"The Field family have just moved from their London home to the wild Norfolk coast.

Nine-year-old Ben's the first to realize that the reasons for the relocation don't quite add up; that the narrative of their family life is constantly being rewritten.

But why?  Just what is everyone hiding?

What is the cataclysmic secret that his mother, Ailsa, harbours from her past?

Who is her devoted husband, Harry, receiving anonymous text messages from?

Why have their gifted daughter Romy's A-level grades plummeted overnight?

And once the truths come out, can the Fields ever go back to how they were?"

Before |  My choice this month, and after throwing this out there as a suggestion it seemed like a book we were all keen to read.  It sounds like a family thriller-y type story (which I know Lizzie always enjoys!) and I'm anticipating it'll be something along the lines of The Husband's Secret.

During |  This book took me a long time to get into, and if it weren't for the fact it was a bookclub book, I think I would have resigned it to my 'did not finish' pile.  In the first chapter the big secret is revealed, and the rest of the book works as a build up to how it came to happen.  I found it odd that there's almost a big cover up with the writing - in that very first chapter the author builds suspense about a fact that's visible from the blurb (trying not to give too much away....you'll know what I mean if you read it!) and whilst it would be a clever twist normally, the fact that I'd literally just read the back of the book gave the game away and made it all seem pointless.  It's an interesting, up to date concept though - social media, children's exposure to online pornography, revenge porn.....it's all very relevant and helped make the book more compelling.

After |  I soon became hooked on the book and wanted to read more and more.  The book is told from Romy's first person narrative alongside Ailsa's (third person) perspective.  I'm a little torn on how I actually feel about the nitty gritty of the plotline.  There's a lot going on, and whilst it helps to build up a picture of Romy's thoughts and motives, it made the book feel a little too long and now that I sit back and reflect on it quite a bit seems irrelevant.  There's a lot of scientific detail in here which was interesting but overall just extra to read and at some points I was reading without really taking much of it in.  I'd go as far as to say that, whilst I enjoyed the book, the blurb was extremely misleading.  It wasn't a thriller, the 'cataclysmic secret' (when exposed) isn't really discussed in terms of its impact on the family and Harry isn't 'receiving' text messages (anymore).  If anything, I'd say this book could be part of a series focusing on each of these threads of the story and how they link with each other, but put in one book it felt messy and a little off topic at points.  Still very enjoyable though!  One of my favourites we've read so far, possibly because of its pertinence to society at the moment.

Remember to read Lizzie, Leanne and Charli's reviews....and join us reading The Letter by Kathryn Hughes next month!

Blogger Bookclub #5: The Good Girl

28.9.15

"The Field family have just moved from their London home to the wild Norfolk coast.

Nine-year-old Ben's the first to realize that the reasons for the relocation don't quite add up; that the narrative of their family life is constantly being rewritten.

But why?  Just what is everyone hiding?

What is the cataclysmic secret that his mother, Ailsa, harbours from her past?

Who is her devoted husband, Harry, receiving anonymous text messages from?

Why have their gifted daughter Romy's A-level grades plummeted overnight?

And once the truths come out, can the Fields ever go back to how they were?"

Before |  My choice this month, and after throwing this out there as a suggestion it seemed like a book we were all keen to read.  It sounds like a family thriller-y type story (which I know Lizzie always enjoys!) and I'm anticipating it'll be something along the lines of The Husband's Secret.

During |  This book took me a long time to get into, and if it weren't for the fact it was a bookclub book, I think I would have resigned it to my 'did not finish' pile.  In the first chapter the big secret is revealed, and the rest of the book works as a build up to how it came to happen.  I found it odd that there's almost a big cover up with the writing - in that very first chapter the author builds suspense about a fact that's visible from the blurb (trying not to give too much away....you'll know what I mean if you read it!) and whilst it would be a clever twist normally, the fact that I'd literally just read the back of the book gave the game away and made it all seem pointless.  It's an interesting, up to date concept though - social media, children's exposure to online pornography, revenge porn.....it's all very relevant and helped make the book more compelling.

After |  I soon became hooked on the book and wanted to read more and more.  The book is told from Romy's first person narrative alongside Ailsa's (third person) perspective.  I'm a little torn on how I actually feel about the nitty gritty of the plotline.  There's a lot going on, and whilst it helps to build up a picture of Romy's thoughts and motives, it made the book feel a little too long and now that I sit back and reflect on it quite a bit seems irrelevant.  There's a lot of scientific detail in here which was interesting but overall just extra to read and at some points I was reading without really taking much of it in.  I'd go as far as to say that, whilst I enjoyed the book, the blurb was extremely misleading.  It wasn't a thriller, the 'cataclysmic secret' (when exposed) isn't really discussed in terms of its impact on the family and Harry isn't 'receiving' text messages (anymore).  If anything, I'd say this book could be part of a series focusing on each of these threads of the story and how they link with each other, but put in one book it felt messy and a little off topic at points.  Still very enjoyable though!  One of my favourites we've read so far, possibly because of its pertinence to society at the moment.

