Journals

journal
Image Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

Journals have always been a good way to keep your thoughts organised and together and this has not changed. Recently, I feel as though journals have become much more popular again to keep your thought structured.

People use journals in multiple ways; to plan their time, to record the past and to put their ideas and plans in written form. I personally don’t really have a journal per say however I do have a book where I sometimes record my thoughts on certain books, what I would like to read next and what I have read in the past. This not only helps me keep my opinions on books together but also helps with my blog posts. If I have a thought about certain books I write them down and reference them when writing my posts. I find this extremely helpful as when I am writing a post I can struggle with trying to remember exact thoughts on the book I was reading.

Journals can be great fun and highly creative as it is common for people to design their journal in a way that works the best for them. Using different structures and content and pairing them with illustrations and doodles.

I personally think they are a great help and perfect for those who feel like they have to write everything down (like myself). I would also recommend it for those who write blog posts on any subject as it allows you to organise your thoughts and plan your posts. It can often bring more structure to your thoughts and allow you to look back on these when necessary.

 

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on journals and whether you use them !)

 

Some Bookish Cakes

I recently found some delicious looking book cakes online and though I would share some with you. It might give you inspiration to get baking or just make you want cake by either way you will get to see these beautiful decorated cakes. ( None of these cakes are my own but I may try and attempt them !)

Source : themetapicture.com
Source : Pinterest
Source : litstack.com
Source : Pinterest
Source: Pinterest
Source : a very bookish cake, Frankie Magazine

Many Thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on these cakes !)

My Favourite Fiction Authors

Author 680 x 300
Source: London Book Fair Webpage

When someone asks me who my favourite author is I really struggle to choose just one and that is why I have decided to write this blog post. I think anyone who says they have a definitive favourite author is lying or has just said the first one that pops into their minds as choosing just one is extremely difficult (for those who enjoy reading). Authors are all so different from each other; from their style of writing and their structure to the topics they choose to base their books on are all unique to themselves.

Saying that they are all unique is true in my opinion. Yes they may have been influenced by other authors and therefor their work may have moments where you notice this but no two authors have every book written in the same way as another. Every one has their own process and priorities when writing a book as well as having different timescales and plans.

I am telling you this basically just to say that I don’t have just one favourite author and I believe that authors that I haven’t even yet read could possibly make it onto this list in the future. The following are just some of the fiction writing authors I love and would recommend to anyone.

  1. Mick Herron – Jackson Lamb Series
  2. Jonathon Holt – The Carnivia Trilogy
  3. April Henry – Girl, Stolen, The night she disappeared
  4. Helen Fields  – DI Callanach Series
  5. Diane Jeffrey – Those who lie
  6. Chris Ryan – Agent 21 Series, Danny Black Series
  7.  Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda
  8. Michael Morpurgo – An elephant in the garden
  9. Ally Carter – The Gallagher Girls Series
  10. Malorie Blackman – The Noughts and Crosses series

 

The above authors are not the only ones I love and I could easily continue this list but I had to stop somewhere and 10 seemed like a good amount.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment a few of your favourite authors or if some of the above are on your list as well)

John Green Books

I have previously read three of John Greens books and I really liked them. I have read ‘The Fault in our Stars’, ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘Paper towns’. John Green has released many YA novels that look at teenage life in many ways.

the fault in our stars

‘The Fault in our Stars’ is a very well known book and has had a film adaptation made from it. I read the book after the hype of the film came about. Everyone seemed to be raving about the film and I never watched it for ages and decided to read the book instead. I think the book is very well written in a way that it talks about a serious illness yet it isn’t complicated and is romantic. I was sat on the couch one night and read the book in one sitting as I couldn’t put the book down. This book both tackles the highs and lows of being a cancer patient whilst being a novel about teenage romance. I have to admit I did cry upon reading the ending as it was so powerful. This book was very well received with high ratings on websites such as good reads and YA Book Central. It is an emotional rollercoaster that made you laugh, cry and smile and a book I would highly recommend. (PS I never did get round to reading the film)

looking for alaska

Looking for Alaska’ was also a great book and one that I would highly recommend. It looks at a teenage boy is dragged into the world of the new girl at school. It is a well written teenage book and I think it is realistic and easily comprehensible. The characters are interesting and well developed which helps to add to the realism. It is written in a way that is easy to understand and is not complex in a way that would make you think of anything but the intended storyline. It really explores teenage life at a boarding school with a mysterious new pupil.

paper towns

‘Paper towns’ shares the story of two teenagers who go on a midnight adventure and soon one of them becomes a mystery. The one who disappears and left the other trying to find her. But what will he learn along the way? It is well written and does keep you engaged in the story as well. I love the characters however I do feel as though they were a little predictable as they reminded me of the characters in Looking for Alaska, A teenage boy who is trying to reach out to the girl who is unattainable. Saying that they are well developed and intriguing even although they are similar. I think that upon reading other reviews it is not just my opinion that both Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns seems to follow the same formula and although they are different stories they seem to based upon the same plan. However, I would recommend this book but I would just warn you that it is a good book, I would read it again but it is similar to Looking for Alaska.

Overall, I would say from what I have read that John Green is a very good YA author and writes books that do appeal to the target audience and I would recommend the books I have mentioned. I would like to read more of his novels in the future.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read one of John Greens novels or intend to)

Bookish Places I would love to visit

1. Shakespeare & Company Bookstore, Paris

This bookstore was established in 1951 and it is a must-see for booklovers. It is a beautiful and cozy book shop and cafe and if you visit at night you may even stumble across one of its many events.

