Author Archives: shhitsalibrary

About shhitsalibrary

I'm a Ravenclaw bookworm that loves wolves, lavender, and chocolate.

The Liebster Award

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Liebster rules :

Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award
Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you
Give eleven random facts about yourself
Nominate eleven bloggers that you think are deserving of the award
Give them eleven questions to answer

I was nominated by Through the Wardrobe, one of my favourite blogs.

1. Where did the name of your blog come from?

When I was in high school my friends and I used to hang out in the library a lot. We all used to love the school librarian and got on with her really well. One day my friend started to pretend to be her assistant and went around saying “Shh! It’s a library” to people even when they weren’t talking and it kind of became an inside joke. It makes me smile when I think of it and it’s the perfect name for a book blog.

2. Where do you like to read the most?

I read almost exclusively in my bed. There’s nothing better than being curled up with your duvet, a big blanket, lots of cushions, and a good cup of tea. It’s super relaxing and you can just melt into the world of your book.

3. Who do you most admire?

I’m not sure who I admire the most but I admire J.K Rowling for never giving up, Emma Watson for standing up for gender equality, and Malala Yousafzai for being an advocate for girl’s education despite it almost costing her life.

4. What’s your favourite play? (and yes, musicals do count!)

I love Othello by William Shakespeare and An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley. I’ve not seen them live but I’d recommend this Othello production with Sir Ian McKellen as Iago (he’s brilliant) and this 1954 movie version of An Inspector Calls.

My favourite musical is Wicked. My parents gave me tickets for my last birthday and my sister and I (who I took with me) still reminisce about it. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

5. What do you want to be doing in 5 years’ time?

I would be incredibly happy if my job involved either working with books or being an archivist in a museum. Other than that I’d like to have travelled to a few countries like France, Italy, and Japan.

6. What is next on your reading list?

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. As soon as I heard about it I knew that I had to read it.

7. Do you prefer city or country living?

I live in a suburb of London where if I travel half an hour one way I’ll be in the middle of beautiful countryside and if I travel half an hour the other way I’ll be in central London. It’s the best of both worlds. I tend to get too overwhelmed if I’m in a city for too long but I’d miss it if I moved deep into the countryside.

8. Which bookshelf do you head to first in a bookshop?

Definitely the classics section. It’s my goal to replace all of my ugly editions with beautiful ones. I just tend to really enjoy novels that were written between the 18th-20th century. I love the the language the authors use in their writing and the social commentary.
After I’ve had a look through those shelves I’ll head over to the children’s books. Again they tend to be classics but I really love a good children’s book.

9. What book have you absolutely hated?

On Goodreads there are three books that I only gave one star to; The Finishing School by Muriel Spark, This House is Haunted by John Boyne, and Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson. I meant to write reviews about the last two but I was so angry and frustrated at them that I couldn’t get anything down on paper. I will allow though that Take a Look at Me Now does have some good recommendations for things to do in San Francisco but then again I could get that information from the internet.

10. Which book has surprised you the most (either thought you would love it and hated, vice versa, shock twist, etc.)?

I was quite disappointed that I didn’t like A great and terrible beauty. A murder mystery about a victorian girl who can perform magic in a boarding school is right up my alley but unfortunately it just didn’t do it for me. It felt very young and not unique in the slightest.

11. If you could swap with one celebrity for the day who would it be and why?

Nobody immediately comes to mind. Julie Andrews would be a good pick though as I bet I could get into a lot of West End shows for free.

Eleven Facts about me:

1. I adore wolves. When I was a baby my Dad won a plush wolf from one of those grabby machines and he was my absolute favourite. Ever since then I’ve just thought that they were magnificent animals.
2. I genuinely listen to glee songs. Sorry, not sorry.
3. My cooking skills are slim to none but I really enjoy baking and watching cookery shows.
4. Weasley is my King.
5. I love making lists and plans but I hardly ever follow them.
6. I’m trying to only use cruelty free beauty products and am trying to be more environmentally friendly.
7. I can’t stand olives, celery, or brussel sprouts.
8. I’m still not over the ending to His Dark Materials or what happened to Fred in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
9. Lavender is my favourite smell. I used to bring in sprigs from the garden and put them in a little bag to go under my pillow but then one day I got a bit carried away with pruning the lavender bush and I killed it 😦
10. I work in a hardware store and am allergic to pretty much everything that I touch in there.
11. I didn’t like The Great Gatsby.

