I’ve been nominated for my fourth Liebster Blog Award by the lovely nostalgic musings, thank you! I did one of Award Imagethese earlier this week and I know a lot of you are familiar with the rules, so this time I’m just going to answer the questions nostalgic musings gave me.

Here we go!

1) Favourite food?

My mum’s roast beef dinner, with all the trimmings. Nobody does it better!

2) Books or movies?

BOOKS!! I like movies well enough, but I would much rather let my imagination play out a story in my mind than have it laid out for me on screen.

3) Music or writing?

Both at the same time! I have several playlists I like to have on in the background while I’m writing.

4) Favourite singer?

That’s tricky. I think I would have to say Darren Hayes, the former lead singer of Savage Garden who went on to become a pretty awesome solo artist.

5) Dream vacation destination?

The Fjords in Norway. They have spectacular scenery there and some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, which I love. It would definitely be a dream vacation for me.

6) Favourite colour?

I would have to say blue.

7) Favourite song?

The cover version of Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Full Blown Rose. The band never released it as a single and all the versions I could find on YouTube cut off the first 20 seconds of the piano sequence, which sucks, but here it is anyway.

8) Who is your celebrity crush?

I was asked this by Hideaway Girl and I said David Boreanaz. I’m trying to think of who else to say, but I’ve had a crush on David for 12 years so I think he eclipses everyone else, haha!

9) Are you a nerd or popular?

I’m a nerd and proud, but I don’t think you have to be one or the other. I always had my nose in a book or a homework assignment in high school and at university but I still made great friends and had a lot of fun. There are plenty of popular nerds out there and it’s not something you should ever be ashamed of. Real friends will love you for who are and that’s all that matters.

10) Do you like blogging?

Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t do it!

Thanks again for the nomination, nostalgic musings!

The Liebster Blog Award (3)

I’ve been nominated for my third Liebster Award by the lovely Hideaway Girl. Thank you! Award Image

Many of you will be familiar with this award and since there are different variations of the rules I won’t list them here. The rules often ask for 11 facts about the blogger, but since this is the third time I’ve done this I’m afraid I’ve run out of interesting facts! If you’re curious, you can find 11 general facts about me from the first award here and 11 book related facts from the second award post here.

I’m happy to answer Hideaway Girl’s questions for me though, so here we go!

1) Why do you blog?

I started blogging originally as a way to enhance my CV (résumé) because I wanted to work in the publishing industry (which I now do – yay!) and because I wanted to connect with other book lovers. I enjoy having my own little space online where my ideas can live.

2) Who inspired you?

Since I was a little girl I have been inspired by my favourite actress Kate Mulgrew. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago and it was as amazing as I thought it would be. Her memoir comes out in April and I’m SO excited!

3) If you could have any pet, what would it be?

I’ve grown up with dogs all my life (we used to breed them) and my parents currently have two. Eventually I want to have one of my own, preferably a black Labrador.

4) Would you rather travel to the past or the future?

I would prefer to keep the future a mystery because if you know the path your life will take then there’s no fun in it, so I would say the past. I would love to spend some time with my Grampa who died a few years ago. He was a wonderful man and we were very close.

5) What do you regret doing the most?

I don’t like to dwell on regrets, and I’ve found that when I look back at things that I regretted or found difficult at the time, that I’m actually glad things turned out the way they did. Sometimes when you feel like you’ve taken a wrong turn in life it turns out to have been a great step forward.

6) Who is your celebrity crush?

David Boreanaz, a.k.a. Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Special Agent Seeley Booth from Bones. Such a handsome man!

7) Favourite book?

I don’t have a single favourite book but rather favourites from different genres. My favourite from the last 12 months is a tossup between The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Clicking on the links will take you through to my reviews of these books.

8) English or art?

Definitely English. I loved it in high school and even more so when I studied literature at university.

9) Lipstick or lipgloss?

I can wear either, although I don’t very much. I’m not much of a make-up fan!

10) What is your favourite quote and why?

That’s a tough one because I LOVE collecting quotes, but this is the one which came to mind when I first read this question:

“She was there, in the full vigour of her personality, battered but not diminished” – Willa Cather, from her novel My Ántonia.

When I read it I’m reminded that, even after we’ve been through difficult times and find ourselves with scars (both physical and emotional), we can still come out on the other side with the strength of our personalities intact.

