WWW Wednesday – 31st August 2016

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday post, a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Please go and have a look at everyone else is reading and make sure you post your own WWW in the comments so I can have a look.

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The premise of the post is quite simple – answer the three Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books I Read at School

I see this meme floating around all the time, but I’ve never actually given it a go before now. Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Back to School Freebie’, so I’m going to list ten books that I read during my school years and loved.


The Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman

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A brilliant set of YA books dealing with the issue of racism by flipping it on its head. I unfortunately never got round to reading the fourth book in the series, Double Cross. I’m not sure why, maybe I’d grown out of them slightly when it came out. I’m definitely tempted to get myself a copy now though.


The Maximum Ride Series (Books 1-3)

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There is actually nine books in this series, and I’ve read four and five, but from book four onward, James Patterson got a ghost writer and they were terrible. The first three, however, are great. About a group of kids who grew up in a lab, and have been implanted with bird’s wings. The story begins after they have escaped the lab and are on the run.


The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

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I can’t do a post about the books I loved as a teenager and not mention Twilight. By the time I got to Breaking Dawn, I realised how awful they are, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a book than I was with the first book, and New Moon to a similar extent. I liked Eclipse less, and then Breaking Dawn was just ridiculous.


Wicked by Gregory Maguire

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I had a period in my teens where I saw Wicked the Musical far too many time to be considered healthy. I was absolutely obsessed, so naturally I decided to read the book that inspired the musical. It was weird. Really weird, and really slow, and pretty boring. I managed to get through to the end and gave the sequel a go, but gave up after a few chapters.


The Diary of a Chav Series by Grace Dent

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I borrowed these from a friend and thought they were great. Really funny tales of a ‘chavvy’ teenager and her ‘chavvy’ family. Really taking the stereotype that seemed so popular at the time and exaggerating it into these ridiculous stories. I believe there’s another three books in the series, but I only ever read the first three.


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens5328

If we’re taking about books that I actually read at school, for school, A Christmas Carol is one that stands out. It’s the first and only Dickens novel I’ve read, but I really enjoyed it. It helped that I already vaguely knew the story and the Muppets version happens to be one of my favourite childhood films, but I adore Dickens’ writing style. It makes me wonder why I’ve never bothered reading any more of his works, but I’m not a massive lover of the classics.

 


6522978The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I think this was possibly the first ‘adult’ book I ever read. I was about 15 when the film came out, and I found the book lying around the house and decided to give it a go. Despite its very harrowing and controversial subject matter, I thought this book was incredible. It’s difficult to talk about a book like this, because it feels wrong to use positive superlatives. I know there are a lot of people who don’t like this book, and I can understand why, but if you haven’t read it, please do.

 


Anything and everything by Judy Blume

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I like to consider Judy Blume as being the American version of Jacqueline Wilson, but written a decade earlier, and aimed at a slightly older audience. Although I did read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson growing up, Judy Blume pretty much was my preteen years. I think I’ve read all, or at least most, of her books. Going through them now makes me want to go back to that age so I can read them all again.


285943Holes by Louis Sachar

This is another stand out that we read as a class. I found that a lot of books chosen by teachers for everyone to read ended up not being very good, but I loved this one. It’s just such an exciting story. The film is also pretty good.

 

 

 


186521Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Anybody who has sat a GCSE English exam will know why I simply can’t leave this out of a list of books I read at school. Of Mice and Men was absolutely hammered into our brains, and as much as I resented it at the time, in hindsight I realise what I wonderful book this really is. I’d love to read it again.

 

 


So that’s ten. I’ve probably gone into far too much detail, and I doubt I’ll write this much every week, but I hope you enjoyed my first Top Ten Tuesday. Feel free to leave links to yours in the comments so I can have a look.

WWW Wednesday – 24th August 2016

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday post, a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Please go and have a look at everyone else is reading and make sure you post your own WWW in the comments so I can have a look.

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The premise of the post is quite simple – answer the three Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading

Olympics Book Tag

Thank you to Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts for tagging me in this. I hate sport for all but two weeks in every four years (or two years if you count the Winter Olympics!), but I absolutely love the Olympics! I love the Team GB pride, and seeing people excel in sports I’ve never even heard of. It’s so nice for our country to actually do well at something for once. I’m so sad that it’s over now. I’ve hardly done any reading, or any anything for the last two weeks. I haven’t got a clue what’s been happening anywhere in the world other than Rio.


