Books

My top books of the decade (2010-2020)

I decided to do this post, purely so I can look back in the future. I can’t remember exactly when I read these books, but they’ve definitely been in the past 10 years. This decade I read mostly YA books! This list isn’t in order, but are the most memorable books I’ve read in the decade.

  1. Flowers in the attic by Virginia Andrews. I read this at the start of the decade, but still remains my favorite book of all time. I’ve got a post dedicated to reviewing this so I’ll link that below if you want to read why I love it so much. The sequel is good, but definitely not in my top of the decade.
  2. Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger. I read this at the start of the decade too, and I was the perfect age to read this book. This book also remains in my top 10 reads of all time! I think my age played a huge role in that, as I related a lot. I want to reread it again soon to see how it differs at this age. This is a book everyone should read!
  3. It’s kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini. This is a great book about mental illness, and is an easy read for those wanting an introduction to books about this genre. It’s an easy read made for teens but includes some important points on depression whilst still having humor. The movie is also great!
  4. All the little lights by Jamie Mcguire. I went into this book without any expectations but I came out adoring it. The characters had such unique aspects that I was addicted. I didn’t expect this book to make the top, but it definitely does!
  5. When elephants fly by Nancy Richardson. This made it into my top books of 2018 post. I felt so close to Swifty the elephant in this story, and still often think of her… I never thought I would be this connected to a fictional animal!
  6. The book theif by Markus Zusak. I think this book will forever remain in my top favourite. It’s so unique! Written by death? This is all I need to say… Go and read now if you haven’t!
  7. My heart and other black holes by Jasmine Warga. I read this book when I was really struggling with my mental health, and thus has stuck with me. It’s a YA book about suicide, and is a huge trigger if you’re struggling. Despite this, I didn’t predict the scenarios of the book, and read it in one sitting. I want to reread this whilst I’m well to see how it differs.
  8. Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I read this as a teen, and absolutely began my love for YA books. I’ve read this book so many times. I don’t relate to the characters, yet they are both unique in such different ways. It is a quick read, and is in my top YA picks.
  9. We were liars by E. Lockhart. I had to read this book twice as I was confused the first time. There is so much depth to this book. Another YA pick, which has won many awards, and I can understand why!
  10. The Harry Potter series. I dislike any type of fantasy, but at the end of 2019 I decided to try and see what all the hype is about… If you’ve read my posts, you’ll know how significant this is. I still need to publish my review on this… (too much pressure)
Books

My reading habit book tag/2020 edition

  • DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN PLACE AT HOME FOR READING? My favorite place to read is in the bath… I can spend hours submerged in a steamy bubble bath with a good book!
  • BOOKMARK OR A RANDOM PIECE OF PAPER? I like to have a bookmark, I have a couple of special ones which I love to use, but I often forget them if I start a new book if I’m out. My current book is has a candy wrapper as a bookmark…
  • CAN YOU STOP READING ANYTIME YOU WANT OR DO YOU HAVE TO STOP AT A CERTAIN PAGE, CHAPTER, PART ETC..? I HAVE to finish at the end of a page, even if it is mid sentence, is that odd?? I feel too much pressure if I have to finish at chapters.
  • DO YOU EAT OR DRINK WHILE READING? I love to snack… Therefore I grab my favorite bowl and fill it with little nibbly snacks that can be eaten without paying attention whilst I read. (Does that make sense?). I also love a hot mug of freshly brewed coffee!
  • CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC/WATCHING TV? I can, but prefer not to! Unpopular opinion, but I’m not much of a music listener…
  • ONE BOOK AT A TIME, OR SEVERAL AT ONCE? Definitely just one book at a time, I like to get to know each character well for a couple days! The only time I read multiple is if it’s a coffee table or self help book.
  • READING AT HOME OR EVERYWHERE? Everywhere!! No matter where I am heading, I’ll always bring a book to read. I read on public transport often.
  • READING OUT LOUD OR SILENTLY IN YOUR HEAD? Silently (or not silent for my mind…) in my head. I love reading out loud, but don’t think anyone would appreciate that!
  • DO YOU READ AHEAD OR SKIP PAGES? Reading ahead is not something you’ll ever see me do!
  • BREAKING THE SPINE OR KEEPING IT NEW? Breaking the spine! I love a pre used book more than a new one…
  • DO YOU WRITE IN BOOKS? Nooooope!
  • When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time? ALL THE TIME
  •  What do you do first – Read or Watch? Always have to read the book before the movie, although it’s rare the books I read actually have adaptions.
  • What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book? Without a doubt physical book! Although I use my kindle too.
  • Do you have a unique habit when you read? Not that I can think of…
  • Do book series have to match? I don’t mind! I don’t actually own a single set of series…
Books

