Archive for July, 2016

Five Fabulous…Things That Make Me Choose A Book

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

” Ip, Dip, Do…”

1. The Cover or any other prettiness
If there’s an map or prettied chapter headings, some foil, a book mark or any other adornment, the magpie in me cannot resist.

2. Blurb
Ok so this is hardly earth shattering but after the shiny has caught my attention I will turn the book over to see if the blurb hooks me in some way. I am attracted to lots of different genres and will usually pick my read based on my mood, going through phases where I read more contemporary, historical or fantasy. More often than not my choice will contain 3 in some form and very often 4.

3. Romance/ romantic tension
I just love reading about human connection, particularly developing relationships. I love the build up and the tension, usually more than the pay off of the established relationship.
I simply can’t resist a book that hints at a “will they, wont they” relationship with antagonistic origins.

4. Speculative fiction
I’ve already said that my reading habits are dictated by mood and what takes my fancy at the time, but more often than not I am drawn to books with fantastical elements. I think that this is because reading for me is formost about escapism. I find it easiest switch off and become absorbed when there is some element of other about the book.

5. Recommended by one of my blogging friends.
I am so lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful group of friends who share my passion for fantastic reads. I haven’t been let down yet by any of their recommendations. Handily for you they also share their thoughts to the wider world through their fantastic blogs and vlogs. I thoroughly recommend that you take some time check out these wonderful YA blogs:

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
Snuggling on the Sofa
Ya Yeah Yeah
Bookish Brits
Winged Reviews

Posted by Caroline

How do you pick books to read? Do you have less conventional methods of book selection? What patterns do you notice about your favourite books?

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Five Fabulous…Reasons to Read

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Reasons to read are fairly infinite, any book lover will tell you that! So being one of the latter category I have attempted to narrow it down to….well lets say five :p

To Learn
It’s the main and most commonly acknowledged reason to read. It’s probably a bit of a boring one too but to be honest it’s the truth. There is so much to be learnt and not just from textbooks and autobiographies. Even the most outlandishly impossible fantasies are initially constructed from our reality, and are designed by a mind who’s reality is very much our own so it stands to reason that something of our world will transpire and linger. And even if you don’t feel this is the case emotionally books can make you grow and learn volumes, no pun intended! For instance which of you who has read Pride and Prejudice can say they didn’t learn a thing or two about that point in time in history, and/or appreciated the subtle but strong characters and their speech which delivers strong sentiments shrouded in politeness but cutting nevertheless.

But we don’t have to look that far back in our literature history, Harry Potter has touched the lives of many young and old, and continues to do so. It has given some the courage to come out of their shell, it has brought people together, helped those who struggled to make friends, and it is an emotionally touching story.

To open your mind and stimulate your imagination
I think anyone who has even attempted to read (let alone actually finished it) The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter,His Dark Materials etc can appreciate that the minds that create these worlds are vastly imaginative and know no bounds. It stands to reason (and again has been scientifically proven) that the more you read the more your mind becomes inquisitive and starts to give shape to what you’re reading, and before you know it you’ll be imagining your own worlds and stories, and if we’re lucky you’ll write them down and share them with us. The mind is a muscle and as such needs exercise including the creative aspect of it. A famous Italian poet once said it is an endeavor to keep our inner child and imagination alive and through it our youth; and what better way to do it than by reading!

To de-stress/relax
Because sometimes there is nothing more relaxing that curling up on a sofa, with a giant mug of tea (yes even in the summer- it could be iced tea!) and disappearing into a good book, someone else’s life, a new adventure, a new world…

And just because I am a proud bookish geek through and through, it has been scientifically proven that us bookworms lead a more stress free life because we have found a healthy way of disconnecting the old noodle for a while and relaxing. It’s better than yoga!!!

Ok so these are the main “serious reasons” that a good normal sensible adult should say. And now for the real bookworm reasons!!!

