POSTS

Book Box Club – January

THEME: Storytellers

This months theme was Storytellers. I was really excited to receive this box as I was intrigued to see what would be included in this months box.

Included this months box was a bunch of bookish goodies to enjoy. There is a Bronte Notebook by Literary Emporium to note down all your great stories and ideas. It a great little pocket sized book perfect for carrying with you on all your adventures. A magnetic storytelling kit by Book Box Club so you can write to your hearts content. Writers tips postcards are also included so you can send advice from famous storytellers all around the world. A patch that says ‘Born to Write’ is featured which was created by Wild Sally on Red bubble.

A great writers pencil case by Laura Crow from Not on the High Street is included also which has a great illustration on the perfect sized pouch. Alongside, all these goodies are a couple extras. A sample of ‘Outside’ by Sarah Anne Juckes alongside an extra postcard.

The featured book this month is ‘Monsters’ by Sharon Dogar. That follows the story of Mary, the daughter of a revolutionary author destined to write her own masterpiece. But before she can become the famed author of Frankenstein she will be swept away by scandalous storytellers and philandering philosophers.

I am excited to read this book as it would have never been something I would have generally considered yet I can’t wait to start reading.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or are subscribed to a bookish subscription box.)

Ways to Make Time for Reading

Many people’s excuse for not reading is that they don’t have time, a common excuse for more things. I don’t believe that people don’t have time for reading however.

If you look at how many of the people making this excuse use social media for hours a day or sit and play games on a console, I would guess pretty high. I am not saying to cut this out completely however if you have any spare time why not read a little. If it’s a sentence or a chapter it doesn’t matter because its progress. If carrying an actual book isn’t ideal use an e-reader or an app on your phone.

Before you go to sleep, put your phone out of your sight and read something. I find it relaxing to read before I go to sleep and if I haven’t read something that day I feel that I haven’t accomplished what I set out to do and it annoys me. If I literally only read a sentence or a page it’s something.

I also think we need to get rid of the mindset that you need to finish a book in a day or a week. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you what matters is that you are doing it. You’re making progress.

Instead of watching one more episode of your favourite programme that you have already watched 20 times pick up a book. In the time it would have taken you to watch that programme you could read a fair amount.

There are also audio books. Instead of listening to music on your commute to work or in the background at the weekend put on an audio book and listen to a book. Audio books are underrated also. People think that to read a book you have to literally read a book but audio books are a great alternative.

Overall, I would say that saying you have no time is not a credible excuse and that you can always make time to read. As I have said above, it doesn’t matter how much you read, anything is progress.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have any tips for finding time to read)

Only the Ocean – Natasha Carthew

Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew is a young adult book that focuses on a young girl who is trying to survive in a dark and scary world. You follow Kel who plans to kidnap a girl in order to fund her trip to America to receive help for her heart. Whilst doing this not everything goes to plan and they both end up stranded in the middle of the ocean with only the hope of surviving. Due to this time spent together they grow close and become friends which is unusual for someone from the ‘swamps’ and the other from the ‘towers’.

There are two main characters in this book, both young girls named Kel and Rose. They are from completely different world and you can see that throughout the book. The way that Kel talks in comparison to Rose show the difference in class and education alone. They are an unlikely friendship however as the book goes on and they learn more about one another you can see they begin to bond. I did like these characters and did feel as though they fit the story well even if it want my favourite book.

I did find it took a little while to get into the book as the dialogue takes some getting used to. The writer used a lot of slang and phonetic words. This can become confusing at times however the narration in between the dialogue cleared things up and you could follow the story.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, this is just a personal opinion however as many others do love it. I feel it lacked action for me and didn’t necessarily keep me engaged. It also seems unrealistic in a way. I know it is a fictional book however I find it hard that they did survive on the sea for so long when it was described as being so wild. I also felt that the baby being in the book was pointless. I didn’t feel it added to anything and that at times I felt the writer had forgotten about it. I know the premise was that Kel didn’t like the bay however I feel as though the baby wouldn’t have survived these events. At one point when they come across a ship that they went aboard to look for food the baby seemed to just disappear for a while.

 The characters went through a lot however everything went back to normal very quickly. For example, Rose suffered a bad injury on her leg after their raft capsized yet despite spending days with an open wound on an island then on the sea it seemed to just be fine.

