12 Bookish Facts

12 Bookish Facts

Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about bookish facts. If there are any facts that I haven’t listed but you think are interesting, then please comment them below!

Bookish Facts

1. Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material.

2. Dr. Seuss wrote his first book in 1936 on a luxury liner called the Kungholm. As he crossed the Atlantic the sound the engines made annoyed him so much that his wife proposed he use the repetitive rhythm to help him write the book.

3. Goodreads was established in 2007 and in July 2013 it was reported that they had attracted 55 million members.

4. In Kansas City there is a parking lot for the public library designed to look like a huge bookshelf.

5. There are over 8.2 million copies of all three of The Hunger Games books published in the U.S.

6. The Winnie the Pooh books have been translated into 50 other languages including Yiddish and Esperanto.

7. Beatrix Potter wrote The Fairy Caravan in 1926 which was only published in America because Potter thought it was too autobiographical to be brought out in England in her lifetime. The book was released in the UK nine years after her death in 1943.

8. Jacqueline Wilson’s first book for children was called Nobody’s Perfect.

9. When Roald Dahl was at school he was a taste tester for Cadbury. This is probably what inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

10. Books used to be chained to bookshelves in public libraries.

11. Alice in Wonderland used to be banned in China because General Ho Chien believed it was an insult to the human race that animals should be given speech in books.

12. About £2.2 billion in the UK is spent on books a year and a fifth of this is spent on children’s books.

I hope you enjoyed these! Until next time, Vee x

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Hey guys! In this weeks blog I’ll be reviewing a classic! This is The Perks Of Being A Wallflower which is also a major feature film.

Blurb

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Review

I’ve been wanting to read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower for quite some time now and I really want to see the movie. So I decided to read the book before the movie as I always do.

I really enjoyed this new take on life from Charlie and I love how the writer is so committed to this character that you believe he’s real. Charlie reminds me of Sam from Atypical or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. He thinks there’s something wrong with him when there’s not; he’s just unique.

Charlie is so determined to make everyone happy that he doesn’t take his own happiness into account; he lets Mary Elizabeth talk for hours because he can’t say no; and he lets Patrick kiss him when he doesn’t want him to. It almost feels like Charlie is a puppet who doesn’t really care about himself as long as others are happy.

This book is so thought provoking and witty and I can’t wait to see the film. I rooted for Charlie and his friends to be happy, to feel infinite. Charlie has his problems that he’s working out with a therapist and he doesn’t understand why he’s being asked all these questions until he figures out why at the end. You start to see why he’s upset all of the time and why he has difficulty socializing.

I thought this book was so well written and Chbosky knows how to read his characters. This book teaches us that there’s nothing wrong with being unique and that we all have stories that make us who we are, or who we choose to be.

This is going to be a must read for readers everywhere; I just know that when I’m much older, this book is going to be used in schools and colleges and be regarded as a classic of our time. We need more books like this that make the reader feel infinite.

I hope you enjoyed this review; don’t forget to subscribe to my blog as it means so much to me! Until next time, love, Vee x

Poetry Review: Under The Influence

Poetry Review: Under The Influence

In this week’s blog post I’ll be reviewing Jacquelyn Lee’s poetry debut, Under The Influence. Trigger warning: A book about trauma, abuse and addiction.

Blurb

Under the influence is a journey of abuse, trauma, and grief through poetry. It is divided into three chapters: addiction, withdrawal, and overdose. Each chapter depicts a different part of the author’s abuse-ridden life as she grew up “under the influence” of her dysfunctional parents.

Jacquelyn Lee turns her pain into something beautiful through her gripping and moving words. Through poetry and prose, she expresses her experiences with an alcoholic father, a mentally-ill mother, the suicide of her father and everything in between. Under the influence brings the darkness into the light and gives a voice to the voiceless.

Review

I interviewed Jacquelyn Lee a while ago and asked her about her writing and Under The Influence. I’ve wanted to buy the book for a while and with Christmas money I was able to afford to.

