Saturday 30 September 2017

September Wrap-Up.

I'm so pleased because I had a much better month this month! Hooray! While not all of them were on my original list, I actually managed seven reads in September, which is amazing!

  1. 'Our Numbered Days' by Neil Hilborn. A short book of poetry by my favourite modern poet, I bought this a while ago for my fiancé and decided to read them myself! With a heavy focus on mental health, some of these poems were very relatable while others a little nonsensical. Nevertheless, an enjoyable collection with some real gems. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'The Geek Feminist Revolution' by Kameron Hurley. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this read. The raw, anger-fuelled passion was very inspiring without a doubt. But there was a lot of self-promotion, repetition and I didn't feel that the essays had been structured very well. More like a memoir in the wrong order at times. 3/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Little Red Wolf' by Amélie Fléchais. What a cute little re-imagining of a classic fairy tale! I loved that the wolves were the 'good guys' in this one and Fléchais put a great little spin on the original. Beautiful illustrations too! 4/5 Stars.
  4. 'O Frabjous Day!' by Lewis Carroll. I'm really obsessing over owning these little black classics now, after reading this one! I liked some poems more than others, especially those that I recognised so distinctly from Carroll's classic 'Alice In Wonderland' the rhythm and clever wordplay is so much fun! 3/5 Stars.
  5. 'The Return Of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle. I really went along the classics route this month, and felt that September is the perfect time of year for a little bit of Sherlock Holmes! Doyle really does write short stories extremely well, and these mysteries were no exception. I liked that not all of them were murders - a lot of variety meant I didn't feel that I was reading the same story repeatedly. 5/5 Stars.
  6. 'The Girl From Everywhere' by Heidi Heilig. To begin with I really didn't think I was going to enjoy this, thanks to a lack of 'building into it'. However, as the story progressed and came with well-researched settings, mystery and plot, and developed characters I really began to like this book. 4/5 Stars.
  7. 'I Am Malala' by Patricia McCormick & Malala Yousafzai. What an emotional read! This book made me cry with it's heartfelt passion and message. Malala is truly an inspirational figure in recent history and I really felt that I learned so much after reading this! My favourite read this month, that's for sure! 5/5 Stars.

Now it's time to see how I did with my challenges this month!

This month I have read two books for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to twenty one. My read was:

- The Little Red Wolf
- I Am Malala

This month I have read zero books for the 2017 New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to nine.

This month I have read zero books for the LGBTQIA Challenge, bringing my yearly total to nine

This month I have read four books for the Diverse Reads Challenge, bringing my yearly total to twenty nine. My reads were:

- Our Numbered Days
- The Geek Feminist Revolution
- The Girl From Everywhere
- I Am Malala

And here's my update on this quarter's Bookish Bingo card, courtesy of Pretty Deadly Blog!

Mental Health: Our Numbered Days; Neil Hilborn
Different Culture: I Am Malala; Patricia McCormick & Malala Yousfazai
Illustrations: The Little Red Wolf; Amélie Fléchais
Magic In The Real World: The Girl From Everywhere; Heidi Heilig
Yellow Cover: The Geek Feminist Revolution; Kameron Hurley
Required Reading: The Return Of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle
Poetry Or Verse: O Frabjous Day!; Lewis Carroll

Book Review: I Am Malala; Patricia McCormick & Malala Yousfazai.

This book has been on my TBR for so long and I knew I'd like it, but it's my favourite read of the month hands down because it was so good. I learnt a lot about war, the Taliban, Pakistan, Islam and of course Malala's story! As she says, education is important and I feel very educated after reading!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: I Am Malala
AUTHOR: Patricia McCormick & Malala Yousfazai
PUBLISHER: Orion Children's Books
PAGES: 241
GENRE: Biography, Memoir, Non-Fiction

RATING: 5/5 Stars

Written in collaboration with Patricia McCormick, Malala tells her story - from her childhood in the Swat Valley to the shooting, her recovery and new life in England. 

