Christmas Eve Movie Night

Hey folks so I have a little bit of a different post today and I hope you all enjoy it. I wanted to share with you a little tradition I started for myself a few years ago on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve I watch the same three movies each year, I obviously watch other Christmas movies on the run up to Christmas but I have three that I save for Christmas Eve and I am going to share with you the three movie. So let us begin:

 

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Elf

So first of all we have Elf. I cannot express how much I love this. This film came out in 2003 which was 13 years ago! Does not feel like it has been that long. I think I have watched this every year in the Christmas period and it still makes me laugh. Will Ferrell is hands down the best choice for this film. His portrayal of Buddy is fantastic and absolutely hilarious. I will now give you a few of my favourite lines for film. (I would quote the whole film if I could).

  • “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
  • “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”
  • “I planned out our whole day: First, we’ll make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.”
  • “Son of a nutcracker!”
  • “I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.”
  • “This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop…except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”
  • “I’m in a store and I’m singing!”
  • “Santa! Oh, my God! Santa’s coming! I know him! I know him!”

 

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

This is one of the most genius films ever. I adore this, I mean Come on its Jim Carrey. from the casting to the whole premise of the film. (Dr Seuss is a freaking genius.) I watch this every year without fail. Jim Carrey is top notch at being The Grinch, superb acting there.  Oh my goodness this film is 16 years old! but it is still one of my all time favourite Christmas films. Some of my favourite quotes (again I could quote the whole film)

  • “The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”
  • “BRILLIANT! You reject your own nose because it represents the glitter of commercialism. Why didn’t I think of that? Cut, print, check the gate, moving on.”
  • “MAX. HELP ME… I’m FEELING.”
  • “Don’t forget the Grinch. I know he’s mean and hairy and smelly. His hands might be cold and clammy, but I think he’s actually kinda… sweet.”
  • “If you utter so much as one syllable, I’LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH! If you’d like to fax me, press the star key.”
  • “And they’ll feast, feast, feast, feast. They’ll eat their Who-Pudding and rare Who-Roast Beast. But that’s something I just cannot stand in the least. Oh, no. I’M SPEAKING IN RHYME!”
  • “Oh. Bleeding hearts of the world UNITE.”

 

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

I am a huge fan of Tim Burton and this film is excellent. I only watched this for the first time a few years ago even though it came out in 1993! The year before I was born! making this film 23 years old. But after watching it, it became a firm favourite and completes my Christmas Eve movie night. My favourite quotes from this film are: (I wish I could quote the whole film again.)

  • “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!”
  • “And sit together, now and forever. For it is plain, as anyone can see. We’re simply meant to be.”
  • “We’ve got to find Jack! There’s only 365 days left until next Halloween!”
  • “‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story you’re about to be told began with the holiday worlds of auld. Now you’ve probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven’t I’d say it’s time you begun.”
  • “And since I am dead, I can take off my head to recite Shakespearean quotations.”
  • “You’re joking, you’re joking/I can’t believe my eyes/You’re joking me, you’ve gotta be/ This can’t be the right guy! He’s ancient, he’s ugly/ I don’t know which is worse! I might just spit a seam now if I don’t die laughing first!”

There you go Folks another post. What did you think? Do you like any of these movies? What are your Christmas Eve Traditions?

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Clover Moon Review

Clover Moon

  • Title – Clover Moon
  • Author – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Publisher/Published – RHCP Digital / October 2016
  • Genre – Historical Fiction, Children’s, Middle Grade.

Summary from Goodreads

Clover Moon’s imagination is her best escape from a life of hardship in poverty-stricken Victorian London. When tragedy plunges her into a world of grief, Clover realizes that everything she loved about the place she called home is gone. Clover hears of a place she could run to, but where will she find the courage – and the chance – to break free? And could leaving her family be just what she needs to find a place that really feels like home?

