‘The loveliest spot that man hath ever found.’ – William Wordsworth about Grasmere The Lake District is undoubtedly one of the most scenic areas of Britain, and every time I go I can easily see why it provided the inspiration for so much of the Romantic Poets’ work, most notably that of William Wordsworth.
‘We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time.’ Marina Keegan, a talented writer with a promising future, graduated from Yale in May 2012. She has already won multiple writing awards, been published in many prestigious publications and had a highly coveted job at the New Yorker lined up. Tragically, five days later she died in a car crash, and The Opposite of Loneliness is a posthumous collection of her essays and stories, including the title essay, which went viral shortly after her death. This was quite a departure from the norm for me,… Read more »
In just under a month it will be my first blogoversary (hooray!), and whilst a year of blogging hardly makes me an expert, I feel like I’ve learnt a few things that could help out anyone who is thinking about taking the plunge and starting a book blog (or has already plunged and feels a little lost!). So here are a few tips I would give to those people who are where I was a year ago, and about to embark on a journey into the wonderful (yet totally confusing and crazy) world of book blogging: Choose your platform wisely…. Read more »
I write… …because I’m good at it. I’m not good at a lot of things: I can’t draw, for example, or paint, or make things, and I’m not great at Maths or Science. I can’t speak any other languages beside English and GCSE level German, I can’t play an instrument and I can’t do perfect make-up…but I can write. I can take words and fashion them into what I hope are half-decent sentences, and I can order them so that they have meaning. Sometimes it’s hard – really hard in fact – and I hate every single word that I… Read more »
‘The Lord Ruler was dead. Even a year later, Vin sometimes found that concept difficult to grasp. The Lord Ruler had been…everything. King and god, lawmaker and ultimate authority. He had been eternal and absolute, and now he was dead.’ A few weeks ago I reviewed the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, The Final Empire, and I’ve finally got round to reading the second book in the series, The Well of Ascension. Following on from the events of The Final Empire, the kingdom is adjusting to life without the tyrannical rule of the Lord Ruler. Elend Venture rules as… Read more »
Warning: Anyone who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books, be warned that this list includes spoilers for the entire series (which you should go and read right now!). Like so many others who were children or teenagers in the late nineties/early noughties, I grew up reading Harry Potter. My parents bought me the first two books for my eighth birthday, and from then on I was hooked. Every year after that I was queuing up outside bookshops on the day of the latest release to get my hands on the newest adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione. In fact there’s been… Read more »
Characters can without a doubt, make or break a piece of fiction: they are the beating heart of a story. I know from my own experience as a reader that it doesn’t matter how good a concept the story has, or how well plotted it is, if the characters are flat and lifeless. Readers need to care about characters and feel invested in them in order to engage with the story, which is why creating characters can be such a difficult part of writing.
‘’You are my king,’ York said softly. ‘I ask only to stand at your side. You need good counsel, cousin. You need me.’ Quite a while ago, I read the first book in Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses series and loved it. Whilst I have read loads of novels about the Tudor period, the War of the Roses is an area of history I know less about, and the story of Henry VI and how the strife between the houses of York and Lancaster began was fascinating. And things got even more interesting in Trinity, with more battles, more… Read more »
Until recently, I’ve never thought too much about how I choose my next read – it just seems like such a natural process. By this point in my reading life, I’ve a pretty good idea of what sort of thing I’ll like and usually go off instinct (not that this is foolproof!), although I’ve noticed there are a few things that tend to guide my decision:
As a general rule, us readers are a pretty well behaved lot – after all, we’d really much rather be reading! But there are a few sins that bookworms are apt to commit, and so I thought I’d do a little post about the ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Reading’. I didn’t realise when I started writing this that there’s actually a tag kind of like this, but I’m doing it a little differently!