BQW – Reading Journals

Do you have a reading journal?

I have always wanted a reading journal but if you’re anything like me, you’ll buy yourself a day-by-day diary, write in it for the first week and forget all about it by the second week.

I’ve seen some incredible reading journals and the one at the top of my wishlist is StellaBookishArt’s marble reading journal 😍😍😍

It is one stunning journal, and the art and quotations inside of the journal is beautiful!

But over Christmas I got myself Literary Listography – My Reading Life in Lists which I think, may actually be the perfect reading journal for me.

It’s not a day-by-day thing, but is literally a book full of lists for you to make. Some of the lists you can make are titled “fictional characters I would not get along with” and “fictional characters I’d go on a date with” 😂

It’s kind of like a scrapbook that you can add to as you read something new.

Plus, it’d be kind of a cool thing to pass down the family when you’re older so you can share your favourite reads and it might encourage other family members to start a list too!

It is definitely much different to a reading journal, where you can track your progress and write down your favourite quotes…etc.

But for myself – who can’t stick to writing a journal but wants to spend a fortune on one – thought this list idea was great.

Have you got a reading journal? What are your thoughts?

I look forward to reading your responses in the comments 😍😍

Bookish Question of the Week

Do you buy a book based on the reviews or on the rating? Or neither for that matter?

Recently I have been more aware that I have been buying books that have no less than 4 stars on goodreads…and I’m starting to feel hella guilty.

I find that I’m not picking up books because I like the sound of them, I’m actually getting my phone out and checking the rating on goodreads to make sure it’s worth my time reading.

It’s totally unintentional and I have only just realised I’m doing it. Maybe because I hardly ever have enough money so when I buy a book I want to make sure it’s worth it? Regardless, it’s not fair on all the other books that are going unread by me because of the rating on goodreads.

It was over the past few weeks where I read a great review about a book that I personally would never have read because I didn’t like another book by the same author, but it’s called The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

I’m aware now that it does have over 4 stars on goodreads, but what I didn’t do is look at the rating first before the review. Then I thought…why I haven’t I been doing this all along?! No need for judgemental stars, but honest words and opinions by those that have experienced the books themselves.

Do you find rating a book difficult? Because I don’t understand the rating system that much; I tend to rate books high (5 stars) or not rate them at all if I’m not sure. And if I’m not the only one that doesn’t full understand, then is buying a book based on ratings unreliable??? 😱

The epiphany is real, and I’m definitely going to be more conscious about buying a book due to their rating.

It would be great to hear your answers to my questions, so I look forward to your lovely comments 😍

That Bookish Monday

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got plenty of books to start reading in 2020!! I received The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett from my brother, and it’s in the Barnes and Nobles Leatherbound collection; it is truly gorgeous!! It’s full of illustrations, and it’s embossed with gold 😍😍 (pic below of the edition I have)

I am eagerly awaiting my first ever FairyLoot Book Box for January! I can’t wait to see what’s inside😍 FairyLoot is a monthly subscription service that send you a box full of bookish goodies! It is for lovers of YA fiction/fantasy, and is based around a monthly theme. January’s theme is Moon and Stars and has bookish items inspired by our night sky. I purchased this box as a one-off purchase and not a monthly subscription (because I can’t afford that sadly 😫😅), but it was my birthday treat to myself and I will be sure to share with you the items I receive on a blog post, as well as on my instagram, @youaremynewbook.

I was meant to post weeks ago with the pictures from my trip to London and ‘Booksellers Row’ but me being super unorganised, didn’t get round to posting it! So, please see below the pictures of Cecil Court in London!

This shop was mainly made up of different editions of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ – it was magical.
This is a picture of the front of the bookshop filled with the children’s fiction and Alice in Wonderland collection!

I held a book worth £500.00, so I soon realised I couldn’t afford anything from this place but I was enchanted and just in constant awe of how many gorgeous books there were.

A few weeks ago, I went to watch Last Christmas at the cinema, and realised that it was mostly filmed in Cecil Court! So it felt even more special to have visited such a famous street!!