She's a girl who loves cricket, gossips with her best friends, and, on the day of the shooting, nearly overslept and missed an exam. A girl who saw women suddenly banned from public, schools blown up, the Taliban seize control, and her homeland descend into a state of fear and repression. 

This is the story of her life, and also of her passionate belief in every child's right to education, her determination to make that a reality throughout the world, and her hope to inspire others.

What I Liked:
  • This book made me cry. That's it. It was so passionately written and inspiring, and I loved that Malala kept focusing on her cause: the education of women. It is important that everyone reads this book I think, in order to see those living under the thumb of groups such as the Taliban as real humans rather than 'another news article'.
  • I learnt so much! I never really understood much about the Taliban, how they came to be and what they believed in so I really felt that Malala's perspective gave a much clearer understanding of these things. McCormick did a great job helping to focus this for a younger audience too yet the simplification did not presume a lack of intelligence in any way.
What I Disliked:
  • I honestly felt that there were no dislikes for this book as it had me totally hooked and was well structure. I wish I'd read it sooner and it made me feel sad that Malala and her family have been forced into their position.
Overall Conclusion:
This is a great look at Malala's life which is passionate, inspirational, heartbreaking and at many times witty too! |I liked Malala's voice, it was warm and fun, with a great attitude towards her life and what's important to her. This is definitely one of those books that I feel anyone and everyone should read if possible. 

Thursday 28 September 2017

Book Review: The Girl From Everywhere; Heidi Heilig.

I generally avoid books about time travel because the constant jumping around confuses me and I get frustrated when authors don't research their time periods properly which I find often happens in this genre. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and am glad I finally read it!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Girl From Everywhere
AUTHOR: Heidi Heilig
SERIES: The Girl From Everywhere (#1)
PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books
PAGES: 469
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times - although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix's father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix's existence rather dangerously in question...

Nix has grown used to her father's obsession, but only because she's convinced it can't work. But then a map falls into her father's lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it's that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

What I Liked:
  • So let's start with the best bit - the research! It was the bit I was most dreading but I really felt that Heidi knew what she was talking about when it came to Hawaiian history, and indeed, the other lands that she ended up talking about. The mixture of Victorian values and the native traditions of Hawaiian locals was really interesting, and I liked the indication to Hawaii's last monarch too.
  • Strangely, I kind of liked the love triangle in this book. I actually felt that it was applied well and pointed towards a bigger picture - Nix's confusion about what exactly is 'home' and 'stability'. Also rare, I rooted for Kashmir (who was very funny and even more sassy) but I liked Blake too (though I'm a little disappointed he'll still be on the boat for book two, I hope Heilig doesn't drag this thing out for too long).
  • There were some cool characters in this book with interesting pointers to their history. I found Bee and Ayen really intriguing, and also really wanted to learn more about Rotgut. Kashmir I obviously loved and I liked hearing about his backstory. Nix was a great MC and her relationship with her father was complicated but well written later in the book. Madame Joss really intrigued me, I have to say and she was probably my favourite character.
What I Disliked:
  • The beginning of this story really didn't grab me. I felt thrown, headfirst into the 'mission' for the map and Nix's complicated relationship with her Father without the build-up. It made Nix come across as whiny and weak as she seemed totally unable to communicate her feelings in any way, shape or form, and Slate came across as nothing short of awful! Of course, as the book went on, this improved drastically but it almost totally destroyed my perspective on this novel.
  • So I have to say there was a little bit of 'blink and you miss it' in this novel. Especially in some of the plot twists surrounding Madame Joss. We learnt so much about her as the book went on but I found her timeline really confusing. In fact there were a couple of aspects that confused me during the story. But they didn't impact the plot heavily enough that it ruined the reading.
Overall Conclusion:
This is a really interesting book because it had points that I thought would ruin the reading experience for me, but in the end the writing was great and it was so intriguing as a concept! I loved Heilig's ideas for the time travelling (or 'navigation') itself as it felt very different to other things I'd read. Heilig grew up in Hawaii herself, so I loved the #ownvoices vibe! Great story, characters and setting too! I wish that the beginning had been better built into, and I'd also hoped for less confusion in the timelines which is one of the things I don't like about time travel. But I'm definitely up for book two!

