Friday Book Tag

Author – Laura

Book Blog Confessions Book Tag

We have done Book Tags before here on The Bookspa, (read post) but this one delves a bit deeper into our likes, dislikes and guilty pleasures. Hate is a very strong word that we try really hard not to use, so we are going in with hate, and out with love…

1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish? I started reading The Confessions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House, by Kate Summerscale. Although I was really enjoying it, I made the fatal mistake of putting it down, and I completely lost the thread of the plot. I will pick it up again, but it’s slipping down the TBR list…

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure? Twilight. Easy. But I need a blanket and chocolate when I’m reading it. It’s a whole sensory experience 😉

3. Which book do you love to hate? I think I have to say 50 Shades of Grey. It’s not a brilliantly written book, and the similarities between it and Twilight are quite distracting. That being said, I enjoyed reading a completely new genre and read all three books in a week, so it couldn’t have been that bad!

4. Which book would you throw into the sea? You don’t get books wet. Ever. But if I really had to pick, I’d say Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Ugh.

5. Which book have you read the most? The Harry Potter series. And I never, ever get bored of them.

6. Which book would you hate love to receive as a present? A signed copy of Good Omens. I think I would spontaneously combust.

7. Which book could you not live without? I’d be sad if I could never read Good Omens again, but there are so many beautiful books in the world that I’m sure I could manage. Just.

8. Which book made you the angriest? I don’t think I’ve ever been really angry at a book, but I’ve definitely been angry on behalf of a character. I remember being pretty mad at Brimstone when it looked like he’d left Karou all alone in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I hate anything to do with hurting animals. But nothing is ever as it seems, and things normally work out for the best. I do like a happy ending!

9. Which book made you cry the most? It’s a toss up between The Green Mile and The Deathly Hallows. Proper sobfests both of them!

10. Which cover do you hate love the most? Hmm. There are so many beautiful covers. We wrote about our favourites a while back… Read Post I think the Angelfall series has beautiful covers, as does the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and the Dark Heroine series. I’m a sucker for a pretty book. I picked up The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester, which was just gorgeous.

Feel free to tag yourselves in and share your answers with us, we’re nosy and we love to know which books people love and love less…

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favourites – Books I loved as a child.

Author – Kiera.

I have an endless list for this topic of Friday Favourites. There is something special about childhood books, you always remember them fondly and get a real sense of nostalgia. With many of these picks I could tell you where I was when I read them, what I had been doing, who I with. I also have many of the copies I read stashed away in a box for safe keeping.

I’m going to try and be somewhat chronological with this post and hope I can narrow it down a bit, let’s see how that goes!

 

roalddahl

Roald Dahl.

This one is probably pretty common, I don’t think there is a book lover out there that has not read a Roald Dahl book or two! I specifically remember reading The Twits, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach repeatedly. His writing style and the brilliant illustrations always made it so easy for me to picture his colourful characters. I even have the recipe book to go along with the stories, though I confess the only thing I really make is the Bruce Bogtrotter cake nowadays.

 

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Enid Blyton.

This is another author I read a lot of as a youngster. The books that will always stick in my mind are The Faraway Tree stories and The Famous Five. Clearly I wanted to pack my spotted handkerchief and go off on lots of fun adventures as a nine year old! While the Roald Dahl books appealed to me because of their characters, these were all about the imagery and world building. I think I checked all the trees in the local area to see if Moonface happened to be living in one. No such luck!

 

the-switch-anthony-horowitz

The Switch – Anthony Horowitz.

I used to get given book recommendations most weeks from my teachers growing up. Before the days of Goodreads (how did we cope?) it was a case of heading the library and filtering through books until you found something that sounded good. So to have someone suggest a book you might like was always a great start. This was one of them, and the one that stand out most in my mind. I love Anthony Horowitz’s writing style even now and this is going to be one that I read with my son at some point in the near future.

 

 

Artemis-Fowl-Series-Book-1-8

 

The Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer.

I was fourteen when this series started. It was recommended (as many books are) by my Aunt and we started reading them together. This is an amazing series to have someone to experience with. The story lines are fun and fast paced, the characters are hilarious and the world building is great. Even now we still make references to these books in general conversation. People must think we’re mad.

 

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And last, but not least! The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.

Now, I’m going to say something that is probably going to get me in trouble. This is what I reading when everyone else was reading Harry Potter. I’m sorry, don’t hate me. As a teen I was very much – if everyone else is doing it, then I’m going to be doing something else. In this case it actually worked out pretty well, because this series will always be one of my favourite fantasy stories, and actually they are often compared to Harry Potter now. A boy who does magic, must be like HP.

