The Morning After Memoirs by Kate Michaels

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well. I’m currently going through a quarter-life crisis which my best friend Dan says it utterly normal; he’s on his second. I feel like a real-life Bridget Jones I have no idea what I’m doing in my life or what I want to do or anything. Gah, I feel like a cliché but how do people get to stages in their lives where they know what they’re doing? Or do you just never get there. I loved this book but it fell a little close to home, either way a brilliant book to read over a glass of wine or two.

A smart, irreverent slant on modern dating, Kate Michaels’ sexy, laugh-out-loud debut reimagines the world of Sex And The City with the biting realism of Lena Dunham’s Girls.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess wakes up on New Year’s Day a touch hungover and a whole lot confused. The man in bed next to her is not her boyfriend, Ben. In fact, she doesn’t even remember Not-Ben’s name. It won’t be the first time she finds herself in a questionable situation in a year that proves her new single-in-the-city lifestyle is far from the glamorous, Sex And The City world she’s been promised on TV. Between hacking through last year’s leg hair, accidentally snogging someone who may well be her cousin, getting hit over the head with a sex toy that isn’t even hers, and ending the night with a walk of shame into her parent’s garage, Jess’s single life is turning out more cockroaches than cocktails.

The Morning After Memoirs is the story of one woman’s search for love, meaning, and a low-calorie alternative to wine. The Morning After Memoirs is a story essentially about Jess and her drunken antics.

I thought this book was a hell of a lot of fun – it’s one of those books that you can just dive into, have a good giggle over and relate so easily to the humour and the comedy feels. As the blurb suggests the book follows Jess as she struggles through a terrifying break-up with Ben. Moving on from the terrible event eating a Chinese for two in front of an exercise DVD we watch Jess in her newly single life and find that it’s not so much fun. Leg hair, fat jeans, a sex toy or two and her new neighbour it’s going to be a little nuts to say the least.

I immediately fell for Jess, probably because she reminds me so much of myself unfortunately; I loved the way that she named the people around her – Not-Ben, Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, Hot Waiter Number Two to name a few.) I wouldn’t say she’s a lot like Carrie Bradshaw, more a Bridget Jones character but that doesn’t make her any less amusing. She’s just like us; she eats, drinks, swears too much and gets herself in some seriously amusing situations. The book starts and ends at consecutive New Years so we get a whole year in the life of Jess. I also thought the fact that every time a new potential suitor is introduced he gets his own mini bio – Chris – 5ft 8″, brown eyes, likes pugs was really lovely. It just added a special touch.

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In terms of wobbles it didn’t have a big story line – it is very much a look at the life of a woman working and living in London. For me there wasn’t a hell of a lot more than that to a point. There is a lot of narration but just not quite enough action for me as a completed story and I struggled with that because it feel at times that things were being repeated just to get to a certain length of book. I also thought that relationship with Ben, after four years just kind of stopped. Apart from a couple of weeks where we see her lose herself she kind pulls it back together.

However, the writing is witty and fun, it shows a lot of style and I enjoyed the characters that were well built up throughout; even the supporting character got enough time in the spotlight and that helped to add depth to the book as a whole. For me  I would have enjoyed a more substantial plot line but overall a very fun and interesting read.

Linnnnks

Amazon

 Goodreads 

Becoming Unique by James Charles

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Goooooood Morning readers, it’s a Thursday so the weekend is nearly upon us which is always a lovely thing. I love a really lazy weekend just reading and writing. Blogging can be incredibly therapeutic and writing and just getting all things out can lift a weight from your shoulders. On My Little Book Blog I get a lot of really interesting review requests and this one really struck a chord. This blog over the past two years has become a way of my sharing people stories – happy or sad, heart-breaking or joyful and today’s is extra special. I really hope you’ll stay for the review.

Becoming Unique looks at someone only made aware of being possibly Autistic in late adulthood. Living a life of unknown Autism meant struggling with bullying and despair while growing up in Ireland, as well as struggling academically at school. Like many young people in the 1980s James left Ireland to seek employment and new life in England.

Over the years James experienced struggles and misunderstandings in different workplaces, as well as struggles in relationships and with his Irish identity. James struggled with his faith but finding his faith again was a big spiritual awakening. Over many years, supportive friends, family and work colleagues helped James believe in himself and achieve a worthwhile career. Becoming Unique looks at the many misunderstood struggles of Autism, but also shows “Autism can be wonderful

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As the blurb suggests the book plot follows the life of someone coming to terms with their autism; namely the wonderful James. Throughout we learn about James and his autism and the struggles that he deals with throughout his life alongside the people that he comes into contact with. We learn that certain aspects of autism cause different emotions that during his school years were heavily misinterpreted and the incidents lead to caning and upset. Following this we see James grow and strive to make a place for himself; the book documents how he does this and the ways he finds to cope in the world. Throughout the book we learn more about James and the struggles that for many of us wouldn’t come to mind. We follow him from school through his life, his love of football and his adoration of writing.

