Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Tips on How to Read More

I often get told by people that I read a lot and what is my secret. My response is often that I didn't have the internet for four months and that certainly lead me to reading more. Whilst I say this semi as a joke because I read a lot regardless, it really did help! That aside, here are my top tips for how to read more without having to be without the internet.

Tips on how to read more

  • Schedule in your reading time - I'm one of these people who if I don't have an activity scheduled I will just sit around scrolling on Twitter whilst watching Netflix all day. By scheduling in my reading time I know I have a set time dedicated to reading which gives me the motivation to sit down and read. I also really recommend scheduling in your reading time before bed, it really will help you sleep better, unless you decide to read a horror book...
  • Set a timer - This ties in with scheduling in my reading time but I often like to set a timer when I'm reading and dedicate that time solely to reading, nothing else. Sometimes my mind will wander and then I panic and think hours have gone by when it's only been minutes.... By setting myself a dedicated time frame I know that I am only going to focus on this one task for however long. For me, 20 - 30 minutes is a good time. It may not sound like a lot, but if you are not reading at all, 20 minutes of dedicated reading adds up quickly. I also often find myself totally hooked on my book after 10 minutes of reading and will go on to read past the timer, it's just that initial effort of picking up the books! 
  • Put your phone in a different room - Who here is guilty of constantly checking social media and being distracted by it when trying to do tasks? I know I definitely am! When I'm reading I like to have my phone away from me to avoid temptation. I Know that I have set a timer, that latest twitter mention will still be there in 20 minutes when the timer is up and it can wait.
  • If you don't like the book you are reading, put it down - This seems like it would be pretty obvious, but I know I have definitely tried to struggle on with a book even when I'm not enjoying it because I hate being beaten by a book. It's not good though, if you are not enjoying the book then you won't want to pick it up and it will just put you off reading.
  • Read what you want, it's still reading - Don't read a book for the sake of it. Sure the classics are great and everyone may be talking about Game of Thrones but if it's not for you, then it's not for you. If you enjoy reading a steamy novel, a graphic novel or books that aren't aimed at your age group, it doesn't really matter as long as you enjoy it. Reading is still reading no matter what the book is! 
These are all pretty basic tips to be honest but I hope they are helpful to some people. I am definitely not an expert in this topic, and there are people who read a lot more than me, but I love to encourage people to read more so I have more people to chat about books to! 


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Reading in Heels November Unboxing

Last month I received my first Reading in Heels subscription box, you can read about it here, and I enjoyed it so much I've decided to keep going with it. For those who haven't heard of Reading in Heels it's a monthly subscription box where you get a book as well as some relaxing/lifestyle things to go along with it all for the bargain price of £12.50!

reading in heels november unboxing

Here is what was in this months box:
  • States of Passion by Nihad Sirees - This was the book included for November and it sounds pretty juicy. First off, it was translated from Arabic which piqued my interest straight away as this year I'm attempting to read more translated texts. Set in Syria, a businessman ends up stranded in the countryside during a storm so seeks refuge in an old mansion which is occupied by an elderly gentleman and his servant. The businessman soon ends up finding out the families story, and like a lot of families there are plenty of secrets to uncover!
  • Korres Bergamont & Jasmine Body Milk - Jasmine is the national flower of Syria so this actually ties in really nicely with the book. I'm a huge Korres fan, their shower gels are some of my particular favourites so I can't wait to try this moisturiser.
  • Nemi Chai Tea - I didn't know this but Nemi Teas is a London based company who aim to create positive change by employing refugees to help them boost their language skills and confidence which is pretty incredible! Chai is one of the few types of tea I actually enjoy and this smells delicious. 
  • Honeyrose Bakery Brownie - This brownie is gluten free and looks pretty yummy. The perfect size for me to not feel too guilty about eating!
  • Postcards - As you can probably see these all have literary quotes on them. Whilst they are very aesthetically pleasing, the quotes/books they are from don't have too much in common with the images which is a bit confusing for me. To be perfectly honest I probably won't end up using these, but the colours are nice. 
Overall I really enjoyed this months box. I'm a lot more interested in November's book than I was Octobers, and I love the theming that has gone on to tie everything together this month. If you are interested in subscribing yourself check out Reading in Heels


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Christmas Gift Guide - Fun Books for Feminists

I think this is one of the guides that I actually have had the most fun putting together. These books are all perfect for any female in your life as they are all inspirational and great to read. As the title of this post may suggest, these are fun books for feminists and would make a great introduction for anyone wanting to get started with the topic.

