ANNOUNCEMENT • Where I have been and why I’m changing things around

ANNOUNCEMENT • Where I have been and why I’m changing things around

Hi Guys,

As you might have noticed, I’ve been a bit AWOL for a while now, and thought I should probably update you all on what I’ve been doing and how I’m hoping to change my blog format around a bit. Read more

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BOOK REVIEW • Schmuck the Buck 5/5 ❄️

BOOK REVIEW • Schmuck the Buck 5/5 ❄️

“Meet Schmuck the Buck, just a regular caribou.
He liked to eat grass and then chew and chew and chew.
Yet he and his kin happened to be the sole
Jewish reindeer living in the North Pole.
Schmuck was bullied and treated the worst way,
Until his brilliant plan saved one Christmas day. 

Schmuck the Buck introduces Larry, a young Jewish reindeer. He overcomes his awkward and sometimes painful youth to save Christmas. His tale of acceptance and inclusion is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves Christmas, Hanukkah, or both. A unique modern addition to any holiday library.”

Schmuck cover

I received a copy of Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer in return for an honest review, with the promise that it would be an easy read of 60 beautifully illustrated pages of satire. After a significant period of procrastination (lets blame that on the weather!), I sat down on a cold morning – in my slippers, in front of the fire, with my cat and a hot coffee – and dug in. However, within minutes, my coffee was all over the floor and I was laughing my head off!

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BOOK REVIEW • A Spoke in the Wheel – Kathleen Jowitt 4.5/5*

BOOK REVIEW • A Spoke in the Wheel – Kathleen Jowitt 4.5/5*

“The first thing I saw was the wheelchair. The first thing she saw was the doper. Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it. Now that he’s been exposed by a positive drugs test, his race wins and his work with disabled children mean nothing. He quits professional cycling in a hurry, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done. But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that. Besides, Polly’s not just a cycling fan, she’s a former medical student with a chronic illness and strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to Ben Goddard.”

front-cover-asitw-1

I received this book from the author in return for an honest review, and I was instantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and the extent to which Jowitt’s writing captivated me. The novel, at its centre, considers the question of ‘starting anew’; Ben Goddard, recently expelled from the cycling community after a drug scandal, begins the novel by running away from his past and, in this way, it is a mature ‘coming-of-age’ story. However, it is also much more than that. The book brilliantly illustrates a number of on-topic and important issues in today’s society, such as disability prejudice and the realities of competitive sport, whilst still managing to be a light-hearted, and often hilarious, page-turner. Despite being completely ignorant to the world of competitive cycling, I found the novel touching, enlightening and a compelling read.

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BLOG POST • September Wrap Up

BLOG POST • September Wrap Up

So, guys, although I know I’m a bit late (but better late than never, right?) I’ve decided to do a monthly ‘wrap up’ of the books I’ve read this month!

As you might know, alongside my blogging (and my general day job), I’m currently studying a Masters in English Literature and Creative Writing, so you might notice that the books I read over the course of a month are usually a very eclectic mix (a general mash-up of things I have chosen to read, things I have been sent to review, and University-related novels). However, each month I will try to include why I read each book, what I thought about it (if I haven’t written a full review) and include the next month’s hypothetical TBR list.

I hope you enjoy and have a good reading month!

So, in no particular order, here we go…

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BLOG TOUR • One Very Odd Teacher – Robbie Yates 4/5*

BLOG TOUR • One Very Odd Teacher – Robbie Yates 4/5*

Welcome to my stop on the ‘One Very Odd Teacher’ Blog Tour! Thank you to Shalini @ Digital Reads for having me. For more wonderful reviews and tours, please visit her here.

“The humming noise got louder. Adam willed himself to focus. He had to finish his math test.
Suddenly, the noise became unbearable. He glanced up.
Mrs Murphy was inches away, leaning over another kid’s desk. Was the noise coming from her?
***
Every child remembers a teacher who was a little bizarre, prickly or ill-tempered. Some teachers, though, are very odd indeed, and warrant some closer attention…
This quirky chapter book will thrill kids who are adventurous, brave, and a little bit cheeky!”

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BOOK REVIEW • Happier Thinking – Lana Grace Riva 4/5*

BOOK REVIEW • Happier Thinking – Lana Grace Riva 4/5*

‘Changing how you think is possible. I wasn’t always so sure that was true until I experienced it myself, but I know now we don’t have to just accept unhappiness. Not always anyway. This book is my collection of tips and suggestions that have helped me achieve happier thinking. It’s sort of a gym for my mind. I’d love to tell you it was easier than the real gym but well… it’s not really. It takes time, effort, and practice but it’s absolutely well worth the rewards.’

I received this book in return for an honest review by the author and, I will admit, that, I began the book feeling very sceptical of its informal tone and structure. However, the book’s introduction excellently explains Riva’s deliberate use of informality: she is not a scientist, nor is she a psychologist, and this is not a typical ‘self-help’ book. Instead, the book is intended to be a series of tips and tried-and-tested solutions to feelings of unhappiness, written from one sufferer to another, as a friend. And as a unique piece of non-fiction, I feel that the book succeeds in its aims.

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