Being someone who knows very little about autism and the traits and characteristics that are associated, I found I learnt so much and really got an insight into the struggles. From the first few chapters I was really hoping that James would succeed in finding his way with words and it is really lovely to say that I hugely enjoyed the book. The book is very thoughtful in the way that the author explains different parts of his life, finding his identity, university, and marrying Helen but throughout it feels very positive and very self-contained. It’s not angry but it’s informative and for someone that knew very little before reading this book I feel I have learnt so much about the lack of understanding as to autism and how we can change that whilst also offering support to those that have autism.

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In terms of writing style it does follow chronologically to a point but does whizz in and out with other stories, tit-bits and added comments. However throughout there is a definite feeling of structure and order which I thought really helped to cement the reader into the book in terms of staying engaged. It is very factually based, the writing is what I would describe as tightly written – there are next to no descriptions but this is something that makes the book even more special. It is James, and James’s way of communicating and it allows us to really experience the traits that are communicated through words and then shown through the writing style. It’s not one I experience too often but I thought it worked here perfectly. It feels at times that the author is getting things out, much like a healing process and it is wonderful to be allowed to share that journey.

This isn’t a book I would normally read but I found it very enjoyable; I will say it’s not for everyone and I think you definitely have to be in the mood for a book like this. I did find it took me a little while to read because there is a lot of information conveyed; a lot of dates and information so it’s not a lazy read, it’s something you have to concentrate with. However I thought the message was beautiful, the idea behind it even more so and I’m very happy to have the chance to read it.

Linnnnnks

Amazon

Goodreads

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

7 tips for protecting your Kindle: A Guest Post from Case Happy.

If you are considering making the transition from hardback books to digital books you have a fun journey ahead of you.  The Kindle provides lots of fun and is not too overwhelming to get your head around although it may feel a little different to regular paperback books.  As you take the time to navigate around your new device you will soon pick up lots of tricks and tips.

To help you we have come up with seven tips for protecting your Kindle including shopping for Kindle cases, ways to protect your device and how to minimise battery usage.  I asked Case Happy a Kindle cases provider for tips and they were happy to discuss in a little more detail.

SAVE THE BATTERY LIFE

New Kindle owners are often not aware that an active wireless connection can drain your battery.  The majority of the time you only need to access the internet for a few minutes to download or purchase a Kindle book so turn the Wi-Fi off and only turn it on when you need it.

SHOP FOR KINDLE CASES

One of the biggest benefits of owning a Kindle is the ability to take it with you everywhere.  Protect your Kindle from falls and accidental knocks with a Kindle case from Case Happy.  Shopping for Kindle cases can be a lot of fun as you will quickly notice there is plenty of choice on the market.  There really is something for everyone.

Did you know Kindle cases are effective at gripping surface space?  Many have additional features such as an automatic on/off feature when you close and open the cover

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SAMPLE BOOKS BEFORE YOU BUY THEM

It can be very easy to buy every book on the Kindle store.  Unfortunately you only have so much time to read so many books.  Be wiser with your choices and sample books before you commit to purchasing.  If you like the sample then purchase the books you are most drawn in by.

MAKE THE FONT LARGER

If you find at bedtime when the lighting is not as bright your eyes struggling to adjust, give your eyes a rest and adjust the font size.

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PUT ADEQUATE SECURITY ON YOUR KINDLE

Not only is it important to protect the exterior of your device with Kindle cases you need to put the relevant controls in place to secure the interior.  A password will protect any information you have on your Kindle.  Putting sufficient security in place will also reduce the chance of people looking at your content without permission to do so.

If you have children, consider putting the child lock on too.

LEARN NEW THINGS

Your Kindle gives you almost the same features as you would expect from you hardback.  You can look up certain words with the built in dictionary or write notes on the side of pages.  You can even highlight sections and bookmark.  Don’t be overwhelmed by all these extra features, you will soon get the hand of them.

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PROTECT YOUR SCREEN

A large proportion of the Kindle is made of an LCD screen and it can be very easy to damage this.  We cannot stress how important Kindle cases are; they look good but they will also provide sufficient protection from falls.  It can be very easy for your Kindle to fall from the side of your bed so protect it with Kindle cases.

There you have a couple of handy tips for looking after your Kindle. As always thank you to Case Happy for such a lovely little article, hope all you bookish readers enjoyed! Also, if you’re looking to invest in a new case – Case Happy have a really brilliant selection for you to take a browse through!