This series had me laughing all the way through, even though it is gritty and all the characters are flawed. I think it set a standard for what I like and look for in fantasy novels now.

 

I’m going to leave it there, while there are so many more I want to mention these are the ones that always come to mind first. What are your favourite childhood reads?

Book Club Outing – Harry Potter Studio Tour

Author – Laura

At the end of November our Book Club spent the day immersed in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Kiera, Hazel, Toni and Laura made the 80 mile trip to Leavesden Studios in a car much less exciting than a flying Ford Anglia. But apart from a small spillage before we even set off we got there in one piece!

Harry Potter Studio Tour Christmas TreeTo say we were excited is a bit of an understatement. The minute we saw the Christmas tree in the foyer that was it.

Feeling festive with our Hogwarts in the Snow badges we joined the queue and managed to get right to the front. I’d like to say we planned it that way, but to be honest we were away with the fairies, high on glitter and baubles. We could have been stood anywhere and it wouldn’t have mattered.

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but from the moment we entered the first room (Toni had an extra special birthday treat… ) to the minute we climbed back into the car, tired but happy, we had an incredible time. One of the major highlights was the snow machine. We were drinking Butterbeer, in the snow. It shouldn’t get much more amazing. Except it does. All kinds of amazing.

The shop is expensive, but there are so many fabulous things to buy it would be just wrong to not buy a little something. I fell in love with a pink Pygmy Puff, and Hazel bought enough Chocolate Frogs to feed the whole of Gryffindor common room!

If you’re even a little bit of a fan of Harry Potter then you will love the Tour – it’s worth every penny.

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One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

Well that sounds good to me!

 

 

From everyone here at The Bookspa,

We wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Book Tag!

Booktag

 

Author – Kiera

 

To break up the Friday Favourites a little bit, and because we couldn’t decide who got which book boyfriend, (there was a heated discussion) we’re doing a Book Tag. I know that I like finding out people’s reading habits, so here are a few questions we answered about ours.

 

What is your favourite book?

Laura – Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I don’t really even know why. It just makes me happy.

Kiera –  Book…Singular? Really? Ummmmm…. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Shhh don’t tell the other books!

 

What genre do you prefer?

L – Wow. Second question and I’m already umming. Probably Fantasy but I like Thrillers as well. Fantasy Thrillers?

K – I’m going to go with Fantasy.

 

What is your favourite book series?

L – Harry Potter. An obvious choice but they are all so magical. (Pun intended).

K – Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

 

What books did you hate reading in school?

L – We studied Daz 4 Zoe for English GCSE – it was pretty bad.

K – I can’t remember hating any of the books we had to read at school.

 

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

L – We had the Ladybird book collection – I loved the Cinderella edition with her on the front wearing a pink dress. I always wanted a dress like that *sigh*.

K – The first books I remember reading myself were probably Enid Blyton Books. It would have been either The Famous Five or The Faraway Tree, but I can’t remember which one I read first. Oooh! Or The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

 

Bookstores or libraries?

L – Kiera you buy books from libraries! I would say Bookstore. Especially the really old ones that smell amazing and have wonky floors. Mr B’s anyone?

K – Both? If I had to pick one, could I cheat and say libraries and then still order books online?

 

How many books do you own?

L – Nowhere near as many as I would like.

K – Almost 400. Plus 200ish kindle books.

 

Do you read before bed?

L – Absolutely.

K – Every night.

 

What is your most comfortable reading position?

L – Curled up in a blanket on the sofa with my book on my knees.

K – Sat in bed with my book resting against my knees.

 

What is the most recent book you read?

L – I’m reading Half Bad by Sally Green.

K – I’m currently reading Outpost by Ann Aguirre

 

What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

L – “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter Series. I love that you have to declare your naughtiness before the magic will work 🙂

K‘We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it‘ – DoSB  (there is a pattern here…)

I just think it can be applied to everyone in a personal sense and in the wider sense of global issues.

 
Science Fiction or Fantasy?

L – Fantasy.

K – Fantasy please!

 

What books do you regret reading?

L – I don’t regret reading books. I have been disappointed by a couple of highly acclaimed books recently (no names) but I don’t regret reading them.

K – I don’t think I regret reading anything. There are a few book I wouldn’t read again though!

 

On average, how many books do you read per year?

L – Maybe 3 or 4 a month? I’m a reader, not a mathematician.