Remember to read Lizzie, Leanne and Charli's reviews....and join us reading The Letter by Kathryn Hughes next month!
Copper, rose gold, bronze.....whatever you want to call it, there's no denying it's still the 'it thing' when it comes to accents (followed closely by traditional gold, if you ask me!) but it was actually surprisingly hard to come up with a decent list.  The solid marble clock is a complete bargain, and one that I'm tempted to buy once I figure out where to hang it.  On the opposite end of the scale, the hanging planter is shipped from the US so it all becomes a little pricey when you factor shipping costs into the mix.  I can sense a DIY coming though, as I know it'll be fairly easy to do once I track down a suitable plant pot....watch this space!

1 // £25
2 // £36.30
3 // £20
4 // £12.99
5 // £14.99
6 // £3.95
7 // £9.99
8 // £10

8 On-Trend Copper Homewares

25.9.15

Copper, rose gold, bronze.....whatever you want to call it, there's no denying it's still the 'it thing' when it comes to accents (followed closely by traditional gold, if you ask me!) but it was actually surprisingly hard to come up with a decent list.  The solid marble clock is a complete bargain, and one that I'm tempted to buy once I figure out where to hang it.  On the opposite end of the scale, the hanging planter is shipped from the US so it all becomes a little pricey when you factor shipping costs into the mix.  I can sense a DIY coming though, as I know it'll be fairly easy to do once I track down a suitable plant pot....watch this space!

1 // £25
2 // £36.30
3 // £20
4 // £12.99
5 // £14.99
6 // £3.95
7 // £9.99
8 // £10
...are a thing of the past at the moment.  I really am spoiled in my job with the sheer amount of (paid) time off I get, but the process of adjusting to being back in the swing of full-time work takes some getting used to.  For various reasons I feel like I've hit the ground running and don't have a second to think at work.  And the weekend's aren't much easier, either!  The balance of activity and relaxing hasn't quite been right in the past few weeks; I generally spend Saturdays with Mum looking after my gorgeous niece and nephew, and then Sundays are for catching up on everything I didn't do the day before.  'Whirlwind' doesn't quite cut it!

So when Blossoming Gifts got in touch offering me the chance to trial their flower delivery service, I jumped at the chance.  When the house feels calm, I feel calm.  Fresh flowers are a luxury and they always make me feel that little bit more settled.

And aren't they beautiful?  They weren't quite at their freshest when I managed to get round to taking photos (busy weekends, what did I tell you!) but they're still brightening up the room a treat.  I opted for the Woodland bouquet - a seasonal bunch with vibrant orange lilies and roses with delicate berries to really get me in the mood for autumn.

Blossoming Gifts' flowers by post service was really quick.  They send the flowers out via Royal Mail 2 days prior to your requested delivery date to try and make sure they arrive on time.  Mine came on a Saturday, perfectly packaged and with the addition of a little box of diddy chocolates...which went down well with the little people!

Tempted to treat yourself?  Blossoming Gifts have kindly given me a 33% discount code on their (already!) cheap flowers to share.  Use the code BGIFTS33 to save 1/3 off the range and bring a little autumn cheer into your home without breaking the bank.  The 'flowers by post' selection isn't included in this offer, but there are plenty of other beautiful bouquets to choose from!

And now to finish the clothes washing and relax....at last!

Lazy Days

23.9.15

...are a thing of the past at the moment.  I really am spoiled in my job with the sheer amount of (paid) time off I get, but the process of adjusting to being back in the swing of full-time work takes some getting used to.  For various reasons I feel like I've hit the ground running and don't have a second to think at work.  And the weekend's aren't much easier, either!  The balance of activity and relaxing hasn't quite been right in the past few weeks; I generally spend Saturdays with Mum looking after my gorgeous niece and nephew, and then Sundays are for catching up on everything I didn't do the day before.  'Whirlwind' doesn't quite cut it!

So when Blossoming Gifts got in touch offering me the chance to trial their flower delivery service, I jumped at the chance.  When the house feels calm, I feel calm.  Fresh flowers are a luxury and they always make me feel that little bit more settled.

And aren't they beautiful?  They weren't quite at their freshest when I managed to get round to taking photos (busy weekends, what did I tell you!) but they're still brightening up the room a treat.  I opted for the Woodland bouquet - a seasonal bunch with vibrant orange lilies and roses with delicate berries to really get me in the mood for autumn.

Blossoming Gifts' flowers by post service was really quick.  They send the flowers out via Royal Mail 2 days prior to your requested delivery date to try and make sure they arrive on time.  Mine came on a Saturday, perfectly packaged and with the addition of a little box of diddy chocolates...which went down well with the little people!

