have about whether or not she's going to promise to obey him and how she doesn't feel that she could ever promise to obey someone if she thought they were telling her to do something stupid, basically. It's so similar to the conversation Rhys and I had about the same thing before we got married! Laura is awesome and my love for her will be eternal.

Their family makes me happy too. They're such a functional, loving, responsible family and I physically feel cozy whenever I'm reading about them. When Laura left home to live in her new house I was a little tearful with her that she'd never get to go home for good again!

How did you find this book? Just a few more to go before we're done!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Re-Readathon 4: The End!

Apologies that I dropped off the radar for a bit towards the end of the Re-Readathon - yesterday was the Bath Bookshop Crawl so I've been super busy organising that and we also visited family for a long weekend so I wasn't as on top of the updates as I'd have liked! Speaking of which, I need a co-host for the next Re-Readathon. I'm not sure yet when it will be since they tend to be kind of sporadic, but since my visions of the event never live up to the amount of time I actually have it would be really good to have another person share responsibility! If you're interested please let me know in the comments or via twitter or email!

Here are the closing survey questions, feel free to answer them on IG, twitter, blog, wherever!

Closing Survey

How many books did you end up re-reading? I finished two (The Fellowship of the Ring and Fangirl) and am 3/4 through my third (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) which I'll definitely be finishing before moving on to something else!

Which was your favourite re-read? Probably Fangirl although I really enjoyed all of them!

What do you feel would have made the Re-Readathon a better event? A better organised host! I wanted to update more regularly and I totally flaked on the twitter chat, but unfortunately life got in the way this time around!

Anything else? I do love the Re-Readathon. I'm not sure if 10 days is too long though, maybe next time I'll go back to a week!

Everyone taking part in Bout of Books this week have an excellent time! I'll draw the winner of the book of choice giveaway tomorrow or Tuesday and announce it on twitter :-)

Link up your closing posts below

And again, if you want to be a co-host please get in touch!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Bath Bookshop Crawl: Good Buy Books, Skoobs & American Dream Comics

You may have seen that I'm doing some posts ahead of the Bath Bookshop Crawl on August 20th (if you want to join some fellow booklovers & book shop with people who won't judge please do! Tweet or email me for info!) on the bookshops we'll be visiting, just to whet everyone's appetites. I've done Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights and Topping & Company already, and I'm giving Waterstone's a miss purely because I assume everyone knows what Waterstone's is (not because the Bath branch isn't fantastic. I have been and it is very much fantastic!). Two of the last three shops I've actually visited before and know them to be fairly small so I thought I'd put them all together and just give a little round up of what we can expect when we get there!

Good Buy Books
The first stop in our day will be Good Buy Books, a small discount bookshop which I visited on my recent pre-bookshop crawl reconnaissance trip to Bath. They have a really good selection of local interest books, kids books, Jane Austen related things, and Classics, as well as lots of other non-fiction, biography etc. I think it will be nice to start the day off with some bookshops with lower prices - it means I won't have spent all my money by lunchtime hopefully!

If the group ends up being bigger than it currently is we may have to split in half and the other half go to Skoobs (no relation to the London one!) in the Guildhall Market, which I also visited. It's a second hand book stall which has been trading in the market for over 30 years, and which has an immense selection of titles and genres, so I think there'll be something for everyone!

Image result for american dream comics bath logo

Finally a late addition to the itinerary, American Dream Comics. You probably know by now that I'm a sucker for any shop that sells graphic novels and a quick peruse of American Dream's website shows that they also sell American snacks, pop vinyl figures and geeky t-shirts. Definite win!

So that's the places we'll be visiting. If you're joining us, I can't wait to see you (again, for some people!). If you're not make sure you check back for my post about the day sometime next week!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

TBR Inspiration #3

So this list is possibly my favourite so far, mostly because although I love the film I often forget that I've actually read, let alone loved, the book but here it is in my notebook, proof that I had enough book hangover after reading it to want more similar stuff! Be warned, this list is quite foodie. I'm...sorry?

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

My Life in France by Julia Child

A Year in the World by Frances Mayes

Life with the Lid Off by Nicola Hodgkinson

A Boy's Own Dale by Terry Wilson

The Tree House Diaries by Nick Weston

So yes, this is my favourite of these lists so far. I pretty much want to read all of the books on this list immediately (except the Molly Wizenberg one because I've already read it and you should too). 

