The Girl Of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave

The Girl of Ink & Stars (Paperback)

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself. Continue reading “The Girl Of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave”


Oh No, George! – Christ Haughton

George wants to be good. He tries to be good. But he has just seen a cake in the kitchen… What will George do?

This year’s Books Are My Bag blogger box was themed around Desert Island Reads, and was personalised. Lauren got, amongst other things, a sketchbook and a novel in her box (watch her video here, it’s adorable, and I can confirm that we had a lovely time at the pub, drawing in her book and giggling), and mine had Wild and this, a children’s book. Absolutely, utterly perfect. Continue reading “Oh No, George! – Christ Haughton”

2015 reading challenge, Adventures, Books

Book challenge #23: A book set in high school

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J K Rowling

Although I have finished several books lately, I’ve been struggling to concentrate. The prospect of starting a book has been sometimes difficult, daunting. This happens to me occasionally but has happened a lot recently. Generally my approach is to read a children’s book, and this time, it was, again, Harry Potter. It helped. It was also massively enjoyable to see all the “omg it’s like Snape can read minds???” which made me laugh every time. The howler will probably never fail to make me cringe in sympathy. My fear of spiders existed long before reading this but I’m sure it didn’t help. Continue reading “Book challenge #23: A book set in high school”

2015 reading challenge, Books

Book challenge #21: A book you can finish in a day

The Apple Tart Of Hope, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

“Hope is never destructive,” I said. “Hope is the thing that keeps you going.” I really meant it. You need hope as surely as you need to breathe air and drink water. Without it every one of us might as well fling ourselves off the pier into the murky sea below.

This was one of the books in my BAMB bundle, and I took it away with me for the weekend, as an alternative to Her Brilliant Career, which I am also reading, in case I needed something lighter. So I ended up reading it all yesterday, and I loved it. Continue reading “Book challenge #21: A book you can finish in a day”

2015 reading challenge, Books

Book challenge #19: A book with magic


Tom’s Midnight Garden, Philippa Pearce

I can’t remember what prompted me buying this. I vaguely remember having a conversation about it with my girlfriend, but I think it was to illustrate a point about something else. I haven’t read it, though, since primary school, and I couldn’t remember the author, so I asked in the Waterstones near work, while picking up something else. They didn’t have it, though, so I went home with the book I’d actually gone in for. Then, a few weeks later, I went in again – again, for something else – and notice this beautiful edition sitting on the shelf. So of course I bought it. Continue reading “Book challenge #19: A book with magic”

2015 reading challenge, Books

Book challenge #16: A book from your childhood

The Garden, Dyan Sheldon and Gary Blythe

I don’t have many books left from my childhood. A few, but not many. Foolish lending put paid to several of them, like one of my Harry Potters, and The Ruby In The Smoke. But my real sadness comes from the multiple teenage purges that parted me from my battered, beloved, read-and-reread copies of books like Black Beauty and White Fang – though not Just So Stories or The Jungle Book or A Little Princess, presumably because I thought that, as I was, at the grand age of 15 or whatever, so grown-up, that I couldn’t possibly want a book about a horse any more… I don’t know. I needed space for Real Books, or something. How wrong I was. I’ve replaced some of them in recent months, but there are others I can’t remember the titles of, or have forgotten about completely until reminded of them, and, besides, it’s different, having a new copy, to having the same one I hid under the covers with a torch to read. My mum made me keep two copies of the same book, Teddy’s Friend – one is the English version, the other American, and there are a few subtle differences between them – but no other picture books.

Except The Garden. Continue reading “Book challenge #16: A book from your childhood”