I enjoyed answering those questions!

I don’t like limiting who I nominate, so if you’re reading this and you’ve never been nominated for a Liebster Award before, please consider this your nomination!

I’m a bit short on time at the moment so I’m going to use the same questions I did from my first award post. Here they are:

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

2) What’s the most unusual book you’ve ever read? (could be theme, format, writing style etc)

3) Was there a book series you started reading but gave up on because you lost interest?

4) What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why did you dislike it?

5) What’s your favourite bookshop? (could be a chain or an indie)

6) Has there ever been a book character which turned out exactly the way you imagined they would when you saw them in the film adaptation?

7) Have you ever visited a location just because it was featured in a book?

8) Do you have a particular bookmark you always use, or do you just use whatever is lying around?

9) Do you mind if the spines or pages of your paperbacks get creased, or is it important to you to keep them looking like new?

10) What’s the best library you’ve ever visited?

11) If you could spend a day in the shoes of any literary character, who would it be?

Thanks again, Hideaway Girl!


Book Review – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4

Cover ImageTitle: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 and 3/4

Author: Sue Townsend

Publisher: Penguin

Date: 1982 (originally published), 2012 (30th anniversary edition)

Format: Paperback (259 pages)

Synopsis: “Friday January 2nd: I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.”

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Telling us candidly about his parents’ marital troubles, The Dog, and his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, Adrian’s painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.

Apparently, having been born and raised in Britain, I must have been living under a rock not to have read any of the Adrian Mole books before. He was the Harry Potter of the 1980s and Sue Townsend was the equivalent of J.K. Rowling. The books were read by children, teenagers and adults alike – and they still are. Since it was set in the late 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was our Prime Minister and I was just a toddler, there were a few cultural references which went over my head, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel.

This was, hands down, one of the funniest books I have ever read. It takes a lot for a book to make me have a visible reaction since I usually keep my thoughts to myself while I’m reading, but this one had me full on laughing out loud to the point of tears. The whole novel is told through a series of Adrian’s diary entries, written over the course of a year, during which time he has to deal with hopeless and selfish parents, a grumpy elderly man he befriends, and the demands of Pandora, the love of his life.

I love Adrian’s way of looking at things. Life constantly lets him down and yet he takes it all in his stride with a deadpan wit that I really enjoyed. For example, when he tries to explain his troubled home life to his teacher, the response is less than satisfactory (and provides an insight into the politically incorrect days of the 1980s!):

Friday September 11th: Had a long talk with Mr Dock. I explained that I was a one-parent family child with an unemployed, bad-tempered father. Mr Dock said he wouldn’t care if I was the offspring of a black, lesbian, one-legged mother and an Arab, leprous, hump-backed-dwarf father as long as my essays were lucid, intelligent and unpretentious. So much for pastoral care! (p.159)

I think my favourite entry was from Saturday September 19th when Adrian gives a blow-by-blow account of a class trip to London with a drunken coach driver. Here’s an extract:

9.40 – Barry Kent sick in coach.

9.50 – Two girls sitting near Barry Kent are sick.

9.51 – Coach driver refuses to stop on motorway.

9.55 – Ms Fossington-Gore covers sick in sand.

9.56 – Ms Fossington-Gore sick as a dog.


4pm – Barry Kent jumps in fountain at Trafalgar Square, as predicted by Adrian Mole.

4.30 – Barry Kent disappears, last seen heading towards Soho.


6pm – Barry Kent found in sex shop. Charged with theft of ‘grow-it-big’ cream and two ‘ticklers’.

7pm – Coach leaves police station with police escort. (pp.163-165)

This book doesn’t have a compelling plot or well developed characters, but it doesn’t need to. It’s hilarious. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light read and a good laugh.

Overall Rating: Book Rating Picture Book Rating Picture Book Rating Picture Book Rating Picture Book Rating Picture My bookworm rating system is explained here.

Other Works by this Author: Sue Townsend wrote seven additional Adrian Mole books and seven other novels before she passed away in 2014. You can find out more about them by visiting her website here.


Christmas Books

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! One of my favourite presents was a surprise from my uncle – BOOKS!! He’s a huge bibliophile and probably reads more than I do, which is saying something! Our tastes are usually quite different but I really enjoyed the last book he gave me, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino, so I’m definitely willing to give these ones a try. They’re not what I would have chosen for myself but I actually think that’s a good thing. I’m always open to expanding my reading horizons and being given books as gifts is a great way of doing that.