Have you read any of them? What's good? 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Bookshop Crawl Expectations: A Guide for the Overwhelmed

Bookshop Crawl organisation seems to be my new thing. Because meeting up with a group of strangers organised by an overenthusiastic lady 'from the internet' can be nervewracking I thought it might be helpful if I wrote a post about how it all works and what (if any) expectations there are.
The aim of these events is purely to have fun, promote friendship within the book community (by which I mean the community of people who love books, rather than any specific group or organisation - you don't have to do anything to do with books in order to join us, just read them!) and discover and support excellent, often (but not always) independent, bookshops.  

The only requirement for coming on any of the bookshop crawls is that you want to spend a day shopping for books. You can be an internet person or have heard about the crawl from a friend of a friend. I can know you or we can have never spoken before, you're equally welcome either way. The relationship between the attendees for these events (London earlier this year  (and hopefully again next year) - and Bath this Saturday) are based around nothing stronger than being book lovers who are in or can get to a certain location on a specific day.

There will be an itinerary on the day and generally most of the group follows it, but if you want to spend more or less time at one or all of the stops or feel the need to go off by yourself for a nap/alone time/to buy sweets during the crawl you're absolutely welcome to do that. I will circulate my mobile number beforehand so you can easily call or text if you want to know where the group is. You are under no obligation to come (or stay) for the whole day, but if you're leaving please let me know in person or via text so I'm not looking for you!

If you're worried that everyone else will know each other, see above about the totally random way in which I gather people for the events. It's very unlikely that you'll be the only new person there, but even if you feel that you are, there will be several other people, myself included, who will take you under there wings and ask you boring questions about your journey and introduce you to other people until you feel more comfortable. In London most people spent most of the day reminding each other of their names and everyone still seemed to have a great time so please don't worry!

A lot of people who have come or are coming on crawls are bad at meeting new people or suffer with some form of anxiety (myself included). If this is you then please do whatever you need to do to make the situation easier. We have a twitter chat before each crawl where people can get to know more about each other and to make it easier to put names to faces and give starting points for conversation on the day. If you want to bring a partner, sibling or friend(s) with you for support please feel free - the more the merrier! I brought three siblings, three friends and a brother-in-law on the first crawl I organised!

If you arrive at a bookshop or meeting place and have one of those moments a lot of us have probably had, where you're just unable to bring yourself to walk in by yourself or come over and say hi, please text or DM me and I will happily come and find you on my own and have a chat so you don't have to walk in alone. One of the major ways I keep my own anxiety in check is by making sure everyone else has what they need, so if you need help let me know!

There are no requirements at all for the number of books you buy on the day. On the London Bookshop Crawl I bought the most (14) but my friend only bought one. Nobody is judging your budget. If you can afford to go crazy and buy books in every shop by all means do, but if you can't then feel free to use the day as a way to make new book loving friends, get recommendations, add to your wishlist and discover excellent bookshops to revisit when in more affluent times! It's all about the experience, not how much you buy!

Basically I want to make fun events that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, and I want to make lots of new book lover friends! The London event was so much fun - everyone was lovely, there was hardly any awkwardness and we all got on really well - and I'm confident that Bath and all forthcoming events will be too, so if you're thinking about coming please bite the bullet and just do it!

If you have any questions I've not covered here please feel free to ask them in the comments or via twitter (@NinjaBookSwap). If you'd like to join us for the Bath Bookshop Crawl on Saturday August 20th please tweet or email me for the itinerary details.

Monday, 15 August 2016

#ReReadathon Days 5 & 6 and Link Up!

Hello! I've been recovering over the past two days and am feeling much better. The weekend has been spent with family pottering about and walking on the beach which has been lovely. I started and finished Fangirl on Saturday and have been working on a big, secret project for a Parcels of Joy friend as well, and today it's back to work! I'm just about to head into the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring and have also picked up The Wee Free Men for a bit of lighter relief!