Tempted to treat yourself?  Blossoming Gifts have kindly given me a 33% discount code on their (already!) cheap flowers to share.  Use the code BGIFTS33 to save 1/3 off the range and bring a little autumn cheer into your home without breaking the bank.  The 'flowers by post' selection isn't included in this offer, but there are plenty of other beautiful bouquets to choose from!

And now to finish the clothes washing and relax....at last!
We've all been there, and September turned out to be an even trickier month when it came to being careful with money.  Somehow I managed to not go overdrawn during the 6 weeks off work (aka spend city!), yet by the 7th of September I was feeling seriously scared.  I've reined it in, but it always seems like that final week of the month is the one where temptation's at its strongest.  Here's how to get by on minimal funds....

Girls Night In | Don't miss out on socialising just because your bank balance dictates it.  Some of my favourite nights with friends have been those where we've sat in in our pyjamas, watching films and setting the world to rights, rather than heavy nights out.  And instead of getting takeaways, we tend to head down to the supermarket and all chip in to buy the ingredients to make something together- usually enchiladas!  You get to catch up with friends, spend minimum money and not wake up with a sore head/greasy takeaway regret!

Shwopping | Or whatever the hell it's called!  You know what I mean though, shopping your friends' stashes of clothes etc.  For me, it'd be more along the lines of books.  My friends and I are all different sizes and styles, so swapping clothes would be a non-starter.  Books however....well that's something I could get on board with!  Lizzie and I are always recommending books to each other, and rather than rushing out to buy them, we should really start lending and swapping!

Comfort cooking | I'm a chef of convenience.  If it's quick to cook and doesn't have too many ingredients then I'm fully on board.  Trouble is, this means that on the occasions I cook from scratch, I often end up with excess ingredients that I'm unsure of how to use.  Mushrooms in particular!  Omelettes are a great way to chuck odds and ends in together to create a meal.  And they're classic comfort food for me.  The last week of the month cries out for omelettes!

Simple pleasures | Just like having your girlfriends over for a night on the sofa, getting out and about and taking pleasure in simple things that don't cost the earth is another way to pass the time and stay social.  A country walk or a bike ride are ways to get out and get active without spending a penny.  Plus as the weather turns it's a great excuse to dress all autumnal with scarves and hats.

Get rid | Vinted (@lornah87), Depop, eBay (@scaredtoast).....use 'em all to shift unloved, unworn and unwanted stuff.  I'm not an avid user, so it can be a slow process but well worthwhile if you're feeling the pinch!

Stay away from the shops! | I'm guilty of not following my own advice here....this past weekend I went shopping.  Twice.  I have got better with resisting the lure of online shopping though!  It's a no-brainer really, if you've got no money don't torture yourself by going shopping.  And if you do manage to stay strong and avoid buying any treats, there's always the cost of travel, parking, lunch(!) to be factored in.  A weekend away from any shops is always going to save you money.

Is there anything else you think I should add?

How To Survive The Run Up To Payday

21.9.15

We've all been there, and September turned out to be an even trickier month when it came to being careful with money.  Somehow I managed to not go overdrawn during the 6 weeks off work (aka spend city!), yet by the 7th of September I was feeling seriously scared.  I've reined it in, but it always seems like that final week of the month is the one where temptation's at its strongest.  Here's how to get by on minimal funds....

Girls Night In | Don't miss out on socialising just because your bank balance dictates it.  Some of my favourite nights with friends have been those where we've sat in in our pyjamas, watching films and setting the world to rights, rather than heavy nights out.  And instead of getting takeaways, we tend to head down to the supermarket and all chip in to buy the ingredients to make something together- usually enchiladas!  You get to catch up with friends, spend minimum money and not wake up with a sore head/greasy takeaway regret!

Shwopping | Or whatever the hell it's called!  You know what I mean though, shopping your friends' stashes of clothes etc.  For me, it'd be more along the lines of books.  My friends and I are all different sizes and styles, so swapping clothes would be a non-starter.  Books however....well that's something I could get on board with!  Lizzie and I are always recommending books to each other, and rather than rushing out to buy them, we should really start lending and swapping!

Comfort cooking | I'm a chef of convenience.  If it's quick to cook and doesn't have too many ingredients then I'm fully on board.  Trouble is, this means that on the occasions I cook from scratch, I often end up with excess ingredients that I'm unsure of how to use.  Mushrooms in particular!  Omelettes are a great way to chuck odds and ends in together to create a meal.  And they're classic comfort food for me.  The last week of the month cries out for omelettes!

