All posts filed under: featured

My favourite books of 2016!

Well, 2016 is finally gone. Thank goodness! What a terrible, terrible year. 2016 was probably the worst reading year I have ever had (and the worst year in general?), I had a pretty terrible time last year, and I just couldn’t focus on reading because too much other crap was going on and distracting me with it’s awfulness. But I’ve decided that 2017 will be better (it better be or I WILL become an evil supervillain scientist and destroy the world with a super-mega death ray or something). Anyway… I decided to just do five of my favourite books of the year, and I doubt any of them will be a surprise…. but they are all books released in 2016. Yay. These are in no particular order, except for number 1 which was my favourite, because these books were all phenomenal. 1 – Morning Star by Pierce Brown (review) 2 – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (review) 3 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (review) 4 – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas …

Book Review – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

First off, a big congratulations to ME because I submitted my PhD thesis this week! After four-years slaving away over a hot monkey brain (not really!) it’s finally done! YAY FOR ME!!! Anyway… Empire of Storms…(Come for the review, stay for my self-congratulations!) So as with most sequels, I won’t be giving out any spoilers for any of the other books in this series in this review, but I will STRONGLY encourage you to go read the first book, because this series is still A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-! This is now the fifth book in this series (if you don’t count the book of prequel short stories) and this series is still awesome. Firstly, we are introduced to lots of new exciting places in this instalment of the series, which was pretty cool. Like always there is plenty of our plucky young protagonist setting everything on fire (both figuratively and literally), and there are LOTS of ships in this book (both figuratively and literally – lots of fun, romantic times on the high seas to be had by …

Book Review – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Thank you so much to Harper Voyager AU for sending me a copy of this amazing book for review. This review is actually quite hard to write, without raving madly about specific aspects of the book and ruining everything for everyone, but I shall try! What’s it about: Based a a world with three suns, where darkness only falls once every three years, a young girl’s father is killed, she decides to attend a secret school for assassins to get revenge with her awesome shadow-controlling powers. What I thought: It’s one of my favourites of the year. This book is just so damn good. I wish I had never read it so I could read it again for the first time. The stuff I loved: The world-building is phenomenal and unique. The characters are awesome. Every single one. Even the ones I hated. The story is awesome. It’s hilarious. There are footnotes throughout the book that are so clever and hilarious. There was one in particular that made me spit my tea all over the …

Books and Tea (where I match Throne of Glass ladies to types of tea!)

I am an obsessive tea drinker, with a tea obsession that has on more than one occasion been described as a little bit excessive. And because tea goes so well with reading, I decided to match up the ladies from the Throne of Glass series with some teas that I think are perfect for them. Throne of Glass Tea pairings Caelena Sardothien from The Throne of Glass – Marron Chocolat Marron Chocolat is, to me, the perfect tea for Caelena. The strong full-bodied black base flavoured with bittersweet chocolate and sweetened with candied chestnuts suits both her strength and insatiable sweet tooth. Caelena would sip this while curled up by the fire with a piece of chocolate cake. Flavour profile: sweet, creamy, nutty   Manon Blackbeak – Snow Dragon Jasmine Probably my favourite green tea, this jasmine tea is incredibly fragrant and has an otherworldly depth and a sense of mystery. It conjures up feelings of solitude and jasmine flowers in winter. And also dragons. Flavour profile: Floral, fresh, vegetal   Nehemia Ytger – Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) Earthy …

Interview with E. R. Murray, Author of Caramel Hearts

Today I have a special post with an interview with the author of new YA novel, Caramel Hearts. Caramel Hearts Caramel hearts is the story of Olivia (Liv), a 14-year old girl going through some difficult times. Her mother is an alcoholic, she’s being bullied at school, having issues with friends, and her sister, Hatty, has left college to try to keep social services from putting Liv in foster care. Olivia finds an old recipe book of her mother’s (A number of recipes are scattered throughout this book), and in an attempt to recapture some memories of happier times, begins cooking some of the recipes. But her mission to reconnect with her mother through these recipes might just cause her more problems. This book is both heart warming and heart breaking, with beautiful writing, and recipes for delicious treats that you can make yourself. Interview with E.R. Murray Tina: You’re new YA book, Caramel Hearts, is a coming of age story about a young girl who finds an old recipe book of her mother’s, and a number …

My Top books of 2016 (so far)!