Overall, I would say that this book wasn’t for me. I liked the characters and felt the fit the story however I personally didn’t enjoy it. I felt that it was long and drawn out with a few events along the way with a disappointing ending.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion of this book if you have ever read it or if there are any other comments you want to make)

Book Imagery

Book imagery can come in the form of many things such as photographs and illustration and depending on the book it changes which one you choose.

Photographs are a great way to share and bring a story to life however I personally believe that these are best for non fiction works. Autobiographies and memoirs often contain photographs to help build the picture and you often get photo books that are focused on the photo and the words just give context. I personally like this about non fiction books especially autobiographies as they give you further insight into the person’s story.

Illustrations are full of options. They can be electronically made, painted or made up from other images however overall I would say that these are ideal for all books. For nonfiction work you can see another way to tell the story and for fiction work it can give you a scene to picture and continue the story through. They can give you a start point for where the story is going without even reading anything.

Imagery is vital in books I believe but that doesn’t necessarily mean a photo or a painting as you create your own individual illustration in your head. This allows you to engage in a story and see how you believe the writer intended for you to see it. If there is no physical image then the descriptions are often subjective to those who are reading the book.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

( PS please comment if you have any favourite imagery or thoughts on book imagery)

Unpublished Writing

Unpublished writing can be a variety of things. People who write stories and post them online, those who write dedicated to their favourite programmes or those who wish to be a published author and share their journey are all different kinds of unpublished writing. Even having a blog post can be classed as it.

The reason I am saying this is because not everyone likes to read novels or long stories however would be interested in unpublished writing. I think that reading can be something that when people hear it they automatically think about a physical book. If people are more open and aware of how much reading material is available online and often for free then more people may read. Short stories about your favourite programme may be something that would make you read and that’s good because any reading is good reading.

I think that it is also good for those who are writing these unpublished works as they are able to get there work out into the public without having the need to release a book. It can allow them to try different styles and genres and get real feedback to help them grow their writing skills and portfolio. This can help to build confidence in their writing and therefor the readers have more material to enjoy.

I just wanted to say that there are many ways that you can enjoy reading and become interested in reading as well as helping those who love to write.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(Please comment if you have any unpublished writing you want to share or any you love to read)

New year book resolutions

Every new year everyone makes a list of all their resolutions such as eat healthy or go to the gym. I have never been someone to make new year resolutions however this year I have decided to make a list of book related ones and I thought I would share !

  1. Continue to read something each day. Whether that’s a sentence,page or chapter.
  2. Read more books from different genres. Explore genres I haven’t really read and give them a chance.
  3. To write more reviews on the books I read.
  4. Try to recommend more books to other people.
  5. Inspire people to read through this blog
  6. Enjoy taking the time to read

I hope these may even inspire some of your resolutions!

May thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment any of your new year resolutions)

THE CHALK MAN by CJ Tudor

The Chalk Man is a thriller novel that follows the life of a young boy and his friends as they use chalk to communicate which links to a series of tragic events. Now older we see how all characters have moved on (or not) from these events and how a letter received featuring a chalk man brings it all back. Will they ever know what really happened all those years ago?

I really enjoyed this book as it was much more focused on being psychological thriller than on the actual crimes committed which I liked. It showed a different dimension to the events and how everything unfolded. It did also feature the crimes and events that happened however it wasn’t focused on a police or investigative point of view and on the people that they effected. There are some slightly gruesome descriptions and scenes however I always feel as though this allows the reader to gauge how bad the event was and to understand what the characters have been through.

I thought that the characters were realistic and thought that the use of two different time periods helped as it showed how he was as a boy and who he is now after growing up and moving on. It also shows the realistic aspect of friendship at a young age, naturally friends drift as they grow older and that didn’t change for these characters despite what they had been through together. They all had been effected in different ways and I feel as though this also added realism.

I also really enjoyed the structure of the book and it helped me to grasp the story line much quicker. The use of two different time periods using separate chapters for ease made it much more simple to follow along. Each chapter was titled by the year the chapter is set in to also diffuse confusing. I did originally think that the story may be lost by readers trying to catch up on what part of the characters lives they are reading however CJ Tudor has written it in a seamless way. I enjoyed they way this was written as well as the structure as I felt as though I was really involved in what was happening and that I was reading a book written by a character rather than the office.

I would recommend this book to anyone as it is a good book if you want to get into psychological thrillers as it is a mix of both mental and physical events. I would also like to read more or this authors books in the future as her writing style is something that engaged me in the story. Considering this is her debut novel!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or have any psychological thriller recommendations)