If you’re ever in London, I would definitely recommend the trip, because I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. It was just floor to ceiling of first edition, limited edition and super expensive books – and although I couldn’t afford any, I just fully appreciated being in such a wonderful place and surrounded by such art as I’m sure you all would too!

On another note, you may have noticed that I have started a blog post called ‘Bookish Question of the Week’ (BQW). If you haven’t checked it out please see here for the first post, but basically, as I’ve been writing stuff for this blog, there have been many questions that have arisen (from my momentary bouts of imagination that is), that has made me stop and think about what other peoples’ opinions are on the topic. They are posts that allow you to get involved and share your own perspective/ideas/experience with myself and others, so I do hope some of you will participate 😍☺️

My first post was the question ‘Is a reading goal restrictive or a little intimidating?’ And as I’ve been reading over the Christmas period, I have decided to NOT set a target of books to read in 2020 on Goodreads (I’m a rebel!). You’ll understand why once you have given the first BQW a little read.

Well, I hope you have a smashing New Years Eve, and all the best to everyone for 2020! I can’t wait for another whole year of reading books and visiting new book shops around the world!

What are your New Years Resolutions, if you have any? 🍾🎊🎆

Bookish Question of the Week

I’d like to introduce you to Bookish Question of the Week!

As I’ve been writing all of my blog posts, I’ve come across a few questions that made me think ‘I wonder if anyone else thinks/feels the same?’ So I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask you all your thoughts.

Is a reading goal restrictive or a little intimidating?

So far, I have read 21 books this year. I should be proud of that right?

But because my goal was to read 30, I feel unaccomplished. Which made me raise the question, is a reading goal restrictive or de-motivating?

I think reading as much as you want, when you want and what you want to read is the most important.

I’m a fast reader but finding the time to read can be difficult sometimes, between work and my social life. But when I do find the time, I enjoy every moment. That is what reading is about 😍

Is a goal necessary? Should we perhaps keep a list of the books we have read and total it up at the end of the year and see how much each one of us have accomplished? What are your thoughts?

That Bookish Monday

Between illness, work, and my social life, I’ve had no time to write. It’s not until I stopped writing my weekly blog posts I realised how much I have missed it! But don’t worry, I’m hoping it won’t happen again (and I even bought myself a new planner just to ensure I always make time to be creative!!).

I just finished Bone China by Laura Purcell…and was unfortunately disappointed by it.

I can’t fault Purcell’s great writing, but the timeline of it didn’t flow as seamlessly as The Corset. The book was split into different parts and some of it was set 40 years ago, and it just made the storyline a little more confusing than it needed to be. I’m not a lover of a story jumping back and forth between characters or timelines, and this story reminded me of why I dislike it so much 🙈 However, I just bought The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell so I haven’t given up on her!

I have a confession to make…I don’t like/watch TV that much…

Because when I do, I end up binge watching, like I have done with the Netflix series, Chesapeake Shores.

So it’s incredibly cheesy, yet beautiful and poetic, and it’s so scenic. I wanted an easy watch and that is exactly what I got. But it also encouraged me to realise that life is more important than rushing around, overthinking and worrying, but actually to take it slow, be prepared, but follow your dreams. A lovely sentiment I think.

It was also a dream come true to see Christina Aguilera in concert!! She merged Burlesque with Moulin Rouge which was EPIC, and sang every song so beautifully and from the heart. I do wish there wasn’t as many costume changes though; it kind of broke the flow of the show up if you get me?

Excitingly, my birthday is on Saturday, and I’m off shopping in London for the day. My friends and I will be going to Cecil Court and if you haven’t heard of Cecil Court, it’s supposedly the ‘Diagon Alley’ for booklovers. If you click on the link, it’ll take you to a page about it. It’s basically a place with lots of antique and secondhand bookshops!! I’ve always wanted to go so I’m super excited and I’l post pics on another blog post once I’ve visited so you can all enjoy it with me.

I hope you enjoy your week, and I’m going to leave you with a very motivational quote until next time 😍

That Bookish Monday

Had a great time at FriendsFest in MK this weekend!

The sets – although definitely not the real ones and definitely not to size – were amazing to see. To stand in Monica’s apartment, and Chandler/Joey’s apartment was so cool!