Monday 25 September 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (18th September - 24th September)...

I had such a fun week, I'm so hyped over how good it was! Rosie was still at mine on Monday and we went to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium which was just as fun a place as I remember! There are so many gorgeous cats there and they were much more playful than the last time I went, so that was really cool.

On Wednesday, Mat and I went out and about for a day in London! We started off with lunch at Spaghetti House, followed by shopping around Forbidden Planet (yay), Orc's Nest (double yay) and Waterstones (all the yays in the world) which was so nice! Then we went to St. James' park, where I proceeded to be climbed by a hungry squirrel, and had a look at Buckingham Palace for the first time since moving to London! 

Finally, after a few days of working hard, I found myself back at work but on Sunday (my next day off) it was my Dad's birthday and my family came up to visit me for the day! Yay! We had a lovely cup of tea and a chat at my flat, followed by lunch out at a nearby pub. I enjoyed spending time with them, that's for sure, and Mat and I then spent the evening in watching iBoy which is a surprisingly good film if a little awkward at first.

I Read...

Note: I read 'The Return Of Sherlock Holmes' from this collection.

I Received...



Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn TBR List

Sunday 24 September 2017

Book Review: The Return Of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle.

Hooray! More Sherlock Holmes stories! I love these collections and now that they are becoming more short story based, I adore them even more! This has to be my favourite of the three collections I've read. Such intriguing mysteries!

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Hardcover

TITLE: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Return Of Sherlock Holmes)
AUTHOR: Arthur Conan Doyle
SERIES: Sherlock Holmes (#5)
PUBLISHER: Barnes & Noble Classics
PAGES: 182
GENRE: Mystery, Classics, Historical Fiction

RATING: 5/5 Stars

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when Holmes had "died" in The Final Problem. Having published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901-1902 (although setting it before Holmes' death) Doyle came under intense pressure to revive his famous character. 

The first story is set in 1894 and has Holmes returning in London and explaining the period from 1891-94, a period called "The Great Hiatus" by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Also of note is Watson's statement in the last story of the cycle that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories.

What I Liked:
  • Like I said, this is the best collection I've read yet! I wasn't sure for a while whether I should read this or 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' first, but I decided to go with the given order in this compilation and I'm glad I did. The first story picks up right after Sherlock's 'death' in the last book. Sherlock felt much funnier in this collection too, though he's always been witty, and I was pleased that his sarcastic put-downs made me laugh so much.
  • These are great mysteries and I liked that a lot of them were not just murder-based, but focused on other things too. Favourite stories included 'The Solitary Cyclist', 'The Six Napoleons', 'The Three Students' and 'The Abbey Grange' because they felt different to previously read Holmes mysteries.
What I Disliked:
  • Sad to say, Doyle seems so have ditched Watson's wife Mary without reason! I have no idea what has happened to her, but suddenly Watson is living with Holmes again and it's a bit depressing really, as I kind of liked the dynamic she added to the stories. I would have liked to see more of her to be honest.
Overall Conclusion:
I really did love this collection. The stories were the easiest to follow, but most interesting of them all so far, which was nice. I'm a bit sad that so many great characters seemed to have been cut. Mary, as I said, has disappeared. Mycroft too has made no appearances as of late, and I'm struggling to come to terms with the fact that Moriarty, such an iconic character, really did only appear in one short story and seems to be actually dead. How disappointing! Still, these adventures are getting stronger and stronger, and I can see why they are so renowned!

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books On My Autumn TBR List'.

Yay, picking books for my upcoming TBR is my favourite thing to do! Autumn is a great month for reading, it makes me thing of 'back to school', classics, orange book covers and of course Halloween! It's the perfect time for ghost stories!

