Hurray! It’s a holi-holiday #personalproblems

Vacation

When you’re reading this I’m hopefully somewhere high in the air.

I haven’t been away since I started my blog (in February 2016) but the last months have been very stressful. I might do another post about that, maybe later (and before you even think it, no I’m not pregnant.. it seems it’s the first thing people think). Anyway I just needed to get out of it. I can’t relax and let my worries go and I hope I’ll be able to do that when I’m away.

Being me is quite hard though because I can never decide, it’s one of my issues and it doesn’t get easier getting older. A simple example is that I have to decide what to wear the day before because I’d never get to work in time otherwise, it would take too long to decide in the morning. I guess I always fear losing something, making a bad decision… I decide a lot by tossing to make it easier or I buy two things so I don’t have to choose. Going on a holiday means making decisions as well. Choosing a destiny, filling a suitcase, deciding what books to take, what to do there.. I can tell you that I wasn’t looking forward to this.

So it’s no surprise it took me months to decide where to go. I started with paging through two different catalogues and came up with a clean list of 10 hotels and destinations: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Curaçao, Cape Verde, Ibiza, Krete, Chalkidiki. My international passport is expired though and I don’t want to go too far or too long this time so I went with the European destinations.

But I came at a big standstill then, left it for a month, thinking about it but not being able to cross off any more and then – surprise surprise – I finally booked (two weeks ago). I didn’t choose any of my wishlist that I poured over and thought about for a month or two though but I chose one of the last minutes on a tour operator’s website instead because frankly ‘there wasn’t a lot of choice’ :-). Anywaysss, I think it’s time for the big reveal… I’m going to Kos!

The name Kos is first attested in the Iliad, and has been in continuous use since. Other ancient names include Meropis, Cea and Nymphaea and Lango or Langò, presumably because of its length. In Italian, the island is known as Coo. Also, did you know a person from Kos is called a “Koan” in English?

Of course now I already regret not picking a destination with lots of lovely bookshops, and a big airport with lots of books.. I was only thinking about the sun at the time, I don’t know where my head was! Anyway, I’m going to make the best of it and maybe share some pics on Instagram if I can.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve got a catsitter (my dad) who’s coming to stay over and watch Poes because I wouldn’t be leaving at all if she didn’t have the best care there is.

So there you go… I’m going on a hiatus for the first time ever. I don’t know for how long either because I might extend it a bit after my return, I really need some time off of everything in life. I have a blog tour post that I had already signed up for and but other than that I have no blog posts prepared so you’ll see me when you see me! Take care lovely people!

PS I picked 3 paperbacks to take with me (and an ereader full of books). How many paperbacks (Kindle is too easy) do you take with you on holiday? Also, if you have any tips about Kos, I’d be happy to know. 

Vacation vibes

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New BFF: Another Book In The Wall

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I think I have the youngest blogger in the history of this series in da house today,  I’d like to give a warm welcome the lovely Kelly to the blog! Don’t be mistaken though, she knows the ropes alright and I believe you and me can still learn a thing or two from her ;-).

Kelly’s wonderful blog is called Another Book In The Wall and it looks very pretty, you don’t notice at all that she’s an organized perfectionist haha (no offence Kelly, I’m jealous really!). She has a few bad reading habits, that we’ll all recognize as well (book hoarding, but anyone who isn’t one raise your hand). I totally love her Blogger Questions because they ask all the questions that I’ve been wanting to know: how much time you spend on blogging, how you request physical ARC’s, what unique visitors are on your blog. Whether you are new to blogging or not, they’re always interesting to read and I think my favorite blogposts after reviews. Anyway, hop on over to her blog but not before you read her answers to my questions below ;-).

QandA

Name: Kelly Costigan

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Age: 17 🙂

Birthday: July 5

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job? I don’t have a job at the moment, but am currently studying Dental Hygiene at my local community college.

Dental hygiene

Do you have any other hobbies? I absolutely love playing piano – I have been playing for around 5 years, and although I’m not the best, it’s a part of me. I’m also a huge fan of watching anime. I haven’t seen many series, but have been obsessed lately with My Hero Academia and Made in Abyss!

Made in Abyss

Your favourite color? I adore burgundy and any shade of blue!

