Do You Actually Have Good Taste In Books?

Do You Actually Have Good Taste In Books-

HELLLLLLLOOOOOO READERS, it’s FRIYAY and I’m pretty excited for this tag. I found this on Buzzfeed (one of my favourite sites) and I thought I would try it out! If you want to the quiz on the Buzzfeed site, here is a LINKBut here are all the questions and I’m going to answer them and see how many that you agree with.

It has to be Paperback right? I have tiny, tiny arms that make carrying Hardbacks really tough.  I love hardbacks but I have so little space for books anyway that paperbacks have to be the answer.

HARRRRYYY POTTTTERRR! I’ve never been a massive LOTR’s fan. I’ve spoken about this maybe a million times before but HP is just ma fave. I think it’s most people’s fave – although T still hasn’t finished them all and this massively upsets me.

OLD BOOOOKS. I absolutely adore the smell of old books and new books actually, but maybe old more? Although it’s so dangerous smelling books in shops JIC someone sees you aha.

Stephen King – neither of them are authors I read a lot by but I think King just about trumps Stine.

……….. Neither? Okay, Okay, if I HAD to pick I would choose Fantasy but there are so many genres I would prefer to read; historical fiction, YA, romance, memoir. The LIST GOES ON.

I like both, but I think indoors, looking at the outdoors. Like when you’re reading and it starts to the rain and it feels SO BLOODY COSY, or when it’s super sunny but you know if you move outside you’re going to be bitten by some kinda bug or get burnt or whatever. Both, but indoors.

God these questions – NEITHER AGAIN. But if I had to pick one – 50 shades, because I cannot stand Twilight. It’s not my thing.

This one is going to be a two part answer – Lizzy that doesn’t have to pay rent, and student loans and buy food and pay for 3454344 trains (literally that is how many trains I have to use maybe every 3 weeks,) would say 10000000% million percent bookshops.

The Lizzy that is really broke says online. I’m terrible. I know this.

Oh Gatsby. I haven’t even read The Catcher in the Rye yet cause I’m a nob.

Fiction, FICTION, FICTIONNNN. I love non-fiction but I prefer it in television documentaries or in movies? Saying that anything on The Titanic I am all over.

I HAVE NEWS, I have started properly, properly, properly, using bookmarks. Not always a bookmark, I mean train tickets, or a page from an SEO report I’ve just written, or a receipt, BUT IT’S BETTER THAN DOG-EARING.

#YESADULT #YESBOOKMARKS #YESREADER

Is that even allowed? Are you allowed to ask that question – it doesn’t seem fair. I would have to pick Roald Dahl though.

Audio book! Although I don’t buy them enough because they’re often kinda expensive and I get so many Ebooks because ya know, ARC copies.

I think when I did it I got 10 “right” as in they matched with other humans that took the quiz? Let me know which questions you agree with and which ones you’re a little unsure about. Also have a fantastic day readerrrs!

The Reading Habits Tag

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Helllllo readers, it’s a Friday which means it’s time for another bookish tag! *eee* I was tagged by Jane at the Greenish Bookshelf and thought it would be something nice to fill out on this dreary Friday afternoon. I think I’ve filled this out before but I think quite a few of my answers will be different this time because I’m reading differently (if that makes sense?) Ah well, without further wittering I should probably get onto the tag.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Since leaving university, which is now over a year ago, I’ve been renting in and around the Stoke-on-Trent area, so I tend to read in my bed away from everyone. Pyjamas are a must and salt and vinegar pringles are my snack of choice if I haven’t already eaten them all. #fatty.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Just about anything, receipts, pieces of paper, random pieces of material cut up. T uses business cards from unplanned companies that drop them off at work which I think is a little lovely. I tend not to use bookmarks because I buy lovely ones and then lose them. *whimpers*

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

I always used to wait till the end of the chapter but recently because I’ve been reading quite late at night, it tends to be when my attention span just drops and I physically cannot concentrate on the words. I try to stop on chapters but it doesn’t always happen that way.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Recently fizzy water and Indonesian crackers from Phileas Fogg; those things are addictive.