My Thoughts

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Well this was a wonderful read, however I expect nothing less than amazing from Jacqueline Wilson and she did not disappoint. I loved Jacqueline Wilson’s books when I was younger, I constantly re-read them and re-read them some more. I would literally sit and read them in one go and no matter how many times I re-read them I still loved them. I have so many that I loved I might do a separate post.

It has been a few years since I last read a book by Jacqueline Wilson but I am so glad I got the chance to read this book. It was like a trip home I love her writing style and it was great to read her work again. This book certainly didn’t disappoint me, it was heart breaking in parts but beautiful at the same time. I really got connected to the main character, Clover Moon. First of all she has an awesome name and second of all she was a wonderfully written character. I felt like I was pulled into Victorian England with her and was walking the streets with her and I felt like I was there through the good and the bad. I don’t want to give any spoilers because it needs to be read without spoilers to fully enjoy the story. This was a wonderful read and it has prompted me to read more of Jacqueline Wilsons work, the new things she has written and the old favourites of mine that I haven’t read in a long time.

There you go folks another post. What did you think? What are your opinions of Jacqueline Wilson?

The Lady in the Van Review.

The Lady In The Van

  • Title – The Lady in the Van
  • Author – Alan Bennett
  • Publisher/Published – Profile Books / May 2015
  • Genre – Non Fiction, Humour, Autobiography/Memoir

Summary from Goodreads

In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett’s garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years.

This account of those years was first published in 1989 in the London Review of Books. The play premiered in 1999, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Dame Maggie Smith, who reprise their roles in this new film adaptation. Shot on location at Bennett’s house, Alex Jennings plays the author, alongside household names including Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent and Dominic Cooper.

My Thoughts

3 out of 5 stars.

Well this was a bit of a disappointment if I am honest. I went to see the film when it came out and I adored it so much. Maggie Smith’s portrayal of Ms Shepard was exceptional. She brought her own unique twist to an equally unique person. I am in awe of Maggie Smiths talent and can’t rate her work high enough.

To the book, this was on a deal on kindle so I decided to pick it up because I loved the film so much. I thought I was going to enjoy this and have a wonderful review for you all however this isn’t the case. I really didn’t enjoy this I’m sad to say, don’t get me wrong I have to give it credit because a wonderful move came out of it but I found it quite dull and lacklustre. A lot of the best parts of the film weren’t in this which disappointed me because there were great scenes in the film that I missed seeing in the book. by the time I finished it I was a little bored and glad I had watched the film first because the film is 100% better and I will continue to love the film and rate it highly to anyone and recommend anyone to watch it. However I would give the book a miss. I feel bad for not enjoying the book but I can’t help it. I am glad I read it though as I saw the origins of the film but other than that it was not a great read for me personally.

There you go folks another post done. What did you folks think?  What are your opinions on The Lady in the Van?

 

#CramAThon

Hey folks, I have decided to participate in #CramAThon which is being hosted by April and Whitney over on booktube. This readathon begins on the 16th of December and finishes o the 23rd of December. The purpose of this readathon is to cram as many shorter books to help either reach your goodread goals or read the books that you have been meaning to get to for the year. I am going to try and stick to shorter books but I never can, I usually pick bigger books and then I don’t finish reading them so I will maybe pick one big book and the others will be smaller. So the reading challenges are as follows:

  1. Read a book under 200 pages.
  2. Read two books in 24 hours.
  3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live.
  4. Read a book you have been putting off/ have been meaning to read forever.
  5. A book with pictures.
  6. A graphic novel/ Manga.
  7. Read seven books in total.

Now for my TBR:

White Fang

1. Read a book under 200 pages. – For this I have chosen White Fang by Jack London. It is a short read with only 145 pages. I haven’t read this before, classics can be a hit or miss for me but I am trying to experience more classic literature.

 

                                         Glista: Birth of a Wicked Fairy (The Dark Fairies Collection Book 1)      The Lady In The Van

2. Read two books in one day. – For this is I have chosen quite short books to give me a better chance of finishing the both. Glista: Birth of a wicked fairy by Jessie M. Sparks has 151 pages and The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett has 113 pages. This should be easy enough for me to complete.