Books Read From: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Books Finished: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Pages Read: about five?
Snacks Consumed: this giant ice cream sundae with chocolate chip cookies, twix, m&ms and maltesers when we went out for lunch (don't worry, I shared it!), and after eights.
Favourite re-reading moment: Just starting The Wee Free Men again. It's been too long!

Books Read From:
Books Finished: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Pages Read:
Snacks Consumed:
Favourite re-reading moment:

Link up your Sunday and Monday posts below!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Re-Readathon Days 2,3 & 4

Sorry I've been so awol on the Re-Readathon front. I've been ill for the past few days (nothing serious, just a cold but I had kids to look after as well!) so the blogging/social media has taken a bit of a back seat! I've still been reading though and I'm three quarters done with The Fellowship of the Ring but they're just going into the mines of Moria now and it's quite heavy going so I'm thinking I might put it aside temporarily for some Fangirl or Travels with Charley later today.

2,3,& 4 Update

Books Read From: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien. I've also been reading The New Kitchen Garden by Mark Diacomo alongside it, which isn't a re-read but has been taking up some of my time.
Books finished: Still none yet!
Favourite re-reading moment: Many throughout Lord of the Rings!
Snacks consumed: Many. Yesterday we had ratatouille and french bread in the garden, and also some dairy milk chocolate. My sister made a blackberry and apple crumble yesterday that I'll be snacking on today!
Added to my TBR: I have to be honest and say that I haven't perused the list properly since I made it, so I'll be looking through later today and will add these into my next post!

Don't forget to add your recommendations to the list by leaving a comment here or using #rereadathon for a chance to win a book of your choice! In view of my generally feeling rubbish and going to bed at approximately 7pm, I'm going to be postponing the Re-Readathon twitter chat scheduled for tomorrow to Wednesday 17th at 9pm GMT. Join us then!

Link up your Re-Readathon posts for Thursday, Friday and Saturday below!

Bath Bookshop Crawl: Topping and Company

Ahead of the Bath Bookshop Crawl (happening Saturday August 20th, if you're interested in coming you'd be most welcome just email me for details!) I'm doing a few posts about the bookshops we're going to be visiting, just to get everyone nice and hyped up! If you haven't seen it already check out my post about Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, and since these aren't in any kind of order, today it's the turn of Topping and Company!

This will be the last stop on our crawl and is part of a chain of three bookshops in Bath, Ely and St Andrews. Besides the books I'm excited to go there because they offer all their customers free tea. Books and tea, clearly they know exactly what I want from life! According to their website they have over 45,000 titles, which is obviously a lot of books, and their events schedule is pretty fantastic to be honest! The more I blog about these places the more I want to move to Bath!

The Bath shop was founded in 2007 and has absolutely glowing reviews on their Facebook page. Honestly I'm not surprised, since even browsing the gallery section of their website is enough to send me into a bookish daze!

Before I started organising these bookshop crawls I honestly thought that bookshops that sell books to people who actually love books were really rare but I'm discovering that's not necessarily the case and that makes me so happy. I'm looking forward to discovering some excellent books here!

Have you been? Are you as excited as me to go?

Check out Topping and Company on their website, Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

#ReReadathon Day 1 Link Up & Day 2 Update

We're on the second day of the Re-Readathon and I am as usual struggling to be coherent in my updates! I've updated my progress for Day One and am going to leave a link here for you to link up any blog posts/vlogs/tweets you have for Day One!

Day Two 

My sister is visiting and she's brought her plague with her, so I woke up with a killer sore throat and headache. Massive vat of tea and some painkillers for me and then it's off to work so I should get some reading done on the bus, all being well. It's super gloomy today so good weather for curling up and reading once I'm done with my shift, although I hope it stops raining since we're meant to be going to an open air movie later on!

Books Read From:
Books Finished:
Snacks Consumed:
Favourite Re-Reading Moment:
Added to TBR:

Day One Link Up

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Re-Readathon Kick Off, TBR & Day One!

Guyyyyys it's here! An excuse to do nothing but immerse myself in revisiting my favourite books and talking about them with loads of people who are doing the same. I am so excited, I don't know if I've said it enough, maybe you haven't heard about my excitement? Yeah, OK everyone's heard, but anyway here we are. If you've only just heard about this you can still sign up and re-read as much or little as you want over the next ten days. Do it. You know you want to!

