Friday, 26 May 2017

The Importance of the Small Things ǀ Little Loves

I have to admit that I didn't know whether I could write a Little Loves post this week. With the horrific events of Monday evening happening so close to home, my week has been taken up with worrying about the world we are raising our children in, comforting and talking with people in the village who knew some of the victims and trying to think of ways to explain to Meg and Eli what happened.

But then I realised that the whole point of a terror attack is to stop you thinking of the positives, to think the world is a bleak and awful place and to fill your mind with doubt and worries; to let that overshadow everything else would be wrong. Yes, there is a time for grieving but there is also a time for finding the beautiful moments amongst the dark ones so that is what I am going to do.

I am currently reading The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. It's a ridiculous story about a man who, quite literally, climbs out of the window of the old people's home on his 100th birthday and gets up to all kinds of high jinks. You read about the present day and you also read about his past, when he was supposedly involved in all kinds of major world acts. It's laugh out loud funny, if you can suspend your disbelief and is actually very poignant and political in places as well.

If you saw my social media posts over the weekend you will have spotted that I was pretty ill from Friday night onwards. So poorly in fact that we had to cancel my big birthday party which I was gutted about. What that meant was a lot of days spent lying on the sofa (trying hard not to feel sorry for myself) and I basically binge-watched the entire first season of Melissa and Joey. It's random but quite amusing and as each episode is only 20 minutes you can cram a lot into a day!

A recovery? I think that is about the only thing I can legitimately claim to have made this week but thank goodness because I did not enjoy being ill in the slightest. We have pretty much all had this stomach bug now so I'm hoping that it is finally done and dusted in our household.

It wasn't the jumpsuit but Friday evening before the sickness hit, James and I went a little old school and went bowling on a date. I tried to shake things up a bit and chose some red lipstick to wear which I would never normally go for and it seemed to be quite well received. Or, at least, I forgot to worry about how obvious my lips were after ten minutes or so!

Two of the victims of Monday evening lived in the village which is connected to ours and school held a beautiful memorial for them yesterday just before the end of the day. One child from each class released a pink balloon and we held a moment's silence for them. Each child was then given a balloon which we were asked to tie outside our homes in remembrance. It was, obviously, something I would rather not have had to attend as I would rather it hadn't happened but I thought that it was done really well, in a respectful way and it was good for the kids to be told what happened in a way which was relevant and helped them to understand.

And Lastly...
I reached 1,000 subscribers on YouTube just recently and since then I've been steadily climbing up which is just incredible. I seriously value every single person who watches my videos and comments on them. To celebrate I am doing a Q&A and running a little giveaway. I'd appreciate anyone popping over and leaving me a question (I'm nervous I won't get very many!) and if you wanted to enter the giveaway as well then that would be fab.

Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend all.

This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Upcoming Book Releases ǀ Books & Reading

Sitting down and looking at all the upcoming releases for the rest of 2017 makes me hyper aware that there are so many books I want to read before the end of the year and that's before I even contemplate the 80+ books already lounging, unread and untouched on my bookshelves.

I've made good headway this year with my TBR pile and have tried really hard not to start any new series I can't finish (i.e. they haven't finished being written yet) or buy books unnecessarily (you can see how well that is going here...) but there are always going to be books which I am particularly excited about getting my hands on throughout the year and so I thought that today I would share some of those with you.

For total transparency, the links here are affiliate.  Using them means I (at no cost to you) get a small commission which keeps me in my book buying habit is always gratefully received.

Godsgrave (Nevernight #2) - Jay Kristoff
This is one of the twistiest (yes, it's a word) books I read in 2016 and I am so excited about the sequel!  It's hard to go into too much detail without spoiling anything but it bascially picks up the story of our protagonist Mia Corvere who is at the Red Church, a school of assassins.  It is vicious and graphic and diverse and utterly fascinating.  I did a full non-spoiler review of the first book which I have shared below, if you are interested:-

Released 5 September 2017

Origin (Robert Langdon #5) - Dan Brown
Dan Brown is like wine for me.  I know I shouldn't keep having another glass and yet sometimes I just can't help it.  Don't get me wrong; I loved Angels and Demons and even the Da Vinci Code ticked the boxes for me but since then his books have wandered a little too closely to the predicatable and formualic side of the tracks.  Yet there is something which keeps me reaching for the next one when it comes out nevertheless.  They aren't difficult to read and I appreciate the attempts he makes to twist storylines and imbue them with a hint of mystery.  Although allowing Tom Hanks to be cast as Robert Langdon is something I don't think I'll ever get over...

Released 3 October 2017

And now two books which have technically already been released but which we are excited to get nonetheless:-

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz & The Fool #3) - Robin Hobb
This has been released in the most beautiful hardback cover but as I already have the first two in paperback I am patiently waiting until March next year when it will be released *sob*.  Robin Hobb is one of my all-time favourite fantasy writers and this series is just as good as her others.  She has two other trilogies which feature Fitz and The Fool and are well worth reading before you begin this trilogy as we pick up where there stories left off.  And I honestly can't go into much more detail than that except to say that if you like strong character-led, adult fantasy books which rich description and the ability to get lost in another world...then Robin Hobb is an author you need to try.

The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) - Rick Riordan
Okay so technically I'm putting this is for James rather than for me as I'm still gradually making my way through Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series but I know that we will be purchasing it pretty soon after the release date as Rick Riordan is undoutebdly one of our favourite authors.  His books are middle-grade (age 8+) but they are absolutely hilarious and so well written that you really don't notice they are actually books for children.  Honestly.

This current series is about the god Apollo who has been cast back down to earth after upsetting his father, Zeus and trapped in the body of a teenage boy.  Of course, he still thinks of himself as a god and not as an awkward teenager so the calamity, and hilarity, that ensures after that is pretty much guaranteed.