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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Last 10 books I abandoned

Last 10 books I abandoned

Ooosh! Well to start us off I want to say that i'm thrilled this was worded 'abandoned' rather than DNF (Did Not Finish). I literally CANNOT DNF A BOOK. For someone as glum as me, I hold out far too much hope that a book can get better and redeem itself if I just keep reading. I mean, it doesn't happen often but it could. However...abandonment? Yeah, guilty. The following 10 books have been abandoned over and over again for reasons explained.... I'd just like you to know that this by NO MEANS should be a judgement of the books, i'm just a restless reader.

1. Hex Life/ Buy here - https://amzn.to/2TIczTQ
Let's be honest shall we. Rachel Caine is the motherfudging QUEEN imho. I love the very bones of her. That is the #1 reason I bought this book (actually pre-ordered). It came out whilst I was on my honeymoon and no newlywed should be so happy to return home as I was. I immediately read the Morganville short story and uhm..that's kind of it? TECHNICALLY the book served its purpose so I can settle easy but since I can't DNF a book, i'm calling it abandoned. I feel super guilty now though so maybe i'll get around to it....

2. House of Hades by Rick Riordan / Buy here - https://amzn.to/2IHdIEJ
I'm just gonna go ahead and say that I truly love the Percy Jackson (& co) series so I don't have an answer as to why House of Hades is still next to my bed half read. That's all I can say because I love it so much I have designed a Percy Jackson tattoo for the future & wear my Camp Half Blood t-shirt with pride. What am I doing?

3. Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside DownBuy here - https://amzn.to/2THF8R8
This one was a Christmas present from the Husband a couple of years ago now. I mostly wanted it because the design is cool AF and I wanted to stroke it a lot. I've read quite a lot of it tbh but it's not a novel so it's one of those that I just pick up and read a few pages of when I remember it's there. I know i'll finish it one day but I don't feel like i'm missing much by having it sit there. It's supposed to look dusty!

4. Part of your World by Liz Braswell / Buy Here - https://amzn.to/2TId68i
My husband has bought me all of these books so far and i'm massively ashamed to say I haven't actually read any of them. I'm going to make a post on these soon (so I can talk about Disney) so I'll talk about them more then. Again, i'm actually enjoying what i've read so far, i'm just nervous. Messing with Disney is A Big Deal.

5. Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl / Buy here - https://amzn.to/3cYrdht
Wow okay. So this one has been the most abandoned if we're talking length of time. The bookmark in this book is the invitation to my sister in law's 21st birthday. Which was 6 years ago. It was also the first time I met Husband's family and now we're married... So yeah that happened. The weird thing is I remember everything! If I was to pick it up today then i'd know right where I left off. I loved the Beautiful Creatures series (of which this came from) so I was excited for this. However 6 years ago is when I got my current job after graduation and life got CRAZY. I'll come back for it for sure. I have the sequels waiting also.

6. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin / Buy here - https://amzn.to/33bFG53
This is a weird one. My husband told me to get this because i'd love it and though we have big differences in book tastes, he knows me well enough to know what i'd enjoy. I started it and had some difficulty getting over the writing style (very much for a younger audience) but it was going okay. Then I had a OMGWTF moment and realised this was the book that the Studio Ghibli film was based on. I was immediately put off reading it! That usually never happens and I get more excited to read it but I guess I don't want to spoil the movie? I'm a big fan of Studio Ghibli (Tattoo #3!). I need to man up and finish it. With the writing style it would only take a couple of hours and 2 cups of tea max!

7. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeves / Buy here - https://amzn.to/2vRtNVO
I started reading this right before it became a film. I had no idea it was going to be a film and so when it got spoilered everywhere I lost my mojo with it. Again, it's been a while now and i've forgotten everything I heard so I could definitely pick this one up again soon.

8. Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden) by Charlaine Harris / Buy here - https://amzn.to/3cYsYez
Charlaine Harris and I have a love/hate relationship. Her stories are so wildly ridiculous that I legit hate myself for loving them. I've read all of Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connolly so I got the Aurora Teagarden series for Kindle. It's pretty good (basic, but I like that sometimes) and don't have a reason that I haven't gone back to finish it other than I discovered the Library around about the same time I started it. CHOICES, AMIRITE?

9. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black / Buy here - https://amzn.to/3b0Y4jV
Hm. Tough one. I got this one from the library and THEN I got it on audiobook on Borrow Box. I just ...can't be bothered with it? I've renewed it 3 times now (both physical & digital). If I could DNF a book I would probably do that with this one. It's not even a bad book. If I hadn't read A Court of Thorns and Roses directly before it I would probably have loved it. Too much fae for me maybe? Think I need to bite the bullet, send the books back and try again in a few months.

10. American Gods by Neil Gaiman / Buy here - https://amzn.to/33b15v4
Neil Gaiman is one of those people that I love but haven't really read anything of his? I've read 3 of his books and they were all great. I think to get into this one I need to set aside a good few hours (maybe 3 brews long) and let the story properly kick in before I put it down.


WOW sorry. I didn't expect that to be so long. Maybe i'm getting into the swing of things again, who knows? Let me know if you've read any of these and which ones I need to just finish already?!

***NOTE*** 
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Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Things i'd have at my Bookish Party

That Artsy Reader Girl
Things i'd have at my Bookish Party.

1. Harry Potter snacks! I hosted a Harry Potter themed New Year party for my family and friends and made lots of cute themed snacks for it. They went down really well and were super fun to make. We had Golden Snitches, Broomsticks, House Points, (Huffle)puffs and Niffler treasure just to name a few!



2. The board game 'Ex Libris'. My husband and I LOVE playing board games together and dragging our friends along with us. We've had it for a while now and basically you have to build a library but sticking to close rules. There's even a library check sheet to complete at the end - we love it! It's currently on there for a good price too. 
Affiliate link - https://amzn.to/2TJVBo5

3. Paper flowers as decorations. My incredibly talented mum made paper flowers for my wedding (they lined the aisle as we got married outside!). She used Pride & Prejudice, Harry Potter and Princess of Mars which are our fave books and then a shared love of Potter. They looked AMAZING and so many people took them home afterwards.

4. Cushions everywhere! I don't know about you, but if you're a bookish person it's pretty inevitable that at some point you just want to whip out a book and get on with your life's business. Cozy cushioned corners should definitely be a thing.

5. Okay. So. I'm 100% gonna need blankets. ALL of the blankets. Bit chilly? Blanket. Want a snuggle? Blanket. Want a nap? Blanket. Build a fort? Blanket. Just...give me the blankets.

6. Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate stations! I'm a huge introvert and don't exactly party often but one thing that will get me out of the house is when a friend says 'let's go for coffee!' You've got your cushions, you've got your blanket - you're gonna need your steaming mug of deliciousness to go with it!

7. I'd definitely want to have my book table in use at a Bookish Party. This little gem was a gift from my parents last year for our garden. It's a little bit sad because we've barely used it. Last summer was full steam ahead wedding planning so there wasn't a lot of time to sit and relax in the sun but this year...!! Can't wait to get it out of the shed this summer. (This photo isn't mine but it's the exact one that we have). The top book lifts open like a book. I use it to store sunglasses, my phone and uh, an extra book...


8. I reckon i'd also need a variety of phone chargers. Seems a bit weird but let's face it - if you're at a Bookish Party you're going to NEED to get some amazing photos for the grid and there's nothing worse than a dead battery. #bookstagram
(I'm only slightly joking with this one but here's my Insta! https://www.instagram.com/cazzimon/).

9. Food would be a Gregg's buffet. Now they do vegan ranges it's something to suit everyone - who doesn't want a big fat pasty?! (Also they do 3 cheese pizza which keeps Husband happy).