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Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I like to think that I can listen to music whilst reading but I physically can’t, or I blank the music out so when I come back to reality the album is on a terrible track at the end or it’s finished. Television is something I keep separate from reading. One or the other is best I think.

One book at a time or several at once?

I have done this tag at least twice, I now remember this question. I now read at least two books at the same time and have done for a couple of months now. I cannot get myself to finish 1Q84 and have read multiple books alongside it. I wish I could just read one at a time but I don’t have the timeee.

Reading at home or everywhere?

Favourite place is actually on the train; not only does it make the journey go twice as quickly but the gentle lulling of the train is really relaxing.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Reading in my head, although T read to me on the train a couple of weeks back and it was really, really lovely.

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Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

If the suspense is just getting to much I might skip to the next paragraph just to let myself breathe a little but I really try not to.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

If I can read the book without breaking the spine I’ll try and keep it like new. If I accidentally lean on it, drop it on the floor or bend it too far it’s not the end of the world I guess.

Do you write in your books?

Nope, unless it’s a colouring book, which I now own *eee*

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I think it might be my third time answering this but it’s always interesting to see when my answers change as I redo this tag. I now tag

Tasha at That Little Blog Of Everything

Aine at Writing on a Vintage Typewriter

Mara at Across the Books

&

Franzi at Books, Movies, Tea

The Pitfulls and Perils of Being a Reader

Readers be warned; reading is a dangerous hobby. Yes, you read right, forget base jumping, sky diving and go karting reading is a hobby riddled with potential wobbles, trials and tribulations. Don’t raise an eye brow at me, there are many quibbles that come with being a reader. If you’re still a little confused read on.

(Although I must admit base-jumping, sky diving and go karting are all very dangerous and potential life threatening activities: Be careful out there)

Looking up what you’re currently reading on Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook

*SPOILERS* are alllll over the internet, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can just avoid said spoilers by avoiding certain hashtags or not searching for the book you’re currently reading. Stay away, turn off your phone and stick your head in that book; everything will be okay. I think.

Getting too many books out from the library

Afajgajhjah library fines get me time, after time and it’s no longer discount charges as they used to be as with your university library. No more Mr Nice Librarian. Fines are pricey and if you forget to renew or take those bad boys back it’s only going to get worse. Period.

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Telling Somebody What You’re Reading

Luckily my friends that read the most are also book bloggers so they understand the pain of discussing a currently read book, but once you mention you’re reading the new John Green or J K Rowling book you can be sure to hear the terrifying words ‘have you got to the part where….’ Before you can scream ‘goddamn it stop it,’ they’ve told you ***** or that *** ***** (no spoilers from me, I’m a nice blogger you know.)

Get (and keep) a bookmark

This is the one I fall for every, single, time. You start reading a book very happily and then you have to stop and think I will 100% remember that I am currently on page 1865547. Then you come back to said book and you have skim forward a couple of pages and then back a couple. Before you know it, you’ve realised that the killer was the young girls mothers, aunties sister and that you’ve ruined the final plot twist right before you got to it. Rookie mistake. Carry multiple story savers with you to avoid said awkward situation.

Forgetting to bring a book to a festival/beach/coffee shop

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This one could also be labelled as forgetting to charge up your Kindle or E-reader, but make sure that wherever you are going you bring your trusty, currently reading book. I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation when you sit down to open up your current tale of adventure and you’ve left the damn thing at home. You never know when a train will be late, a friend will not turn up for coffee, or you’ll wake up the earliest at a festival,  having a trusty book will always save you in these awkward or mind-numbingly boring situations. There’s nothing worse than thinking you can just turn to the next page and continue on the tale to find you’re book-less.

Number five and our final bookish warning is potentially controversial but

Finishing Every Book You Start

This used to be me, but readers you need to stop saying that it’s not okay to put down a book and leave it. If it’s not that good you need to put it down. Yes, give it a couple of chapters, pop it down have some tea, try again but then leave it. Do not toil through till the cows come home and when done think, thank god that is over, it’s unhealthy, a time waster and a big mistake. I can vouch for this. Take your pride and buy a new book and devour that one instead.