These are the books my uncle gave me. They are both the first in a series, so it’s good to know that I can read more if I like them.

Mythago Wood ImageMythago Wood (Mythago Wood #1) by Robert Holdstock: Deep within the wildwood lies a place of myth and mystery, from which few return, and of those few, none remain unchanged. Stephen Huxley has already lost his father to the mysteries of Ryhope Wood. On his return from the Second World War, he finds his brother, Christopher, is also in thrall to the mysterious wildwood, wherein lies a realm where mythic archetypes grow flesh and blood, where love and beauty haunt your dreams, and in promises of freedom lies the sanctuary of insanity …

Rivers of London ImageRivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch: My name is Peter Grant. Until January I was just another probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – We do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was dead, but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. And that, as they say, is where the story begins.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated. I’m dealing with nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden – and that’s just routine. There’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious, vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying. Which, I don’t mind telling you, would involve a hell of a lot of paperwork.

Have any of you read either of these? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Finds (12) – 19 December 2014

Image1Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

Sooooooo, I suck at getting my posts done on time, especially when I have a list of them that I’m excited about (4 at the moment) so once again I’ll just be posting each book’s synopsis as it’s written on Goodreads, rather than putting it into my own words like usual. Hopefully I’ll be more productive and organised in the New Year!

Here are my finds for this week:

1) The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne: Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7″ when — while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints — his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman — and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison — taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training.

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette’s.

2) Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist. Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose. Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn’t the best way to show it. Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other. An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.

3) Dreamwalkers (Dreamwalkers #1) by Corinne Davis: Emma Owens is a seemingly ordinary seventeen-year-old girl who covertly possesses the power to do anything she desires, without limitation, in a world filled with both infinite beauty and interminable danger, that exists only while she sleeps. Emma is a dreamwalker.

She inherited the dreamwalking trait from her father and inexplicably shares it with her best friend, Zoë. There are rules to dreamwalking that Emma and Zoë live their lives by. The most important of which is not to interact with unknown people who can see them while they dreamwalk, or risk becoming lost in a world of unrelenting darkness. Emma and Zoë have always followed the rules without question, but their conformity is tested when Emma learns that she is the only one capable of rescuing a young girl who has become profoundly lost on a dreamwalk.

When Emma launches a crusade to travel deep into the world of dreamwalking, gambling her own life to save the girl, Zoë agrees to stand by her side, unknowingly opening the door to her own astounding hidden faculties and uncovering a three hundred year old family secret in the process. Emma’s world is turned even further upside down when Charlie, the boy who shattered her heart into a thousand pieces, mysteriously returns with information that sends her head… and heart, spinning.

4) The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp: Sutter Keely. He’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

5) The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern: Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it.

Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring itand it needs to meet with her face to face. It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.

But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

I also came across this great list of upcoming YA novels due to be published in early 2015 which is worth checking out.

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Finds – 11 December 2014 (11)

Image1Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

I’m having another one of those weeks where time seems to evaporate like rain drops on lava, so this post will be shorter than normal. I haven’t made as many finds this week as I’ve been too busy with my head stuck in the ones I already found (my review for Falling into Place will be up asap and I already posted the one for Things Grak Hates) but I really like the sound of the ones I did find. I usually try and put my own spin on the synopsis for each one and tell you why I want to read it, but unfortunately I don’t have time tonight, so I’ll just share the ones from Goodreads, which sound pretty awesome anyway.

* I just realised that I posted this yesterday because I actually thought it was Friday not Thursday. I really am having a crazy week! Oh well, you got my finds a day early! 🙂

1) Brown Skin Blue by Belinda Jeffrey:

My mum’s skin is white, my skin is brown and I have a blue birthmark.

Two secrets rule my life. One is something I need to know and the other is something I need to forget. They won’t let me go.

Some people say you can’t death roll with a beast that has already survived a million years and live to tell the story.

Or can you?