10. Last on my list is bookmarks! One of the things that I love to collect is bookmarks. Whenever my mum and I go somewhere we always try to get one of those leather bookmarks with the place name on (yes we're very cute.) There are some amazing creators out there now making bookmarks and I just happen to know one personally. If you're into bookmarks like me, please do check out Jenn's etsy shop! Literary Galaxy (I'm not paid for this, she's just fab and deserves some love!)

Monday, 27 April 2020

Who am I? - The 2020 Return!

I'm actually a little bit terrified of posting this...

*Turns mic on*
Ahem..Uh..
Hello!
Is anyone still out there...?

It's been exactly 2 years since my last confession post on here and i'm almost certain that i'm not going to apologise... I'm also almost certain that there's nobody left to see my ramblings anymore anyway *sob*.

Let me introduce myself now rather than apologise for not being who I was before.

I'm Cazz and at the time of posting i'll have just turned 32 which means it has been 10 years since I started this blog! I live on the North Wales coast with my husband (I got married! What?!). We have a gorgeous home together full of love, gaming and uh, books. Our garden is a wild jungle because we're both too lazy to fix it. My mum often likes to ask me how long i've had daffodils (or whatever) growing and after 3 years of being here... I didn't even notice? Sigh. I'm on a journey to appreciate nature more but that doesn't mean I have to mow the lawn does it? I digress.

I'm very lucky in that I married a man who also loves to read. We have massively different tastes but you know how you spend a long time imagining curling up on the sofa with blankets (opposite ends obviously, I might have married him but I haven't changed that much), reading in silence together and growing old? It's actually better than you imagine.

I work full time in what sounds like a very fancy schmancy job but really isn't. I will probably never divulge information about my job because I don't like it when people ask me about it! I have several health issues that i'm very open about - Diabetes, Myasthenia Gravis, Cholesterol issues, Liver issues and most debilitating, mental health (specifically anxiety disorders). I probably talk about these a lot because they're a huge part of my every day life. Luckily my not so fancy schmancy job is accommodating.

Finally, I love books. Like, I REALLY love books. It's my most unhealthy obsession (and i've got a few). For someone who loves books like *I* love books, I don't actually read a lot. As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, i've changed a lot in the last few years after some stuff happened (vaguebook - guilty). However fairly recently I met a bunch of pretty wonderful people (blog post to follow.....?!) who are getting me back on track without even knowing it. I've been reading more and more and discovered a grand love affair with the local library (sorry Husband). I am genuinely inspired and want to see where this can go. I hope someone reads this, and maybe even continues to read this if I can bring myself to follow through. But if you are by some miracle actually reading this in 2020......

WASH YOUR HANDS!
#Coronavirus

^ May be outdated at time of publishing. I have a job - all posts are scheduled!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Review // We Are Young by Cat Clarke

Published: 3rd May
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Kindle
Synopsis: On the same night Evan's mother marries local radio DJ 'Breakfast Tim', Evan's brand-new step-brother Lewis is found unconscious and terribly injured, the only survivor of a horrific car crash A media furore erupts, with the finger of blame pointed firmly at stoner, loner Lewis. Everyone else seems to think the crash was drugs-related, but Evan isn't buying it. With the help of her journalist father, Harry, she decides to find out what really happened that night. As Evan delves deeper into the lives of the three teenagers who died in the crash, she uncovers some disturbing truths and a secret that threatens to tear her family - and the community - apart for ever...

I requested this book to review because over the years i've heard so many good things about Cat Clarke but I hadn't read much (if anything, actually) by her and wanted to give it a shot. I had no preemptive ideas about this book so I just dove in. Bare in mind I read this book a while ago now so some details may be fuzzy!

We Are Young first seems like it could be any novel, we have a girl who is struggling with her family dynamics as her Mother weds the local radio DJ and her alcoholic father is an absentee one at best. However, within a few short pages everything in Evan's life changes. Her now step-brother is in hospital, several of his friends are dead and nobody can figure out what the hell has happened!