To Kill a Mockingbird: Micro-review

This is my first review of the decade/ new year, and what a great one to start with. This year I aim to read more classic fiction, all those books everyone should read in their life time. I decided to start with To Kill a Mockingbird and what a great introduction was this.

Firstly, my favorite genre for the past few years has been YA, and this book surprisingly gave me this vibe. I’m not sure why, but I expected this book to be slow. I was wrong, I flew through this book, and finished it within 24 hours of starting. (Writing this on January 4th and I’ve already finished 3 books thus far). I think ‘Coming of age fiction’ is going to be my new YA.

I’m going to try and make this spoiler free… The characters were all unique, the infamous Atticus Finch, a distant man and quiet father yet you still feel great emotion pouring from him was a strong basis to this book. The siblings Scout and Jem. These two were definitely my favorite characters, both very different yet I can’t pick one. Boo Radley displayed a great mystery to his character, and one that I’m sure will fascinate the audience. Despite often forgetting about him during parts of the story. I was very intrigued by his character. I was also fond of Calpurnia.

This book involved heavy topics, including racism, domestic violence/rape, death ect, yet due to the story being written by Scout, the youngest of the siblings, it had a great aspect of innocence to it. I can see why many middle schools choose this for English class, and wonder what I would have thought if I read this as a teen. The story flowed well, language was beautiful yet not difficult and made me not want to put it down.

The story line kept me intrigued, I fell in love with the characters, I can understand why Harper Lee will forever be seen as a great author. I have no faults on this novel, and give it 5/5. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a book everyone should read and can’t believe I didn’t pick this up sooner. I have ‘Go Set a Watchmen’ by Harper Lee, but am not going to read it straight away. Everyone had to wait 45 years after To Kill and Mockingbird… I definitely won’t leave it that long to pick up the next one, maybe a few months. Have you read both?

Books

My 2020 Bookalutions

I’m not one for making new years resolutions (I don’t think you need to wait for the new year to give yourself a fresh start) but decided to make a few book related goals I would like to accomplish this year, and for the whole decade.

-My main book goal is to record EVERY book I read on paper. I am currently in my favorite coffee shop studying and writing blog posts, and on my walk home I shall pop into a independent store (or end up in TJmaxx) and buy myself a special notebook to do this. I’m going to try and find a strong one as I imagine it will take years to fill up. I hope this is a habit I will keep for life. I’m just about to finish a book, and thus this evening the notebook will hopefully begin! I can’t wait to see the book slowly fill with books I’ve read.

-Secondly, I want to keep my orignal goal of reading 100 books a year. This seems overwhelming to say out loud, but it works out to only 8-9 books a month, which is manageable for me! I completed this 5 years in a row! Although this year I’m not sure I did, as I didn’t record any of my read books, nor did I do monthly wrap ups on my blog which I could have worked out overall. Which is a shame… Hence why my first goal is so important!

– Write more book related blog posts. I enjoy my blog in the sense I can write about anything I please. I find it helpful writing about my mental health, and will still do this, but I would like to write more book ones as I do thoroughly enjoy them once I’ve started. I aim to do at least a monthly wrap and an individual book review a month, with a mixture of other posts.

– My last goal is to delete my TBR and not make a new one. This probably shocks all of you with a book blog… I struggle with spontaneity and having lists for literally everything. Therefore, I thought taking away this list would help combat this struggle. It’s a list I refer to quite often, but without it, it won’t increase my anxiety. (If that makes sense?) In comparison to removing a list related to my degree ect. I will pick a book as and when I finish the current one. I’ll still have a TBR in the sense that I have books on my shelf that I want to read, and have a specific shelf for this. (I’m currently writing an update post on my book shelf and how it recently significantly changed)

Do you have any bookalutions?