2) The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan:

Every night, 12-year-old Gwenni Morgan flies in her sleep. She leaves the bed she shares with her sister and soars into the night sky, listening to the nighttime sounds of her small Welsh village below. Irrepressible Gwenni — a dreamer full of unanswerable questions and unbounded curiosity — is childlike yet touchingly adult. Reluctantly facing a modern world, she prefers her nightly flights to school and her chores. Blessed with the uncommon insight of a young girl, Gwenni’s view of the world is unparalleled.

Quaint, odd, touched, funny in the head: Gwenni is all too familiar with the taunts of her peers and fields them with equanimity beyond her years. She knows she can no more change her nature than stop the sun from rising. And when a neighbour goes missing, Gwenni turns amateur sleuth, determined to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Little does she realize that the trail she’s pursuing will bring her uncomfortably close to home, and a dark secret.

3) Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan:

First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Finds (10) – 5 December 2014


Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

I missed Friday Finds last week as I was ill, so I’m going to share those finds this week. I love participating in this meme and it’s helped me find some great books and interesting blogs to follow. I was able to buy a couple of my previous finds in my pre-Christmas book haul earlier this week and I can’t wait to get stuck into them.

1) The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan: I’m aware that David Levithan is very popular in the YA world but I haven’t read much of him before except for Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares which he co-wrote with Rachel Cohn. That book was pretty good, but this one sounds even better. The synopsis starts with six words that really drew me in: One school. Twenty voices. Endless possibilities. It sounds like a really interesting exploration of the issues facing teenagers in the 21st century through the lives of twenty dynamic and compelling characters. My only concern is that twenty narrators are a lot for one novel, so I’m not sure how well that will work out. I guess I’ll have to read it to find out!

2) The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin: George Orr has the power to conjure things into reality through his dreams, which isn’t always a good thing. Desperately seeking help he turns to a psychotherapist who he hopes can assist him in controlling this ability. Unfortunately, this man has only dark intentions and may lead George into his biggest nightmare. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m always interested to read stories centred around dreams because ever since I was a child I have always been able to remember my own in vivid detail. I don’t think I’d want many of them to become reality though!

3) Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin: After falling and hitting her head, Naomi wakes up with amnesia. Unable to remember anything about her former life she has to re-discover everything she used to know, and in the process comes to realise that some things are better the second time around – especially when you make different choices. I really like the concept for this one. What would you do if the slate was wiped clean and you had to start your life over again? If who we are is the sum of our experiences, then who do we become when those experiences are forgotten? I’m really interested to see how Naomi deals with these questions.

4) Deadline by Chris Crutcher: Ben Wolf is a 17-year-old high school student stuck living in the “nowheresville” town of Trout in Idaho. He wants to make his mark on the world, but there’s a problem – he only has one year to live. Deciding to keep this news to himself, Ben sets out to become the best football player in Trout high school’s history; annoy his ignorant civics teacher every day; and try to help the town drunk get sober. A secret like Ben’s can be a burden, though, especially when he realises he’s not the only one in Trout with secrets. I’m looking forward to finding out what Ben manages to achieve with the time he has left and what other secrets are lurking in Trout!

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish Words

Mixed Words          Bibliophile Image

This week is Book Week Scotland 2014 and so it seemed like the perfect time to share this very bookish post.

Like most of us bibliophiles, I love words. I was the kid in class who stared eagerly at the blackboard as the teacher led the weekly words quiz while most of my classmates glared daggers at him. I grew to love dictionaries and I was constantly consulting them when I encountered words I didn’t understand (which happens A LOT when you start watching Star Trek at the age of 7).

I can remember being fascinated when, at 8 years old, I became aware of the differences in spelling between British English and American English. It began with the word “color” which I read in a novel that had been published in the States (I assumed it was a typo; where was the u?) and later grew into an interest which still continues to this day. I know a lot of people who read this blog are from the US, so I always get a little paranoid when I type words like “favourite” as I worry people will just think that I can’t spell!

Disclaimer: I’m Scottish and I grew up in a world where we like to add an extra “u” and “l” here and there. We also pay our bills by “cheque”, not “check”, and turn “center” into “centre” … just because.

Anyway, for a while now I’ve been collecting interesting words which relate to the love of books and I finally have enough to share with you. You have probably heard of some of them already, but I hope that at least a few of them will be new to you. Some of them have a long history while others have been coined online within the last decade. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty that begin with biblio- (from the Greek biblion meaning book) but I didn’t want to include too many of them so I’ve just picked the more unusual ones.