I knew it was going to be about abuse and trauma but it was still surprising how many awful things happened to her and her family.

Jacquelyn is determined to help others through her writing and reading her book made me feel less alone. I, myself am from a broken home and can relate to some of Jacquelyn’s experiences. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through but I’m so glad she decided to share her experiences to create more awareness for domestic abuse victims.

The book is full of affirmations about how it’s not the victim’s fault for the abuser’s actions. She talks about addiction, alcohol, trauma and the abuse her and her siblings went through.

I admire her for talking and opening up about her parents and I can’t wait to read more of her writing.

You can follow Jacquelyn on Instagram: Jacquelyn.Lee

Twitter: _JacquelynLee

Facebook: JacquelynxLee

Or visit her website: http://www.Jacquelyn-Lee.com

I urge you to buy this book if you or someone you know has been through abuse and want to make a difference in the world. Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Reasons To Stay Alive

In this week’s blog post I want to talk about Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive which I read recently and has helped me see slightly clearer.

 

Blurb

What does it mean to feel truly alive?

This is the true story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over a mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Moving, funny and joyous, Reasons To Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

 

Review

I actually bought this book for my mum, knowing that she suffers with anxiety more so than I, but I too wanted to read it myself. It’s been on my TBR for a while now and I finished it within a number of days.

Matt Haig writes from the heart, that much is true. I didn’t really know what to expect when I first started reading this, but it soon became clear that he has the wildest of thoughts too, meaning I’m not alone in this battle. It’s true what he says, when you have your first panic attack, you think you’re the first ever person to have had one, and to have felt that bad. But you’re not, for decades, people have suffered with panic attacks, anxiety and depression.

I can also understand the depression part of the book too as I have been there. It isn’t there so much anymore, but the anxiety still is. It’s always there, lurking, waiting for me when I’m most vulnerable. And when you have anxiety and depression mixed together like a cocktail, it has the power to break you. But what this book is about is how Haig survived the toughest of years, the worst of suicidal thoughts. He’s still here; yes it may be difficult some days, but ultimately, there is so much to experience on this earth. There’s so much to see, do, feel. No one wants to miss out on the good stuff, but sometimes we have to go through the shit in order to get to the good.

Mental health is still stigmatized, but if every person shares their story like Haig, the world will become less stigmatized the more we talk about it. Share your story, don’t be afraid to show the real you. We have all had panic attacks, bad days and been in shit situations. You are not alone in this.

I truly enjoyed listening to the ways Haig copes with his depression and anxiety and how we should live in the moment as much as possible. It was like reading his diary. What a beautiful book it is and I urge everyone out there, with mental health problems or not, to read this. If not for you, then for someone you know who struggles. This book will help you spot the signs of mental illness more easily and how you can be there as a partner/family member for your loved one.

I hope you enjoyed this review and I’ll see you soon! Love, Vee x

End Of Year Wrap Up

Hey guys! I hope you had a great Christmas and that your New Year’s is even better! This post is going to be a wrap up with my favourite books of 2018, the best opportunities I’ve had this year and my goals for the new year ahead.

Before I start, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has shared and commented on my blog posts. It means the world to me and I’ve made so many friends along the way. Thank you to the authors who send me free books and to the people who are always there for me.

 

My Top Ten Books Of 2018

1. Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things
2. Floored
3. Emergency Contact
4. Eliza and Her Monsters
5. Attachments
6. My Mum Tracy Beaker
7. Another Day
8. Someday
9. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
10. Turtles All The Way Down

What are your top ten books of the year? You can read all my reviews of these books by going to my “Book Review” section.

What I’m Thankful For This Year

I’m thankful for my partner and the family I’ve created through blogging. I have met so many amazing and kind people. This year has been one of the hardest I’ve had and you all showing your support to me has made me remember that nice things can happen.

I’m thankful for all the adventures I’ve had this year. My partner Oli and I have been to France, Amsterdam and Croatia this year. I have tasted amazing food, swam (okay, stood) in the clear blue sea, been on a swing that hangs off a building and went on a cable car to look over the Old Town in Dubrovnik.

