WWW Wednesday – 16/10/19

blogtober

Hi Readers!

I won’t lie, I completely forgot to do this. So this will be a slightly rushed post!

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?

JUST FINISHED READING

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky ⭐ ⭐ – This was slightly disappointing. Mainly because Chbosky wrote my favourite. This book started strong, but then it was just dragged out. It was far too long and messy. 

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – I actually just finished this today. The concept of this book, Martians coming here with big mechines burning and destroying everything in their path is horrifying and will probably give me nightmares. But honestly, the narration was super dull and made the book feel a lot longer than it was. 

 CURRENTLY READING

I just started Shutter Island and really liking it so far. I’m also currently in the middle of Frankenstein

READING NEXT

I’ll hopefully be making my way through the rest of my Spookathon tbr. Sadie and Pumpkinheads. 

What have you been reading this week?7

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

 

Booker Prize 2019 Winner’s’ and My Thoughts On The Controversial Decision

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Hi Readers

The Booker Prize, known by many as the most important and prestigious award in the literary industry has come and gone for another year. But this year it has left a trail of controversy in it’s wake. 

There’s always some backlash that follows the winner announcement. It’s unavoidable. Readers follow this prize closely and get involved by the reading the longlist and/or the shortlist and generate their own opinions. Everyone has one particular book and author they’re rooting for and it’s impossible to please everybody. 

However this year it seems the judges tried to do just that. Choosing not one, but two winners. Bernardine Everisto (Girl, Woman, Other) and Margaret Atwood (The Testaments) will be splitting the money and the glory in half. 

I’m not happy. Here’s why. 

It’s against the rules. Some might say, ‘rules are meant to be broken’ but I’m more of the Hermione Granger in this situation. Rules are there for a reason. The judges had one job and one winner to pick. 

I’ve made it no secret that I wasn’t entirely impressed by The Testaments. In fact, as more times gone on it’s become more and more forgettable. It wasn’t impactful and I agree with anyone who says it was unneccesary. I could see why it made the longlist, but not the shortlist and I was shocked it won.

But the thing I’m most upset about is this; Bernardine Evaristo is the first black woman to ever win this prize, and she should not have had to share that stage. Especially not with Margaret Atwood, whose popularity could easily overshadow her. 

Evaristo is who I was rooting for, and while I’m glad she can be called the winner, I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances. She’s the first black woman to win the prize. Hopefully the first of many. 

It’s gotten people talking however, that’s for sure. That’s the only good that could come out of this I suppose. 

What are your thoughts on this decision? 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Booker Prize 2019 – Thoughts and Winner Prediction

blogtober

Hi Readers!

Depending on when you’re reading this, we are just days away from finding out who will be the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize!

The six books shortlisted for the prize this year were: 

Ducks, Newbury Port by Lucy Ellmann
10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get through all of these books. Out of the six books I was able to read three. So while I can’t give a full review of the shortlist I can share with you what I’m rooting to win out of the ones I have read. 

*Clicking on the titles will take you to my full review of each novel

The Testaments by Maragret Atwood ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The much awaited sequel to The Handmaids Tale was released to a build-up of hype. I definitely felt myself being pulled into the excitement but my overall thoughts on this are not favourable. I wouldn’t say it was a huge letdown but it does feel so unnecessary and not as powerful as it’s predecessor. 

10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I would be fine with this winning. What astonished me about this book is how much Shafak was able to pack into this short novel. There is so much emotion and storytelling. But the second half lost it for me. I’m not rooting for this book to win, but I just have a feeling it could take the prize.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

12 stories. All told from women. All connected in some way or another. Each voice explored a diverse and prevelant topic. This is the novel that moved me the most and therefore I will be cheering on this one Monday night when they announce the winner. 

What book do you predict will win the booker prize?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Spookathon TBR 2019!

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Hi Readers!

This, honestly, is a readathon I look forward to every Halloween. It’s time to really get stuck into the spookier books I would never touch any other time of the year. Not to mention it’s hosted by one of my favourite booktubers: BooksandLala

There are 5 challenges so next week I’ll be reading these 5 books:

A Thriller – Joyland by Stephen King

Red On The Cover – Wicked by Gregory Maguire (her lipstick is red so it counts!) 