Abibliophobia – The fear of running out of reading material.

When I first came across this word I was reminded of the following quote from Lewis Buzbee: “If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one tenth of one percent of the books currently in print.” With that in mind, and also considering the volume of written works available online, it might be hard to believe that anyone could fear running out of things to read. Still, it’s a horrible thought, isn’t it?

BibliobibuliPeople who read too much.

Personally, I don’t think there is such a thing as reading too much, but American journalist H.L. Mencken disagreed when he coined the term in 1957 by claiming that: “There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing”. Yep, this definitely sounds familiar!

BibliomaniacExcessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books.

This can be a particular problem if, like me, you’re not a fan of e-books and want to read everything in printed format. Over the years my books have spread throughout my parents’ house like a literary infestation. It will probably be years until I can afford to buy a house big enough to have a library for them all. I know I should give at least some of them to a charity shop but … what if I want to re-read them again one day? Or share them with my as yet non-existent children? Argh!!

BibliophagistAn avid or voracious reader.

This one likely applies to most of us and is along the same lines as bibliophile, but the best definition I came across was “one who reads books omnivorously,” which just puts very odd images into my head of people actually eating the books. Like human bookworms. Yum.

BibliosmiaThe act of smelling books, particularly old ones.

This word seems to have been conjured up online at some point over the last few years, and it definitely applies to me. I’m not saying that I go around sticking my nose into every book I come across, but there is something about the smell of old books that I really love. There is a scientific explanation for the aroma itself, if you’re curious, and also a range of products which claim to replicate the smell of books. Book-scented perfume, anyone?

BibliotherapyA technique that uses an individual’s relationship to the content of books and poetry as therapy.

I wasn’t familiar with this until I stumbled across it in a random article, but I think it sounds like a lovely experience. I wouldn’t use it as a substitute for counselling from a qualified professional, but sitting down with someone who could give me a tailor-made “book prescription” and help me broaden my reading horizons sounds like a great idea. This is the original article where I read about the experiences of six people who had a bibliotherapy session. It’s a very interesting read.

Book-bosomedSomeone who carries a book around with them at all times.

This term was originally coined by Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott in his 1805 poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel. This is particularly interesting to me as Scott lived and died in a house located only a five minute drive from where I live and his influence is especially prominent all over the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh. I can’t imagine going about informing people that I am book-bosomed, though. They might think I stuff my bra with books, haha!

EpeolatryThe worship of words.

I’m one of those people who believe that the written word is humankind’s greatest achievement (after all, it would have been very difficult to invent everything else without it), so I really like this term. When I researched it I found this article which had some interesting information about the origin of American English.

LibrocubicularistSomeone who reads in bed.

I have been one of these all my life but until recently I had no idea there was a name for it! I read in bed almost every night and I actually struggle to get to sleep if I don’t. Reading is like a barrier for me between the tumultuous events of the day and the quiet calm that I need to feel before I can fall asleep. I have to be at the point of falling asleep on my feet before I’ll forego a chapter or two. Even when I’m really tired I will often continue reading with only one eye open if I’m really enjoying the book or feeling particularly stressed out. It’s a lifelong habit that I never intend to break.

TsundokaBuying books and not reading them; letting books pile up unread on shelves or floors or nightstands.

I have a good friend whose living room is like a bookshop or a library; there’s unread books piled up all over the place. I actually really enjoy looking through them, but I’m not in the habit of letting unread books pile up in my own home. At the moment I have six novels and one comic book sitting on my shelf that have yet to be read, and that’s actually too many for my liking. I usually prefer to read all the new books I have before I buy anymore, but that hardly ever happens since I can’t walk out of a bookshop without buying at least a couple of other ones!

So, in conclusion, I have a confession to make: I’m a bibliophagist and a librocubicularist with an enjoyment of bibliosmia, a devotion to epeolatry and the occasional tendency to commit tsundoka.

What about you?

Friday Finds (9) – 21 November 2014

Image1Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

I’ve had a very busy week and I’m heading out to a family dinner tonight, so I’m afraid I’ve run out of time to write my usual length Friday Finds post. Today has completely gotten away from me! I’ll be back on form next week though.

1) The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: My local indie bookseller said this was one of the best books she had read this year, which is good enough for me! I feel like this might remind me of watching The Borrowers when I was younger.