 

Heidi (Illustrated)

3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live. – For this I chose Heidi by Johanna Spyri. I loved this book as a child but it has been years since I read it so I am looking forward to re-reading this story. this story is set in the Swiss mountains.

 

The Palace Library (Palace Library #1)

4. Read a book you have been putting off/ have been meaning to read forever. – I received a copy of this from netgalley and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. It is quite short so I should be able to read it quickly.

 

The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)

5. A book with pictures. – I chose this because you cant go wrong with Narnia. Another short, quick read.

 

Hockey Karma

6. Read a graphic novel/manga. – I have been meaning to read this for ages, another short one should be able to read it in one sitting.

7. Read a total of seven books. – If I read all the books I have chosen for the previous challenges that will mean I complete the challenge of reading seven books.

There you go folks another post finished. Are you taking part in the Readathon? Have you read the books I’ve chosen? Thoughts? No spoilers please.

 

 

 

 

 

Library Haul.

Hey Folks, time for another post. Today I went to the library to take a couple of books back and also check out a few that I had reserved. However I came away with a few extra books as my library always has a mini sale going on. usually it is library books that have been withdrawn for one reason or the other but also people donate books for the sale. They are really cheap at 30 pence a book or five books for £1. So as usual I got five books. I will first show the books I checked out and then the ones I bought with a summary from goodreads.

Books I checked out:

Inkheart

Summary from Goodreads

Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.

 

 

Inkspell (Inkworld, #2)

Summary from Goodreads

Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of the extraordinary events of Inkheart, and the story whose characters strode out of the pages, and changed her life for ever. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater, torn from his world of words, the need to return has become desperate.

 

Inkdeath (Inkheart Trilogy)

Link to Goodreads Summary

 

The Bookman's Tale

Summary from Goodreads

A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

Special thank you to Brooklyn over at Brooklyn the Bookworm for recommending this to me. I am really looking forward to reading this not only because it was recommended by a fellow blogger and friend but also because it isn’t usually a book I would pick up.

 

Books that I bought in the Library Sale.

The Almost Moon

Summary from Goodreads

Helen Knightly has spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare. And as this electrifying novel opens, she steps over a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfilment of a lifetime’s buried desire. Over the next twenty-four hours, her life rushes in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to this crossroads.

So when I saw this in the sale I had to get it. After reading and adoring The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold I was eager to read more of her work so this was a must. The cover is beautiful I simply couldn’t say no. Plus I got two more books by the author.

 

Lucky

Summary from Goodreads

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold’s indomitable spirit – as she struggles for understanding (“After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes”); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker’s arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

I was so lucky to be able to pick another book by Alice Sebold. This time a memoir which I am really looking forward to reading.

 

The Lovely Bones

Summary from Goodreads

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

This book was what started it my love for Alice Sebold’s writing. I already have a copy of this but the cover is the movie tie in which I adore, but when I saw this I had to get it to go with the others. I completely adore this book. It is so heartbreakingly beautiful and is a book that will stay with me. I was so lucky to get the three books, so because I had three I decided to pick a couple more to take it to the 5, I will show you them now.

 

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1)

 

Summary from Goodreads

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world…

I was beyond excited to see this in the shelf. I watched the film and really enjoyed it but once again I never got around to reading the book. So naturally I picked it up to add to my collection.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Summary from Goodreads

You just can’t put a good pirate down! Join Jack Sparrow and his crew as they battle the supernatural warriors led by the notorious Davy Jones. In this second fantastic Pirates of the Caribbean adventure, Jack, Will and Elizabeth must possess what lies within Davy’s secret chest if they are to save Jack’s soul. Featuring horrific sea beasts, cannibal islands and amazing full-colour pictures, this book is every bit as exciting and frightening as the movie itself!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean, all of them. Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is just a match made in heaven. So when I saw this little book I had to pick it up, I don’t have any of the others but I will be looking out for them from now on.