Nominees:

Luna’s Little Library

Marwhal Reads

Books J’adore

Words of a Reader

Hey Library Girl

The Local Muse

The Book Rat

Hardcovers and Heroines

The Midnight Garden

Dashing Good Books

Sparklegirl

If you’re not tagged but still reading this feel free to do it and say hi in the comments, I’d like more blogs to follow.

World Book Night 2015

This was the second time I’ve given out books for World Book Night and I think I enjoyed it even  more this time. Last year I gave out Vengeance is Mine Inc by Roald Dahl  and this year I had Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I had more of an idea of where I wanted to leave the books this time and it was really fun to go back to those locations a couple of hours later to see if any had found new homes. Most of them had! I even walked passed someone holding one of them which was really cool.

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It may be a strange place to give them out but most of them were left in the cinema. I had put one on top of each of the four ticket machines when I was buying our tickets and when I came back to actually watch the movie two of them had gone so I replaced them. I also left a couple in the women’s bathroom where there is a big surface between the sinks because I knew that a lot of people would see them in there. That’s where I saw the woman with one of the books.

I gave six to my Mum to take to her staff room, one to my sister who hardly ever reads but was interested in this one (she’d seen the film), and I’m currently reading one of them but I’ll pass it along to someone else after I’ve finished it.

Water for Elephants wasn’t the one I chose and I didn’t think I was even going to like it but I’m really enjoying it so far. There will be a review when I’m done.

If you were a book giver this year I’d love to hear about how it went. Or if you would like to next year. I would really recommend it. It’s lots of fun and it’s hopefully inspiring people to become readers. And we know how magical that is.

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Book Jar

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In keeping with my goal to read as many books that I already own as possible this year I decided to make a book jar. I thought they were really cute and a great idea when everyone was making them last year but I had never gotten around to it. My idea is to pick a book out of the jar every month so at least one of the books I own gets read every month. I’m making it sound as if I’m always buying loads of books which I’m not but there are hundreds of books out there that I don’t own and would love to read and my room can only hold so many at a time!

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Saying that though I am not placing myself on a book buying ban and in fact there will be a haul or two coming up soon. The aim of this project is simply to be aware of what I own and to make sure they are all books I’m actually interested in reading as a few of them having been on my shelves untouched for a while now, I think I must be going through a weird nesting stage where I want my living space to look perfect and for everything to have a purpose. Perhaps it is an early twenties thing as I’ve noticed that a lot of people around the same age as me are doing the same thing.

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I’m also hoping this will encourage me to get through more novels a month as lately I’ve been really slow and only finishing one. I’d like to up that to at least three or four. Do you have any other ideas to motivate me to read tons of books this year? If so let me know!

#ProjectUnhaul

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Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers and youtubers have been focused on having happier and healthier surroundings and it’s made me think a lot about my own possessions, particularly my books. I share a bedroom with my sister so I have quite a limited space and don’t want to clog that up with novels that I don’t love. One day I’ll have a room lined with bookcases full of books to choose from but I want those choices to be of quality so I’ve decided to narrow down my current collection.

So from now on I’m going to be posting unhauls as well as hauls (I’m not putting myself on a book buying ban or anything). My unhauls will contain mini reviews of the books I’m getting rid of and will explain why I didn’t like them and who I think may like it better. Some of the books will be ones that I actually love but have bought a prettier edition of so it won’t be all negative.

One of the other reasons I’m doing this is to get through some of the books that have been on my to-read list for years that I own but for some reason or another haven’t picked up yet. I just feel like that’s a bit silly and that I might be missing out on something wonderful that’s only a few feet away from me. Maybe a new favourite will come of this project!

If you’d like to do this too I’d love to hear about it, I’ll be using #projectunhaul on all of my social medias and feel free to link to your posts.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS from the past three years

My reading in the past three years has been quite varied featuring classics, ya, contemporary, and children’s so it was quite hard to settle for just ten. The amount I’ve read has also been very varied; thirty in 2014, only fourteen in 2013 (don’t know what happened there!), and forty-seven in 2012. These are the books that I would be most likely to re-read and the ones that I had the most emotional connections to.

1. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell-

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 If you’ve ran out of Austen’s to read then I’d heartily recommend Gaskell to you. Her writing has the same bite of humour while satirising society although I’d say Gaskell is a bit softer. Cranford is a town in which there are not very many men and so society is ran by a tight knit community of spinsters. Each character is wonderfully crafted; I felt as though I was also at their dinner parties trying to get the scoop on other neighbours. It really is a brilliant book so go and pick it up!

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This ya novel follows Liesel a book thief living in Nazi Germany who is being taught how to read by her foster father and Max who is a Jewish man that they are hiding in the basement. Add in a foul-mouthed foster mother and Liesel’s best friend Rudy who wants to be Jesse Owens and you’ve got a cast of very interesting characters. Oh, and the book is narrated by Death.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen – 

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Anne Elliot is the door mat of her family. She goes along with decisions to appease her family even when it costs her the love of her life. I loved reading as she started standing up for herself. Captain Wentworth and Anne will squeeze your heart until it can’t take any more. It’s one of the best romantic novels I’ve ever read while still retaining that essence of Austen.

4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

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A lot of people don’t like this book but I loved it. I actually live in a town very much like Pagford which definitely added to the reading experience. I know people like Samantha, and Krystal, and Gaia so it all felt so real to me.

5. 1984 by George Orwell-

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 I did find some parts of the book a bit boring but I think it was supposed to be. Winston is constantly bored because Big Brother doesn’t allow him to have a personality. The whole story was just so disturbing especially because it felt as if it could actually have happened in the aftermath of  WWII especially with all the fear of the Red Button. Reading this book is an incredibly tense experience but a worthwhile one. Just stay clear of Room 101.

6. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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This book explores just how powerful love can be and how it affects a persons life. In this dual narrative we have Alma Singer a forteen year old who is named after all the female characters in a book called The History of Love, and Leo Gurtsky an old man who is the author but doesn’t know that the book still exists. This book is truly beautiful and I often think about it and want to re-visit it. Krauss is a stunning writer.

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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This is dark, disturbing, funny, and grotesque. I absolutely loved it. Wilde is also quite Austen-like with his humour but is a lot more forthright and cheeky, He rips late Victorian society to shreds whilst also seeming fond of it. All the characters in this novel are horrible but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Viewing racism in the deep south of the US through the eyes of an eight year old was so effective at showing that prejudice has to be taught rather than it being engrained. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read; it’s beautifully written, so innocent and yet so sad and disturbing.

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- 

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Hilarious and gut-wrenchingly sad. Hazel and Gus learn to see themselves and others beyond their cancer to just be normal teenagers. Their romance with each other and their friendship with Isaac is just lovely. I think it deals with cancer in a way that doesn’t make it gross tear-porn like a lot of other novels that feature characters with cancer and in many ways isn’t even about their illnesses.

10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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When I first picked up this book I was expecting a terrifying horror story but what I got instead was a character study on how society treats those who look physically different and who have mental disabilities. You grow attached to Creature even though he makes abhorant decisions whilst you feel disgusted at Victor who created and then abandons Creature. It feels like an epic story and one that I can’t wait to read again.

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Bookish Heroines

This Tuesday the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are celebrating the pluckiest of female heroines in literature. My picks are all young women that I’ve looked up to in various times of my life and star in some of my favourite books. I’d encourage everyone to read these novels.

1. Lyra Belacqua from the His Dark Materials trilogy

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She sets out to save her friend and ends up going on a massive adventure to save her world and ours. Despite not being especially equipped to do the saving she marches on because she knows it’s the right thing to do.

2. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series

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The brightest witch of her age. As well as that she is a great friend and fiercely brave. She never abandons her principles and even makes her parents forget her in order to protect them. Others put her down and even Harry and Ron aren’t particularly nice to her but she always takes the higher ground.

3. Alma Singer from The History of Love

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She set out determined to make her Mother happy again and ended up improving the life of another person. Alma meets lots of obstacles and dead ends trying to find the man that she thinks will make her Mum happy but never gives up. I think that shows a lot for a fourteen year old.

4. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice 

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Passionate and outspoken, Elizabeth Bennet wasn’t going to settle for just anyone. She knew that she couldn’t do much to change her situation but that didn’t stop her from letting people know what she thought. Her opinions of others weren’t entirely correct but she had the grace to apologise when she realised she was wrong.

