2017 reading…

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So, I thought I would update you guys on what I have read in 2017 so far. I haven’t read as much as I wanted so far because I have been busy working on my dissertation.

I am doing my dissertation on the representation of trauma within Gillian Flynn’s novels, so I have been reading a lot about crime fiction. Oh yeah…that means I get to write 10,000 words on my love for Gillian Flynn and look at her novels: Sharp Objects, Dark Places and Gone Girl.

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Dissertation Books- 

  1. Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families by John C. Friel
  2. Twentieth- Century Suspense: The Thriller Comes of Age by Clive Bloom
  3. Thriller: Genesis and Structure of a Popular Genre by Jerry Palmer
  4. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History by Cathy Caruth
  5. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction by Martin Priestman
  6. Crime Fiction from Poe to the Present by Martin Priestman
  7. Trauma and Survival in Contemporary Fiction by Laurie Vickroy
  8. Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood by Lenore Terr

University Books- 

  1. Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
  2. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Fun books-  

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  2. The Girl Before by J.P.Delaney

What have you guys been reading this year?

My weird (yet wonderful) bookish habits – Part Two.

I had a really positive response to the first post about my bookish habits…we are all a little weird and I LOVE IT. This is my second post and I love hearing what you reply, so please comment below and lets be weird and wonderful together.

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Read part one here –

Here I discussed my impulse to talk to anyone reading a book, stifling a yawn with my book, hating on people who abuse books and my favourite reading location.

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  1. Smelling books. New or Old I will give a book a cheeky little smell. Have you ever walked into a old vintage book shop and thought wow, it smells amazing. I wish they made candles in old book scent because I would burn that for daaayyyyssss. I always think old books smell well loved if that makes any sense at all. P.S. Early season Rory gives me life, she was a complete bookworm.giphy.gif
  2.  Leaving books scattered around the house. I am sooo guilty of this and it irritates my mum so much, she would always say she knew when I was back from university because she would just find books in random places. I need access to books at all times okay, what if something happened and I had to stay in that room…it would be okay because I would have a book with me.

rapunzel-books.gif  3. Always having a book on me.  I won’t leave the house unless I have a book with me. You never know when you will have a spare minute to read. Waiting for someone?-read. Early somewhere?-read. Unhappy?- Read. Bored?- Read. Legit the other day I went to Bath for the day with my best friend and I thought I would be early to the station so I grabbed my trusty version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 

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4. Going on holiday and packing more books than clothes. THANK YOU KINDLE FOR MAKING MY LIFE EASIER NOW! When I use to visit my dad in Denmark over summer I would take like ten books for a week trip and SMASH them all. He would have to work somedays so I would just read in his apartment or walk to the park and read.  I still sometimes take physical copies of books with me but prefer to take my kindle nowadays because it is lighter and easier to carry. Although I prefer reading books over kindle books? what’s your thoughts on this matter?

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5. Spending hours on end in libraries and bookshops.  Guilty again. I got spend an endless amount of time roaming the shelves in bookshops and libraries. Being surrounded by books fills me with a sense of comfort and belonging and I LOVE IT.

tumblr_o14lftvOZc1tzv1dpo1_500.gif 6. Talking about fictional characters as if they are real. I am a nightmare when it comes to this. They are real to me okay, they have touched my heart and now live in there. When I was going to my dissertation meetings my supervisor had to sit me down and advise me to stop writing and discussing the characters as if they were real. So…instead of writing Nick and Amy volitile relationship, I would have to write Flynn constructed the characters of Nick and Amy to give the illusion of a volatile relationship.Blah Blah Blah.

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So here are six more reading habits of mine. Do you do the same? What do you think of mine?

 

 

BOOK(tube)-A-Thon

JULY 24th to JULY 3Oth.

I have seen this popping up all over Youtube on the  booksphere. I LOVE BOOKTUBE! Who else loves book tube?

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will know that I have always wanted to start a youtube channel for books but I haven’t yet (I am scared okay?) So…I have decided to do the challenge on my blog instead.

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Reading Challenge #1 – Read a book with a person on the cover.

img_5085 I posted about this book last week and I am still eager to read it…so now it is on this challenge and HAS to be read now.