Simple pleasures | Just like having your girlfriends over for a night on the sofa, getting out and about and taking pleasure in simple things that don't cost the earth is another way to pass the time and stay social.  A country walk or a bike ride are ways to get out and get active without spending a penny.  Plus as the weather turns it's a great excuse to dress all autumnal with scarves and hats.

Get rid | Vinted (@lornah87), Depop, eBay (@scaredtoast).....use 'em all to shift unloved, unworn and unwanted stuff.  I'm not an avid user, so it can be a slow process but well worthwhile if you're feeling the pinch!

Stay away from the shops! | I'm guilty of not following my own advice here....this past weekend I went shopping.  Twice.  I have got better with resisting the lure of online shopping though!  It's a no-brainer really, if you've got no money don't torture yourself by going shopping.  And if you do manage to stay strong and avoid buying any treats, there's always the cost of travel, parking, lunch(!) to be factored in.  A weekend away from any shops is always going to save you money.

Is there anything else you think I should add?

Image found via pinterest

I'd be lying if I said I didn't love booktube.  In fact, book-related videos are some of my favourites to watch....book hauls, wrap ups....they just pique my interest more than beauty nowadays. 

It actually took me quite a long stretch of time to build up my booktube subscriptions.  Finding creators with similar reading tastes to you is the first step.....and I hate to say it, but the slick editing of many a beauty vlogger isn't often present here.  (Note I said 'often' - it's not always the case!)  But you know what?  I quite like that!  It harks back to a day before YouTube was a money-making machine, and it makes watching these booktubers a lot like sitting down to chat books with a friends.

Below is a list - not an exhaustive one - of some of my favourites right now.  You'll find everything here from YA to Sci-Fi, contemporary to classics.

Sanne at booksandquills
Vanessa at chboskyy
Claire at Claire Weller
Helene at Helene Jeppesen
Jen at Jen Campbell
Kaitlin at Kitty G
Nicola at robotnic
Sarah at Sarah Churchill
Amy at shoutame
Sarah-Jane at TheBookLife

Is there anyone I've missed?  Who would you recommend?  Oh, and there's always me, of course!

Booktubers You Should Definitely Subscribe To

18.9.15


Image found via pinterest

I'd be lying if I said I didn't love booktube.  In fact, book-related videos are some of my favourites to watch....book hauls, wrap ups....they just pique my interest more than beauty nowadays. 

It actually took me quite a long stretch of time to build up my booktube subscriptions.  Finding creators with similar reading tastes to you is the first step.....and I hate to say it, but the slick editing of many a beauty vlogger isn't often present here.  (Note I said 'often' - it's not always the case!)  But you know what?  I quite like that!  It harks back to a day before YouTube was a money-making machine, and it makes watching these booktubers a lot like sitting down to chat books with a friends.

Below is a list - not an exhaustive one - of some of my favourites right now.  You'll find everything here from YA to Sci-Fi, contemporary to classics.

Sanne at booksandquills
Vanessa at chboskyy
Claire at Claire Weller
Helene at Helene Jeppesen
Jen at Jen Campbell
Kaitlin at Kitty G
Nicola at robotnic
Sarah at Sarah Churchill
Amy at shoutame
Sarah-Jane at TheBookLife

Is there anyone I've missed?  Who would you recommend?  Oh, and there's always me, of course!

Gretel and the Dark // Eliza Granville
Fairytale retellings are becoming my thang so when I saw this book I was excited to give it a go.  It fuses together the horrors of Nazi Germany alongside Vienna decades earlier.  There's that classic moral question of whether to wipe out someone who will grow up to cause devastation, but it's done in a clever way.  This was a book I had to give full concentration to, and was (as the name would suggest) a dark and often unsettling read.  It wasn't written in a way that I particularly connected with, but it had a compelling storyline.  Without giving anything away, there were certain parallels with another book I've reviewed recently - it came as a shock in both books and I was surprised to have found a similar twist twice!
Rating: 3/5


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry // Gabriella Zevin
You know when you read a book and can instantly imagine it as a film?  That's exactly what happened with this one.  A.J. Fikry is the widower owner of an independent bookshop, seemingly destined for a life of alcoholism.  Until someone leaves Maya, a 25-month old, in the aisles of the shop with the request that he look after her.  It spans A.J's life (so gets a thumbs up from me) but only tells snippets, interspersed with mini book reviews of the books A.J recommends Maya reads along with how they relate to a certain point in his life.  This is a New York Times bestseller and whilst it was nice....I feel like that's all it was.  Nice.  I'm hoping that this gets translated onto the big screen as I'd be interested to see it and think it would form the basis of a good film.
Rating: 3/5


Reasons to Stay Alive // Matt Haig
I'll admit straight away that I haven't actually finished this book yet, and I don't have intentions to sit down and continue reading from cover to cover.  I feel like this is more of a coffee table book to dip in and out of when a bit of a pick me up, or inspiration is needed.  The book is a raw account of Matt Haig's battle with depression, interspersed with researched facts, figures and thoughts.  I've had various points in the last year when I've felt really really low, and this book would probably have been useful.  Which is why I'll be saving it for when I feel like it's of more relevance to that particular point in my life.  But an honest, eye-opening read nonetheless!