books aimed at females

  • Unladylike £13.88 - From the creators of the Unladlyike podcast comes this fantastic book. It's beautifully illustrated and full of colourful graphs etc, There is a mix of statistics showing how patriarchy is still around but also shows examples of all the incredible women in the world and what they are doing to stop it. I feel like this essential reading for any female and it is packaged up gorgeously.
  • Feminists Don't Wear Pink £7.00 - This is a book that I picked up because Topshop were meant to have a pop up in their store selling this, but deemed it too controversial, which in my opinion just proves that we need more books like this. There is a selection of essays in here from many notable women that are split into themes such as anger and joy. The essays are incredibly well written and I would even recommend this to teenage girls as a place to start because there are many famous personalities in here too.
  • Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls £10 - I've shared my love of this one before. Aimed at a younger audience it features loads of women. They each have a double page spread with a summary of what they have achieved and a gorgeous illustration to go along with it. Not just for the younger audience, I found this very inspiring too. 
  • How to be Successful Without Hurting Mens Feelings  £7.20 - A very tongue in cheek look that i think many female professionals in the workplace sometimes feel like they have to act. Once again, great illustrations which show that sadly, inequality is still quite prominent in the work place.
  • New Erotica For Feminists £7.19 - Seriously this book is fricking hilarious and would make the perfect stocking filler. It's small in size with a stunning cover but here is an example of what you will find inside 'He calls me into his office and closes the door.... to promote me. He promotes me again and again. I am wild with ecstasy.'  Brilliant.
  • How to Own the Room £9.35 - I am slightly cheating with this pick as it's actually something I picked up for myself, but this would also make a great gift at Christmas for any girl bosses you know. As the title suggests it's a book on how to get over the nerves and anxiety of public speaking and really own the room. I'm excited to get reading this!
As I mentioned I loved writing this blog post. I love being inspired by other women and hopefully in turn going out and inspiring others too. Will you be picking any of these up? Or are there any others you would recommend?


Friday, 16 November 2018

Christmas Gift Guide - Gifts For Book Lovers

I think buying someone a book for Christmas can be quite difficult as you can never be sure of the persons preferances, and if you are buying for someone like me, they probably already have a giant stack of books they still need to get through and may already actually own the book you are planning to gift. This is why I've made a little guide of things to get bookish people that aren't actually books! Here are my top picks:

bookish themed gifts

1. A gift voucher for a book store - Starting off nice and simple here. As I've mentioned, picking a book for someone can be a challenge, so a gift voucher to their favourite book store is always a good option as they can choose the book they want. I actually love getting vouchers for book stores. I do not advise getting an Amazon voucher though as these often end up getting used on things that are not books! 
2. Obama Llama £21.99 - This is a board game that is all about guessing the correct rhyme which are weird and hilarious such as 'Ginger Spice has head lice' and 'Theresa May using hair spray'. Bookworms will most likely have a head start on this game because of their knowledge of words, but this is fun for all of the family to play making it great for Christmas. Available from Amazon here.
3. A reading journal £4.50 - Especially good for any book bloggers, this little jounral is a really cute way for book lovers to track what they have read throughout the year as well as give them little ratings and reviews. Available on: Literary Emporium
4. Frida Kahlo candle £12 - If your book friends are anything like me, then they love to have a candle or 100 burning in the background when reading. Frida Kahlo is an icon and this candle is scented with lilac, cactus, waterlily, frangipani and a hint of vanilla.  Available from: Flamingo Candles
5. Kindle Paperwhite £119,99 - If you are feeling like splurging a Kindle is definitely a fantastic gift. I love my Kindle and the latest upgraded Paperwhite is even lighter and waterproof, something I have been wanting for a while from the Kindle. I've got this on my Christmas list. Available from: Amazon
6. Tequila Mockingbird £7.49 - The only book to make my list, this is full of cocktails that are literary themed. Great for any book lovers who appreciate a good tipple. Available from Amazon
7. Bath shelf £27.50 - Another one that is on my wish list, these super awesome bath shelves are perfect for when you want to relax in the bath with space for candles, a glass of wine and a book/tablet. Honestly couldn't think of anything more perfect for the bath. Available from: Etsy
8. Reusable coffee cup £7 - Last on my list is something that every basic book bitch needs in their life, a reusable coffee cup. This one is customasiable and comes in other colours, but you know I have to go for shiny gold! Environmentally friendly and perfect for morning coffee and reading. Available from: Esty

I'm now trying desperately not to buy all these things for myself and wait patiently for Christmas! 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Christmas Gift Guide - Books for Cat Lovers

It's not even mid November yet but I am very excited for Christmas already and I feel I'm not alone in the excitement this year! I have promised myself though that I won't put up my Christmas tree until December the 1st so I've decided to do a Christmas Gift Guide instead to get out my pent up Christmas excitement. Today's guide is books that would make great gifts for any cat lovers.

