2015 reading challenge, Adventures, Books, Books Are My Bag, Independent Bookshop Week

Book challenge 24: A book by an author you’ve never read before


The Ecliptic, Benjamin Wood

This was the proof that Chloe gave me on #bookshopcrawl day, and it’s been looming, waiting for me. I took it on holiday with me, and devoured it over two days, two afternoons and evenings while I was on holiday with my family. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that big so fast. Continue reading “Book challenge 24: A book by an author you’ve never read before”

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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, Adventures, Books

Book challenge #22: A book set in a different country

I return! Over a month since my last post, oops. I’ve been pretty busy, visiting friends, camping, and spending two weeks in the Peak District with my family. I have, though, also finished five books in that time. First, The Jungle Book.

The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling Continue reading “Book challenge #22: A book set in a different country”

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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, Adventures, Books, Books Are My Bag

Book challenge #20: A popular author’s first book

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J K Rowling

This is by no means the first time that I’ve read Harry Potter, but it’s the first time in a looong time that I’ve read this one: my copy was lent to a friend of my mum’s, never to be seen again. I put off buying a new copy, because how likely was I to read it, really? But then the perfect excuse fell into my lap: the new editions, with gorgeous cover art, and some additional content in the back pages, which was originally on Pottermore. So I picked up a copy in Foyles last Saturday, on the #bookshopcrawl, and dug in over the weekend. Continue reading “Book challenge #20: A popular author’s first book”

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”

2015 reading challenge, Books

Book challenge #15: A book that became a movie

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The Ruby In The Smoke, Philip Pullman

Earlier this week, my girlfriend and I were discussing Sally Lockhart. I got sad that I had lent The Ruby In The Smoke and the other one of the quartet that I owned (I can’t remember which, as I got the other two out of the library more than once, and it was years ago, but The Ruby In The Smoke was my favourite) to someone when I was 11 or 12. I loved those books. Sally Lockhart was what I wanted to be when I grew up. Continue reading “Book challenge #15: A book that became a movie”

2015 reading challenge, Books, Feminism, LGBT

Book challenge #14: A mystery or thriller

The Hourglass Factory, Lucy Ribchester

Books-recommended-by-Chloe is a regular theme of my reading – she gave me this one at Christmas, too, as well as Warpaint. It’s been sitting on my bedside table ever since, picked up occasionally, read for a bit, then forgot about for a bit because it’s too hefty to carry on my commute. But I took it to Wales with me last week and, having finished Five Quarters of the Orange, I got stuck into it on the train home. Which was lucky, because there was an extremely irritating pair of people across the aisle from me, having an unnecessarily loud conversation about work. For two hours. No thankyou. But I digress. Continue reading “Book challenge #14: A mystery or thriller”

2015 reading challenge, Books

Book challenge #13: A book at the bottom of your to-read list

Five Quarters of the Orange, Joanne Harris

Last October, I got a Reading Survival Kit from the wonderful people at Books Are My Bag. It was an enormous box and it was fun of excellent stuff, including this novel. I’ve been reading it in the bath, mostly (can’t risk dropping library books in the bath, and hardbacks are difficult, so this lovely floppy paperback is ideal bath reading), over a couple of months, but I wanted to finish it so I took it away with me this week, on a trip to Manchester for a party and then to Wales, where I climbed Snowdon with my friend, Lauren. Continue reading “Book challenge #13: A book at the bottom of your to-read list”