Monday, 26 June 2017

Books I'll (Probably) Never Read Tag


I saw this randomly last week on Captured with Words and, as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it. It was mainly because  I am trying to be more positive and "read books that make you happy". Plus, it's ok not to like a book for one reason or another - as long as you are not bashing readers who do enjoy that book or author. Everyone has an opinion with books, TV, films and we should be respectful. 

If you love any of the books or authors I mentioned, go forth and continue to love them! You should love the books and the authors that you read. It's just I don't connect with them for one reason or another. This is a space place where we can be kind and respectful, ok? Ok. Now, let's have a discussion about books we don't like and band together, shall we? 

Oh, if you wanna do this tag, like all the other tags that sneak up on my blog, you are more than welcome. GO FORTH! 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

#LGBTQIARead & #PrideBookClub TBR (Kinda)

So, my lovely friends George (@theGeorgeLester) and Faye (@daydreamin_star) are hosting the #LGBTQIARead on Twitter. Basically, it's a week (25th June to 1st July) where you can read LGBT+ books! I love this idea and I do have plans to do a binge on LGBT books in the future, but I got myself in a knot on what I'm reading so might not be taking part. If you guys want to, check out daydreamersthoughts.co.uk/lgbtqiaread-is-back/ for more details.

But, because I wanted to get involved in some way, I decided to write a fast post about some books on my TBR that are LGBTQIA. Now, I have no idea when am going to read these so don't get too excited but there are one or two I do want to read in next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

So, should I name some LGBTQIA books I have on my TBR? Where do I start? er...

The lovely people at Penguin Platform, who are hosting their own LGBT book club over the next few months to celebrate Pride - #PrideBookClub - and they sent me two books: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Both I am intrigued to read - Rubyfruit Jungle more as I have never heard of this book. But I do want to get my rear in gear and read these soon.

Another book I have on my kindle TBR (via NetGalley) is Good As You by Paul Flynn. This non-fiction (I know! I NEVER read non-fiction) follows British history over 30 years up to when same-sex marriage became legal in the UK. It's full of pop culture and reference that I can get on board with. Again, this is another #PrideBookClub read but am going to save this till last, I think, as I struggle at times with non-fiction so I don't want to rush.

I discovered this novella by fluke and that is Marine Biology: A San Andreas Shifter Prequel by G.L. Carriger (or Gail Carriger, author of the Parasol Protectorate series). Now, I am not a fan of LGBT erotica and this series hints that it might go this way (I have read some that fit in this genre but I always find the writing a bit chucky in place) but I sense that humour is going to be the main driving force of this and I am all up for humour!

I have more - The Last Beginning by Lauren James (time-travel/bending with LGBT characters? And with the first book in the duology being awesome? SOLD!), The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Greek mythology retelling but with a LGBT twist? Yep, am tapping that!), the new Cassandra Clare novel - Lord of Shadows (I hope to finish Lady Midnight today, but Cassandra never fails to have a wonderful blend of diversity in her books and this new trilogy is no exception!), Played! by JL Merrow (NetGalley impulse request - Don't ask!), Unburied Fables (A collection of fairy tales reimaginings with a LGBT twist. Something I can get totally on board with) but the one author that I hope to be all over in the coming months is Adam Silvera with his books, History is All You Left Me and his upcoming (and the one I am desperate to read!) They Both Die At The End! I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK VERY VERY SOON!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

We're Allowed To Like Different Books

Earlier today, Penguin in the UK and the US excitedly announced that John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, was publishing a brand new book in October this year. It's called Turtles All The Way Down (isn't that a Discworld quote or some kind of old saying?) and the internet, of course, exploded. Everyone was excited, thrilled, preordering it and using a lot of gifs.

My reaction: "Oh, that's nice." And then I went to eat my dinner and drink my mug of tea.

Now, before you grab your pitchforks and lit-torches, let me say this: we can have different opinions and tastes and still be happy, kind, respectful people. That's why I never say on my blog "This is my opinion". I trust you guys know and get that.

See, I tried John Green. I REALLY DID! I read Paper Towns, his short story in Let It Snow and The Fault In Our Stars. I have read him and I liked them. I didn't love them, but I didn't hate them. I liked them enough. I get why you guys like and love John and his writing - but he's not for me.

Same with Sarah J Maas. I have read Throne of Glass and I struggled. But I read it. And, while this book also wasn't my cup of tea, I get why you like and love the story. And I respect your thoughts and opinion.

And there are books you guys hate and I love. I met someone a few weeks back who hadn't read Harry Potter and, while I was shocked over this news (Harry Potter is MY series), I got why and respected them. I know people who read and liked 50 Shades of Grey and while I will never read the series (ever!), I know this series brings some fun to its readers.

This has taken a while to get to this realisation, but in a world that has suddenly got dark and we all need a bit of fun in our reading lives. But let's be respectful to what everyone likes to read, can we?

With that, here's a picture of of turtles all the way down...!

Book Review - The Art of Moana

I had this book for quite a while - thank you Chronicle Books. But I wanted to read this after I saw the movie. Whenever I have read these types of books (which I love - if you backtrack far enough, you see that I have read a few - The Art of Finding Dory, The Art of Up, The Art of Frozen to name a few...) before watching the movie, there are little spoilers about the end of the movie so, as much as I wanted to devour the beautiful art designs in this, I wanted to see the movie first.

In this, we see the art designs and ideas for the art that went into creating the world of Moana, a Disney films most of you guys love.