1) 'The Return Of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle.

So I'm kind of in the process of reading these short stories now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying them so far! The cover of this collection is very autumnal and there's something about cosying up in a blanket while reading a good mystery that is very appealing at this time of year!

2) 'Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

I have never read a book by Murakami and I wanted to read something a little more 'intelligent'. His work has been recommended to me by a lot of people so it's exciting to be able to try it out, and also this is one of his shorter works so a good place to start.

3) 'The Goblins Of Bellwater' by Molly Ringle.

When I red it at school, I liked Christina Rossetti's poem 'Goblin Market' a lot. This is a retelling of that poem and while Fantasy is normally very 'Spring' for me, this feels a little different. I'm expecting it to be a bit eerie which is the best kind of book for this time of year.

4) 'The Elite' by Kiera Cass.

Just look at that bright orange/red cover! What other month could I possibly read this? I'm behind the world in this series because pretty much everyone else has finished it, but while I had some problems with book one, I liked the competition concept and am determined to find out what happens!

5) 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' by Robin Talley.

The last book I read by Robin Talley was a retelling of Macbeth and I loved it. It was a great read for Autumn! The cover for this also kind of gives me those vibes - lots of yellow, orange and black. While I expect it to not be quite so paranormal, I am interested in the intersectionality of this book and the topics it covers.

6) 'The Woman In Black & Other Ghost Stories' by Susan Hill.

Like I said, Autumn is perfect for ghost stories! While I've already read 'The Woman In Black', I know that Susan Hill has written a ton of classic, spooky tales and I have been dying to get into them for a long time! Having this book could not be more exciting for me!

7) 'The Hawley Book Of The Dead' by Chrysler Szarlan.

Another book on the paranormal, but this time with the focus firmly on witches, a subject that has always fascinated me. I've had this on the Netgalley approval list for a long time and actually consider it a little shameful how long it has taken me to read it. 

8) 'Six Of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo.

Oh boy! This book! I'm so excited just thinking about it, and I think that now I've read the entire 'Shadow & Bone' series, I'll appreciate it even more. Having loved a certain roguish prince/pirate in that series, I think the gang is really going to appeal to me!

9) 'The Wrath & The Dawn' by Renée Ahdieh.

Now a desert set fairy tale might not seem the most Autumnal thing ever, but I'm so excited about this book and I liked Ahdieh's writing in 'Flame In The Mist' a lot so I think I'll enjoy this. People have compared it (with mixed reactions) to 'A Thousand Nights' by E.K. Johnston which I loved, so fingers crossed!

10) 'Glimpse' by Kendra Leighton.

Another poem based book, this is a re-imagining of Alfred Noyes' 'The Highwayman' which I also studied and loved at school! It's also another book that has been on the Netgalley list for far too long and really needs to come off. Exciting!

Monday 18 September 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (11th September - 17th September)...

As weeks go, this has been pretty good! Mat's parents came up on Monday for the afternoon to have a catch-up cuppa and help us sort some of the stuff that we need to sell! We're hoping to raise some wedding funds so it was really lovely of them to help us try and get rid of it. I was especially excited about this week because I ended up having a four day period off of work, which was great! On Friday, which Mat and I had off together, we went to the cinema to see It, the new horror film based on Stephen King's horror. We really liked it, there was definitely a sense of humour within the scares and I think Bill Skarsgård did a fantastic job as Pennywise!

On Sunday, my good friend Rosie came down to see me! I spent a really lovely day with her at my flat (which she had never seen before!) playing Oxenfree (great video game) and Telltale's The Walking Dead both of which are very choice based and interesting. This has always been our favourite thing to do together so it was good to relive the past a little.

I Read...

I Received...

- 'The Little Red Wolf' by Amélie Fléchais: Approved by Netgalley (15/09/17)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read & Loved Pre-Blog

Sunday 17 September 2017

Book Review: O Frabjous Day!; Lewis Carroll.