Blog Divider_BuntingReading Challenge #2 – Read a hyped book.

15441253._SY540_ I have been meaning to read this book for AGES. I was soo exciting for the release of this book and I pre-ordered it BUT I still haven’t read it.

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Reading Challenge #3 – Read a book in one day.

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I love this collection of poetry and prose. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I read this a few months ago and I want to revisit it because I keep thinking about it.

Blog Divider_BuntingReading Challenge #4 –Read about a character that is different from you.

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This is an emotional story about a tragic event. A soul-shattering novel that will leave your emotions raw. This story will haunt me forever. Everyone should read it’ Guardian.  A lovely follower also recommended this book so I cannot wait to devour it.

Blog Divider_BuntingReading Challenge #5- Finish a book completely outside.

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I was sent this from Canongate to review and I cannot wait to read it. I will definitely read this in the sunshine.

Blog Divider_BuntingReading Challenge #6 – Read a book you bought because of the cover.

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I feel like I am cheating here but I don’t mind because I get to read the first Harry Potter again. Yaaaaassss. Any excuse to read this wonderful story again and I will take it. I did technically buy this just because of the cover (and for my obsessive nature of the series).

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Reading Challenge #7 – Read seven books. 

 

Do you want to join in? Are you planning on doing the challenge already? If so comment below or tag me in your posts because I am super eager to see what you plan on reading!

Can I do it?

*Drumroll please*

At the beginning of the year I decided to set myself a reading challenge and if you have been reading my blog for a long time now, you know the ultimate number changed a few times...50/75/115/100… you get the idea.   

A few posts of mine about the reading challenge-

Nearly half way…

62 out of 100 reading challenge.

As you know, we don’t have very long left of 2016 and I am starting to panic a little bit because I  have only read 88 books this year. That means that I still have to read 12 more books to reach my goal of 100 books read in 2016. 

I need your help…please motivate me in the comments below with book suggestions/ books you have loved this year etc. JUST PLEASE MOTIVATE ME!! I REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE MY GOAL. 

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Flower delivery…

The incredible flower company that is Prestige Flowers (click here)  were generous enough to send me a bouquet from their luxury range in exchange for an honest review.

Not only did I receive the wonderful flowers BUT I also got a free vase…oh yeah, you heard right…a free vase. Another amazing feature about this company is that the prices are not extorsionate like some of the others, you can purchase a beautiful bouquet  from £19.99. That is soo good! I always think that buying flowers for someone is such kind and lovely idea, so I am always on the lookout for a reliable company. Especially because I am at University and live here (in Bristol)  instead of at home. It is always nice to have flower delivery as an option for birthday presents, sympathy, celebrations and perhaps an act of love.

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Personally, nothing for me can beat the feeling of receiving flowers from someone. The warmth of love that surrounds me, fills my heart with love and appreciation.

They also do some A-MAZ-ING CHRISTMAS FLOWERS.  Check them out here Christmas Flowers.  I know I will definitely placing an order with them soon! They are fast, reliable and you receive such beautiful flower…ready to put on display.

If you have any questions about the company or need more convincing – comment below!!

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (PART ONE)

I absolutely adore Gilmore Girls and especially Rory Gilmore. She is actually my spirit animal. 

This challenge is 339 books longs, so I have decided to split it into three posts.

  • RED = Books I have read. 
  • BLUE = Books I own and plan on reading. 
  • GREEN =Books I will think about adding to my TBR list. 

 

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy

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27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

tumblr_odekphtcdp1rmidh1o2_r1_500 54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves

d459373009a871b5a9dcf75a3fd3c77c81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo

a96b0a78627399ddc26a1b3a5f03301f.gif107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

cd0dbca871331cf37c76a1ad9fb604f4.gif I will admit, I am an English Literature student and I did not know a fair few of these books. considering the ones in red are the ones that I have read…I think I am doing alright so far.

Dear anxiety, please stop stealing my social life…

This is a bit of a personal post and I am sorry about being absent but my first year university exams took over my life. SO SORRY, I LOVE YOU ALL. 