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Do you collect anything (besides books)? Mistakes. 🙂 Haha, just kidding. I’m not much of a collector, but I do love printing out and keeping photos.

What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it? I’m not sure what novel I have held the longest, but if I had to guess it would be one of my Junie B. Jones books. If so, yes! I have read every book in this series multiple times!

Junie B

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it? I can’t think of any book I’ve bought and wound up disliking, but I have purchased a few paperbacks, without realizing that I already owned the e-book! Hahaha.

Do you listen to audio books? Not typically, but I would be open to!

Do you have a favorite genre? I love YA fantasy and contemporary!

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now? King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

Leigh Bardugo Quote

Quote Leigh Bardugo

Kings of Scars

How is your library organized? I have it perfectly color coordinated, except for my top shelf which holds books on my tbr!

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Do you read more ebooks or physical books? Definitely e-books!

Do you have a favorite book? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak!

Review: Why you should read The Book Thief

5 Reasons That Will Make The Book Thief Your Next Read

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? I truly love the cover for Renegades by Marissa Meyer.

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Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …? Physical copies I believe are a little over a 100, and I have around 200 ebooks! I’ve regretfully barely read half of these! Haha.

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? Save the Date by Morgan Matson.

What was your favorite author when you were a child? Barbara Parks – those Junie B. Jones novels were the definition of my childhood!

From which author do you have most books? Rick Riordan. I own the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, plus Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, and The Demi-god Files.

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times? Yes! The Book Thief have read I believe three times, and I’ve reread the Lunar Chronicles

The book thief

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already? I have 75 books on my challenge, and have miraculously read 55! I’m over half way!

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case ?

King’s Cage – Victoria Aveyard
Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas
Legendary – Stephanie Garber
Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
Your Name – Makoto Shintai

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In case you missed it, here are a few of the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Liis – Cover to Cover
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Tina – Reading Between the Pages
Delphine – Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads
Lisa – Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews
Diana – A Haven for Book Lovers
Norrie – Reading Under The Blankie
Lynne – Fictionophile
Lorna – On The Shelf Reviews
Vera – Unfiltered Tales

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be added! 

Happy birthday authors !

Happy birthday authors

It’s not only my birthday in a week’s time (we won’t talk about that) but it suddenly crossed my mind that there are also several famous authors born in September! It actually wasn’t so easy to find but here’s some I did find out about:

Mackenzi Lee: 11 September

The Gentleman's Guide

George R.R. Martin: 20 September 20, 1948

A Game of Thrones

Stephen King : 21 September 21, 1947

Stephen King

Carlos Ruiz Zafón: 25 September 1964 

Shadow of The Wind

Tatiana de Rosnay: 28 September, 1961 

Sarah's Key

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Unfortunately there also quite a few famous authors who are not alive anymore but they certainly deserve a mention. We’ve all heard of them or read their books even, but why not remember them by these lovely quotes as well:

Daniel Defoe (September 13, 1660 – April 24, 1731); author of Robinson Crusoe

“Expect nothing and you’ll always be surprised”

Roald Dahl (September 13, 1916 – November 23, 1990); author of Matilda and Big Friendly Giant

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890 – January 12, 1976); author of Murder On The Orient Express

Not only was she appointed the title of “Dame” by the Queen of England, but according to the Guiness Book of World Records, she is the best-selling author of all time.

“Time is the best killer.”

“Poirot,” I said. “I have been thinking.”
“An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.”

“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.”

H.G. Wells (September 21, 1866- August 13, 1946); author of The War of the Worlds

“We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories… and those that carry us forward, are dreams.”

T.S. Eliot (September 26, 1888-January 4, 1965): poet

“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man”

Miguel de Cervantes (September 29, 1547- April 23, 1616)

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.”

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See, some of the best authors of all-time are born in September! Do you know any other authors born in September?

WWW Wednesday (29-08-2018)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What I recently finished :

My second novel by Lucy Dillon and while the first one was a good read (at least that’s what I remember from reading it in 2015) this novel was exceptional. The friendships formed were so heart-warming, I was almost sad to say goodbye to everyone.

Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon

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What I’m reading now:

I only received a copy of Resin one or two weeks ago, courtesy of the publisher, and I bumped this one up to the very top of my readlist, I just couldn’t help it, when I read the first line of the novel I wanted to know more. It’s turning out to be a somewhat heavy novel because there’s a new normal in it that isn’t really normal at all. There’s no abuse, Liv is loved by her parents and she’s not even locked up or anything, but the family Horder (what’s in a name huh) live in dire circumstances and it has a very claustrophobic feel. I expect quite some buzz about this one.

Resin by Ane Riel

Resin def

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I’ve read 3 books by John Marrs so far and his new one’s due to be released in November. I was lucky to be approved for an ecopy on Netgalley and I can’t wait to read it!

Her Last Move by John Marrs

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She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

There’s a new color in crime

TRENDING BOOK COVERS

While I was preparing my Book Battle for this month I suddenly saw two covers with striking similarities. As I thought about it I remembered I read another one myself that fit the bill and remembered one that many other bloggers received in the post recently. Coincidence, I don’t think so, I think I spotted a trend.

I know, I know, it takes more than a couple of books to be able to speak of a new cover trend but you have to admit that the theme is quite obvious. You know what, I’m not even going to tell you what it is, you can see for yourself:

The Confession by Jo Spain

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

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 The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman In The Window

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

This was the first cover to feature the yellow window (July 2017 by Picador Books)

The Upstairs Window

Your Closest Friend by Karen Perry

Your Closest Friend

The New Girl by Ingrid Alexandra

The New Girl

Our Little Lies by Sue Watson

Our Little Lies

When I Find You and One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis

 When I Find You  One Little Mistake

So what do you think? Have you noticed this as well? Which cover is your favorite or do you find them too alike? 

The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap #BookReview

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Nova is 32 years old and she is about to see the world for the very first time.

Jillian Safinova, Nova to her friends, can do many things. She can speak five languages. She can always find a silver lining. And she can even tell when someone is lying just from the sound of their voice.

But there’s one thing Nova can’t do. She can’t see.

When her brother convinces her to have an operation that will restore her sight, Nova wakes up to a world she no longer understands. Until she meets Kate.

As Kate comes into focus, her past threatens to throw them into a different kind of darkness. Can they each learn to see the world in a different … and open their eyes to the lives they could have been living all along?

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review-2

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The Rules of Seeing not only made Kate and Nova see the world differently, but it also made me look at the world I thought I already knew so well in another perspective.

It sounds like a fairytale come true, being able to see again after an operation, but the truth is that it’s more difficult than any of the 5 languages Nova learned. The author did a great job describing the many hurdles she’s facing when trying to make sense of all the different colours and shapes surrounding her.

Nova’s discovery of the world and bewilderment was wonderful to watch and her reactions seemed to be described very realistically. She has quite a few difficulties understanding what she sees though: concepts like depth and transparency are foreign to her and she therefore creates her own set of rules which she calls the ‘Rules of Seeing’. They are scattered throughout the novel and reading them made me realise that you don’t just go from being blind to seeing like you and me. It’s definitely not like in the movies!

The sighted have forgotten completely about the wonder of discovering these rules. We all learned the language of seeing when we were babies, we only can’t remember this anymore, as Mr Heap points out to the reader in his foreword. Luckily, the novel and Nova’s rules are little reminders of the magic of the world.

Rule of Seeing N° 2 :  Objects look smaller as their distance increases.

Rule of Seeing N° 174 : If you go outside and everything is murky grey, do not worry. You are not developing cataracts. Fog changes the colour of everything.

Rule of Seeing N° 275 : Sighted people get so good at recognizing shapes that they use them instead of words. They put pictures on toilets, road signs, bottles of bleach, no smoking areas, food mixers and hospitals; they never seem to get confused.

As Nova starts to explore the world, the story starts to focus more on Kate as well, a woman who is also learning to see, be it in another sense of the word, she’s coming to terms with and recognizing the situation she’s in. It doesn’t take much to know where her story is going right from the beginning and the story is well-balanced this way. My favourite character was definitely Nova though because she hasn’t had it easy being born blind but she’s so joyful and full of life, she exhumes positivity. She’s a little fighter whereas Kate tends to give up (or give in) much easier. It was absolutely wonderful these two met and seeing the influence they had on each other. They were both going through very trying times and I was very curious to see them both go forward. There were a lot of ups and downs in their lives that made me feel alternately happy and sad. It also ended in quite a satisfying way that goes to show that sometimes you do get what you deserve.