I'm at it again with the poetry! Having tried Neil Hilborn, a modern-day poet, I thought I'd go with something classic. I love Penguin's 'little black classics' too, such a great idea!

TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: O Frabjous Day!
AUTHOR: Lewis Carroll
SERIES: Little Black Classics (#106)
GENRE: Poetry, Classic

RATING: 3/5 Stars

'I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head.'

Conjuring wily walruses, dancing lobsters, a Jabberwock and a Bandersnatch, Carroll's fantastical verse gave new words to the English language.

What I Liked:
  • I liked that I recognised a lot of these poems! Readers or watchers of 'Alice In Wonderland' will be thrilled to find 'How Doth The Little Crocodile', 'You Are Old Father William' and 'The Walrus & The Carpenter' (among others) because they will bring back fond memories of Carroll's more famous work!
  • One poem that I really enjoyed was 'The Hunting Of The Snark'. It was long but it perfectly embodied what Lewis Carroll's writing is all about: clever word-play, light-hearted fun and oodles of imagination!
What I Disliked:
  • Some poems were less impressive. I didn't really appreciate 'The Dear Gazelle' (which felt very unfinished), 'The White Knight's Song' or 'The Two Brothers' because they were so nonsensical that they were pretty confusing.
Overall Conclusion:
I really did like this little collection and Penguin did a great job with it's presentation. These little black classics are so worth the small price because they give you another glimpse at very well-known authors through some of their less popular, shorter work. I recommend this collection who want a little more of Lewis Carroll's work in their lives, but also want to evoke strong memories of 'Alice In Wonderland'.

Friday 15 September 2017

Book Review: The Little Red Wolf; Amélie Fléchais.

Yay, another quick illustrated novel to tick off the list! I saw this book on someone's TTT list a few weeks ago actually, so I'm really glad I stumbled upon it on Netgalley to read!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Little Red Wolf
AUTHOR: Amélie Fléchais
PUBLISHER: Diamond Book Distributors
GENRE: Graphic Novel, Retelling, Children's Book

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amélie Fléchais' spectacular artwork. 

A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him... but nice is not the same as good. 

A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

What I Liked:
  • The art for this book was great, and definitely unique! That's my favourite part of reading graphic novels of course, especially when they retell classic fairy tales and folklore. A lot of thought and hard work had gone into making it stand out. Bravo!
  • I liked the different direction that Fléchais took with the story-line, and the plot was fully realised too. The wolves were actually 'the good guys' and it was the hunter and his daughter we needed to be wary of. The way it was all explained was great too. 'Little Red Riding Hood' is my favourite fairy tale, and I loved this adaptation!
What I Disliked:
  • There was nothing really to dislike about this book. It was a little hard to find admittedly, as the illustrator is French, so I'd really like to see it gain more exposure. Also, I had to read it on a computer (it wasn't a Kindle read) which was a little irritating. Still, neither of these things are a problem with the book itself.
Overall Conclusion:
This was a cute, quirky little read that didn't take me too long to get through but did put a big smile on my face. Amélie Fléchais is a very talented lady and I'd love to try and get hold of her other work to read as her art style is gorgeous! I hope she does more fairy tale retellings!

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I Read & Loved Pre-Blog'.

This week's running theme is old favourites, so it got me thinking about books I read before starting my blog. Basically, the books that got me into reading in the first place!

1) 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak.

If anyone ever held a gun to my head and told me that I had to pick a favourite book, this would be it. I love this book. Narrated by Death, it tells the story of a young German girl who goes to live with an old couple after her Mother is unable to look after her anymore, and aids them in hiding a young Jewish man in their basement. She steals a few books along the way too, and it's a heart-achingly beautiful tale, that's told in a very unique way.

2) 'The Magician's Guild' by Trudi Canavan.

I loved this fantasy series for a long time and even though the ending was spoilt for me, it was still awesome. A lot of the reads I pick for this list will be fantasy but this one really stuck out to me as being the first time I really, majorly shipped a couple, and also the first time I cried at the ending because it was sad and not what I wanted. Worth it for the gorgeous writing talent though!