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Reading is a dangerous task but with these little tips you should be onto a healthy relationship with your beloved books *cheers.*

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Helllllo readers, I have a really exciting book review today because it just so happens to be my last classic book, completing the ten classic books challenge. I have had an odd relationship with classic books. Being forced to read them during my A levels I have always spited them and avoided them. However, I decided it was time to try a number of books and after including it in my 101 things challenge I haven’t looked back. I will be writing a follow up post about the challenge and I won’t be stopping reading and reviewing classic books, but for now, onto the review.

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Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.

When I first read this book (numerous times) at the age of nine or ten I really struggled. It is only now that I really think I can appreciate and understand the different characters and the language used. The book follows four sisters; Meg the mature one that longs for a more luxurious life. Jo the adventurous, slightly boyish one who wants to prove her worth, Beth the darling but fragile sister and Amy who is a little vain, but adores art. The book follows the sisters as they struggle through a number of hardships; with their father away at war, and money tight the girls must find ways to care for one another whilst learning certain lessons from their dear mother in 1860’s New England.

Yes the writing and language is very noticeably dated and times a little heavy but it is the characters that make this book so memorable. Alcott has a chatty way of writing, both graceful and twee it sings a tale of the beautiful but sometimes strained relationship between the four sisters. All are portrayed honestly, with their both their strengths and weaknesses; Meg a gentle character who lacks a little self-belief, Jo who struggles to contain her temper, Beth’s who is a very sweet but weaker character and Amy who worries about her ‘un-Grecian nose.’ All of this and the difficulties of poverty are woven in amongst the love and lessons taught by the girls wonderful mother. The men involved in the tale play secondary character roles, mainly there to show the strengths and weaknesses of the sisters but are written with thought and care.

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The characters are well developed as the book continues and the setting is well described throughout such as the beautiful little garden. My only real wobble would be the moral lessons that seem to be almost injected into every single chapter. It is a little cloying and tiring but in the end also enjoyable. I think in the time the book was written it would be a lot more popular, here in the 21st Century it is dated but it makes for a more educated and intriguing writing style. I wanted to read classics to explore a different way of writing and this style has definitely been more telling of the time in which is was written and published.

Re-reading the book now I definitely think that I was too young to read it, the wordiness and the ideas portrayed are difficult to understand at a younger age (for me anyway) but I adored the warmth, honesty and beautiful little telling. I’ve read a number of reviews of this book which have definitely prompted me to read in the series of books the author wrote but I can’t decide whether it will ruin the first if the second doesn’t follow the same writing style and beautiful character description. However, I really enjoyed this tale, despite my feminist notions and my bubbling fury at some of the themes. I can’t quite believe I’ve finished my classic book challenge but I’m so proud of myself getting it all finished so quickly. Now, what classic shall I read next?

A Guest Post for MLBB: Thoughts about Reading Books while Writing Books

Consider the obvious when an author names one of their hobbies being reading. That would make a lot of sense; in a call-and-response kind of matter. An author wouldn’t be in the profession they’re in now if they didn’t read in their spare time and any author that doesn’t read is one that ought to not be trusted.

As an author myself, I too am just as adamant about reading as I am about writing, and an activity like that doesn’t stop when I’m creating reading material myself. I still read, amidst the story that’s swirling in my own head… and it’s the balance regarding switching between two different, fictional worlds at a time that remains to be a challenge.

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I’ve been a published author for a little over a year now. I released my debut novel, “A Moment’s Worth,” last year, and I’m currently in the editing stage for my second novel. I wrote the draft for the second novel in a little over six months, and during that time, I read a total of 10 books. Some of the books include: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, and “The Sun Gods” by Jay Rubin. These along with a graphic novel, a poetry collection, and a short story collection make up some of the books I’ve read during the drafting period for the second novel.