Now that's out of the way, I'm going to be updating daily here on the blog, since I'm trying to post every day this month anyway and it'll be a good motivation to stay on top of letting others know what I'm reading. I'll also be posting lots on Instagram so come and find me there if you want to, and feel free to let me know your handles in the comments as well!

So here we go. After much deliberation I've decided to make this the Re-Readathon of series. Most of my TBR is composed of books which are in series. This is pretty much so that I can extend the re-readathon over the entire month if I want to. I'm obviously not going to read them all, but on my pile I have:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling - this will be the last book I pick up for the event since I know I'll immediately fall down the Potter rabbit hole... 
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - no Re-Readathon TBR would be complete without a Rainbow Rowell book, and I think this is my favourite. Also I recently re-read Eleanor & Park
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - I've only read this once and that was a long time ago. I'm also thinking it would be a great excuse to re-watch the film. 
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien - I think this'll be the one I start with. I used to re-read Lord of the Rings annually but it's been years and I so miss it. It was always a summer thing for me. 
  • In Your Face by Scarlett Thomas - I re-read the first in the Lily Pascal series during the last re-readathon so I thought why not put this on the pile this time? They're pretty quick, pretty engrossing and just generally quite awesome stories.
  • The Wee Free Men and Pyramids by Terry Pratchett - I haven't read The Shepherd's Crown yet and I'm not sure that I'll ever be ready for it so I thought re-reading the Tiffany Aching series might help. And Rhys just got me a pretty edition of Pyramids and since I'm doing the thing where I'm giving myself a year to re-read all the books on my keeper shelf and after that anything not in the 'safe zone' goes, I thought I should save it really!
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - see above about the pretty edition thing, but also it's been a long long while since I last read Jane Eyre. I've been to Haworth twice since then and I'd like to see how that experience changes the reading of the book. 
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck - Summer, travel, road trips, why not? Also I love this book. 
So that's the pile. I reckon I'll read... maybe four of these? We'll see how the week goes! Don't forget to link up your TBRs in the opening post!

Opening Survey 

1. Who are you and where are you reading from?
Hi! I'm Bex, and I'm reading from the coast of Kent, UK

2. Do you re-read often?
Let's skip the 'is this your first re-readathon' bit of the question, since obviously this is my fourth. I re-read a lot - like, I have sustained periods of re-reading at least twice a year but I often pick up old favourites more often than that. Basically, it's a regular part of my life whenever I need a pick me up, and I kind of view the rest of my reading life as building up an arsenal of great books I want to re-read that will help me in all situations!

3. Are you planning to read other things as well or re-read exclusively over the next 10 days?
I'm all about the re-reading from now until... forever, probably. I absolutely use this as an excuse to forsake all else and bury myself in the familiar, and it feels needed at the moment. We've had a super busy, super social summer so far and I'm feeling in need of respite and alone time!

4. Recommend us one book. What would it be?
I feel like everyone will be expecting me to say The Night Circus, but I've recommended it so much that I'm not going to! Recently, Middlemarch by George Eliot, because it was just truly excellent and all the characters were fascinating. Please read it, don't be put off by its size or the period it was written or anything, because it is so so good. 

5. What are you reading first?
I'm going to start with either The Fellowship of the Ring or In Your Face. It might be the latter purely because I know I can read it on a stand alone basis, whereas I may otherwise lose a week to LOTR....

Day One Stats

Books Read From: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
Books Finished: None yet!
Favourite re-reading moment: Gandalf arriving in Hobbiton. It always makes me think of the movies, which I also love, and remember how much better Frodo is in the book.
Snacks Consumed: jammy dodgers, courgette cake with cream cheese icing (super yum, like carrot cake but lighter - look out for the recipe on the blog over the weekend!), pasta with veggie sauce & cheese
Added to TBR: His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, which Maia is reading and which I haven't re-read in years and no longer own a copy of. I'm definitely putting it on my pile for the next Re-Readathon!

As usual my title links go to Wordery & if you purchase through them (or buy anything else using the link in my left hand sidebar) I get a small commission and will love you forever. Regardless of that though you should use them, because they are very good, very independent and will ship worldwide for free.