I’m thankful for how my blog has grown and how hard I’ve worked on making my dream a reality. I’m proud of myself even if I know I quit things quickly. This is who I am and I’m learning to accept I can’t stand still for too long otherwise I go stir crazy.

I’m thankful for the authors, such as Alex Owumi and Lisa Williamson, who let me have such big opportunities to collab on blog posts and book tours. Without these people’s help, my blog wouldn’t have grown.

 

My Goals For 2019

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions because I never stick to them. But I will create some goals for myself.

1. I’d like to work more on my blog and create more content for you guys. I’d love to get to 40,000 views next year, which is a HUGE goal for me.

2. I want to travel to as many places as possible!

3. I want to try things I’ve never done before, even if they scare me.

4. I want to build up my business and get clients!!! (SCARY)

5. I want to live more in the present than the past or future.

6. I want to save up for our own little place.

7. I would love to have a blogger’s meet up!

8. I would like to read 30 books next year.

9. I’d love to make money through my blog and collab with brands.

10. I want to take better care of my mental health and learn to accept who I’ve become.

What are your goals for the new year?

Well, I’d like to end this post with another massive thank you and I hope your 2019 is the best year yet. Keep being you and stay strong; all your hard work is going to pay off. See you in the New Year! Love, Vee x

Blogmas: Gifts for Readers

Hey guys! I can’t believe it’s so close to Christmas! I wanted to write a post on what to get the reader in your family. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments!

 

Gifts for Readers

  • Bookmarks (you can never have enough)
  • Bookish candles, these can be found on Etsy
  • Bookish subscription box (you can google where to find these but popular ones include Fairyloot, Owlcrate and Once Upon a Book Club)
  • Reading light
  • Book sleeves – these can also be found on Etsy
  • Book Review notebook – I have one from Fable and Black that I can write my reviews of books in
  • Bookish pins
  • Bookish necklaces – I have a Fault in Our Stars one
  • Bookish iron-on patches
  • Bookish coasters
  • A tour of their favourite author’s house/book settings (such as Beatrix Potter’s house)
  • Prints of their favourite quotes from books/authors
  • Bookish mugs
  • A book bag – not just handy for books but also shopping
  • Literary tea bags – yes they do exist!
  • Beanbag chair. Us bookworms love our comfy spaces
  • A kindle for easy portability
I hope this list was helpful for you! Until next time. Love, Vee x

 

Book Review: Floored

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So this week is a book review about Floored, a novel about when seven lives collide and what happens in the aftermath. Enjoy!

Blurb

Floored is written by seven authors; Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers. Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means; Dawson, who used to be on TV, used to be handsome, and is sincerely hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it; and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

Review

I bought Floored solely because Lisa Williamson had co-written it but I ended up loving all the characters and the craziness of the story. I even ended up liking Hugo, the most pompous prick there was. It was such a thrill reading this book; some nights I couldn’t put it down and it really has helped me with my reading slump.

I spent the first few chapters trying to guess who’s writing was who’s but after a while it all melted together and I ended up thinking it was written by one person, one voice.

I think having Steven Jeffords die in the lift and the fact his death brings them together every year to celebrate life, was an excellent idea. Every single one of them has problems in their lives and although they only see one another once a year, it means more to them than any friend they’ve ever had. These unlikely bunch mean so much to each other, they will run all around the country to see one another. That’s true friendship. No matter how often you see your best friends, they will still always be there for you in your time of need.

My personal favourite was Velvet because in the end, she finally finds her place in the world, her voice to speak up for herself. Like all of them, they find their purpose in life and having friends help you along the way is the best bit of the journey.

This book was so well written and gripping; I truly hope all the writers collab again in the future. I can’t believe seven people managed to pull this off; I hardly ever read collabs because of my bad experience with them in the past, but this book has changed my mind. I cannot wait to read all the authors’ other books.