Now, because it took a while to read this after I watched the film, I was surprised about the lengths the directors and art departments went to get this right - spending a long time researching Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, with the people, sounds, rituals, plantations and other things to make the story ring true and respect the region of Oceania, while telling Moana's story with its magical twist.

And this book, like the other The Art of books I have read (or need to read - I was recently given another for review which I will do nearer the movie's release date, me thinks...). This shows the art and the process it took from starting idea to final design. For example, very early in design, Maui was drawn being bald, but it was changed after the team chatted to their Mo'oera consultants and they were told that they envisioned Maui having a Sampson-like hair, long like a lion's mane. And seeing the different start points to the Te Kā and Te Fiti made an interesting "oh!" moment.

I do like these types of coffee-table books and I think older Disney fans who enjoy how Disney created the film from its starting idea drawings... And because I feel like I can show you, let me show you one or two images I think you will like!





Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Book Read - My Name is Not Refugee

This has been sitting on my TBR shelves for a while. It was one of those books that, as soon as I read Nina Douglas email about it, I wanted to read it. But when I got a copy, I was a bit hesitant over how, in a picture book aimed for younger readers (aka the tiny humans in your lives) was going to tackle the issue of refugees.

The story follows a small boy who is told by his mother that they have to leave their home, because it's no longer safe. There, we follow their story as they leave, travel, wait and then find a safer place to stay and live.

This book explains the refugee crisis in a simple, very child-friendly way. Almost with an innocent outlook of a young child which shows that, while this is scary and "...a bit sad but quite exciting too" (taken from one of the earliest pages).

On each page, the book asks the reader questions - what would you take? How far could you walk? What's the strangest food you've ever eaten? - while showing images of his journey, simple but powerful.

I get that some parents and teachers won't want to read this to young people, but I think this will help some youngsters understand the very basic of the refugee crisis and should be more readily available.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Book Review - Never Say Die

After a weird reading slump (that's the only why I can discover the past few weeks) and then me trying to read 3 books on the go (because that's going to help me SO MUCH after crawling my way out of a reading) just so I can read/reread some books that will make me happy (have you not watched the news?!).

And this seems the perfect place to start. Truth be told, I didn't know Anthony Horowitz was bringing back Alex Rider in Never Say Die till I got the email from Walker Books, asking if I wanted to go to the book's launch party. You can read my writeup about that here. While I was there, I bought a copy and started reading it on the way home that night.

After the shocking and heartbreaking events of Scorpia Rising, Alex Rider is recovering. He's fifteen and he's done. Done with MI5. Done with risking his and the people he cares about lives all the time. And with what happened to Jack... he's done. But when he get a cryptic email, Alex finds himself in something much bigger. Scorpia might be finished, but there are still bad people who will do anything to achieve their ends. Alex must stop whatever he's found himself involved in and he must find the truth: is Jack Starbright really dead?

Am going to admit this, it's been a while since I read Alex Rider. The last book I read was Ark Angel. So returning to this world was a bit of a risk. Would it live up to how I remember the book series being? I mean, I haven't read this series for over 10 or so years.

Best way to describe my read of this is nostalgia. The first hundred or so pages, I had this very happy feeling about returning to this world and getting sucked back into this world. The writing and pacing was fast (perfect for a spy thriller like this) and the plot was interesting to read. It wasn't as huge a scale as Ark Angel (nothing can be as huge [or maybe a bit bonkers] as Ark Angel) but this felt realistic. It could happen and Anthony always have a habit of writing a fast story where the story could happen. It might seem a bit out there but it could happen.

I'm not going to gush over this book too much as this isn't flawless. No book is ever flawless with me - even my beloved Harry Potters aren't - but there's one or two things that felt off. Even though you can read each Alex Rider book separately and you have no real need to read the others, I did feel like I should go back and read Scorpia Rising. There were little references to what happened in that book and as this book involves a huge moment from Scorpia Rising, I felt like I should go back (and yet, I didn't really have a need to. Odd blend). The reason for this is, I think, because Never Say Die feels like a start of a "new, more grown-up series" within the Alex Rider series. Alex is less gadgets and more grown-up compared the the original Alex Rider novels when he was fourteen. Because of this, Anthony needs to tread a fine line where we're starting a new book in a new series (the last chapter definitely hinted that more books are to come) but, at the same time, being respectful to "original series" and respectful to the fans who have been with Alex since Stormbreaker and Point Blank.

Yes, I get some of you will go "it's unrealistic" and "how stereotypical" but it was fun. I forgot how much I enjoyed this series and I haven't read a YA spy thriller that comes anyway near Alex Rider. And with the world as it is at the moment, I think we need a bit of fun. So, hearing that ITV is going to turn this into an "older family series" gives me hope that this series could react new readers (as long as ITV doesn't mess it up!). But, as someone returning to this world, all I can say is: welcome back Alex.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The TBR Tag



After discovering this on YouTube, I thought it would be fun to try this out. I mean, my TBR in both physical and ebook is a little out of hand and I think it will be a good way to show you what I have and that I am trying (!) to get it in some control. 

Before I do, the tag was originally created by A Perfection Called Books (you can check the post out here!). Now with that out of the way, let me try and answer these! 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Disney Villains Takeover Wrap-Up

This is a quickie wrap-up post for the Disney Villains Takeover blog tour! I think the evil, vile, wickedness we have created the past few days is enough from us (for now... though, with the world being as it is, we might have to band together and either spread love, peace, unity [like the bloggy Avengers] or join together and be more wicked [like Suidice Squad - but better than the movie]. Because, remember... 

So, as this is a wrap, I better give you all the links of everyone's posts and be evil about it! So, let's get those flying monkeys started!