Rating: 4/5

The Looking Glass House // Vanessa Tait
A fictional interpretation of the facts surrounding Lewis Carroll's creation of Alice in Wonderland, written by Alice Liddell's great-granddaughter was always going to be a book I wanted to read.  I had this on pre-order for the moment it was released on kindle, but did it live up to my expectations?  Probably not.  It wasn't as whimsical as I'd hoped, although on reflection that's perhaps because it was based on real-life events on characters.  I've not read anything else on this topic, and I found Carroll to be an intriguing, odd character that I want to read more about.  Alice Liddell is not the cute little girl I expected her to be; in fact, this book didn't show her in a flattering light at all.  The story revolves around her governess, Mary Prickett, and the infamous summer's day punting trip where Alice in Wonderland was dreamt up doesn't take place until well into the last third of the book, which I found disappointing.  This was an intense story which really evoked a sense of the completely different time period and the interesting naivety of Prickett, but sadly missed the mark in terms of what I was hoping for.
Rating: 3/5

read //10

16.9.15

Gretel and the Dark // Eliza Granville
Fairytale retellings are becoming my thang so when I saw this book I was excited to give it a go.  It fuses together the horrors of Nazi Germany alongside Vienna decades earlier.  There's that classic moral question of whether to wipe out someone who will grow up to cause devastation, but it's done in a clever way.  This was a book I had to give full concentration to, and was (as the name would suggest) a dark and often unsettling read.  It wasn't written in a way that I particularly connected with, but it had a compelling storyline.  Without giving anything away, there were certain parallels with another book I've reviewed recently - it came as a shock in both books and I was surprised to have found a similar twist twice!
Rating: 3/5


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry // Gabriella Zevin
You know when you read a book and can instantly imagine it as a film?  That's exactly what happened with this one.  A.J. Fikry is the widower owner of an independent bookshop, seemingly destined for a life of alcoholism.  Until someone leaves Maya, a 25-month old, in the aisles of the shop with the request that he look after her.  It spans A.J's life (so gets a thumbs up from me) but only tells snippets, interspersed with mini book reviews of the books A.J recommends Maya reads along with how they relate to a certain point in his life.  This is a New York Times bestseller and whilst it was nice....I feel like that's all it was.  Nice.  I'm hoping that this gets translated onto the big screen as I'd be interested to see it and think it would form the basis of a good film.
Rating: 3/5


Reasons to Stay Alive // Matt Haig
I'll admit straight away that I haven't actually finished this book yet, and I don't have intentions to sit down and continue reading from cover to cover.  I feel like this is more of a coffee table book to dip in and out of when a bit of a pick me up, or inspiration is needed.  The book is a raw account of Matt Haig's battle with depression, interspersed with researched facts, figures and thoughts.  I've had various points in the last year when I've felt really really low, and this book would probably have been useful.  Which is why I'll be saving it for when I feel like it's of more relevance to that particular point in my life.  But an honest, eye-opening read nonetheless!

Rating: 4/5

The Looking Glass House // Vanessa Tait
A fictional interpretation of the facts surrounding Lewis Carroll's creation of Alice in Wonderland, written by Alice Liddell's great-granddaughter was always going to be a book I wanted to read.  I had this on pre-order for the moment it was released on kindle, but did it live up to my expectations?  Probably not.  It wasn't as whimsical as I'd hoped, although on reflection that's perhaps because it was based on real-life events on characters.  I've not read anything else on this topic, and I found Carroll to be an intriguing, odd character that I want to read more about.  Alice Liddell is not the cute little girl I expected her to be; in fact, this book didn't show her in a flattering light at all.  The story revolves around her governess, Mary Prickett, and the infamous summer's day punting trip where Alice in Wonderland was dreamt up doesn't take place until well into the last third of the book, which I found disappointing.  This was an intense story which really evoked a sense of the completely different time period and the interesting naivety of Prickett, but sadly missed the mark in terms of what I was hoping for.
Rating: 3/5

Life After You //  The true story of 37 year old Lucie's grief following her husband's unexpected death one night.  It sounds a bit like a chick-lit premise and I don't know whether I should be embarrassed to admit that the 'true story' part makes me interested to give this a go.  Morbid, but true.

The Children Act //  I really think that books will fit in with certain times in your life.  I saw this book months ago and wasn't interested.  At all.  Suddenly, the plot (a High Court Judge ruling on a case where a 17 year old boy refusing life saving treatment on religious grounds) really appeals to me and has made me desperate to read this.