If you want to use my update questions to do your own updates on blogs or twitter, please feel free!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Re-Readathon 4 Events Schedule & Prize Info!

Re-Readathon 4 kicks off tomorrow and I am so excited! I know it's my own event, but I honestly think that it's one of my favourites. No pressure, just fun, chatting with new and familiar friends and spending lots of time with books we love, what could be better?!

I don't know if you saw that I've been tweeting a whole load of my favourite re-reads and books I can't wait to re-read on twitter and yesterday I published the list here along with recommendations other people have tweeted. I'm going to keep adding to the list and when the readathon ends everyone on it will be entered to win a book of their choice from Wordery, so tweet your favourite re-reads or the books you'd most like to re-read using #rereadathon or leave a comment here and I'll add them to the list!

As usual, the only obligation for this readathon is to spend some time during the 10 days of the event with a book you've already read, but as usual for those who want there are lots of other things you can join in with, so here's the schedule!

Firstly make sure you're signed up on the sign up post with the place you'll be updating during the readathon (blog, Youtube, twitter, IG etc) so I and others can follow you and say hi! Secondly please do go and say hi to each other!

    Re-Readathon Twitter Chat! 9pm GMT on Sunday 14th August

    We will be chatting using #rereadathon for an hour or so. We'll be chatting generally about what we're reading and getting to know each other but the theme will be 'inspired by' and we'll be talking about things inspired by your favourite re-read - movies, events, clothes, food, trips and more! Put it on your calendar and I'll see you there!

    Opening Survey

    I love this quick way of getting to know people a little, so have borrowed the idea from the 24 Hour Readathon (my second favourite reading event!). Link up your answers below if you're so inclined!
    1.  Who are you and where are you reading from?
    2. Do you re-read often? Is this your first re-readathon?
    3. Are you planning to read other things as well or re-read exclusively over the next 10 days?
    4. Recommend us one book, what would it be?
    5. What are you reading first?


    Post a picture of your TBR for the event and link it up below! If you're posting on social media make sure you use the hashtag (#rereadathon) and on Instagram please tag me (@armchairbythesea) otherwise I may not see it!


    One of the best things about readathons is the snacks! We want to see yours. Again use the hashtag and/or link up blog posts and vlogs below!

    Added to my TBR

    I don't know about you but there are lots of books that people have recommended which I've not even read once! Have you added any from the list to your TBR? Be sure to use the hashtag and give credit to the person who recommended!

    There will be no challenge this Re-Readathon. Honestly this is primarily because I've exhausted my ideas for now, but also because the less there is to do the more time there is for reading! At the end of the readathon I'll post a closing survey for people to fill in if they want. There will be a linky for this in my final post. 

    Please link up all your re-readathon related posts below and keep the recommendations coming! 


    As usual there will be prizes. As already mentioned, everyone whose name appears on the Re-Readathon Recommendations list will be entered to win a book of their choice from Wordery, who ship internationally!

    It's also the Bath Bookshop Crawl while the readathon is going on and I'm going to be picking up some miscellaneous bookish gifts while we're there. These could include bookish tote bags, bookmarks, stationery, badges etc. The winner of these will be randomly selected from the sign up linky so make sure you're signed up! It will be open to international participants as well. 

    If you feel inclined to host your own giveaway during the event please feel free and let me know so I can help promote it! 

    Sorry about the length of the post, I hope everything's clear to everyone! Basically, make sure you're signed updo some re-reading and use #rereadathon! 

    Monday, 8 August 2016

    #EliotAlong: The Finale!

    WE DID IT!! I actually can't believe I got all the way to the end of Middlemarch, possibly the book that's been on my TBR longest AND ACTUALLY LOVED IT. This post may be full of capitals, you have been warned.

    In summary; pretty much everybody got the ending I wanted for them. Will and Dorothea are happy, Fred and Mary are happy, other people I like are...not unhappy? Or dead, in the case of Lydgate but you know, Rosamond was only ever going to be a burden to him anyway so I'm not too sad for him. My particular favourite thing about this last section was Sir James relenting on the whole 'we're never speaking to Dorothea again' thing because Celia cried at him. I love how easily flustered he is.