Hello, everyone, and welcome to July. So I’ve read some pretty great books in the first half of 2016. I think my lowest rating was a 3.5/5 so that’s pretty good. Although I haven’t had a huge amount of time to read as I’ve been writing my PhD thesis, so I’ve only really finished books that have really grabbed me. But I’ve still read some really great books, and here they are (in no particular order). A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (review) My goodness I love this series. I just cant get it off my mind. I think about it all the time. It’s just fantastic. Sarah J. Maas is my Queen.   Morning Star by Pierce Brown (review) This series is just one of the most phenomenal series I’ve ever read. These books have always been there to get me through difficult times when I’ve found it impossible to read anything else. I also named my new puppy after one of the characters, so I think that shows my love …

Book Photography Tips (#1)

So some people on Tumblr said they might be interested in seeing some book photography tips. And rather than do a massive post I thought I’d focus on one particular tip at a time. These tips will be pretty specific to people using a DSLR as I don’t know how to do any of this on a camera phone (because I don’t use mine much). These will also require that  you have a basic knowledge of using your camera (exposure, aperture, and ISO). I haven’t really picked the best book to demonstrate this with as the cover has a grainy texture, but oh well. Photography Tip #1 – Always shoot in RAW (if you can). Many cameras by default will collect your images as JPEG files. JPEG files are fine and usually what you will need at the end, but you have much higher flexibility if you shoot in RAW format. RAW format basically saves all the data from the photograph, the exposure, shadows, highlights, etc, and this allows you to basically change any of …

Lit Lists – My Favourite Classics (Part 1)

I definitely collect beautiful editions of classic novels, but I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed with trying to actually read them all, because I have a lot of them now. But I thought I would share some of my favourites with you all. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Probably my favourite classic of them all is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This book is actually where my collecting of classics edition started. This book is just the ultimate gothic tale. Mary Shelley was a genius, and a beautiful writer and the combination is fantastic. This book is so deep and rich with symbolism and no two people seem to come out with the same interpretation of it. This edition Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll This is another book that features heavily in my collection, as well as on my body (I have a rather large Alice in Wonderland tattoo on my back), so I obviously love it. It’s vivid and absurd and just so incredibly fun. This edition  Dracula I was surprised when I first read this. …

#BRINGBACKTBSCOVERS

So, in case people are not aware, there is a travesty of publishing about to happen… THEY ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE COVERS FOR THE BONE SEASON SERIES BY SAMANTHA SHANNON. YES! These beautiful covers: Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely LOVE this series to bits. The most exciting moment of blogging EVER was when I got to the release the first official teaser for the third book, The Song Rising. So naturally, I love Bloomsbury, because they gave me that absolutely incredible opportunity to be part of one of my favourite series. And I’ll always love them for that. I review books for them frequently (and hope I continue to do so), and I have a fairly good relationship with the wonderful people working there. But I am pretty damn cranky with this proposed cover change. These are the proposed new covers: What the f**k guys? Seriously? This is the worst cover change I’ve seen since the Across the Universe cover change. And you know what, I never bought the third book in …

Book Review: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

“Stories can start revolutions.” What it’s about: A young wolf wilder (someone who takes in formerly domesticated wolves and tries to rehabilitate them so they can again survive in the wild), Feo, is perused by soldiers, and their insane captain, through the Russian wilderness as she attempts to save her mother from being falsely imprisoned, while trying to avoid being swept up in a revolution. What I thought: Well, firstly, this book surprised me in the fact that it is not a fantasy novel, as I had originally expected. At most Feo’s role as a Wolf Wilder could be described as slightly uncanny. But that shouldn’t really count against the book in any way because it is a beautiful little oddity of a book. “People say we can’t do anything about the way the world is; they say it’s set in stone. I say it looks like stone, but it’s mostly paint and cardboard.” This book isn’t one I would recommend to those who require a great deal of action in their novels. This book …