5. Matilda from Matilda

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She was miserable in her home life but never took it out on others. Instead she developed a passion for learning through reading and used her knowledge to defeat Mrs Trunchbull and get her happy ending.

6. Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird

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Didn’t just take people’s word for it but worked out how she felt about the court case and race tensions in her neighbourhood. She always tries to be kind to others which is particularly prevalent in how much respect she gives the objects in Boo’s tree. Her behaviour isn’t always perfect as she’s only eight after all but she’s still pretty great.

7.  Sara CreweA Little Princess

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She had self belief and never became spiteful despite how badly others treated her. Her situation was pretty bleak but she still endeavoured to look on the bright side and continued to have faith that her Dad would come back for her.

8. Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series

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She was the baby of her family and constantly teased by her brothers (not maliciously), rejected by the boy she was in love with, and overcame the horror of being brainwashed by Tom Riddle’s diary.Despite that she became a strong, independent woman who stood up for what she believed in. She stood by Harry no matter how much it probably hurt and was always the bigger person. She grew on her own becoming intelligent, brave, an incredibly talented witch, and a professional Quidditch player.

9. Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief

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She saw beyond stereotypes and treated others with the kindness they deserved. Her relationships with others were very touching as was her little way of standing up against the holocaust and providing comfort to her neighbours during air raids.

10. Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events

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She’s very clever and resourceful using her inventive mind to create things that will help her and her siblings escape whichever horrible relative they’ve been sent to live with. She loves and cares for her family and trusts them explicitly even when others try to break them apart and endures all the crazy plans Count Olaf comes up with to marry her to get to the family money whilst still overwhelmed with grief for the loss her parents.

Birthday & Christmas Haul

I know that this up a bit late but I wanted to show you the beautiful books I was given for my birthday and then two weeks later, for Christmas. These are among the prettiest volumes I’ve ever owned and I’m very happy to have them on my shelves. I just need people to coo over them with me and nobody loves a good haul like you guys.

I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk: The I Heart series is about a woman in her twenties called Angela who runs away to New York after the breakup of a relationship. This is the sixth in the series and I’m still lapping them up. Most of the I Heart series are more summer reads and I’ve read most of them on holidays but this one is obviously a bit different. I’ve really enjoyed seeing her New York life develop,

I actually read my sister’s copy last year and when she was given another copy this year she passed it along to me. Aren’t I lucky!

The Hundred and One Dalmatians  & The Town In Bloom by Dodie Smith: I’ve you’ve read this blog before then you’ll know that I’m a massive fan of I, Capture the Castle and so I thought it was about time I explored her other works. The former became the very famous Disney movie and is supposed to be a charming children’s story while the latter is another coming of age tale.

English As She Is Spoke: My boyfriend got me this as I’m an English Language nerd. It’s a quite famous book for being a genuine language guide that is completely useless and wrong. The entries are hilarious for example “Do not might one’s understand to speak.” I feel so bad for anyone who attempted to use this, it would be like if somebody tried to learn English from Google Translate.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: This edition is part of the Puffin in Bloom series and it is beautiful. I’ve not read Anne before but I adore coming of age stories and I know that it is a lot of people’s favourite book growing up. I can’t wait to read it.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: I’d wanted to read it anyway but when Waterstones released this edition after it won their book of the year I needed to have it as soon as possible. It’s gorgeous and as it’s clothbound it’s really nice to the touch. It looks stunning and really stands out next to my other books.

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe and illustrated by Roc Upchurch: This year I would like to read more comics and have heard lots of good things about this so it should be a pretty good place to start. It seems to portray women really well too which is something that’s really important to me.

More Fool Me by Stephen Fry: I’m a big fan of his and have read his previous memoir The Fry Chronicles but not the one before that which is Moab is My Washpot. This volume follows the end of The Fry Chronicles and tells the story of the 80’s-90’s when his career was starting to take off. I’m hoping to read lots of tales of behind the scenes of Blackadder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie. There might even be a bit of QI in there too!

 

I’m extremely happy with these new additions to by bookcase and can’t wait to get stuck into them throughout the year. I would love to hear what you think of them and what you received under your tree.