    I really don't have too much to say about the last bit, except that everybody behaved as I expected them too and I'm definitely going to be getting myself the Clothbound edition to add to my collection. I will really miss these characters!

    How did you find it? Have you finished? Who ended up your favourite character? (Mine is Dorothea I think. Or Will. Or maybe both of them. But I think Sir James is probably the most underrated. Such a worrier, bless him.)

    THANK YOU for reading this gigantic book with me. I might have to read some more stuff Eliot wrote now!

    Link up your last (sob) posts below!

    Sunday, 7 August 2016

    Re-Readathon Recommendations!

    If you follow me on twitter you'll have seen me tweeting all my favourite re-reads and books I'm most looking forward to re-reading and asking others to do the same, and here I'm collating them to make one big list to give you TBR inspiration for the Re-Readathon if you need it, and also just as a list of books people think are awesome, which will hopefully remind people of books they read years ago and had forgotten about or bring to their attention books they'd never heard of but which sound interesting! All the titles are affiliate links to Wordery (meaning if you buy through them I'll get a small commission which I'll be very grateful for!) who are independent booksellers and offer FREE worldwide shipping!

    Throughout Re-Readathon 4 I'm asking people to tweet their favourite re-reads or books they're most looking forward to re-reading using #rereadathon, whether or not they're taking part in the event. At the end (August 21st) everyone on the list (regardless of whether or not they're participating in the event!) will be entered to win a book of their choice from Wordery. The giveaway will be open internationally and there may be two prizes depending on my finances, so keep the tweets coming!

    If they're uncredited, it means they're my own recommendations, and some of those other people recommended were also on my list! I've subdivided by genre in a very general way - I didn't want to get too caught up in what fell into which group!


    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (@spritewrites)
    Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery
    Apple Bough by Noel Streatfeild 
    Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
    Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (@LouLouReads)
    Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    Malory Towers by Enid Blyton (@Talia_Cookie)
    Matilda by Roald Dahl (@nat_lou_roberts)
    The Chalet School Series by Elinor M. Brent- Dyer
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
    The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
    The Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente


    Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (@murronsmama)
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (@OldBooksMostly, @HootOwl14)
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (@Hootowl14)
    Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (@brittany_pelaia)

    General Fiction

    Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (@ParkerandMe)
    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
    Born Under a Million Shadows by Andrea Busfield (@BooknMusicLvr)
    Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (@MrsB_2011)
    Chocolat by Joanne Harris
    Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon (@LibMrs)
    Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett (@verilyfranklin)
    Double Star by Robert Heinlein (@gotmybookblog)
    Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher (@The_LizMarshall)
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (@The_LizMarshall)
    Landline by Rainbow Rowell
    Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon (@carlymape)
    Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (@nat_lou_roberts)
    Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
    Ravenheart by David Gemmell
    Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (@anovelhaul)
    Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (@funnythat)
    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (@spritewrites)
    The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
    The Crow Road by Iain Banks (@custard1980)
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 
    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien
    The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse (@LibMrs)
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (@BookaholicBabe)
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde (@spritewrites)
    Troy:Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell

    Graphic Novels

    Castle Waiting by Linda Medley
    Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O'Malley
    Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons


    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
    Bossypants by Tina Fey (@nat_lou_roberts)
    Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
    How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (@nat_lou_roberts)
    Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (@MyBookSwapClub)
    The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
    The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
    The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers
    The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
    The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
    Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
    We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


    Anything by Brandon Sanderson! (Oh_theStories)
    Anything by Sarah J. Maas (@arcticbookss)
    Adrian Mole Series by Sue Townsend (@nat_lou_roberts)
    Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
    Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (@itsgranger)
    Eragon Cycle by Christopher Paolini (@LibMrs)
    Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (@Oh_theStories)
    His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman (@LibMrs, @andalittlemoore)
    Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (@haniyabookling)
    Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (@arcticbookss)
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (@trinielf)
    The Babysitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin
    The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey (@Oh_theStories)
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (@Oh_theStories)
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
    The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater (@LibMrs)
    The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (@haniyabookling, @arcticbookss)
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
    True Blood Series by Charlaine Harris (@brittany_reads)

    I'm going to be keeping hold of this list for inspiration in future events! If you'd like to sign up to re-read with us we start on Wednesday and all the details are here