Anyone familiar with these titles knows that they’re not at all similar to one another. Sure, some of them may share similar strands, but they’re all just as different as they can get. One of them could easily be an incredibly long proverb with a plot, one of them easily falls under the historical fiction genre, one of them is a memoir, and one of them is yet another addition to the heightened dystopian genre. All the while, over on my end of the fiction sphere, without giving away my yet-to-be disclosed synopsis, I’ve been working on a novel that is more or less science/utopian fiction, with a twist of civil rights infused.

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For that matter, with the material in my head and whatever material I’ve been reading have, for the most part, differed greatly, and one can imagine how mind boggling it can get when jumping between works like that. One minute I may be writing a really heavy scene for my book, the next minute I’m reading up about how two gods from Filipino folklore came together and fell in love. It’s exhausting!
Words in books, when crafted in as clever of a way possible, can be powerful, and sometimes influential; so much as to where it can deter between passing through your mind without a second thought, or manifesting itself in your mind into a whole new thought experiment. In other words, you have a choice between being influenced by the work you’re reading, or not at all.

Out of the books that I’ve read during the drafting period, there were a few that I chose for thematic purposes; in attempt to further develop ideas of my own. I did something similar while writing my first novel; where I read a heap of David Mitchell’s novels, and I let them manifest in my head and aid me in the direction I wanted to take. I always say that it’s okay to have influences and inspirations, so long as you’re not stabbing them in the back and completely ripping them off.

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As for the books where I just want to read and enjoy and not mesh with the story in my head, I treat those in a different way. I treat books like those similar to how I would visit a different country; where I would respect the laws and customs there. I’m only there for a limited period of time before I’m on my way. For that matter, that’s why I’ve managed to switch between writing my novel, and then go off to read something completely different, like a fantasy tale or something. I don’t know if it’s from my nature as a bookworm that I’m able to do this, or my skills as a writer where I can simply get lost in my own world.

Either way, this is how I’m able to continue reading the books that I want to read while writing the books I want to write. It’s all about deciding which books you want to be influenced by, and which ones you simply want to “visit.” Just be sure that something is gained from the chosen path.

“Reading about journeys while on a journey is an intensely stimulating experience” –Umberto Eco

Written by Lauren Lola

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The Book Blogger Task: Where I answer more bookish, blogging questions

The Book Blogger Task

Good morning readers and another Friday, another book tag. I’m working on some new features and I am looking for a number of guest posts from writers, about all things bookish. If you have something book related you’d like to get off your chest or you just fancy rambling a little on my little book blog, comment below. Would be lovely to hear from you. For now, onto le book tag.

What are your top three book hates?

Book ‘hates’ seems a little strong but I would have to pick,

1) Wishy washy characters, or female characters who fall for men that treat them terribly.

2) Books that end on definite a cliff-hanger. Nooooooo

3) Book hangovers. Nuff said.

Describe your perfect reading spot.

I think snuggled up in bed after a long day of work, pyjamas on, Eeyore close by and a mug of steaming camomile and nettle tea as you do. However, I do also adore sitting in the garden with a cider in the sunshine slowly getting a little burnt/tanned. Oh the joy.

Tell us three book confessions.

 Okay,

1) I don’t get terribly sentimental about many books. I read posts about not liking giving books away; I prefer to pass the books on and let other readers enjoy them

2) I really like having books picked for me. I always get asked which books I’m really craving to read, but I prefer to have people pick ones they think I’ll like. I would rather read something you think I might like rather than pick it myself

3) I think recieving books from other people that have already been read is brilliant. I think recieving pre-loved books is just as special as newly bought.

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When was the last time you cried while reading a book?

I last cried reading Leftovers by Stella Newman, I think it was because I connected with the events in the book so strongly. It was quite a refreshing cry because I related to it so deeply. It was a good cry, I must add. 🙂

What is your favorite snack while you’re reading?