The Rules Of Seeing was a very insightful novel and gave me so much thought. We take so much of the world we see for granted and thanks to The Rules Of Seeing you can learn to really SEE it again in a way you never thought you would.

I received a free copy of the novel from HarperCollinsPublishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Entrapped by Claire Ayres #BlogTour #Extract

BlogTour Entrapped

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to the first stop on the blog tour for Entrapped by Claire Ayres! My thanks to Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for the invitation to join and for providing the excerpt I’ll be sharing with you today. A very special thank you as well for all your patience, dedication and in short, being such a wonderful tour organiser, it was great to sign up for tours with you. Now let’s kick off this last book tour!

Entrapped def

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Cellist Luka has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes. Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why. Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

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Purchase

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Author

Claire Ayres

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point. Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

Connect

Website | Twitter

Extract

“I went to the doctor.” He squeezes her hand, kisses the corner of my mouth. Jess continues: “She says it’s depression, why I’ve been so off my game, not myself.”

His fingers tense across Jess’ lap and arm where they were previously casually placed, they get so tight she whines and pulls away, feeling the ache of a bruise that has yet to come out. His jaw is clenched, his eyes are tightened to slits. It’s OK though, Jess thinks, she knew this would be a difficult conversation for him, they will work through it together though. She rushes on, needing to reassure him, show him they will be fine.

“I have tablets, they will take a little while to work but then I will be back to myself, it will all be OK.”

Jess squeezes out a smile and runs her hand across his cheek, trying to show him the proof of her words. After a long pause he finally speaks: “What do you mean a little while to work?”

“The doctor said 4-6 weeks,” she responds, stroking his hair.

“Are you having a laugh?” He’s laughing, this is not a funny laugh though, there is absolutely nothing funny about Ade right now from the look on his face to his body language or the way he is touching her. “Jessica, you know what I went through growing up, that I can’t put myself through that again.” He sighs. “I thought this was a passing phase.”

Jess looks at him, holding the tears back in her eyes, determined not to cry. What is he getting at?

“Ade, I’m not your Mum, I’m going to be OK, things will go back to normal,” she pleads.

Ade grew up in an unhappy and abusive home, at the centre of that his Mum had depression. She was also an alcoholic, as a result he doesn’t separate everything very well which is understandable.

“Things won’t be normal, will they? I’ll have another month of all this bullshit? Do you know what it’s been like living with you detached from me for months now?” Jess shrinks back, shaking her head, afraid to speak. “It’s awful and it’s miserable. And sex, well I can swing from the chandelier for that, can’t I?”

Jess gapes, she doesn’t know what to say, he’s getting angrier with every word he says. He violently shoves her back onto the couch and away from him, no longer wanting her on his lap and she knows she is collecting more than bruises today. Bouncing on the leather seat as she lands, she automatically grabs for the cushion she has come to use as a protective blanket and clutches it desperately. Something is seriously wrong here and she can’t hold back the big, ugly, tears because she doesn’t know what else to do.

“I’ve loved you since day one, Jess, and you couldn’t stay well for me? That’s all I wanted from you – for you to love me back and to stay well and happy. Why was that too hard?”

Jess stares in stunned silence and tries to respond, as he storms around pacing the floor in front of her.

“Ade? Please. Stop. Why do you think I did this on purpose, Ade? Do you think I want to feel like this? I miss you so much and I hate that I’m hurting you, it’s killing me. I would do anything to not be hurting you.” She wishes he could see that. She wishes he could see how much she loves him, how hard this is. He stops pacing, stands right in front of her, his hands clenched into fists, tears in his eyes.

“I can’t be around someone with such negative energy. We’re over, Jessica.”

An unnatural wail comes is pulled from Jess as she doubles over, struggling to breathe, her heart shattering as his words sink in. He goes to the bedroom and she listens to him opening and closing the cupboards as he packs his belongings. She doesn’t know what to do except sit there and watch as what little remains of her heart walks out the door with the man she loves.

Hands up who also dislikes Ade :-). You’ll have to read the novel to see Jess find the happiness and love she deserves !