3) 'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini.

This was one of the first Fantasy books that I read. I remember my Mum buying it for me because I fell in love with the eye-catching cover and embossed gold lettering. It had such a richly built world and I really liked watching Eragon build such a close relationship with his dragon, Saphira. Lots of people loved this book at the time, though I'm irritated that I never got round to reading the final book in the series...

4) 'Pride & Prejudice' by Jane Austen.

I read this in school, and it was such a good reading experience. I had a good teacher, but it was the first school read that I remember actually enjoying! I used to read and like doing so, but I reread this many times and really got into the story. Considering the fact that I'm not into romance, that's awesome! I shipped Darcy and Elizabeth so hard!

5) 'This Lullaby' by Sarah Dessen.

Again, romance is not really a genre I like. But this was one of the few YA contemporary reads (pre-blog) that I liked! Dexter was an adorkable book boyfriend and though I didn't really like Rey, I empathised with her story. Many people really like Sarah Dessen - I'm actually surprised I didn't read more of her books.

6) 'The Name Of The Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss.

Another fantasy that I adored during my teenage years and it remains my biggest regret that I haven't got to the other books yet! The writing is absolutely phenomenal, and after Hogwarts 'The Name Of The Wind' contains my favourite magical educational establishment: the university. The structure of this story is really cool as well, and starting with an older Kvothe makes you really want to understand how he got to where he is now!

7) 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee.

This is another school read of mine that I loved, and I think it's the first read that really opened my eyes about some of the wider issues in the world. It's the book that made me realise my own privilege: that's something really big! I loved the way that prejudice is analysed in this novel, and I love picking apart the symbolism of it all too!

8) 'Lionboy' by Zizou Corder.

Oh my, this is going back to my early teens, so quite a while ago! This series was so good. Maybe it felt like it lost it's way in the later books, but I loved watching Charlie running around trying to find his parents, being chased by thugs and corporation big-shots alike and I think the inclusion of a circus really appealed to me. Especially as Charlie's special power was being able to talk to big cats, which I loved the idea of!

9) 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke.

I adored the cover design of this book and that's originally what drew me into reading it. Fantasy was something I loved to read during my teenage years and I borrowed most of my books from a very dear friend of mine. What makes this book stand out as a favourite is one character: Dustfinger. He was probably my original 'book boyfriend' because he was so charming, had a dry sense of humour and made every cool (and slightly bad) thing he did sound a little sexy. Also, his pet Marten Gwin was awesome!

10) 'Alanna: The First Adventure' by Tamora Pierce.

This book is one of those fantasy adventures that I believe every lover of the genre should read. After reading this, I lapped up every one of Tamora Pierce's books set in Trebond because she'd built the world so nicely! Fans of Mulan will love this tale of a young girl who swaps places with her twin brother in order to become a Knight rather than a lady of the court. She has so many great adventures!

Monday 11 September 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (4th September - 10th September)...

And so began my week of horrible chest infection and cold. Seriously. I felt it coming on Saturday, but it really hit me on Monday. I was supposed to be seeing my lovely sister that day but she herself was ill, so instead I dropped her a lengthy video call and asked her to Maid Of Honour! It was inevitable really, I'd been looking forward to getting my sister more involved in the wedding planning! It's all getting very exciting! I took the next few days off of work because I felt that horrendous but I still haven't fully recovered.

I'll give you a quick catch-up of the TV watching. We are all caught up with Game Of Thrones obviously, so Mat and I have started watching Gotham Season 3 as it's now on Netflix! I'm also getting into Grimm and finishing Elfen Lied which are both great shows for totally different reasons!

I Read...

I Received...


Sunday 10 September 2017

Book Review: Our Numbered Days; Neil Hilborn.

Yay, poetry! 2017 has very much been about me revisiting genres I never really got into before and trying new things! Poetry was on the list for quite a while. I watched the viral video of Neil Hilborn's 'OCD' and adored it, even buying this book for my fiancé because he was a big fan too. I thought it would be a great place to start! 