There you have it, an extremely long post. I hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to comment if you have read and liked any of these books. No spoilers please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prelude to Mayhem Review and INTERVIEW!!

Hey folk time for another review post, but this one comes with a twist. Stay tuned until the end of my review for an interview with the author Edward Aubry.

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Title Prelude to Mayhem

Author – Edward Aubry

Publisher/Published -Curiosity Quills Press/November 2016

Genre – Young Adult, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Dystopian.

Summary from Goodreads

On May 30, 2004, the world transformed. Nearly all signs of civilization vanished, leaving in their wake a bizarre landscape of wilderness, advanced technology and magic, and leaving Harrison Cody very much alone. After weeks of surviving in solitude, he hears a voice on the radio, beckoning him to cross a thousand miles of terrifyingly random terrain to meet her, and any other survivors, in Chicago. Eager to find any remnants of humanity, he sets forth, joined by an unexpected—and inhuman—companion.
For Dorothy O’Neill, the end of the world means she will never finish ninth grade. On her own, she builds a home in the ruins of a strip mall, relying on her ingenuity and hard work to maintain some semblance of creature comforts. When another survivor arrives, he brings futuristic technology and stories of monsters he has encountered. Armed with this information, she takes a new interest in exploring her world, but she is not prepared for what awaits her, and the new arrival has brought his own set of problems.
On their separate journeys, Harrison and Dorothy begin to piece together what has happened to their world. Their questions have answers to be found in what remains of Chicago, and from the mysterious voice on the radio offering the hope that civilization can be rebuilt.

My Thoughts

5 out of 5 Stars.

I found this a very enjoyable read that I read in a couple of days. the story and the characters were written excellently. I really liked the premise behind the plot and found it easy to follow and was kept interested. The characters were great and easy to connect with and follow their stories. The story is told from Harrison and also Dorothy’s point of view and although it was told by two different people I found it easy to keep up. I loved the post apocalyptic feel throughout the story and the combination of technology and things that come from both past and present. This book was a great start to what I think is going to be an epic series which I can see being my new favourite. I can’t wait to read more and see how the characters and plot play out.

Characters:

Harrison – I loved Harrison, he was a great character. I loved his ambition to get to where he needed to go, his comic moments and also his serious heart filled moments. I really gained a lot of respect for Harrison when he took the two kids in as his own.

Dorothy – Another character I loved. Dorothy is only 14 but she has been through a lot and handled herself very well. I did feel sorry for her and the other characters who had lost family. Dorothy was a very determined character, plus she watched Harry Potter. (bonus points)

Glimmer – ahhhh Glimmer the pixie, don’t confuse her with any other creature. Glimmer was amazing, I loved her character. She was feisty, sassy and wasn’t afraid to say it how it is. She was a great companion for Harrison and she helped him through a lot. Things I can’t mention because I don’t want to spoil it.

Mitchell – Mitchell is the baby of the group at only nine years old. He has gone through a lot but he meets Harrison who takes him under his wing and Mitchell becomes his son in Harrisons eyes.

Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press and Edward Aubry for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

There you go, that is my review I hope you enjoyed it. Now on to the most exciting  part!! The interview with Edward Aubry, this was a great interview and I really enjoyed the answers and I hope you do as well.

The Interview.

  1. What inspired the book?

Lots of things!  Prelude to Mayhem is part of a larger story that has been buzzing around in my head for half my lifetime. Part of it was an experiment to blend science fiction and fantasy tropes in an original way. Part of it was a post-apocalyptic daydream I had driving to work one morning.

  1. Who is your favourite character in the book?

Dorothy O’Neill. In the earliest drafts of this story she was barely a character at all, added as an afterthought to give Harrison one more kid to take responsibility for. She has a much greater role as an adult in Mayhem’s Children, and as I got further and further into that book she really took off for me. It made me want to tell her backstory, which eventually became her half of Prelude to Mayhem.