When reading these tags I’ve noticed a number of readers/bloggers mention not eating whilst reading, choosing to read and then snack. However if you ever happen to bump into me whilst I’m reading, I will be most likely munching on salt and vinegar Pringles. Get in my tummy.

 Name three books you would recommend to everyone.

Three books I would recommend to everyone. See readers are all different so this is a little tough. I think, anything by Haruki Murakami. His style is so intense and then so frail, it ebs and flows so gently. Second I think would be Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, it is such a moving and classic novel. Finally I think, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is just, sublime.

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Show us a picture of your favorite bookshelf on your bookcase.

Not quite a bookshelf, but this is an image of my book-suitcase. Which I think is a little perfect.

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Write how much books mean to you in just three words.

Everything and more.

What is your biggest reading secret?

 I think, maybe, that I haven’t read a lot of books that you would expect a ‘reader’ to have read. I recently got round to reading ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ ‘The Bell Jar,’ and ‘Of Mice and Men,’ but not books such as Catcher in the Rye, Great Expectations and Jane Eyre, but I’m trying to read more. I’m currently reading Gerald’s Party by Robert Coover and it is so decadent and so evocative of the time period I think I will have to read more.

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There you go, some really interesting questions answered by yours truly. I now tag anyone that describes themselves as bookish to complete said quiz. Love you all 🙂

42 Thoughts whilst reading in bed

Helllllllllllllllllllllllo readers (I swear that intro hello gets longer each time.) It’s Friday which means it’s book tag day but I’ve decided to bring you another *thoughts* post. I wrote this the morning after attempting a night in reading and just failing miserably to get any productive amount done. It just isn’t possible sometimes and everything, I mean everything seems more tempting that reading.

1)       Gah, an evening tucked up reading in bed, isn’t that just heaven?

2)       Jussttt decide what pyjamas to snuggle up in

3)       Urfh, favourites are still wet from being washed yesterday

4)       I am so not an adult

5)       But wait ultra-cute unicorn shorts and university tee

6)       Hellla yessss

7)       Right, book, would, be, good. What was I reading again?

8)       I swear it was under this totally not folded heap of clean clothes

9)       *rummages*

10)    Got it, now find where I left off

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11)    Oh yes of course, the terribly sophisticated turnover of the corner

12)    Book bloggers all over the world are scorning you right now

13)    Get into bed and wriggle into covers

14)    Wait where’s my blanket I might get cold

15)    Is it in the lounge? Awkwardly dance through to the lounge

16)    Oh hello housemate who left cold Chinese all over the work-surface *grumbles*

17)    Yes, I do want to hear about your totally crazy drunken weekend *hella no*

18)    Let me get back to my book, right pretend the phone is ringing; ‘hello? Oh Gary wonderful for you to call *waves to housemate*

19)    Back in bed, oh it feels wonderful.

20)    Damn it the blanket, will have to plan second rescue mission

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21)    Anyway, *gets under covers* cannot wait to read this book

22)    Wait, do I need a wee? Oh ffs Lizzy this always happens

23)    (Runs to bathroom)

24)    Now I am sorted

25)    *reads*

26)    *turns page*

27)    *reads* ahhhhh finger cramp damn it (stretches finger)

28)    *stomach rumbles*

29)    *reads*

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30)    Really? Jim and Jane are about to be reunited in the park and realise they really do adore each other

31)    *rumbles insistently*

32)    Fine, if the housemate is still there you’re in trouble *sneaks into lounge*

33)    OH GAH THE COAST IS CLEAR

34)    Grab the Pringles and go, go, go

35)    Trek back through lounge, wait they have left the television on

36)    All those news warnings about global warming, and the takeaway, what is wrong with these people?!

37)    But wait is that Dance Moms?

38)    HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE

39)    But, the book Lizzy, c’mon this is trash

40)    Nrghhh, but I do have a blanket and pringles

41)    I’m sorry Jim and Jane

42)    Just one episode, I promise.

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 How terrible is it that I really adore writing these posts? As always any comments, additions or complaints leave them below and as always, have a wonderfully bookish Friday folks.