This is a must read for anyone who needs a friend, a laugh or even a virtual hug from a book. Go and buy this book, now!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and let me know if you’ve read Floored or any of the authors’ work in the comments. Until next time, love, Vee x

Why I’m Afraid to Succeed

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys. So this week’s blog is a very personal one for me. It’s all about why I’m afraid of succeeding and reaching my goals. I hope others can relate to this, and that this post gives you some comfort in knowing others struggle with this too.

One of my goals in life is to become an editor in a publishing house. I’m really determined to gain as much experience in editing and proofreading as possible and I have enrolled myself on to a CPD diploma in Proofreading, Journalism and Editing. I have various experience with writing but from what a lot of research tells me, it’s a very competitive career path.

This is why I would like to study English Literature and Creative Writing at university. But for some reason, I can’t bring myself to actually go for it. It may be the debt, money or job aspect holding me back, but ultimately I’m stopping myself applying through my own self-doubt.

There are lots of thoughts in my head right now saying that I can’t do this, that I can’t succeed and do a degree. I know these thoughts are self-sabotaging and degrading. But there’s the little devil on my shoulder saying not to do it, that it’ll ruin everything. When in actual fact, this is something I really want and need to do for my career. Will it be hard? Yes, definitely. Will I struggle with money? Probably, but this is an investment in myself. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. I just need to ask myself if, when I’m old, will I regret not doing it? And the answer is yes, I would regret not studying.

I’ve been looking into university since I was able to use the computer; it’s something I really wanted to do, which is why I went into school at the age of fourteen. I had been homeschooled up until this point, so as you can imagine, it was a shock to my system going straight into high school. I ended up having panic attacks and had to leave school for my mental health. I’ve struggled with chronic anxiety ever since then.

I made it my mission to complete my GCSEs at home through the NEC (National Extension College) where I took English Literature, English Language and Science. We could only afford a few GCSEs which meant I wasn’t able to go to college. But with the Open University, I’m able to study part time or full time and it’s completely flexible for me.

I need to push myself into new adventures because otherwise I’ll be stuck in the same place forever. So take the leap of faith – I’ll be right there beside you. Whether it’s going for a job interview, applying for university or even travelling. You can do anything if you work hard and put your mind to it!

I hope this blog post is helpful in some way to you. Until next time! Love, Vee x

Author Interview: Caitlin Conlon

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hi guys! So in this week’s blog I’m going to be interviewing poet Caitlin Conlon, the author of Cavity. I hope you enjoy this interview and if you or someone you know is a poet and would like to be featured, let me know in the comments!

Interview

Was it difficult to write Cavity since it’s about the months following on from a breakup?

I think it would’ve been more difficult for me if I hadn’t written Cavity. After the events that sparked Cavity occurred I was left in a very desolate place. Ironically, these events occurred in the middle of April, National Poetry Writing Month, which means I was participating in the challenge of writing a poem a day for the entire month. 
So despite wanting nothing to do with anything, I kept forcing myself to write (not wanting to let this ruin my writing alongside everything else). And about a month later I was looking at all that I’d written, a lot more than I probably would’ve been able to write normally, and realized that I had something to work with.
The most difficult part wasn’t so much the writing, but having to relive the pain every time I sat down to edit or work on the finer details of the chapbook. It took a lot out of me, constantly thinking about my own heartache. But at the same time I was forced to confront the reality of my situation which again, I might not have done otherwise. It seems I’ve gone off on a tangent, but to sum up my answer: writing Cavity was something that, looking back on it, I had to do. It was born out of necessity. 

Who is your favourite poet/author right now? Do you have an all time favourite book/poetry collection?

 

My all-time favourite poet is Richard Siken and his debut collection, Crush, is my favourite poetry collection. I first read Crush when I was a freshman in high school, which is also when I first began getting serious about writing poetry. I can so vividly remember finishing the collection, looking up from the final page, exhaling, and thinking to myself “I want to make people feel the way that I’m feeling right now.” Everything since has been an attempt to do that.

