Film Review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Film Review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

As the final film in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, and what is most likely his last jaunt into the world of Middle Earth, I really, really wanted to love this film when I went to see it on Friday night. Both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have generally been exempt from my usual disdain for book to film adaptations (despite being based on some of my favourite books) and contrary to popular opinion amongst many die-hard Tolkien fans, I have actually enjoyed Peter Jackson’s extending of The Hobbit story – a few hundred page book – into a great… Read more »

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Review: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Review: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

‘And, ah! his castle. The faery solitude of the place; with its turrets of misty blue, its courtyard, its spiked gate, his castle that lay on the very bosom of the sea with seabirds mewing about its attics, the casements opening on to the green and purple, evanescent departures of the ocean, cut off by the tide from land for half a day…’ Warning: Spoilers I first read Angela Carter’s short story collection The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories for a fairy tale module I did at university, and having a spare hour or two this week (now NaNoWriMo is… Read more »

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My Trip to Haworth (Home of the Brontës)

My Trip to Haworth (Home of the Brontës)

Last week my family and I took a trip up to Haworth, which is a lovely little village in Yorkshire. It’s also where the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne) lived and penned their famous novels, which include such greats as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It was a cold, drizzly day, and so naturally, as soon as I got out of the car, the humidity sent my hair crazy (which is especially bad when your hair is pink – it starts to look like candy floss!), and it was pretty chilly. Nevertheless, I had… Read more »

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Review: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

Review: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

‘I remember Prince Hal, William! I remember the lion! Just ten more years and he’d have had the rest of France at his feet. Henry of Monmouth was my king, no other. God knows I would follow his son, but this boy is not his father. You know it. Instead of a lion of England, we have a dear white lamb to lead us in prayer.’ Stormbird is the first in Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses series, and is set in the reign of Henry VI – the frail, gentle son of the famous war king, Henry V, who… Read more »

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Review: The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells

Review: The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells

‘It may be I fancy I have seen more of the ways of this world’s Maker than you – for I have sought his laws, in my way, all my life, while you, I understand, have been collecting butterflies.’ Warning: Spoilers Considering I’m quite a fan of science-fiction (and attempting to be a science-fiction writer for NaNoWriMo!), the fact that I have never read anything by H.G. Wells before now is pretty shocking! Whilst The Time Machine and War of the Worlds are better known, I managed to pick up a copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau for 99p… Read more »

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Where My Love of Reading Began

Where My Love of Reading Began

My Mum always tells me about how as a baby I would sit for ages with my little books and hold them really close to my face and jabber away like I was actually reading them (the close to my face thing turned out to be long-sightedness – I have worn glasses since I was 3!). Even before I could read, I wanted to read, and I subsequently learnt at a pretty young age. In fact, I remember the first book I ever read from start to finish all by myself: it was a Ladybird Book of The Gingerbread Man,… Read more »

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Film Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Film Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Warning: Spoilers. As a general rule, I’m pretty sceptical about book to film adaptations: from previous experience, I very rarely like the film as much, and don’t think I’ve ever actually preferred a film. For that reason, I was a little dubious about watching the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, as I absolutely adore John Green’s novel! However, I have to say, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the film! I felt that it was in most cases, very nearly as good as the book (and that is high praise indeed!), and it felt very true to… Read more »

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Review: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Review: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

‘A gentleman asked me, if this is what Cromwell does to the cardinal’s lesser enemies, what will he do by and by to the king himself?’ Warning: Spoilers (although if you know anything about Tudor history, you will already know the ending anyway!). A little while ago I reviewed Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall, and loved it so much I gave it a 5/5! I now regret that, and not because I have decided I didn’t like the book as much as I originally thought, but because I can’t mark its sequel (and also a Man Booker… Read more »

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3 Tips to Increase Writing Productivity

3 Tips to Increase Writing Productivity

Very few writers/bloggers/authors are lucky enough to be able to write full time: many have day jobs, or have kids or other responsibilities, and have to simply fit their writing in when they can. I, for example, have recently quit my second part time job and have gone full time at my first, meaning I have considerably less time to devote to my writing. Therefore, when I do write, I like to get the most done in that time possible! So here are just a few tips and tricks I have learnt whilst trying to work out how best to use… Read more »

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Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

‘”Oh, Clary. Oh, thank God.” A sharp prickle of alarm ran up Clary’s spine. Her mother sounded panicked. “Listen to me-“ “It’s all right, Mom. I’m fine. I’m on my way home-“ “No!” Terror scraped Jocelyn’s voice raw. “Don’t come home! Do you understand me Clary? Don’t you dare come home.’ Warning: Spoilers I know that the Mortal Instruments books are incredibly popular, but I’ll admit, I’ve been avoiding them for ages! The first I heard about them was the release of the movie trailer, and it completely put me off. It just looked so cheesy! I was further discouraged… Read more »

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