K – It varies, depending on what games are out. I can’t read a book and play RPG at the same time, as I find the stories get muddled. As an average I’m going to say 52 full books.

 

What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

L – Twilight. Please don’t shoot me.

K – The Hobbit.

 

Do you like to read outside?

L – Yes, in my garden with a cold drink and a big hat.

K – No. There are bugs and other people outside :p

 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

L – It might sound terrible, but I read to escape, and I don’t generally take much more than feelings back to the real world…

K – Probably to speak out. A lot issues are left not spoken about because they are taboo or sensitive subjects. I think that a lot of problems could be solved if they were just spoken about. Knowledge is power.

 

Of the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

L – The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern.

K – Half Bad by Sally Green

 

Bookmark or a random piece of paper?

L – I have a lovely magnetic Batman bookmark, but it’s normally a receipt or something.

K – I have a pack of cards I use as bookmarks. I used to buy bookmarks all the time, and lose them just as often, so I started using cards. 52 for the price of 1.

 

Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, ect.?

L – I normally stop when I can’t keep my eyes open any more!

K – I like to at least finish the page, but I can stop reading at any point. It’s a skill developed over years of falling asleep reading, and having no choice but to find the point you can last remember reading.

 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

L – Yes.

K – Drink, yes. Eat, no.

 

Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

L – Yes. Although I wouldn’t choose to.

K – Sometimes. It depends what I’m reading and what is going on around me. I have to start new books on my own in quiet, but once I get into the book I can read through most things. I don’t tend to put music on to read though.

 

One book at a time, or several at once?

L – I quite often have at least 2 on the go.

K – I have on very few occasions read more than one book at a time. I get the stories muddled easily, so generally I read one at a time.

 

Reading at home or everywhere?

L – Duh – everywhere!

K – Everywhere!

 

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

L – I try really hard not to.

K – All the time. If the characters are having a conversation I always read through the dialog and then go back and read the rest. I don’t know why, I have tried to stop doing it, but I’m just too impatient.

 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

L – Lets just say I am more careful when I borrow other people’s books…

K – New, new, new…. Please.

 

Do you write in books?

L – Who does that?

K – No. Why would you!? That’s what sticky pads or note books are for 😉

 

 

We weren’t tagged by anyone, but questions were found at –

http://acbookjunkies.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/book-tag.html

&

http://laurenreadsya.tumblr.com/post/17329933244/tag-questions-about-books

 

Friday Favourites

Laura's top 5

 

This week it’s Laura’s turn to share her top 5 favourite books of all time…

“Love them or hate them, these are the books that make me feel. Be it sad, happy, excited or just plain old comfy, these stories have a very special place in my heart.”

In no particular order…

Laura's Top 5

Twilight
Stephenie Meyer

I know, I know! I can hear the collective groans from here. But this book is beautifully written, regardless of what you think of the content or subject matter. It’s emotive and has real depth – this is a YA book dealing with some pretty dark themes; forbidden love, power struggles and death, and you still come out the other end unconditionally, and irrevocably, in love with a vampire.Although in my case it was Jasper, not Edward. But still…
Good Omens
Neil Gaiman

I’ll just throw this out there – this is probably my favourite book in the whole wide world. I’m not even sure what it is that I love so much – I can’t decide if it’s the characters, the storyline or the setting. It’s probably a combination of all three. As well as the sarcasm and dry humour that is abundant throughout. It just makes me feel good when I read it, like a big snuggly jumper that you still wear in summer because it feels so comforting.This was the first time I’d read anything by Neil Gaiman, and it sparked a bit of a fangirl sitch. I hope I never meet Neil Gaiman. It would be embarrassing for both of us.
Lost at the Fair
A.J. MacGregor

This is a childhood favourite for me and my brother and sister. We had a small hardback Ladybird edition, which was read to death. Even now we can still recite the lovely rhyming story. “Fast asleep was Dormouse Cottage, up on silent Sunny Hill…”Beautiful, innocent storytelling at its best.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling

I’ve picked a specific HP book, rather than the whole series, because as much as I adore all of them this one has always been my favourite. It’s the first time you really feel that the fight between good and evil is much bigger than just Harry and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It’s also the first time Harry is really a part of a family, fighting for a cause with wizards who were there with his parents the first time round. It’s full of mystery, heartbreak and raw determination, which makes it the first really dark Potter book. I love it.
The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

If you read my review a couple of weeks ago here on the bookspa, you’ll know that I have a warm, gooey place in my heart for this beautiful book.Read my reviewJust read the book. You’ll see why for yourself.