Opening Ceremony: 23125266a book you loved from the first page.

It normally takes me 50 or so pages to start really enjoying a book, but one that immediately springs to mind is I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It is so gripping from the very first page that you can’t help but carry on. I’ve read a lot of books this year claiming to be ‘the next Gone Girl’, and this is the only one that’s lived up to my expectations. (Review here)

 


83143Cycling: favourite road trip book

I don’t think I’ve ever read a proper road trip book, but one that involves a long journey would be Tatiana and Alexander, the second book in Paullina Simon’s The Bronze Horseman trilogy. I suppose the whole trilogy could count really, as they do a lot of travelling around the USA in The Summer Garden, before finally settling, and The Bronze Horseman involves quite a bit of travelling around Russia. Anyway, everyone please read these books because they are wonderful.


2767052Triathalon: a book with a good love triangle

I don’t read many romance books to have a good love triangle, so I’ll have to say The Hunger Games, which I think is the most recent book I’ve read to have one. I’ve also not fallen in love with a character as much as I did with Peeta since reading this. Gale just needed to go away.

 

 


6280118Handball : a book you didn’t really get

I can’t really think of one that I didn’t properly get or understand, but there are so many that I thought were really overrated, and didn’t get the hype. One Day is one that everyone seemed to be obsessed with while I was at sixth form. I didn’t read it until a couple of years later and just didn’t not get what was so good about it. I found it boring and pretty ridiculous, particularly the ending. I get what the author was trying to do, but I fell completely flat for me. The characters just weren’t likeable enough for me to care what happened to them.

 


6081433Beach Volleyball: a book set in the summer

The only one I can think of that is specifically set in summer is The Secret Life of Bees, which is set mainly during the school summer holidays. It was a really lovely read, although ruined slightly by me having read The Help immediately before it. It wasn’t anywhere near as good as The Help, but that only matters in relation to the issues with race that aren’t as prevalent in The Secret Life of Bees. It’s more just a classic, nice coming-of-age story.


28492027Fencing: a book with fighting

I’ve read a lot of books set during war, so it’s hard to pick just one. I suppose I’ll have to go with The Revenent as being the book I’ve read with the most fighting in it. Pretty much every page has some form of battle or fight on it. I have to say though, this wasn’t one of my favourite books. (Review here)

 

 


1343439Gymnastics: a book with plot twists

I’ve also read a lot of thrillers recently, all claiming to have ‘brilliant twists’. Not many of them have lived up to expectations, but I feel like I should just give Gillian Flynn a special mention here. All three of her books are wonderfully creepy and twisty (plus The Grownup, her short story). I adore her writing and her use of really flawed and unlikeable characters that you somehow can’t help but root for. I can’t imagine there’s anyone on the planet who hasn’t read Gone Girl, but if you haven’t please do, and if you have, please go and read her other books.


25480342Swimming: a book that made you sob

It takes a lot to make me cry at a book, but the one that stands out recently is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I had to stop reading as I ugly cried. It is one of the most beautiful and tragic books I have ever read. If you haven’t read it already, please do, and please have tissues handy. (Review here)

 

 


893136Golf: a slow paced book

My favourite ever book is probably also one of the most slow paced books I’ve ever read. The Book Thief requires ever word to be fully absorbed before moving onto the next. It’s the kind of book where you really want to read another chapter but you can’t because you’re so exhausted. The most beautiful writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

 


99107Trampoline: a childhood favorite

My favourite childhood book is Winnie-the-Pooh. I absolutely hate the Disney version for taking A. A. Milne’s subtle humour, magic, wonder, beauty etc, and turning it into something cliche and sickly. Disney have completely failed to capture what make this book (and its sequel, The House at Pooh Corner) so good. If you haven’t read the originals, please do, regardless of what age you are, you will adore them.

 


19057Equestrian: a book featuring animals

One that stands out recently is I am the Messenger, which uses the wonderful character of The Doorman, the aging and smelly dog, to add further dimension to Ed’s character. The Doorman helps to add a lovable, normal and human element to Ed, whilst adding humour. I love dogs, so I get really excited when there’s a dog in a book!

 


27406040Hurdles: a book you struggled to finish

I really struggled to finish Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. It was far too long and slow, and the plot was more annoying than exciting, so it ended up taking me ages to finish. I always try my best to finish all the books I read, but I almost DNFed this one. Eventually, I stuck it out until the end, and get it t a pretty negative review here. I do love the cover though, if I have to think of one positive.

