Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.
Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards
Expected publication - 4th June 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
Phoenix (Black City, #2)

From goodreads:
Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.
This is the second book by Elizabeth Richards, and it follows on from the book 'Black City'. I'm really looking forward to reading it!

Friday, 19 April 2013

World Book Night 2013

So, Tuesday will bring upon us World Book Night 2013! For those of you who have never really heard about World Book Night - its mission is to reach out to those people who have least access to books and those who could benefit the most for them. Each year, they select a list of twenty books to be donated by their 'givers'. This years books are: -

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Little Face by Sophie Hannah
Damage by Josephine Hart
The Island by Victoria Hislop
Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Road Home by Rose Tremain

'Givers' are people who sign up online and donate a little bit of their time to go and hand out books in their community on World Book Night. 'Givers' are provided with twenty copies of their selected book, and encouraged to go and hand them out to people in their communities for free. Some people donate to hospices, hospitals, prisons whilst some people simply hand them out on their daily commute - with the mission to inspire people to read and change their attitudes towards books.

In addition to the work done by the 'Givers' - World Book Night events are being held nationwide, and this year a flagship event is being held in St Georges Hall in Liverpool. The event plays host World Book Night authors; Phillippa Gregory, Jasper Fforde, Patrick Ness, Jackie Kay and Jeanette Winterson and will also include readings, discussions, debates, a literary cafe, a marketplace, a poetry corner and the chance to get up close to some superstar authors. 

If you live in or around Liverpool, make sure you drop in to St Georges hall between 5pm and 9pm. And if you live elsewhere then why not check out whatever World Book Night events are being held in your area?  

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Throwback Thursday...

So, I get all nostalgic when I think of certain books. They can bring out the sentimental girl inside of me. They can remind me of a time, or a place, or even a feeling I was having at the time I was reading it... and I love it whenever I feel that connection.

For example; Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince reminds me of sitting by a pool in Spain. My husband had gone to find out the football score and I was lay sobbing on a sun lounger in full view of the oodles of hotel guests, but I didn't care one little bit.

The Da Vinci Code reminds me of being ill. I read it in bed when I was suffering with morning sickness. Not a nice association really!

And these books remind me of being a little girl...


They remind me of reading underneath the covers after bedtime and caravan holidays with my parents. They remind me about the times that I would pretend to open a Cadbury's chocolate bar slowly just in case I ripped my golden ticket. They remind me of being terrified of wigs and wishing I had magical powers. I loved these books!

It's a silly number of years since I read anything by Roald Dahl - but I can't wait to crack open these books once again when my little girl is old enough to read them all. I still have the old edition copies like these ones - although, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a few loose pages - and the content is still relevant and translates wonderfully today. Roald Dahl was a very clever man.

See... I always knew that keeping my old books would pay off one day.

Do you  have any books that evoke fond (or even, not so fond) memories? What are they?

Waiting on Wednesday: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Publication date: 23rd April 2013

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)

From goodreads: -
Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Unbreakable is the sequel to Unravelling... and I have been mega excited to have it as my Waiting on Wednesday pick! But now it's available NEXT WEEK! YAY!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The gift of the written word...

So, I admit it... I'm a book pusher. If you have a birthday coming up (and obviously, if you're anticipating a present from me) I can almost always guarantee that this gift will involve a book of some sort. It doesn't matter how old you are, what your gender is or even what the occasion is - you're getting a book. Christmas? A book. Birthdays? A book. Easter? Yep, you guessed it... a book.

This means that I have become quite a prolific book buyer. I have a veritable repertoire of age or gender specific books that I know will go down a storm with the recipient. Some of these books are new, whilst some are classics. Some are huge bestsellers, whilst some are aren't. Either way... if you need a gift idea for someone, then you aren't going to go far wrong with any of these books. 

Board Books
So... let's talk babies. You have a friend or relative who has just given birth to a beautiful bundle of joy. I can guarantee that they will get more gifts than they have space for. They will absolutely receive more newborn vests and outfits than they will ever be able to use, and their pile of pretty blankets will probably stay in a wardrobe whilst the more functional, vomit resistant ones will be washed within an inch of their life. So... why not buy the little bundle a book? Sure, they wont get much use out of it for a few weeks - but so what? The minute the little baby is starting to pay attention and be alert - I can guarantee that the mother or father will be glad to have something on hand to occupy them with. My personal favourite baby board books are the Usborne touchy-feely 'That's not my..." books. 