A few weeks ago I went out on a night out with my university flat mates and in hindsight I really should not have gone because I wasn’t really feeling a night out.  I am an introvert at heart and some social situations really drain me and all day I was feeling drained from reality. Drifting through the day in a dream like state, my mind was overwhelmed with perplexing thoughts and crippling anxiety with regards to my coursework load and the dreaded aspect of exam looming over my head.  However I am also the type of person that cannot say no to people if they want to me do something (within reason) , so I put on a happy persona and acted like everything was okay, when in reality all I could think about was crawling into a dark corner and crying for a while.

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So as the night progressed I continued to act happy and focused all of my attention on making sure my flat mate Natalie was okay (both of us had just returned to university after our granddad being terrifyingly ill). My mum and step dad always joke around that I am like an agony aunt because my friends always seem to come to me, I know everyone hates to see other people sad but when people I love and care about are trapped within their own sadness I feel like I HAVE to make them happy. I feel compelled to make them feel loved and know I am there for them because I know what it is like to be consumed by complete and utter loneliness.

I continued to participate in the drinking games while keeping an eye on my flat mate, she seemed like she was having a really good night so I just backed away and made sure I was there for her if she needed me. This one particular flat mate is prone to walking off on a night out and finding other people to be with, which I never mind due to the fact we are students wanting to met new people (definitely more her than me) and there was a group of us going out so I would be with someone…(or so I thought).

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A while after arriving at the club, two of my friends went upstairs to the rock and roll floor and Natalie and I  were downstairs with the more mainstream club songs dancing, at this point I was briefly enjoying my night, while dancing like a fool. One paradoxical thing about me is that I act like I really do not care what people think of me, so I can cut shaped like a fool on the dance floor but then seconds later my mind catches up with my actions and shouts at me to act normal.

I think this is what triggered my panic attack alongside with the feeling of suffocation due to the fact it was soo busy. If you do not know a panic attack is a sudden rush of adrenaline caused by an uncontrollable amount of anxiety. My friend also walked off with a boy so I left alone being pushed and shoved by drunk people which was making me feel really helpless, lost and suffocated. My heart began to palpitate an uncontrollable amount which was making it impossible for me to breath and steady myself. I remember becoming really dizzy and begging myself to find people to help me, I was trying to see through the tear in order to text people. I felt like such an idiot for being in the middle of a club and being nearly curled over with fear, with make up all over my face, while struggling to grasp any breath I could.  I somehow staggered upstairs to try and find my friends and when I did I nearly collapsed because everything had gotten too much; I could not see, hear or speak through the pounding of my heart, the lack of oxygen and the constant pool of tears. A bombardment of  negative  thoughts acted as constant reminder that I was being an embarrassment and that my friends would not like me anymore.  I had the urgent feeling that I needed to escape, I had to undo my shirts top buttons in order to gain some control and calm down. For some reason whenever I have a panic attack I find it comforting to rub my neck, maybe in that state of mind I think it will help to rub my neck with my shaky hands, I know it sounds silly and I cannot explain why I do it.

Part of me wanted to leave the venue but the other half did not want to ruin my friends night so when I regained control over myself I went to the toilets and cried there because I felt so weak and embarrassed by my actions. Later I found my friends again and acted like everything was perfect when in fact the whole night was eating at me and my anxiety levels were still on high alert, I felt too fragile.

We later found Natalie again after she walked off with a boy and she was crying about her granddad and although I desperately wanted to leave and be alone to wallow in embarrassment, I had to put my friend first and make sure she was okay.  So we got a taxi and I tucked her up in bed safety because she was far too drunk to collect her thoughts properly.

I just want anyone who is reading this to know that it is okay if you suffer with anxiety / panic attacks. Did you know 1 in 4 people suffer with a mental illness like anxiety? You will be okay, I promise. Normally I am a happy, chirpy person but sometimes my anxiety takes over and if that happens to you, please seek help because you should not suffer alone. Even if you want to talk to someone and feel like you have no one, drop me an email and I will try my hardest to help you out.  For a while I think I will stick to my books rather than going out to a club.

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