2) The Everything by Richard C. Cox: This book sounds crazy and really interesting. I love novels that turn the usual concepts of genre, style and layout on their heads, so I’m looking forward to this one.

3) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: I had seen this one popping up around Goodreads for a while before I finally put it on my TBR list. It’s another coming of age novel, but instead of the usual male and female pairing we have two male leads, which is what drew me to it. I love YA but the male/female journey of self-discovery can get a little repetitive, so I’m looking forward to a change of pace with this one.

4) Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills: I’m not sure how I feel about the title, but I’ve never read a novel which deals with the issues faced by those who identify as transgender before, so I’m curious to see how the author handles this subject, particularly since this is a YA novel. I hope it’s done well and sensitively.

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Finds (8) – 14 November 2014

Image1Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

My birthday was last month and I’ve been saving the money I received for a book haul. My local indie bookshop doesn’t have a huge selection and I managed to make it out of there with some money still in my possession, so I’ll definitely be heading up to Waterstones in Edinburgh for another haul soon. I find a lot of new books on Goodreads or Facebook, so it was really nice to find some new reads in an actual bookshop. I had a list of books I was looking for when I went in there, but since they didn’t have any of them I spent some time browsing and talking with the shop’s owner, who of course had some great recommendations for me! Here are the ones I decided on:

Book Stack

1) The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence: I rarely leave a bookshop without picking up at least one YA novel, and this trip was no exception. “When, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing.” I’m very interested to know how Alex ended up in this unusual situation, and find out more about life with his clairvoyant mother and his unlikely friendship with the irritable and antisocial Mr Peterson. My YA-loving friend has told me this one is really good, so I think I’ve done the right thing too!

2) The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America by Leon McCarron: I don’t often read non-fiction books so this was an unusual pick for me, but I’ve been missing my friends and adventures in the US a lot over the last year, so I was drawn to this one. It’s the account of Leon McCarron’s 6,000 mile journey across North America beginning in New York and ending up at the Mexican border. After realising the fear of being stuck behind a desk for the rest of his life was greater than the fear of taking on such a journey with nothing but a backpack and a bicycle, he took off alone and had what sounds like the adventure of a lifetime. I’m definitely not a cyclist but I have had some wonderful experiences travelling along the west coast of the US, and I think this book will remind me of those times. I’m particularly interested to find out about his stop in Seattle as it’s probably my favourite city in the world and I miss it all the time.

3) TheMole Original Cover Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend: My Mum had mentioned enjoying this book when she was younger so when I saw it on the shelf I just had to have it. This is the first of a series of Adrian Mole novels and is written in the form of a diary which chronicles the trials of Adrian’s early adolescence. The few extracts I’ve read are hilarious, so I’m really looking forward to reading it. The one I bought is the 30th anniversary edition so it has lots of additional features like a reprinting of the original 1982 cover on the inside (pictured left) and more details about Adrian from the author’s original manuscripts.

4) The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai: Firstly, I love the cover of this novel. Not the car andThe Borrower Cover the road so much but the bookshelves and the fact that all the text and images are made up of printed words from a book. The top corners of the back and front are also deigned to look like they’re from an old and worn book. It caught my eye right away and after reading the synopsis I was definitely keen to read it. Lucy Hill is a young children’s librarian who finds a ten-year-old boy has set up camp in her library after running away from his mother and the anti-gay classes she forces him to attend. Driven to help the young Iain Drake whose passion for reading rivals her own, Lucy agrees to “escape” with him from Missouri to Vermont. Their road trip takes them on an adventure involving an unwelcome boyfriend, the shadowy Russian connections of Lucy’s father, moral dilemmas, self-discovery … and some ferrets. I’m intrigued!

I’m also really excited to have received my first ARC. It was an unexpected surprise when the author, Peter J. Story, sent me a message on Goodreads and asked me why I was interested in his debut novel Things Grak Hates, which I had added to my “to-read” list, and if I would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Of course I said yes! I know this isn’t unusual but I’m not on NetGalley or anything so I wasn’t expecting to get any ARCs, hence the excitement! I’m nine chapters in at the moment and I’m quite enjoying it … I think. It’s certainly giving me a lot to think about! I’ll post the review once it’s done. On a side note, isn’t his surname awesome? How could he not become an author with a name like that?!

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!