<em>That</em> is <em>Not My</em> Monkey-- [<em>Book</em>]   <em>That's not my</em> puppy... [<em>Book</em>]   <em>That's Not My</em> Lion [<em>Book</em>]   <em>That's Not My</em> Princess [<em>Book</em>]

They are so bright and colourful, any little baby would struggle to keep their eyes off them. They are clunky board books, so they're perfect for little hands, and they are all textured inside to stimulate the little one's senses. There are a ton of them to choose from too, so you can tailor them to the specific child. These books are also perfect for first Christmas or first Birthday gifts too. The child will love them!

Picture Books
Once the little bambino moves on from board books and onto picture books - there is a whole world of stories to choose from. My favourite picture book, and the favourite picture book of millions of children worldwide, is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Published by Macmillan, it's an amazing rhyming story with fantastic illustrations by Axel Scheffler. This book won the gold award in the 1999 Smarties book prize and it won the Blue Peter 'Best book to read aloud' award. 

But whilst 'The Gruffalo' is the book that Julia Donaldson is most famous for - please don't ignore some of her other stories. Here are a selection that you should definitely consider if you're looking to buy a picture book;

<em>Gruffalo</em>, The [Book]     <em>The Princess and the Wizard</em> [Book]      A <em>squash and a squeeze</em> [Book]      <em>Stick Man</em> Board Book [Book]

Or, if you've already exhausted the Julia Donaldson possibilities. Here are a selection of other fantastic picture books;

The <em>Tiger Who Came to Tea</em> [Book]      <em>Guess How Much I Love You</em> [Book]      <em>Aliens Love Underpants</em>! [Book]      The <em>Cat in the Hat</em> [Book]      We're Going on a <em>Bear Hunt</em> [Book]

Early Readers
For early reader books - you really can't ignore the wonder that is Jacqueline Wilson. She is brilliant and has a plethora of easy to read books that any child will adore. They are stimulating and engaging, and they will bring your child's reading on in leaps and bounds. 

<em>Lizzie Zipmouth</em> [Book]      The <em>Monster Story</em>-<em>teller</em> [Book]      <em>The Dinosaur's Packed Lunch</em>

Or if you're looking for something a little bit girly, why not try the Rainbow Magic books. They are written by a collection of authors under the pseudonym Daisy Meadows, and little girls will love them. And for boys? Horrid Henry, of course! Written by the brilliant Francesca Simon, they have inspired both an animated TV series and a movie.

Florence the Friendship Fairy [Book]      Kylie the Carnival Fairy [Book]           <em>Horrid Henry's</em> Holiday [Book]      <em>Horrid Henry</em> and the Scary Sitter [Book]

Middle Grade

For the Middle Grade reader... please remember the classics. Think back to the books that you were reading at that age. If you loved them, then why won't your gift recipient? My personal childhood favourites are...

<em>Charlie And The Chocolate Factory</em> [Book]      <em>Harry Potter Philosophers Stone</em> Paperback    <em>The Secret Garden</em> [Book]       Five Run Away Together [Book]   

Or if you're looking for something else, why not try....

<em>Wonder</em> [Book]      Shop for <b>timmy failure</b> at nearby stores     Saga of Darren Shan: <em>Cirque Du Freak</em> [Book]      Percy Jackson and <em>the Lightning Thief</em> [Book] 

Young Adult
For Young Adult books, you cannot ignore the huge smash hits books-turned-movies that have hit our shelves in recent years...


But here are are the others that I can guarantee will go down well...

<em>Abandon</em> 01 [Book]      <em>my family and other freaks</em> - carol midgley item     <em>The Book Thief</em> [<em>Book</em>]      <em>Looking for Alaska</em> [Book]    The <em>Kissing Booth</em> [Book]

Chick Lit  
Need a book for the woman in your life? These won't fail to impress...

<em>Save Karyn</em>: A True-life Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back [Book]      The <em>Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic</em> [Book]      Where <em>Rainbows End</em> [Book]   <em>Good in Bed</em> [Book]

Aside from grabbing a copy of a Haynes manual or a sporting icon's autobiography to present to the man in question, here are a few books that look good, and have always been well received gifts for men...

The <em>Lincoln Lawyer</em> [<em>Book</em>]   <em>The Godfather</em> [<em>Book</em>]   Shop for <b>sleepyhead</b> at nearby stores   Killing Floor [Book]   <em>Moonraker</em> [<em>Book</em>]

Of course, these are very generic and very subjective suggestions, but if you're buying for someone who you don't know well enough to be able to recite the contents of their library or literary preferences - then you probably won't go far wrong in buying one of these books. 

Please feel free to comment with any other suggestions to add to the lists, I'm always looking for new gift ideas and I'm sure any recommendations will be included in my Christmas lists!