Shakespeare-and-Company-in-Paris-540x359

 

2. Hay Castle Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales

In this picturesque town there are a multitude of bookshops worth the visit but specifically the open aired one at Hay Castle. The town is especially worth visiting during Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, held between May and June.

Hay-Castle-Bookshop-picture-1-540x360

3. Livraria Lello & Irmão Bookstore, Porto

This bookstore is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores with it grand staircases and floor to ceiling books. Since it opened in 1906 and has since become an inspiration for any famous writers.

Livraria-Lello-and-Irmao-bookshop-in-Porto-540x343

4. The Brattle Book Shop, Boston

This was established in 1825 and is one of the oldest and largest antiquarian and used bookshops in the USA. In addition to the 3 story building you can also find books outside the building.

The-Brattle-Book-Shop-in-Boston

5. Georgian House Wizard Chambers, London 

This is a 5-star hotel with both rooms for muggles and wizards. The wizard chamber are however the main reason people stay. These rooms give Harry Potter the chance to sleep in a Hogwarts type dormitory.

Georgian-House-Wizard-Chambers-cr-georgian-house

Many  thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever visited these places or would like to)

 

What would make me give a book a 5/5 rating?

  1. Well-developed characters. To me this is the most important part of a book. If a character is not well-developed then they can often be unrealistic or hinders the intended storyline. You may be more focused on trying to understand the character rather than exploring the storyline and events.
  2. It has to be well structured. This can mean different things to different people so it is completely personal. I prefer having shorter and a larger number of chapters rather than one continuous prose or large sections as it allows me to see progress much easier and provide myself with reading targets. For example to read a chapter before I go to sleep. Even although this is preferred I have read book that are more of a continuous prose and enjoyed it however it has to be written in an engaging way to keep me reading.
  3. It stimulates your brain. A good book has to engage your thoughts and allow you to regularly form your own opinions and feelings for the book and its characters. You must be fully invested into the book and want to continue reading in order to fully enjoy the storyline.
  4. Well-written. The book has to be well-written in an engaging way. This completely depend on the genre and target audience but if, for example, your boo is aimed at a younger audience or children then you have to write it in a way that engages them. Easy to understand language and quick sentences. Whereas crime novels may focus on the correct terminology and language. A book that I have read that was extremely well-written was ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by Andre Aciman. It is written in a beautiful manner that is almost like poetry in the way it flows throughout the pages.

These are a few important factors that I judge a book off of but this isn’t what everyone would prioritise. I personally prioritise character development whereas others may choose the structure. This is my opinions and I hope it helps you to find yours.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment what makes you rate a book 5/5)

WARLORD by Chris Ryan

warlord

Warlord by Chris Ryan is the fifth installment in the Danny Black series and is a great read. I have just finished reading this novel and absolutely loved it. It is at times brutal and quite gruesome however, I do feel this adds to the realism as it something that would actually occur. As it is the fifth installment and I hadn’t read the previous books I initially thought I would struggle to keep up with the characters. I do not feel as though I did struggle however as the characters and story line was well developed. There were certain small references to the previous books but not enough to confuse the story line of this book. As a whole this book is one in which reading the previous installments are not vital.

It features SAS team member Danny Black and his team who try to fight the world of drugs, violence and cartels in Mexico. This novel features a fair amount of violent scenes and shocking events so do be prepared for that if you are going to read the book.

I feel as though Danny Black is a likable character. He is a very serious and determined man however he does show his fear and grief. His reputation is portrayed as a trusty and brave man who has been through a lot but has yet came out the other side. The characters are all well developed and understandable even though it is the fifth book. The characters are all portrayed excellently and are very realistic.

This novel is fast-paced and filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The book is very well written and you can see how Chris Ryan’s personal experiences influenced and aided this as it felt as though you were there with the characters and within the story line throughout.

I would highly recommend this book however you should be prepared for gritty and violent events within as well as a multitude of emotions. It is an emotional roller coaster which sticks with you even after reading.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on the Danny Black series or other books similair)

Best websites for buying books

The following are website that I use when buying books and I find them the best options. I hope this helps you buy you’re next book!

Book Depository

Book Depository is a great website which allows you to purchase books internationally all with free worldwide shipping. It offers a vast amount of books, over 18 million and is likely to have have everything your looking for. Not only that but there is a bargain shop where you can find all the best deals and sales. I love using this website and it is my go to when buying books online. It helps that you get a free bookmark with an artists design on it !

Abe Books

Abe books is a great choice when looking to buy used books. It allows individuals to sell book as due to that you can find books in lots of different conditions for multiple prices so you can choose which one you would like. I live this website when wanting to buy a book but a little cheaper. There are usually shipping costs however added to the price of the book it is still a great deal most of the time.

Amazon

Amazon is great for e-books, specifically my kindle. It is easy to use and download books that are cheaper than paper or hard back. There is also a huge amount of free books available that may not be your taste however it allows you try other genres at no cost. It is also good for paper and hard backs books however as it often has a pre-order section for soon to be released books.

Etsy

Etsy has a lot of good products that are book related as well as books themselves. They have a vast amount of bookmarks and book accessories on sale as well as personalised books and notebooks. I recently purchased a notebooks which I love and much more like that is available.

Waterstones

Waterstones is a great website that is easy to navigate and purchase books from. There is a great choice and if you have a waterstones card then you can collect points to take money off future books.

I hope this helps when you are buying a new book!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(Please comment if you have any other websites you like to use )