The Liar's Chair //  Described as "a psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage" I'm really excited to buy this.  I think there's a bit more to it than the classic 'wronged wife' perspective, so I'm looking forward to finally sitting down to read this.

The Chimes //  This book is big news on booktube thanks to being longlisted for the Manbooker Prize this year.  I'm in two minds about whether I truly want to read it; I've heard reviews which haven't been incredibly favourable, yet the idea of a dystopian world where people are unable to retain memories from day to day sounds compelling.

Leave Your Mark //  I love self help-y books, and am all for reinvention and bettering oneself.  Written by Aliza Licht (fashion's favourite PR girl apparently!), I've seen nothing but good reviews on this one.

Beyond The Pale //  Another book which sits very high on my 'need to read' list.  Emily Urquhart gave birth to a daughter with albinism and was inspired to research and compile all of the myths and folklore surrounding this condition in order to better understand it for her daughter.  I love anything mythological and can't wait to get my hands on it.

Symptoms Of Being Human //  This book isn't actually out until February 2016 but focuses on gender fluidity.  Riley identifies as both male and female, and is advised by a therapist to start an anonymous blog to vent.  However, not long after starting a new school, the blog goes viral and Riley's identity is compromised.  This sounds unlike anything I've ever read, and I'm glad to see more books tackling these sorts of socially important topics being published.

C.S. Lewis: A Life //  I love the Narnia series, and C.S. Lewis fascinates me.  However, I know very little about him.  I'm aware of the Christian themes that run throughout Narnia and still need to read The Narnia Code, so I'm eager to read this biography and learn more about what inspired Lewis to create Narnia and all it contains.

Asking For It //  Louise O'Neill's Only Ever Yours caused a bit of a storm online, and she's back in this book to tackle the question of sexual consent.  It centres on Emma, who goes to a party but wakes up on her own front porch with no recollection of how she got there - although other people know as photographs exist showing exactly what happened.  It's Young Adult, so I'm expecting it to be fairly quick to read, although from what I understand O'Neill's writing style can be brutal and disturbing.

9 Books To Buy

14.9.15


Life After You //  The true story of 37 year old Lucie's grief following her husband's unexpected death one night.  It sounds a bit like a chick-lit premise and I don't know whether I should be embarrassed to admit that the 'true story' part makes me interested to give this a go.  Morbid, but true.

The Children Act //  I really think that books will fit in with certain times in your life.  I saw this book months ago and wasn't interested.  At all.  Suddenly, the plot (a High Court Judge ruling on a case where a 17 year old boy refusing life saving treatment on religious grounds) really appeals to me and has made me desperate to read this.

The Liar's Chair //  Described as "a psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage" I'm really excited to buy this.  I think there's a bit more to it than the classic 'wronged wife' perspective, so I'm looking forward to finally sitting down to read this.

The Chimes //  This book is big news on booktube thanks to being longlisted for the Manbooker Prize this year.  I'm in two minds about whether I truly want to read it; I've heard reviews which haven't been incredibly favourable, yet the idea of a dystopian world where people are unable to retain memories from day to day sounds compelling.

Leave Your Mark //  I love self help-y books, and am all for reinvention and bettering oneself.  Written by Aliza Licht (fashion's favourite PR girl apparently!), I've seen nothing but good reviews on this one.

Beyond The Pale //  Another book which sits very high on my 'need to read' list.  Emily Urquhart gave birth to a daughter with albinism and was inspired to research and compile all of the myths and folklore surrounding this condition in order to better understand it for her daughter.  I love anything mythological and can't wait to get my hands on it.

Symptoms Of Being Human //  This book isn't actually out until February 2016 but focuses on gender fluidity.  Riley identifies as both male and female, and is advised by a therapist to start an anonymous blog to vent.  However, not long after starting a new school, the blog goes viral and Riley's identity is compromised.  This sounds unlike anything I've ever read, and I'm glad to see more books tackling these sorts of socially important topics being published.

C.S. Lewis: A Life //  I love the Narnia series, and C.S. Lewis fascinates me.  However, I know very little about him.  I'm aware of the Christian themes that run throughout Narnia and still need to read The Narnia Code, so I'm eager to read this biography and learn more about what inspired Lewis to create Narnia and all it contains.

Asking For It //  Louise O'Neill's Only Ever Yours caused a bit of a storm online, and she's back in this book to tackle the question of sexual consent.  It centres on Emma, who goes to a party but wakes up on her own front porch with no recollection of how she got there - although other people know as photographs exist showing exactly what happened.  It's Young Adult, so I'm expecting it to be fairly quick to read, although from what I understand O'Neill's writing style can be brutal and disturbing.
Blogs::
// I'm trying to lose a bit of weight and Lizzie's Slimming World-friendly carbonara recipe is the ultimate in guilt-free comfort food.  So quick and easy to make, it's almost become a weekly staple for us.