I have popped some panoramic pictures below of the sets.

I was really concerned about whether the coffee was any good in Central Perk, and if it wasn’t, whether it would ruin my whole perception of the show…but it was incredible coffee!!!

I also got to look through the peep hole in the door, so I was super happy to get this shot 😍

AUDIOBOOK OF THE WEEK

My job as a medico-legal proofreader sometimes takes its toll on my ability to read by the evening sometimes; my eyes get super-duper tired after intently staring at a screen all day. So listening to an audiobook is really relaxing. I was recommended a book called The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

Synopsis

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

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It’s an easy listen and a very interesting concept. I’ve enjoyed listening before bed, although, if I turn my lamp off I tend to fall asleep so better to not do that 😂🙈 I’m sure I’ll do a review once I’ve finished listening!

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Instead of telling you about my goals for the week, which are most likely the same as last week, I would love to know if you have set yourself a goal? Please comment below what it is you want to accomplish by week end!

Music to Listen to When….

You’re in need of some motivation

Guilty of being innocent of being Jack Sparrow Hans Zimmer “Pirates of the Caribbean”

I had the ultimate pleasure of watching Hans Zimmer’s orchestra live at Birmingham Arena and it was incredible. I was completely in awe and had goosebumps the whole of the way through the performance.

I used to listen to this song literally on repeat whilst writing my dissertation at university because sometimes I really needed that boost. The song became the ticking in my brain; when I was sat in the library at 2am, it motivated me to carry on, and reenergised my brain to come up with fresh ideas for my dissertation on Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series.

You need to find some calmness

Elegy for the ArcticLudovico Einaudi

Einaudi is my close personal favourite. He was the first piano piece I learned, played and performed live on piano. I went to his concert a few years ago, and I have the pleasure of attending his UK tour this year! His music is inspirational; moving; minimalistic yet full of emotion. His performance is spectacular and I can’t wait to be an audience member once again. I was fortunate to meet him and have my book signed, fingers crossed I get that chance again 🤞🏻🤞🏻

I especially like this song because of the filming and recording of it. He films this on a specially built ‘iceberg’ in front of a glacier that is breaking and crumbling away in the Arctic! If you are interested in the filming of it please click here to be diverted to Classic FM’s website. However, I have linked the YouTube video to the name of the song above, and you can listen to the song as well as watch the filming of it. Seriously breathtaking.

You wake up in the morning

Dawn – Dario Marianelli “Pride and Prejudice”

This is a beautiful piano song that I have tried to learn over the years but I never get round to finishing it.

The song takes you on this journey almost, as it starts really slow and quiet, and builds up and up into this elegant masterpiece.

It’s also from the 2005 movie production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so it’s definitely worth a listen.

You’re happy or need to find happiness

Maestro – Hans Zimmer “The Holiday”

I’m going to walk down the aisle to this song. I told you all previously that I went to see Hans Zimmer’s orchestra live. Well, this song had me crying because it was so moving, so happy. When I’m listening to it, I just feel that I’m listening to my heart. It starts off really slow and quiet like Dawn, and then the strings come in with such a beautiful melody.

There are several times in the song when it almost comes to a complete stop, but unexpectedly comes back even stronger, louder and with such passion.

I listened to “The Holiday” soundtrack when I was reading Jojo Moyes’ One Plus One and it very much compliment that book. No wonder I was an emotional wreck after that book 🙈

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When I’m reading I always tend to have classical/piano/orchestral music on in the background. I believe that it can also have an impact on the way you interpret or feel about a book.

I will always remember that when reading Jojo Moyes’ The One Plus One book I was listening to Han Zimmer’s album from “The Holiday”. Every time one of those songs play, I see flickers of the scenes from Moyes’ novel.

I find it really therapeutic to listen to piano music or movie scores, and if you’re new to listening to something like this, Einaudi is a great place to start. His minimalistic and modern style is so calming. It’s perfect music to listen to when you’re stressed, or when you’re reading or studying.

I would love to know what music you listen to when you’re reading or studying, or perhaps just to help you de-stress. Please comment below and share your favourite artists and tracks 😍😍