Book Review: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

This is an odd one to try to explain to people.

 Lily and the Octopus is about Ted, who talks to his dachshund, Lily, and thinks he can hear her talking back. It’s unclear whether he genuinely believes she is talking to him, or if it’s just how he copes. At the beginning of the book, Ted notices a tumour on Lily’s head, although he doesn’t name it, instead seeing it as an octopus, which shortly also begins talking to him.

9781471154379

Continue reading

Top 5 Wednesday: Creepy Settings.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube. I don’t participate every Wednesday but I do take part on occasion, whenever I notice a topic I really like. This week’s theme is very appropriate for the month of October: creepy settings in books.


5. Aragog’s lair in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

As I write this there is a large spindly spider in the corner of the ceiling and I am resolutely ignoring it…

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 22.55.06.png

 Who isn’t terrified of Aragog? Even those of you who think arachnophobia is irrational (it is perfectly rational, thank you very much – THEY’VE GOT EIGHT EYES AND EIGHT LEGS) have to admit that, of all the scenes in the Forbidden Forest, this has got to be the most frightening. I always think of the movie when I picture this theme – that moment when Ron and Harry look up to see the spiders dancing over their heads (shudder).

Continue reading

Top 5 Wednesday: Children’s Books for Grown-Ups.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme (on Wednesdays, duh) hosted by Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube. I don’t participate every Wednesday but I like to hop in whenever it’s a theme that speaks to me. This week’s theme/subject is top 5 children’s books, and oh my god, I LOVE me some children’s books.

As I’ve written a post previously about my favourite books from when I was a kid, as well as a ‘My Life in Books‘ post about the books that I feel were important in making me the person I am today, I’m going to switch this one up a bit. Today I’m going to talk about what I consider to be the 5 best children’s books (or book series) that I discovered as an adult.

It’s a great thing for people keep reading children’s books when they’re older. It takes us back to a time when we could stay up all night to finish a book without worrying about having to get up the next day, and when we were secretly convinced that the things we read about were true and written by some emissary from a faraway land. I’ve discovered some fabulous children’s stories despite these stories allegedly being ‘for kids’.

Continue reading

Book Review: ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas.

thugThe Hate U Give is about a black teenager called Starr whose best friend is shot by a white police officer for no reason. Starr lives in a mostly black neighbourhood rife with gang violence and goes to school in a predominantly white, wealthy environment. Her two worlds, which she so painstakingly tries to keep separate, crash together when Khalil’s murder becomes national news and Starr must come to terms with losing longterm friends, both to armed police and to the underlying racist thoughts of the people she once trusted. She must learn to be at peace with her own identity which she has hidden from everyone for so long.

This is a hyped-up YA novel and we all know how disappointing hyped YA novels can be. The Hate U Give delivers: it is passionate, realistic and important. I’ve just heard that it’s going to be turned into a movie, and if they do it justice I think it could be a really great thing. (Rue from The Hunger Games is playing Starr – I bloody love that.)

Continue reading

The Make-Up Book Tag.

I found this tag on Ariel Bissett’s channel and LOVED it. I love the idea of a tag combining books and make-up – I’ve wanted to do a make-up blog for years but never been able to commit to it the way I have with my book blog. I’m not sure who it was created by unfortunately – even Ariel couldn’t find the original video!

All make-up mentioned is from cruelty-free companies who do not test on animals. However, there are some companies mentioned whose parent companies do test on animals, and I will advise wherever this is the case. I have decided to buy from these companies to make the point that cruelty-free sells, much like if a vegetarian buys a vegetarian meal in a restaurant that also sells meat – they are still funding that company, but they are showing where they stand.

Continue reading

I’m Very Thankful For…

Being English, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving myself, but I like the idea of going around the table and saying things you’re thankful for. We often take things for granted. So, in no particular order, here’s a list of bookish things I’m really grateful to have in my life.


Ebooks.

I adore ebooks. I love their portability and the fact that I can buy as many as I like without having to find the space. I also prefer reading ebooks, because I can read in whatever position I like without my neck aching. Sure, they have their cons as well, and they’re not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m a big fan.

i-couldnt-find-it-as-an-ebook-55301.png

Continue reading

Book Tag: Books to Read in Pairs.

This tag was created by Jen Campbell on YouTube, and the idea of it is to go around your shelves (whether virtual or physical!) and choose pairs of books that you think compliment each other well, perhaps because they have similar themes, or one is a retelling of the other, etc. Jen asks us to aim for between five and ten pairs of books so I’ve pushed myself to go for ten.

I didn’t read most of these in pairs, apart from the ones I read for university modules, but have chosen them because I think they would go well together.


1. White Teeth by Zadie Smith / Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.

Continue reading