// If you're looking for a beautiful layout and dream-like photography, look no further than Hunters & Heels.  It's my newest subscription and follows Lauren's recent steps into motherhood.  In terms of content, it's early days but I'm excited to see what's to come.


YouTube::
// I think perhaps I've mentioned her before, but I couldn't not feature Emma Griffy here.  I'm a longtime fan, but her recent vlog kicked it up a notch.  In an era where vlogs are becoming increasingly stylised, Emma's balance of slick filming/editing alongside real life situations was absolute perfection to watch.  And yes, I've put that bit in italics because I'm finding myself questioning the 'realness' of a lot of vlogs lately!

// Leila Buffery is a new discovery and a breath of fresh air.  Predominantly foodie, it's her straight-talking style which got me hooked.  I stumbled upon her tattoo video then went on to watch her antidepressants experience video and had no choice but to hit subscribe.  And you should too!


Shopping::
// Discovering a little more money than expected in my bank at the end of the month meant an asos haul was in order.  Somehow I've been signed up to their rewards scheme which has resulted in a couple of £5 off vouchers burning a hole in my pocket.  I'm happy to say that quite a bit of what I've bought has been returned, but I'm still on the lookout for an outfit for my bestie's birthday bash.

//  I missed out on the ultimate lace up flats from Next (featured here) and have been searching the web for an alternative which won't break the bank.  I squealed with excitement to find that Next have released a cheaper dupe for their original ghillie flats and it's safe to say that these beauties are now sitting proudly in my shoe collection.


General::
// Goodreads, goodreads, goodreads.  I am obsessed!  The app is far easier to use than the desktop site and I've been keeping track of what I'm reading, how far along I am and rating it at the end.  The best bit is being able to set yourself a reading challenge for the year....I'm currently on 35 out of 50 books!  If you fancy following me, you can find me here. 

// Over the summer I've tried (as much as possible) to be out and about, discovering new places.  For our Oxford day out in particular, TripAdvisor proved essential.  In a city with so much to see, the website was really useful in helping us decide exactly what we wanted to do in the time we had available.  I've never really bothered with TripAdvisor before, but will be doing it again before our next excursion!

bookmarked #10

11.9.15

Blogs::
// I'm trying to lose a bit of weight and Lizzie's Slimming World-friendly carbonara recipe is the ultimate in guilt-free comfort food.  So quick and easy to make, it's almost become a weekly staple for us.

// If you're looking for a beautiful layout and dream-like photography, look no further than Hunters & Heels.  It's my newest subscription and follows Lauren's recent steps into motherhood.  In terms of content, it's early days but I'm excited to see what's to come.


YouTube::
// I think perhaps I've mentioned her before, but I couldn't not feature Emma Griffy here.  I'm a longtime fan, but her recent vlog kicked it up a notch.  In an era where vlogs are becoming increasingly stylised, Emma's balance of slick filming/editing alongside real life situations was absolute perfection to watch.  And yes, I've put that bit in italics because I'm finding myself questioning the 'realness' of a lot of vlogs lately!

// Leila Buffery is a new discovery and a breath of fresh air.  Predominantly foodie, it's her straight-talking style which got me hooked.  I stumbled upon her tattoo video then went on to watch her antidepressants experience video and had no choice but to hit subscribe.  And you should too!


Shopping::
// Discovering a little more money than expected in my bank at the end of the month meant an asos haul was in order.  Somehow I've been signed up to their rewards scheme which has resulted in a couple of £5 off vouchers burning a hole in my pocket.  I'm happy to say that quite a bit of what I've bought has been returned, but I'm still on the lookout for an outfit for my bestie's birthday bash.

//  I missed out on the ultimate lace up flats from Next (featured here) and have been searching the web for an alternative which won't break the bank.  I squealed with excitement to find that Next have released a cheaper dupe for their original ghillie flats and it's safe to say that these beauties are now sitting proudly in my shoe collection.


General::
// Goodreads, goodreads, goodreads.  I am obsessed!  The app is far easier to use than the desktop site and I've been keeping track of what I'm reading, how far along I am and rating it at the end.  The best bit is being able to set yourself a reading challenge for the year....I'm currently on 35 out of 50 books!  If you fancy following me, you can find me here. 

// Over the summer I've tried (as much as possible) to be out and about, discovering new places.  For our Oxford day out in particular, TripAdvisor proved essential.  In a city with so much to see, the website was really useful in helping us decide exactly what we wanted to do in the time we had available.  I've never really bothered with TripAdvisor before, but will be doing it again before our next excursion!
Did you see last week's post with photos from our trip to Durdle Door?  Well I'm back today to show you pics from what we managed to do when it wasn't raining.....visit Lulworth Castle and stop off at Monkey World!

