Happy 2016!

After a break for the holidays I’m back! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive season and a very happy new year.

I got thoroughly spoilt at Christmas and for my birthday with a load of new books*. Check it out!

Christmas books

I’ve already finished reading RedshirtsCrucible of Gold and Blood of Tyrants and I think I’m going to start on The Rest of Us Just Live Here next. Who’s excited to read all these? Me!

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Can the film ever be better than the book it’s based off?

I finally got round to seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two at the cinema. It’s a great film. It has some amazing, emotional scenes (the scene with Katniss anTHG trilogy and filmd the cat springs to mind – Jennifer Laurence really, really threw herself into that one) but something was missing. Don’t get me wrong, it was great but…

The book was better.

There’s one main reason I believe the book is superior to the film. The depiction of Katniss.

This is no reflection on Jennifer Laurence’s acting skills in any way, shape or form, but in the book, you’re in Katniss’ head. You can see all her cold calculations that she makes to survive and keep those she loves alive. Without knowing those thoughts, her motives and her actions seem a lot more straightforward in the film. Take her relationship with Peeta, there was a lot more going on in her head than what you could see on screen. If you’ve only seen the films and not read the book go read them, it’s worth it.

So this got me thinking – could the film ever be better than the book?

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NaNoWriMo – AKA writing ate my brain

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year with the greatest of intentions. I was going to update my novel every day, read a couple of books a week, write at least two blog posts and still work full-time. And so far – novel-wise – I’m doing pretty well! Everything else-wise…hahaha there’s just writing, ALL THE WRITING!

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and happens every November. During this time writers across the world race to write 50 000 words in one month.

Nope, you read that right. 50 000 words. One month.

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Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo and Bradley Beaulieu author event

I’d never been to an author event at Waterstones Nottingham before so when Kirsty asked me if I wanted to go to one with her, I couldn’t say no.

It was brilliant! The photo is of me and Leigh Bardugo (I’m not actually that short or as gremlin-looking in real life, I’m just leaning at a weird angle), the events room and my signed copy of Six of Crows and a signed bookplate.

Author event collage

The event was held in a large room just off the top floor of the building and nearly every seat I could see was filled. It took a little while for all the people to arrive but then the three authors took their seats at the front and we were off. There was a little bit of banter to start and then each author read an extract from their book.

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The bookworm’s conundrum: how many books to take on holiday

The dilemma

Recently I spent an extraordinarily long period of time on trains (five hours there, five hours back) and it got me thinking about the perfect ratio of books to take away on holiday. I spent hours travelling and that basically adds up to a lot of reading time.

But this meant that before I went I had to spend ages staring at my bookcases (and book heaps…and kindle…) debating on how I was going to approach this.

In five hours I can theoretically read three books, but this depends on how long they are, how packed the train is, whether I’m expected to talk to people around me etc, plus there’s the return journey too. So I was thinking a potential six books to pick out.

This is not including books to read while I was there.

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Why I took a year-long gap from blogging

On 14th September this year, I started blogging again. My last blog post had been on 14th September 2014 and, if I’m honest, it was the end of a trickle of posts.

Why I stopped
There were a few reasons that I stopped blogging for a year. The biggest one being a new job. There was so much I needed to learn – I just didn’t have the brainpower to spare for reading as well.

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Thoughts

discworldandshepherdscrown

Two weeks ago I bought a copy of The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett. As of today I finally finished it. Later I will do a proper review, but today…today it felt like my first blog post in a year should be something more.

I’ve been a fan of Terry Pratchett since I first read Guards, Guards aged 11 (it was my dad’s book and I was in the habit of reading whatever I could find on the bookshelves at home). Guards, Guards remains my absolute favourite of the Discworld series and it’s probably because it was the first one I read. The first one to introduce me to those amazing stories.

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