Books

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Book micro review

I recently decided to delve into the world of classic fiction. All the books I feel everyone should read in their life time. I can’t believe I had never read Of mice and men. Especially as lot’s of people seem to be introduced to it when in highschool.

Firstly, it is a very short read. Easily read in one sitting, although I read it over two days. It wasn’t a difficult read, but still displayed beautiful language.

I only seemed to connect to the two main characters, Lennie and and George. None of the other characters seemed to stay in my mind. There is only one female character in this book, who I don’t think was named. George and Lennie are friends in the era of the great depression, both of whom are migrant ranch workers. Lennie displays some type of mental disability, and George has always looked out for him. You can clearly see the protectiveness George has over Lennie, and the commitment that they share.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers. The ending of the book really took me by surprise. To summarise in one word; EMOTIONAL.

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve read Of mice and men. I feel it’s a book all ages could read, pre teen aswell as adults. It’s a short and emotional read, a classic that everyone needs to read at least once. A solid 4.5/5 from me!

Books

TEN SHORT STORIES by Roald Dahl; Book review

I’m writing this review on a train journey,instantly after finishing the stories, of which I flew through. Roald Dahl is my favourite childrens authtor, and upon finding out he also wrote adult books, I was very excited to delve into them.

I have read very few short stories, so went into this book open minded. Some of the stories were 10 pages long,others only 3. I enjoyed how you could read an entire story in just a few minutes. The aspect I enjoyed most about these short stories in the particular were the endings, often witty and clever. Stories you want to share with others mid conversation.

There is an underlying darkness to ending of each story, which really adds another element, and often takes you by surprise. My favorite of the stories was ‘Parson’s pleasure’. The stories are too short to give you any details without spoilers..

Roald Dahl is an author I adore, and this collection of stories just emphasizes that. I love the language used, the attention to detail , the way the stories unfold. I was hesitate to read some of his books not targeted for children and I didn’t want my opinion tarnished. (not that it could) This book bought me so much joy.

I definitely recommend this book to all ages and genre lovers. I found this book for 30 cent in thrift store! I adore my copy, a vintage style and the pages are tinted with age. Oh so beautiful! If you have read my post on my book minimalism, you will understand how significent it is for me to keep this book on my shelf.

Definitely a 10/10 read!

Books

Ostrich boys by Keith Gray; Book review.

I picked this book up on a whim in a thrift store, as the description caught my attention; ‘It’s not really kidnapping, is it? He’d have to be alive for it to be proper kidnapping.’ The books was 30cent a piece so I picked up 13 in total… I’ll be re-donating this one now I have finished it. I saw the sticker on the front saying it was shortlisted for a few different book awards. I assumed it was a YA, and it technically is, but the younger side of teenager, I’d say 11+. As I am an adult I found this book quite childish, I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but understand I am not the target audience.

The language flowed well, it was very easy to read. I finished this book in one day. My favorite aspect of the book is the emotion. The 3 main characters, all 15 year old boys have lost their best friend. After attending the funeral, which they didn’t feel reflected their best friend Ross’s life, they decided to take matters into their own hands, taking the urn containing Ross to a little village called Ross in Scotland, to give him the send off he deserves.

Each character had different opinions on what they set out to do, although they were all in agreement to give Ross the send off he would have wanted. Upon finding out the death may not have been accidental, they all responded in different ways. The 3 best friends are experiencing grief differently, and I liked the difference each character bought. They fall out, imagine how hard it would be losing your best friend? I think all the characters are trying their best to ‘keep themselves together’. I didn’t expect the ending, but I enjoyed the quietness it bought. (no spoilers here, sorry!)

I feel I was a little harsh calling this book childish at the start of the review. It encountered some challenging life events, that these teenagers had to go through. I read this book in one day, I enjoyed it! (I think I’m just being a little harsh on myself for reading ‘easier’ books).

I would give this book 3.5/5, and would definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoy YA. (especially if you are a teen!)