There is of course the mystery of what happened to Lewis that runs right through the book but really, at the heart of it all is the relationships between all of the different characters. Evan's family life is a bit of a mess and she's doing everything she can to protect those closest to her, however in order to do that she's going to have to mend some bridges and work closely with her biological father to work of the mysteries.

There are a lot of moments in the book that are genuinely disturbing. Something is completely off with her brand new enthusiastic ever-happy step-dad.....but what is it? What will Evan discover as she tries to find out what happened in her home town? Ahh I just want to talk about everything! But I made a promise to myself to keep Loaded Shelves a spoiler free zone...! This book is real, flawed, full of emotion and one hell of a ride. This is another one that I managed to read whilst I was at work - not because it's simple or anything like that, purely because the adrenaline and fast-paced writing kept me turning the pages. I highly recommend!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

BLOG TOUR! Extract from The Rebel by Jaime Raven



  

Welcome  to my stop on Jaime Raven's blog tour! Today I've got an exclusive extract for you from The Rebel...and it's a cracker! Sit back, relax and read on....
********

It didn’t take long for Roy Slack to reveal his plan to Danny Carver. It was a simple one, after all.

Danny’s reaction was predictable. His jaw dropped and the colour retreated from his face.

‘Is this a fucking joke, boss?’ he said, his voice stretched thin with shock. ‘Because if it ain’t, then I think you might have lost your marbles.’

Slack stood up and stepped out from behind his desk. It was uncomfortably warm in the office so he slipped off his cardigan and threw it on the chair. His white shirt had dark patches of sweat under each armpit.

He crossed the room to the cabinet with the bottles of spirits on top.
‘Care for a whisky, Danny?’ he asked.

‘Too bloody right I do,’ Danny answered. ‘And please make it a large one because I think I need it.’

Slack smiled to himself as he poured out triples of his finest malt, flown down from his favourite distillery in the Highlands.

He handed a glass to Danny. ‘You’ve been with me a long time, mate, and you’re the only person in this world who I’d trust with my life. It’s why I’ve told you what I intend to do and it’s the reason I’m now going to tell you why I want to do it.’

Danny’s hard face fisted into a frown and he rolled out his bottom lip.

‘Well, I’m all ears, boss,’ he said.

Slack sat down beside him on the sofa and sipped at his whisky.

‘I also need you to know that you’re going to be well looked after whatever happens,’ he said. ‘I’m going to transfer a large sum of cash into your offshore account first thing in the morning. If the firm survives then you can stick around if you want to. If it doesn’t you’ll have the option to fuck off abroad and enjoy an early retirement.’

Danny’s frown deepened and he tilted his head to one side.

‘Sounds to me like you’ve given a lot of thought to this, boss,’ he said. 

Slack nodded. ‘It’s been rolling around inside my head for weeks. Now I can’t wait to get on with it.’
Danny grinned, showing off his two gold teeth. 

‘Well, it sure is an insane idea,’ he said. ‘But for what it’s worth I reckon the fuckers have it coming. Most of ’em are more crooked than we are.’

Slack knew he could depend on Danny not to fill his nappy at the thought of what was going to happen. They didn’t call him The Rottweiler for nothing. He was a man of violence, a crazy fuck, who had maimed and killed more men than he could probably remember. 

He was also fiercely loyal and had carried out heinous crimes on Slack’s behalf without a second’s thought. He was completely devoid of empathy and compassion.

For that reason Slack had absolutely no doubt that he would be able to count on him in the days and weeks ahead. 

‘So come on, boss,’ Danny said. ‘There’s no way you’d be set on doing this just to hang on to what you’ve got. There has to be something else, something that you’ve been keeping close to your chest.’

So Slack told him, and for the first time since they’d met, Danny Carver was lost for words.
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