A Spooky Word In The Title – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A Spooky Setting – In the Woods by Tana French

Wouldn’t Normally Read – Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Are you taking part in the Spookathon? What spooky reads do you have planned?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

My Favourite Things To Bake

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Hi Readers!

There are two great loves in my life. Books and baking. Over the past year or so I’ve really gotten into baking. I can barely go a week without getting elbows deep in flour and butter. Here are some of my favourite recipes I’ve found online. 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – I kid you not, these taste like little bites of brownie. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes – This was the first time I ever tried swiss meringue buttercream and I can never go back. 

Apple Scones – All scones are great really but the apple tree in my garden flurished this autumn and I had to find a way to use those apples! These are great with plum jam. 

Hot Cross Buns – Who says you can only have these at Easter?

Tanya Burr’s Nutella Cookies – If you like Nutella (or any hazelnut spread really) you have to try this recipe. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – The best and simplest recipe I’ve tried. I like to chill the cookie dough before rolling them out and baking them (about an hour, or overnight if you wish). 

Gingernut Biscuits – This is my Granddads recipe I shared a few years ago during blogmas. 

Sultana Loaf Cake – So simple, yet so delicious. 

Those are just some of my go to bakes. What’s your favourite thing to bake? 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

WWW Wednesday (Reading Update) – 09/10/19

blogtober

Hi Readers

I’ve been looking for new ways to update my reading throughout the month because I feel like doing it at the end just isn’t enough. I can’t believe I didn’t know this existed before but I think WWW is the answer to my problems so I’m jumping on board this meme!

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?

swirly

JUST FINISHED READING?

I wasn’t able to read as much as I planned to the first week of October and, I won’t lie, blogtober didn’t help with. But here’s what I did read:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – This was a last minute addition but I’m so glad I read it. This is the origin story of the Queen of Hearts where she’s just a girl who wants to bake. Click on the link for my review!

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – This was a reread but it’s amazing how much of this I forgot. Honestly this was triggered by Ben Barnes being cast in Shadow and Bone and immediately got the urge to watch everything he’s ever been in.

CURRENTLY READING

I’ve just started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, continueing my reread of the Harry Potter series. But I think this may be put on hold because a book I’ve been waiting for forever has just arrived in the library…

READING NEXT

I’ll be reading Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky! I’ve heard mixed reviews about this so I am wary but still so excited. Chbosky wrote one of my favourite books and this is his first release since then, so I’m excited to get to it. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

10 Things The Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone Film Left Out

blogtober

Hi Readers!

The Harry Potter film series is pretty darn near perfection. They took the books and brought them to life with an amazing cast, gorgeous sets and iconic music. But, like all book to movie adaptations, they missed out a few things from the books.

I’ve just began on my 100th reread of the Harry Potter books (this number may be an exaggeration). As I go, I’ll also be rewatching the films and taking note on what they didn’t include. And, of course, sharing them with you.

Because the first book was so short they were able to stay quite faithful to it and include most scenes/lines in one way or another. But here’s some that I did find. 

swirly

Vernon Dursleys strange morning – I love the opening to this movie, but Vernon encountering a bunch of wizards celebrating Voldemorts demise in plain sight is hilarious. 

Sassy Harry – “The poor toilet’s never had anything as horrible as your head down it – it might be sick.”

The Dursleys taking Harry to Kings Cross Station – and Vernon’s smug face when there was no Platform 9 3/4.

Peeves – I feel like there’s enough humour without him though, so I don’t really miss him. 

Draco in Madam Malkins.

The Sorting Hats Song!

Nevilles. “I’m worth 12 of you, Malfoy!”

Fred and George hitting Professor Quirrels turban (aka, Voldemort) with snowballs!

“HAVE YOU GONE MAD? ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?” – This is said by Ron when Hermione flusteredly exclaims she can’t light a fire because there’s no wood. 

The potions task – This, to me, is Hermiones moment to show her strength. But I suppose they thought the devils snare did that.

swirly

Can you think of anything from the book that should’ve definitely been in the movie? 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X