a selection of books and comics about cats

  • How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You,  £6.69 - If you own a cat you will totally get what I mean when I say sometimes they look at you as if they are plotting the best way to kill you. This book is full of comic strips and funny images that totally illustrate this point. It's hilarious although at times a little bit disconcerting for cat owners. Even for those of you who don't own a cat this is still a great read as it's so funny. Probably not a great one to give to cat haters though as it will just reaffirm everything bad they already think about cats.
  • Cat Poems, £5.99 - Poetry is not my fave thing, but this is definitely a book of poems I can get behind. There is a real mix of poems in here by some very famous poets. this would make a nice gift for the sophisticat in your life.
  • Cat Paws,  £9.18 - This is a super cute hardback book of pictures of cat paws. The photos are taken from Instagram, Twitter and blogs and it is seriously adorable, for all the lovers of cat toe beans out there.
  • Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines £6.99 - So I have to be honest, this is my favourite one of the bunch and I really recommend this for any cat lover. If you have seen the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, this book is very similar in format. It has pages of famous cats in history alongside gorgeous illustrations and pages of cat facts, behavioural traits, history and more. This book is stunningly illustrated and full of interesting and unusual cat facts.
  • Cat vs Human, £7.67 - This is another super fun collection of comics that illustrate the life of what it is like to be a crazy cat lady. The comics are brilliant and totally relatable for any crazy cat lady. There are actually quite a few books now in this series and I own them all and recommend them equally.
So that is my little round up of books for crazy cat lovers, everything from comics to poetry so their should be something for everyone on this list. If you are interested in more comics for crazy cat lovers check out my previous blog post Comics For Crazy Cat Lovers for more suggestions. 


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Cakeworthy X Goosebumps Collections

a book themed bag

So this post was originally scheduled for October, but thanks to my order being held in customs jail it was a bit delayed.... My fondness for all creepy related books is no secret (hello I did a whole month dedicated to horror books!) so when I saw the Cakeworthy X Goosebumps collection I was so excited and knew I had to purchase some goodies! Goosebumps is one of the original book series that got me into the horror genre and R.L Stine will forever be one of my fave authors.

Cakeworthy normally specialises in Disney inspired clothing, I own a few of their flannel shirts so it was interesting to see them branch out into another franchise that I love. I picked up the bag as you can see in the photo above, it's the perfect size to fit a book in and a few essentials like phone, purse and make up. I recently used this bag at a book event and got so many compliments on it, clearly I was in the right place! I also picked up the Reader Beware flannel as well, I mentioned that I already own a few of these and they are so comfortable and easy to style, I definitely recommend them.

Here are a few more images from the look book, I had to restrain myself from ordering everything! All images are from the Cakeworthy website.

a goosebumps jumper

A goosebumps flannel

pinsThe only downside to ordering from Cakeworthy, for those of us in the UK is that we are hit with customs as the clothing is shipped from NA. This is nothing unusual though and is easy to calculate in advance what the customs charge will be, but this does mean it ends up being more expensive for those of us over seas!

What do you think of the collection? Will you be picking any up? Check out the full collection here: Cakeworthy X Goosebumps collection

Friday, 2 November 2018

October 2018 Book Haul

I feel like I was quite restrained in my book buying this month, although it doesn't actually look like it by this picture but I promise I only actually purchased two of these books! After a month of reading horror for blogoween I definitely fancied a change so here is what I picked up:
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo - I was actually lucky enough to be invited to a bloggers brunch at the start of the month and meet Alexandra. I had already read this earlier in the year and really enjoyed it so I do recommend picking it up. It is a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, but the mermaids are sirens which are a lot deadlier and take one heart a year from a human. Princess Lira, siren daughter of the sea queen takes one heart too many and as punishment the sea queen turns her into a human who happens to end up on the ship of a siren hunter. It's good stuff.
  • The Dark Vault by V.E. Schwab - This is another one I was sent, which I am super grateful for because I love Victoria's writing so much. The Dark Vault is actually two books, The Archived and The Unbound which if I remember correctly were never published in the UK so I'm very excited to get my hands on this! The synopsis of this is pretty interesting, dead people are almost like books, called Histories that reside in the Archive and there are librarians that can read them. Seriously can't wait to read this one, but gosh it's thick!
  • Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic -  This was part of the Reading in Heels October subscription box so I won't go into too much detail about this one as I've already spoken about it, but essentially its a thriller about someone who gets a bit obsessive on instagram and lives in New York. Check out my Reading in Heels Unboxing post for more info on it.
  • Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis - I actually picked this one up after seeing on Twitter that Topshop decided to dismantle their pop up shop with this book 30 minutes before the store opening because they were worried feminism is too controversial. Considering Topshop has plenty of feminist slogan items of clothing on sale I thought this was an awful move so picked up the book to show my support. This is a collection of feminists essays from some incredible women, including Keira Knightley, Gemma Arteton, Emma Watson and many more.
  • Soulbinder by Sebastien De Castell - This is another book that I received at the blogger brunch. It's the fourth book in the Spellslinger series, a fantasy series with a Western twist on it. I've not actually read the previous three books in the series, but Sebastien did a fantastic reading of the book which included an interesting character called squirrel cat so I think I will definitely pick up the rest of the series at some point.
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls - The last book I picked up is one I actually got as a gift for my ten year old cousin, but she already owns it so of course I kept it for myself. This book is incredible and I seriously urge anyone with young children, girls especially to pick it up., Each page is the story of an incredible woman and a gorgeous illustration to go with it. It's very inspiring and empowering. Not just for kids though, I also love this too.
Phew that was quite a lot! I am loving branching out into more feminist texts this month too so if you have any other you could recommend I would love to hear about them.

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