 


7856358Synchronized Swimming: a book with a great friendship

It’s difficult to think of a book that just has a straight friendship rather than a romance. I’ll have to go for The Help, as the friendships in that are really beautiful, and are probably the most significant and ground breaking of all the books I’ve ever read. I could also mention the friendship between Liesel and Rudy in The Book Thief as one that really stands out, but I don’t want to use it twice!


I nominate:

Juliet @ Not Capulet

Claire @ Art and Soul

Sam @ Taking on the World of Words

Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers

And anyone else who hasn’t already done this tag!

 

WWW Wednesday – 18th August 2016

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday post, a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Please go and have a look at everyone else is reading and make sure you post your own WWW in the comments so I can have a look.

IMG_1384-0

The premise of the post is quite simple – answer the three Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading

Where Should I Buy Books?

I haven’t really got anything prepared for today’s post. I’d normally do a review, but my current book is quite a long read so I’ve not finished it yet. Instead, I’ve decided to revive a post from a few months ago when my blog was in its infancy. It didn’t get much attention back then, but neither did any of my posts, so hopefully more than two people will read it this time! I spent quite a while writing it, so I’m excited to bring it back and hear your opinions.

This is a question I have been debating for a while. We all hear about the decline in the bookshop and how we should avoid supermarkets and big sites like Amazon, in favour of local independent bookshops. Of course, I am all for this. Bookshops are a place of wonder and magic; a place to spend hours just browsing among other book lovers. There’s also nothing like discovering new books you would never have found on Amazon, without hours of scrolling through pages.

The main problem I find with independent bookshops, as is the main issue with most people, is the price. It is so tempting to simply order them online when there is an abundance of 3 for £10 offers flying about. Consider that in comparison to the average paperback in a bookshop costing around £7.99. Unfortunately for me, my reading habit is too large for me to afford spending that sort of money on each book I read. I am also the sort of person who likes to own a physical, personal copy of a book. I don’t really like borrowing from friends, or lending my own out. Maybe that’s a selfish attitude, but I get very attached, particularly to favourite books.

I have read 28 books so far this year. Had I paid bookshop prices for all of these, I would have spent £223.72. That’s just under a week’s wages for me. Add to that the possible 10-15 more books I will read this year and the cost is starting to get out of hand for someone in a fairly low paid job.

In actual fact, of those 28 books, seven were borrowed from friends, nine purchased from Amazon, five received as gifts, three purchased from Waterstones and four won on Goodreads Giveaways/Requested on NetGalley. So I’m exaggerating. I only actually spent money on twelve of them, although most of the books in my ‘To-Read’ pile by my bed are from Amazon, with maybe three others being from Waterstones.

One thing I have been trying to do recently is buy all books that aren’t part of the 3 for £10 Amazon offer, from a bookshop. I like to use Waterstones, as there aren’t any independent bookshops near to where I live, which is a shame. Using their ‘buy one get one half price’ offer, books can end up only costing around £6 each, which is still possibly too much for me to spend on every book I buy, but for now it will have to do. Some books are also cheaper in Waterstones; mainly ones that aren’t in the charts or being mass produced. I often see books for £10-£11 for a paperback on Amazon, but only the standard £7.99 from bookshops. It’s always best to check you’re getting it from the cheapest price, especially if you can support a bookshop in the process.

I also love spending time just browsing in bookshops, and always try to purchase something while I’m there (although I often have to talk myself out of it, again for financial reasons). I went into Waterstones recently and ‘accidentally’ managed to buy three books, costing me a total of around £15. One was half price, and the other two were on the ‘buy one get one half price’ offer. I suppose I can’t really complain about £5 per book, and I didn’t think twice about paying for them. One of the reasons I bought the books that I did, was through the recommendation of the lovely shop assistant, who took the time to chat to me about the sort of books I like, and then recommended ones he had read himself with enthusiasm. Now, I know he was only doing his job, and he may have been exaggerating slightly for the sale, but this is just something you don’t get if you buy online. I was happy to have the chance to chat with a fellow book lover. I would honestly love to work in a bookshop, if only it paid better!

It also depends on what kind of books you like to read. I only ever read fiction, but for those who enjoy non-fiction books, it is, more often than not, much cheaper to buy on Amazon. Non-fiction coffee table type books can be over half price when bought online, something hard to ignore when they are often £20+. I faced this issue while at university. I needed to buy lots of books for my assignments, and most likely saved hundreds by buying used copies from Amazon.

