Sunday, 26 June 2016

Let's Talk: How Do I Fit Reading Time In?

It's kind of bizarre how I've found myself reading at every waking moment, to actually having to squeeze reading time in or even scheduling an appropriate time for it! It's made me thought about how much time I dedicate to my favourite hobby, but also what tips I can give you guys who may be struggling in the time department but really still want to read. 

Let's break down a single week I usually experience and where reading falls into place:
I typically work 5-6 days a week, volunteer once and may have social outings scattered over some days or nights. Other things I tend to do will be working on this blog here, editing and filming videos, and running errands that seem to pile up every week. 

Well, where does that leave room for reading?

Tip 1: Recognising that reading is a choice not a chore
I don't know if it's just me, but once I was so busy, I felt so guilty that I wasn't reading as often. Maybe it was the pressure of my reading goal or that I wasn't producing content on my blog but if I tried to pick up a book, after an exhausting day, it felt like such a chore. No wonder I fell into so many slumps - it just wasn't enjoyable anymore. Once I realised that I could read at my own pace, I felt so much more relieved. Reading is something I do because I love it, not because it's a joyless job that I have to do.

Tip 2: Break down your reading time
I find my reading time can be done in chunks throughout the day, which has massively helped balance my everyday life and reading. Now, I'll read during times where I'm not required to be doing something whether it be first in the morning - before my day starts - or right before bedtime as a way to unwind from a busy day. Even during my breaks at work is great because I'll focus on myself for a bit before I go back out and serve customers. Having a long trip on public transport is a rare but very valuable occasion because it feels like I have all the time in the world to read!

Tip 3: Find what works for you best
The two tips above are what I think should be considered if you feel like you don't have any time to read, but it's all about trial and error. What works for me may not be the best for you, but that's not to say you can't incorporate some of it and change it up so that it'll work for you. Our reading habits will vary and it'll be something for you to discover about yourself. It's taken me a fair bit to get to where I am, so don't be too hard on yourself.

I don't have the leisure of reading at any time I want, but I'm glad it hasn't stopped me from doing what I've enjoy most.


When Do You Guys Find Time To Read? What Tips Do You Have?

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Lake House by Kate Morton


Title: The Lake House Author: Kate Morton
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
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In 1933, the Edevane family home, Loeanneth, hosts a grand party. Sixteen year old Alice Edevane is especially excited because she's about to share her great writing idea to a person she shouldn't have fallen in love with. By midnight, the family are torn apart and Loeanneth is abandoned forever.

Seventy years later, Sadie Sparrow is sent to her grandfather's for some time off from the Police force. She accidentally comes upon Loeanneth and the events of the night of the party unravel as Sadie begins to delve into the family history. In doing so, Sadie reaches out to Alice who has now become a famous detective novelist. Suddenly, Alice is thrusted back into her past but she's not sure she's ready to revisit it.



Review


Kate Morton seems to write according to a formula revolving around family mysteries that are resolved in the present time but always end up leaving me shocked and in awe at how well she writes.

Morton excels in writing vivid, descriptive imagery including the setting, character and context. It's very easy for me to visualise how a character looks like and the actual scenery. In The Lake House the  family's estate is grand and beautiful, and it's so easy to envision it because Morton is skilled in showing not telling. Even in its decaying nature, there is still a sense of the summery days where the story re-visits to recount the past. There's a nostalgic feeling as I read, and it's a common perception when reading any Morton novel.

I love that I got both the present and past, interweaved into each other so that I was literally on the same page as Sadie as she slowly inched to the truth. The more that was revealed, the more surprised but also saddened I was. Morton explores family ties, loyalty and trust, but also writes a great recount of PSTD that allowed me to further understand the tragedy of such a condition. 

Each of Morton's characters all leave a distinctive impression, whether it be a relatable aspect - most often a flaw - or because I've become so involved in their life to let go. Sadie is definitely a vehicle to drive the story, but that doesn't deter from me admiring how hard-working and smart she is. Alice was the more intriguing character because I got to witness her both when she was young until old age, and how the events of the past had defined and changed her. I remember a lot about their lives and their history because of how involved I was in their story arc and how it progressed.

I liked the unraveling of the mystery, paced well enough, although I'm not going to lie there were parts I did gloss over. The ending was heartwarming, albeit a little too convenient but does play on the idea of fate a lot. I think what keeps me on edge all the time is how Morton will allude to a certain ending, but is so much further from the actual events that happen, which leads to a great surprise. A pleasant read, although not the best from Morton.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Waiting On July: Sci-Fi, Thriller and New HP Book? Yes Please!

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWordsAnd, where I list some upcoming releases for the month that I'm most excited about! 

July Releases


1. Learning to Swear In America by Katie Kennedy
Sci-fi setting romance, and whilst I've never been a huge sci-fi reader, I've started to enjoy them a lot more now. Not going to lie though, it was the title that got me.

2. The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
The cover of the book already alludes to what the story is about. Anything psychological thriller has me invested, and if this book does it right then I will be all the more excited!

3. A World Without You by Beth Revis
This is a very intriguing and somewhat bizarre plot line. I'm really curious because it's a different take to Mental Health and raising awareness.

4. P.S I Like You by Kasie West
I haven't read contemporary in so long, but this sounds like a sweet and light hearted romantic read. Definitely a great summer read (even though we're in winter right now).

5. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
I don't even have to explain this. Anything Harry Potter is a must buy. Must buy!!

What Release Are You Excited About?

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Let's Talk: The Ultimate Authors To Check Out

This week I discuss my favourite authors and, surprisingly, none of them are Young Adult authors! Ooooooo. The four authors I talk about though are authors that I definitely think needs to be discovered - authors who I end up wanting to buy every single book that they have and devour them all!!I explain why I love them as well down below. 

If you're after YA authors, don't worry, I do have you covered. Special mentions to four YA authors who are quickly climbing the ranks into my favourite authors list.




Who Are Your Favourite Authors?

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Get Ready To Have Fun With "Ready Player One"


Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publication Date:
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In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Review


Ready Player One is a genius and creative read, that had me on edge and completely obsessed. I loved Oasis - that was the best part of the book for me. The world was created in such a thorough way, with so many dynamics and was brimming with potential opportunities that I wanted to part of the world and the Egg Hunt. In short, Oasis is a place - much like Hogwarts or Narnia - where, as a reader, you feel the desire to want to be there to experience everything. That's how realistic and well-written the world is. I really could go on and on about it, but it's something you have to experience yourself whilst you're reading, because it is seriously worth it.

I also thought it was ingenious to include popular pop culture reference so that, whilst the novel is set in a futuristic world, the references still has a relatable aspect for readers to not feel so lost while reading. Granted, 80's references might be a little too old for today's readers, but I really enjoyed them, and thought it was a great way to introduce today's generation to what the world loved in the past. 

Cline also excelled in portraying the importance of friendship, and the development of the different relationships were really heartwarming and very relatable. The romance built on realistic grounds and actually relayed how physical appearance is not as important in the end, compared to how well two people actually connect emotionally. Loyalty, understanding, communication and sacrifice - all aspects of friendships - were greatly emphasised and I appreciated that. 

Sci-fi novels aren't my favourite to read, but Ready Player One really blew my mind with its creativeness and just the pure fun I had out of reading it. I finished it in a day and am really excited to see it translated on screen. (If I'm not mistaken there is a movie in the works). It was so good!! 

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