4 Books That Got Me Into Reading #WorldBookDay2018

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

On March 1, the United Kingdom celebrates World Book Day 2018, an initiative launched by UNESCO in 1995 to nurture a love of reading amongst children. Children, and their teachers, parents, librarians, etc. all take time to sit down and celebrate all the things that books can offer the next generation.
The longest-serving president of Harvard University, Charles William Eliot, once said, “books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers". And isn't it a wonderful thought that this day equips some of the youngest of our people with the first steps on the path towards that; putting them in a position where they will discover countless worlds and will never be truly alone.
Book tokens and fancy-dress costumes are such simple techniques to pique children's ever-changing focus, but they're exciting and fun and may even be the first step on a long journey towards a lifelong relationship with reading.
The book that they receive in exchange for that token may just be a constant favourite.
For most of the country, because of its focus on school-aged children, the day passes by unnoticed, but as someone who ADORES reading and is tangibly a product of UNESCO's World Book Day, I couldn't just let the event go idly by. So I thought, hey, I could make a list of the books that got me into reading and maybe... just maybe, in ten or fifteen years time, one of the primary-aged kids from this generation might just be making their own version.

February Book Haul

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Is it nearly the end of the month already?
If I'm being honest, February has kind of gotten away from me - I have spent the last two or so weeks moving back to my beloved Cardiff and so haven't had the time/money to idly peruse books online as I usually would. Instead, I have bought only a few and been unexpectedly inundated with a staggering number of Netgalley ARCs. Yeah, I don't understand why they've sent me so many either... But yay, thank you so much to all of the publishers and I am beyond grateful. 
Is this a sign that they like my reviews? Oh, I hope so.

REVIEW: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton

Friday, 23 February 2018

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened? At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed--again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend--but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

REVIEW: Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, John E. Douglas

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What makes a serial killer? Only one man really knows. FBI Special Agent and expert in criminal profiling and behavioural science, John Douglas. A man who has looked evil in the eye and made a vocation of understanding it. Now retired, Douglas can let us inside the FBI elite serial crime unit and into the disturbed minds of some of the most savage serial killers in the world. The man who was the inspiration for Special Agent Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs and who lent the film's makers his expertise explains how he invented and established the practice of criminal profiling; what it was like to submerge himself mentally in the world of serial killers to the point of 'becoming' both perpetrator and victim; and individual case histories including those of Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the Atlanta child murders.

REVIEW: The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Monday, 19 February 2018

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement. You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves. You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. Assume nothing.

Oscar Winner Predictions

Saturday, 17 February 2018

With all the Oscar predictions buzzing around the internet, I thought that I should give it a go. I mean, I like shit movies so I am definitely not the highest-brow of film critic out there (believe me, far from it), but some of the movies up for the contention this year are truly spectacular so I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring. So here we go, in a perfect world, these would be my winners.

Best Picture
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Lady Bird
  • Get Out
  • Darkest Hour
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 
  • The Shape of Water
  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post

I just really, really want Call Me By Your Name to come away with all of the awards, alright? Every single one of them, even Best Original Song if someone can work out how to put them in contention for it. One of the best films I have seen in years, it was beautiful, wonderfully acted and directed, and filmed in a way where you could really feel the rolling heat of the Italian summer. It felt like a European indie flick and by god, I love European indie flicks.

REVIEW: The Wicked Cometh, Laura Carlin

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The year is 1831. Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city's vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible. When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations. Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they've ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking...

REVIEW: Child Taken, Darren Young

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

How could such a thing happen? But it did happen. I wasn't one of the others, observing. It happened to me. One hot summer's day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won't give up hope that her daughter is still alive. How can she? Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what's been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

Current Beauty Wishlist

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Why is it that as soon as when I put myself on a spending ban, my gaze can't help but focus on all of the many, many beautiful items that the make-up industry has to offer? With what is likely going to be a quarterly feature on my blog, I thought that I would check in and let you all know about the products that are at the very top of my wishlist just in case you need any inspo for your own.

REVIEW: It's Always the Husband, Michele Campbell

Friday, 9 February 2018

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge... and someone else is urging her to jump. How did things come to this? As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

REVIEW: Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion, Katie Watson

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Although Roe v. Wade identified abortion as a constitutional right over 40 years ago, it bears stigma--a proverbial scarlet A--in the United States. Millions participate in or benefit from an abortion, but few want to reveal that they have done so. Approximately one in five pregnancies in the US ends in abortion. Why is something so common, which has been legal so long, still a source of shame and secrecy? Why is it so regularly debated by politicians, and so seldom divulged from friend to friend, or loved one to loved one? This book explores the personal stigma that prevents many from sharing their abortion experiences with friends and family in private conversation, and the structural stigma that keeps it that way. It argues persuasively that America would benefit from working to reverse such stigma, providing readers with tools that may help them model ways of doing so. Our silence around private experience with abortion has distorted our public discourse. Both proponents and opponents of abortion's legality tend to focus on the extraordinary cases. This tendency keeps the public discourse polarized and contentious, and keeps the focus on the cases that occur the least. Katie Watson focuses instead on the remaining 95% of abortion cases. The book gives the reflective reader a more accurate impression of what the majority of American abortion practice really looks like. It explains why this public/private disjuncture exists, what it costs us, and what can be gained by including ordinary abortion in public debate. 

REVIEW: The German Girl, Armando Lucas Correa

Monday, 5 February 2018

The German Girl sweeps from Berlin at the brink of WWII to Cuba on the cusp of revolution, to New York in the wake of September 11th, before reaching its deeply moving conclusion in the tumult of present-day Havana. Based on a true story, this novel gives voice to the joys and sorrows of generations of exiles, forever seeking a place called home. 

January Book Haul

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Coming to you a week later than usual, thanks to the disastrous readathon attempt of last weekend (I would link it, but honestly, I don't want you to see it), here is my first book haul of 2018! I feel as though I had a really good buying month in January as a lot of these are truly iconic books that I have coveted for a while. I feel as though by gathering them all up, it is making me smarter and cultured and far more sophisticated just by being a person who will one day read them... 
At least, that's what I tell myself.