As a blogger, I know I should take advantage of NetGalley more than I do, but I’m not a lover of e-books. I usually read them on my mum’s Kobo, as I don’t own a Kindle, and the text comes out really small. As they’re PDF copies, the option to change the text size isn’t available (unless I’m missing something). I struggle to engage with e-books as opposed to paperbacks, and as I mainly read in the bath, I am a bit worried about dropping it! Another reason for not requesting as many books on NetGalley as I probably should, is that I don’t like not giving the author my money. Certain books that have been available recently are ones that I plan to buy anyway, so I’d feel guilty getting them for free.

Overall, I think I am doing what is best for me. I try my best to buy from bookshops when and where I can, but do often have to succumb to Amazon, where things can be considerably cheaper.

Where do you buy your books?

WWW Wednesday – 3rd August 2016

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday post, a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Please go and have a look at everyone else is reading and make sure you post your own WWW in the comments so I can have a look.

IMG_1384-0

The premise of the post is quite simple – answer the three Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading

Monthly Round Up – July

Processed with MOLDIVI suppose I could say this has been a steady month. In regards to blog stats, it’s been my best month so far, beating my records of most views and most likes in a day. You might have noticed that I’ve tried to be more active in the book blogger community, by joining in with WWW Wednesdays. I’m going to have a look round for more memes like that for me to latch on to and become even more involved. You might also have noticed that I’ve had a bit of an overhaul of my blog theme and design. It wasn’t very personal before, so I’ve created a proper header, and gone with a tropical theme (taken from a picture of the tissue box on my desk!). Hopefully you’ll agree that it looks a lot better, although I’m not the most creative person and don’t really do well with photo editing stuff, so I can probably do better!

 

I’ve also tried to develop my bookstagram (@bathtimereadsblog). I’m not very good at photography, and I don’t have the time (or money for strange dried flowers/candles/weird book character dolls etc!) to make my picture as lovely as lots of those out there, but I am trying. I’ve been trying my best to post a new photo every day, and they’re getting around 40 likes on average, which I think is pretty good to start with. I’ve slowly started building up my followers and have around 125 now, which is steadily increasing. I’m going to do one of the special monthly hashtags in August to hopefully give me a bit of inspiration and a bigger platform, although I haven’t decided which one to do yet!

Moving on to the real reason we’re all here: the books. I’ve read five full books books this month, along with DNFing one.  They are:

  1. The Accident by C.L Taylor (I know this was included in the June post, but I did finish it in July!) – 8/10 Solid
  2. Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt – 7/10 Something Missing
  3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 8/10 Solid
  4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 6/10 Alright
  5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – 10/10 Perfect
  6. Everything Love Is by Claire King – DNF

It’s been a decent mix, with my first 10/10 since I started my blog, and since The Help in January! Two very decent thrillers with The Accident and The Girl on the Train, one cute YA ARC with Tell Us Something True, and one annoying, insulting ‘thriller’ with Big Little Lies.

A Monster Calls was my first 10/10 since I started my blog, and also since I read The Help in January! Click on the link above to read my gushing review. I also read one and a half ARC. I’m trying to read more, and I have a one or two sitting on my NetGalley account, but I also have so many other books to read. Because I’ve only just got back into reading in the last year or so, I feel like I’ve got lots of catching up to do, and there’s so many good books from the last few years that I’ve missed. I’m trying my best to read at least one ARC per month.

Regarding August, my plans are to squeeze as much as I can in to my final full month before I start my masters. I’m giving myself a target of 6 books this month, which I don’t think will be too difficult to do. I am already around a third of the way through I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, and I am absolutely loving it. The Book Thief is my all time favourite book, and this is written in the same beautiful style, despite the story being completely different. As seems to be the case with all of Markus Zusak’s books, the story could be anything – he could rewrite the phone book and I’d read it cover to cover, loving every word. He just uses the most stunning descriptions.

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I also plan to read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah next. I’ve been putting it off for a while, but I think now is the right time. I also have After You by Jojo Moyes and The Girls by Lisa Jewell to read. I think I’ll read both of those quite quickly, so they’ll probably be next. I also have a couple of thrillers and We Need to Talk About Kevin to get through. Maybe I’ll save that for September.

 

Let me know what you’ve been reading in July!