Do you have any future plans for books or publishing any more work?

Definitely! I’m keeping it very hush hush right now, but I’m currently in the middle of working on a project much bigger than anything else I’ve done. It’s something I’m really, really excited about, and can’t wait to eventually share more information!

If you had to pick a quote to live by, what would it be?

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck.

What would be your advice to an aspiring author?

My biggest piece of advice is to just keep practicing your craft. When I was first beginning to write I became so easily frustrated with myself because I wasn’t creating the type of work that I wished I was. I thought that writing was something that just came to you, but it isn’t. It’s a muscle that you need to keep working and stretching. And you get better with utilizing that muscle the more you focus on it.
As long as you continue to write, and continue to read as much as possible, you’re going to improve. Don’t let your perception of how talented or untalented you are influence how dedicated you are to it.

Now, this is a fun question I love. You’re stranded on an Island and you can only pick 3 people and 3 objects/things to take with you. Who and what would you take?

Okay so as far as people go I’d bring Margaret Atwood, because I believe in her survival instincts, Lorde, because I have a suspicion that she’s a witch and could cast spells in order to keep us comfortable, and John Mulaney, because that man could sit in front of me doing absolutely nothing and be more entertaining than most of the general populace. 
As for three objects…this is a bit more difficult. An unlimited supply of journals (does that count as one object? I’m going to say it does), a solar-powered radio, and a Kindle pre-loaded with every book I could ever want. (I feel like I definitely cheated on this question.)
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next week! Love, Vee x

Book Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So I’ve been desperate to read Eliza and Her Monsters for so long since I saw the cover and blurb. This week I’ll be reviewing the book for you! Let me know in the comments whether you’ve read it and what you thought.

About Eliza and Her Monsters


Eliza and Her Monsters was written by Francesca Zappia in 2017 and the Children of Hypnos, which features in the book, is a bi-weekly serial posted twice a week.

Eliza Mirk is known online as LadyConstellation, the creator of Monstrous Sea, an online web comic with millions of views. Eliza spends every waking second drawing her comic, whether it be at school or home – she even misses Christmas because of how busy she is. She doesn’t have any friends at school; they’re all online. Until she meets Wallace, the new boy at school who’s a fan of Monstrous Sea. When Eliza gets caught up in a lie, will she be able to tell Wallace who she really is before her identity is exposed?

My Review


Trigger warning: this review mentions depression and suicide.

When I started reading this I thought that Eliza was a fairly average teenager who spends too much time online. She doesn’t have friends outside of the internet and she’s never met her best friends – I can relate to this and I think a lot of you will too. But Eliza starts developing mental health problems; it starts off slow but becomes more intense and she can’t find the motivation to practice her art anymore. We’ve all been there. But the difference with Eliza is, she thinks Monstrous Sea is all she has – it’s who she is and without it, she fears she’s no one. But if she writes the ending to her comic, she’s frightened her fans will hate it.

The clever thing that Zappia has done, was to write the mental health into the book without really addressing that it’s an issue to Eliza. Eliza doesn’t think that it’s unhealthy to spend all her time online. It’s where she belongs.

Towards the end, Eliza is faced with a decision that is triggering for those with depression or suicidal thoughts. She pretty much loses everyone but her family and feels like she has nothing anymore. Her anxiety and stress over finishing the comic for Wallace to get a book deal consumes her. She feels guilty and useless. But she’ll soon realize she means more than her work, and that she can still draw without it consuming her. Her parents and brothers, online friends and Wallace are a supportive network that Eliza needs in this time of self discovery.

This book is about discovering your self worth, and realizing that your art, your work, is a separate part of you; it’s not why people love you or like you, you are what people love.

Full of fandom, online friendships and self discovery, Eliza and Her Monsters is a must read for lovers of Geekerella and Fangirl. You can find out more about Zappia here.

I hope you all enjoyed my review, don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates on my posts. Until next time, love, Vee x