We arrived at Lulworth Castle 2 minutes before final entry and in the midst of them setting up for a wedding the next day.  As a result, there wasn't too much to see, although I'm unsure as to whether this was due to the wedding preparations or just the castle in general.

If you didn't know, Lulworth Castle was pretty much destroyed by a fire in 1929 so it really is a shell of its former self.  That said, it was really charming and up there as one of my ideal places for a wedding....think Ross and Emily from Friends with all the fairy lights! I'd been to Monkey World once when I was younger.  And it was raining.  And all the monkeys were inside.  So it was hot, sticky and cramped.  But the nonetheless I was looking forward to a trip on the way home!  It's been developed since I'd last been so was a lot bigger and with far more to see.

Monkey World is like a sanctuary for monkeys and primates - I sometimes find myself questioning the ethics of zoos and animal parks etc, so it was nice to be somewhere and know that the wellbeing of the animals is at the heart of everything they do.  We got there just after opening time so we were able to get close and see the monkeys.  It started to get busy and crowded as we left (just after lunchtime) so I'd recommend getting there early if you fancy a visit!

Places: Lulworth Castle & Monkey World

9.9.15

Did you see last week's post with photos from our trip to Durdle Door?  Well I'm back today to show you pics from what we managed to do when it wasn't raining.....visit Lulworth Castle and stop off at Monkey World!

We arrived at Lulworth Castle 2 minutes before final entry and in the midst of them setting up for a wedding the next day.  As a result, there wasn't too much to see, although I'm unsure as to whether this was due to the wedding preparations or just the castle in general.

If you didn't know, Lulworth Castle was pretty much destroyed by a fire in 1929 so it really is a shell of its former self.  That said, it was really charming and up there as one of my ideal places for a wedding....think Ross and Emily from Friends with all the fairy lights! I'd been to Monkey World once when I was younger.  And it was raining.  And all the monkeys were inside.  So it was hot, sticky and cramped.  But the nonetheless I was looking forward to a trip on the way home!  It's been developed since I'd last been so was a lot bigger and with far more to see.

Monkey World is like a sanctuary for monkeys and primates - I sometimes find myself questioning the ethics of zoos and animal parks etc, so it was nice to be somewhere and know that the wellbeing of the animals is at the heart of everything they do.  We got there just after opening time so we were able to get close and see the monkeys.  It started to get busy and crowded as we left (just after lunchtime) so I'd recommend getting there early if you fancy a visit!
Image found via pinterest

Returning to work after the summer is always a bittersweet experience.  On the one hand I mourn those lazy days where I can wake up (and stay up!) late, yet on the other, I'm a lover of fresh starts and the excitement that September brings.  For me, it's a better time for change than January.  But this summer holidays this year felt particularly short (even Nick commented on it) and I just don't feel ready to go back and get stuck in.  The summer's gone by in a flash, but when I look back, I've done a lot.  Particular highlights include:

Climbing up on the roof to watch the meteor showers under a blanket with Nick.
Sitting on the beach to watch the day begin at Durdle Door.
Celebrating Dad's 60th birthday and reminiscing about spending is 40th in a caravan in Cornwall - how was that 20 years ago?
Discovering (and buying) lots of new books to read.
Having a (relatively) posh dinner with my besties in Richmond.
Talking boyfriends with Ella.  Who is this Toby?!  She's only 2!
Hurrying through the rain with puddles in my shoes in Bournemouth.
Falling in love with Oxford and all there is to explore.
Having a picnic (well, packed lunch!) in the country park.
Stumbling upon Guildford Castle.

Things I Did This Summer

7.9.15

Image found via pinterest

Returning to work after the summer is always a bittersweet experience.  On the one hand I mourn those lazy days where I can wake up (and stay up!) late, yet on the other, I'm a lover of fresh starts and the excitement that September brings.  For me, it's a better time for change than January.  But this summer holidays this year felt particularly short (even Nick commented on it) and I just don't feel ready to go back and get stuck in.  The summer's gone by in a flash, but when I look back, I've done a lot.  Particular highlights include:

Climbing up on the roof to watch the meteor showers under a blanket with Nick.
Sitting on the beach to watch the day begin at Durdle Door.
Celebrating Dad's 60th birthday and reminiscing about spending is 40th in a caravan in Cornwall - how was that 20 years ago?
Discovering (and buying) lots of new books to read.
Having a (relatively) posh dinner with my besties in Richmond.
Talking boyfriends with Ella.  Who is this Toby?!  She's only 2!
Hurrying through the rain with puddles in my shoes in Bournemouth.
Falling in love with Oxford and all there is to explore.
Having a picnic (well, packed lunch!) in the country park.
Stumbling upon Guildford Castle.

Instagram Feed

© LORNA, LITERALLY.. Design by Fearne.