  1. What character do you think readers will like the most?

Glimmer.  That’s not a guess. Every reader of every version of this story has identified her as the breakout star. Ironically, she was not originally meant to be a major character, just a comic relief sidekick. But once I started writing her, she got completely away from me.

  1. If you could be a character from your book who would you be?

Oh, my.  I wouldn’t want to be any of my characters!  Have you seen what happens to them? I’d rather keep all my fingers, thank you very much. One of the paradoxes of writing novels is the need to take the people you love the most and dump terrible, terrible ordeals onto them.  I’d much rather have them all over for a dinner party.  That would be great fun. But then I’d have to send them all back to their various fates.

  1. Who influenced you to be a writer?

Lisa Snook, my 7th and 8th grade English teacher. I wasn’t exactly her favorite student (I wasn’t really anyone’s favorite student, to be honest), which actually makes her influence more meaningful to me. She was the teacher who introduced me to creative writing. More importantly, she taught me how to plan a story by writing out a list of specifics before I started spinning the actual tale. Sensory details, character points, basic show-don’t-tell work.  Pretty elementary stuff, but in 7th grade it blew my mind.  At the end of 8th grade, she told me I had been one of her worst writing students when I first started her class, but after two years I had become one of her best. That comment alone has stuck with me for decades.

  1. What was the first book you can remember reading?

First book? Wow. I’ve never really thought about that.  Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World probably. If you mean first novel, I think that would be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline l’Engle. If you mean first novel that I read on my own initiative, I’m pretty sure it was Spock Must Die! By James Blish.  All of those, believe it or not, have affected my own sense of how to tell a story (or how not to tell a story). The particular influences are left as an exercise for the reader.

  1. What is your favourite thing about being a writer?

Writing is the ultimate form of escapism and self-indulgence. As entertaining as it is to pick up a book and transport oneself to another world, the thrill of creating and manipulating that world is many orders of magnitude greater.

  1. Do you have a favourite thing to do when you are writing?

Find new places to write. I do my best work in unfamiliar environments, preferably quiet ones with large windows.  Bonus points if they serve coffee, but that’s not a deal breaker.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Finish your first draft. I used to hand out stock advice about how an outline is the most important part of the writing process, but I’ve lightened up on that a bit recently.  If you can write an entire novel without planning it, more power to you.  However, if you have 100,000 words and no idea how close you are to an ending, you are probably destined to spin your wheels for the rest of eternity.  Find your ending, and write it.  And literally write THE END. Then pat yourself on the back, and brace yourself for the revisions, because that first draft is going to stink no matter how much of your soul you poured into it. But a completed draft is infinitely easier to revise than a dangling story.

 

 

#HPWeekendAThon

Image result for hogwarts

Hey Folks I have another post for you. This is a very exciting post. I have decided to participate in the #HPWeekendAThon which is being hosted by Chelsea and April from booktube. This readathon runs from 2nd December (today) until 5th December 2016. The challenges are themed around a few of the main characters from the series and you can double up on challenges. Here are the reading challenges and what I plan to read.

Reading Challenges:

Harry – Read a book that booktube has deemed the chosen one (a hyped book). – A court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

Image result for harry potter        A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

 

Hermione – Read a book that has badass female characters. – A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J Mass

Image result for hermione granger    A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

 

Ron – Read a red or orange book. – Fantastic Beasts and where to find them by Newt Scamander (J.K Rowling.)

Image result for ron weasley       Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

Dumbledore – Read a book that features LGBTQIA+ characters. – The picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde.

Image result for dumbledore       The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

Hagrid – A comfort read (A book by your favourite author, a reread, a book you know you will love. – Prelude to mayhem by Edward Aubry.

Image result for hagrid             Prelude to Mayhem

 

Well there you go folks. My TBR for this read a thon. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you are participating let me know in the comments.