A lovely little book market in London

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“If you take a book with you on a journey,” Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, “an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it… yes, books are like flypaper—memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.”
Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

For the love of reading…

So, in the spirit of my recent blog statistics I decided I wanted to write a blog post in reflection of this recent accomplishment for mylittlebookblog. I know I say this a lot but I never expected to keep this blog going a year let alone making it this far. I think confidence in my writing played a big part and I think a deep panic that people wouldn’t enjoy my writing was another. Skip forward, nineteen months (that is such a long time) and this blog is my second job. I spend all my time thinking about reading, and books, new authors, who I owe reviews, who I can do guest posts with. I read on the bus, in the bath, on the train, in the morning, evening, I spend days reading at the weekend, my life is spent with my head in a book. I remember once when I was younger I told myself I needed to throw myself into the real world and stop being so obsessed with the fantasy world. I am a terrible daydreamer and as a child I used to just drift off imagining pretend events and happenings. I must admit I did get a bit of a reputation as a ditsy airhead but it was because I lived in a different world, one that I now as an adult find in all the books that I read.

I wanted to talk about books that meant a lot to me when I first discovered reading. There were lots to choose from and I conclude that there were four writers that ultimately made me the reader I am.

1) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes made my childhood. I was a big reader but I was made to read comprehensive texts which were incredibly boring and made me very sulky. When I could finally pick my own books to read I stumbled across the Hound of the Baskervilles and a number of other texts by this wonderful author. It’s fair to say I was hooked, even now I can say he is the founder of my desperation to find more books like his. Sherlock Holmes is also my ultimate book crush; he is the most wonderfully in-depth and exciting character and if I could spend one day, no just one hour with a character from a book, it would be him. We would get coffee in London and people watch as the clouds blustered by. We would talk about life and love and death and I would fall completely in love with him. It would be terribly British and it would be my pleasure. Sometimes I take a minute to wonder what my life would be life if I hadn’t let curiosity get the better of me and begged my year six teacher to let me read it. Let’s maybe not think about that!

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2) Jacqueline Wilson: Now I’m older I’m not a big fan of Wilson’s work, but as a child her books really spoke to me. I loved how she spoke about more taboo issues and real life events. She didn’t shy away from it and in the bubble of nice children’s books they spoke to me on another level. I wasn’t a shy child but I found her characters incredibly relatable and the way she wrote was easy for me learn from. I learnt from her that books could speak of feelings and pain in a deeper way than I had read before, although it may have also been because my mother was not to happy about me reading her books and getting the wrong idea! Now I know that her books don’t touch on the words that other authors do, but at the age that her books became a permanent feature in my life I learnt a lot. I even had a little Sylvanian Families Rabbit that I used to carry around just like Andrea did in The Suitcase Kid

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3) Roald Dahl: Roald Dahl I’m sure is a big one for lots of readers of all ages. Mine came in the form of the book ‘The Witches.’ My dad used to read to me all the time and Roald Dahl was always a favourite; his stories were magnificently wicked for children’s books and I fell for them like you would not believe. It wasn’t until we read The Witches together that I realised what a hold books could have over people. It is not an overreaction to say I was terrified of the witches; I was so scared that I didn’t sleep for weeks and weeks. We used have to get up early before school to read it, or after school because if we read in the evening there would be tears at bedtime. Roald Dahl taught me that books could make you feel things that you hadn’t experienced before and even now when I see The Witches on a bookshelf or in the library I feel my heart beat a little faster

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4) J.K Rowling: This author is one that I continue to go back to whenever I can and I will forever be a loyal fan. Harry Potter I am sure is a big part of a lot peoples childhoods and the fan base of this series is ridiculous but for every single reader it means something different. It started an unstoppable love of reading. I stayed up all night and I would fight my Dad for the chance to read the book. When people ruined the books for me for me by spoiling it by telling me bits that had happened before I had to chance to read them, I howled; it changed reading from a hobby to everything for me. I put it off for so many years, and when I sat down I realised that books are pretty much everything for me. I love all of her books and will remain a dedicated fan for probably all of my reading life. Her writing is wonderful but it’s where she came from and her refusal to give up that has continued my drive to get my foot into the publishing industry.

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So there you go; a little bit of me and where my love of reading started. I will be a reader for the rest of my life and I will forever be incredibly proud of that: Always

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30 Day Challenge!!

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So, today is day 5 and I am in a pretty good mood, so this question is pretty good for me this morning! I’ve managed to get everything back on track; my blogging ( which I disappeared from for a little while,) my modules for my last year at university, and some work experience for the near future. So, although getting up this morning was still a struggle, and I am without coffee this morning, I am a happy bunny. Wow, how far off topic was that! So anyway onto the real reason for this post! The 30 day challenge!

So, a book that makes me happy? 

I’m going to go a little bit childish and go back to a book that reminds me of childhood when I was carefree and extremely happy, so the book I am going to go for is- James and the Giant Peach! I can’t remember if this book was read to me as a child or I read it myself but I was always a giant fan of Roald Dahl (pardon the pun). When I was younger my parents took me to the Roald Dahl museum and I ran around for what seemed like hours pressing buttons, and making things light up and make noises. So, this book brings back extremely happy memories. 

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George’s Marvellous Medicine: Roald Dahl

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Right, so this week has been unbearably stressful, not only has university been difficult with deadlines being all due in at the same time, but also making time for all the other important matters at university has been a…. lets leave it as difficult! So today my review is a children’s book. To say I was a fan of Roald Dahl as a child is probably the understatement of the century. His books took me on whirlwind adventures far and wide and most probably were the main ‘series’ that created my love of reading.  So here it is, a quick review of George’s marvellous medicine.

George’s grandma is a grizzly, grumpy, selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog’s bottom. Four times a day she takes a large spoonful of thick brown medicine, but it doesn’t seem to do her any good. She’s always just as horrid after she’s taken it as she was before. So when George is left alone to look after her one morning, it’s just the chance he needs…I love, love, love, this book. The cheeky character of George in contrast with his glum and irritable Grandmother is hilariously contrasted and although it is a children’s book the dark humour and the tone of the book that I hadn’t seen as a child really connected with me as an adult reader. The writing is hilarious such as “‘ALL RIGHT?’ she yelled. ‘Who’s ALL RIGHT? There’s jacky-jumpers in my tummy! There’s squigglers in my belly! There’s bangers in my bottom!’ She began bouncing up and down in the chair. Quite obviously she was not very comfortable.”

The humour in the book is spectacular, and the hilarious concoction of the medicine made me giggle like a wayward schoolgirl, and I think this is really the crux of why Roald Dahl gets us as a society every time. Most of us have a experienced a mean, or nasty adult, relative or teacher. Not everyone uses his or her authority fairly or nicely, and Dahl knew that. He also knew that children also love justice. It’s not serious, it is easy to see that what happens to Grandma is clearly a fantasy, but it’s a good versus evil fairy tale. However the overall point is serious and one that children can grasp very quickly. Roald Dahl is a marvel and timelessly brilliant. When I was younger my dad read me ‘The Witches,’ and I was so scared I used to make him read it to me in the morning; even though it terrified me so much I couldn’t sleep, I desperately needed to know how the story finished and that is the brilliant captivating story telling of Roald Dahl. If you have a spare half an hour I would 100% recommend giving this a read. It won’t take you long, but it might just help you find your child at heart.