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Our Numbered Days
AUTHOR: Neil Hilborn
PUBLISHER: Button Poetry
GENRE: Poetry

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

In 2013, Neil Hilborn’s performance of his poem “OCD” went viral. To date, it has been watched over 10 million times. 

Our Numbered Days is Neil’s debut full-length poetry collection, containing 45 of Neil’s poems including “OCD”, “Joey”, “Future Tense”, “Liminality”, “Moving Day”, and many, many never-before-seen poems.

What I Liked:
  • There really were some fantastic poems in here with lines that were very quotable and relatable for a lot of people. 'OCD' was of course one of them, and reading it proved to be just as powerful and heartbreaking as hearing it performed. Anyone who says they have OCD because they had to tidy up should read this poem and face the reality. Other great poems included 'Dust Mop' (that last line actually hurt), 'Bystander Paralysis' (I so relate), 'Little Poems' and 'Joey'.
What I Disliked:
  • There were always going to be poems I didn't 'get' first time around. Neil Hilborn suffers heavily with mental illness himself, and most of these are clearly random musings that come upon him every so often. He even states in one poem that he's afraid to take medication because he feels he won't be able to write poetry under it's effects. There were poems here that were a little nonsensical, but in all honesty, that was also part of this book's charm!
Overall Conclusion:
I honestly see Button Poetry's books becoming my new favourite thing because this was really good. I only found a few of the poems really spoke to me, and the rest didn't make a whole lot of sense in the first reading (plus they had this strange sense of not quite being finished) but I still loved this book a lot and will definitely delve into it time and time again.

Book Review: The Geek Feminist Revolution; Kameron Hurley.

I'm definitely trying to read more non-fiction this year, and this book was one I really wanted to read because I consider myself to be a very 'geeky' girl. I used to get bullied over it, now I embrace it. But while I did like aspects of this book, I didn't end up taking from it what I wanted to, which was a shame.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Geek Feminist Revolution
AUTHOR: Kameron Hurley
PAGES: 288
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Essays, Auto-Biography

RATING: 3/5 Stars

A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer’s journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre.

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including “We Have Always Fought,” which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

What I Liked:
  • Hurley's passion and raw anger was truly stirring in this collection. It carried through from beginning to end and it's my favourite 'type' of feminism because, as she puts it, trying to constantly be civil and educational in your approach doesn't always get you anywhere. The swearing, the rage, the opinionated but logical mindset. I loved it.
  • I really worried about a lack of diversity in this book written by a white woman, but I needn't have. Hurley does a tremendous job of acknowledging her privilege and seeing how PoCs (and the LGBT+ community) have it one hundred times worse. She looks at her own past mistakes when it comes to being diverse and her constant desire to do better, which is something we all want in the end.
What I Disliked:
  • I really felt that while I expected a collection of essays on the titled topics, what I got was more autobiographical. This would have been fine, but it was so repetitive. I didn't feel that Hurley had connected them very well, and she treated each one as an individual meaning I got the same facts about her over and over again (yes, I get it, you loved 80s lone wolf action heroes...). It was pretty frustrating.
  • Hurley mentions (numerous times) that while she's a writer, she also works in advertising. This clearly came through, as she spends a lot of the book advocating her own work. It felt, at times, like an advertising campaign and self promotion rather than the 'revolution' I was expecting. Confidence is good, but this was pretty arrogant a lot of the time.
Overall Conclusion:
Meh. This was a promising book with a good message: Geeks, feminists, unite and fight against the oppressive patriarchy! The anger and emotion that Hurley wrote into her essays, as well as her referenced works and sources (though those footnotes were messy) were impressive and the best parts of the book, that's for sure. However, the constant self-promotion, repetition and 'look how my hardships I've suffered' attitude did wear on me a little bit. I wasn't expecting an auto-biography or reviews for various media and that's what I got from this more than anything.