To Escape
I have to admit there are infinite reasons why people read but this is the main reason I read. I love nothing better than to dive headfirst into a book, a life, a new quest, a new world and escape my own with all it’s troubles. Admittedly eventually I have to resurface (sadly) but escaping to a new place or even an old place that you are revisiting because you loved it so much the first 50 times you read it is one of the best feelings in the world. Time can speed up and slow down as you please, you can choose excitement, horror, romance or comedy or all of them at every turn of a page. You can identify with characters, make them your friends or enemies, change them in your mind, give them new adventures when the book is over if you’re not ready to let go yet. Your options are endless all you need to do is open the first page and tune the world out for a bit.
Best feeling ever.

It’s Fun
For all the afore mentioned reasons reading cannot be described as anything short of fun, exhilarating, exciting and basically AMAZING!!!

Ever tried reading the same book as a friend, starting it at the same time, in the same living room, on the same sofa? Our fearless leader, Caroline, and I have done it several times and it’s soooo much fun! The giggles, the gasps, the blushing and the inevitable shock horror look we gave each other as we both looked up at the same time is priceless and a wonderfully cherished memory. Try it!

I could go on and on and basically write you a whole dissertation on how books teach you so much and reading is an amazing thing, but you’re not reading this post so that I can put you to sleep (there’s another reason to read! Lol) so all I’ll say is that books are genuinely awesome, and if you don’t believe me get a good recommendation, turn the first page, open your mind and read…and then you will see.

Posted by Pruedence

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Five Fabulous Books…Set In Other Countries

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Fab five reads based in other countries

The Island by Victoria Hislop this is a fascinating novel set on the island of Spinalonga, just off Crete. This is where the lepers are sent to live tugs at the heart strings for those separated from their loved ones. Set in the time around the 2nd World War there is loads of historical interest too.

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, one of my favourite easy reads, it has undemanding prose and wonderful characters. The gentle humour and light hearted style make this a go to relaxing read. Set in Botswana the backdrop is delicious with the sun shining and the gorgeous landscape and where the day to day pace if life seems to jog along easily, it’s perfect to relax with. The fact that there are now at least 12 books in the series is an added bonus!

The Far Pavilions by MM Kaye
This us a great epic read, sweeping landscapes, exotic culture, love and heartbreak, a story that spans decades. An Indian back drop is painted beautifully for us and the characters are rich and satisfying. A perfect long read to lose yourself in.

The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman is another novel with history. This is set after the First World War on a remote lighthouse off Australia. There is a gripping moral dilemma for us to explore, with characters that capture the imagination and who make it really hard to know who to root for. Thus novel transports you to an old, forgotten world.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, OK some of you might think this is a bit if a cheat but set in futuristic America, known now as Panem it is a brilliant foil for all the historical novels! If you haven’t heard if this by now I don’t know what you’ve been doing. I have read this a couple of tines now and still find the subject matter challenging and engaging in equal measure. Easy to read, with lots happening and keeping you on the edge of your seat at times it’s a great modern read.

Posted by Helen

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Five Fabulous…LGBT Books

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Admittedly I really need to read more LGBT reads so readers, if you have any recs, scream them at me!

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This was the first trans book I read and I loved it. The writing was wonderful, the plot interesting and the characters were great. It was an emotional but wonderful read.

George by Alex Gino
I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. A true coming of age story about a boy who wants to dress like a girl. It is a lovely cute story that everyone should read.

Breathless and Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
This novella and novel are both incredible. Part of the Storm series, these books are the story of how one brother comes out to the rest of his family. Full of drama and love, it is a jam-packed read.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
My very first David Levithan book and my first LGBT book to boot, this was a wonderful read that really celebrates the full scale of diversity and what it means to be diverse.

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
I was hooked on this book from the beginning. It is such a wonderfully cute story that is well written and full of love. I just loved this book so much and think you should all read it!

Posted by Faye

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Five Fabulous…MG Books Published in 2016

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Okay, here’s my top MG of 2016!

I love MG fiction and have started reading it a lot more this year. I still have a large backlog to get through but here are my favourites of 2016 so far!

Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop
This is one of the most cute and magical books that I’ve read this year. It has incredible illustrations to go along with it and the story is just so sweet and imaginative. I am so sure that a lot of children will eat this story up as it is just so wonderful!

Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery
Yet another cute MG story! This book is about a girl who befriends an alien but it doesn’t quite go to plan. It is enthralling, powerful and has a wonderful protagonist at the centre too. It’s also quite emotional too. I am positive that this will be devoured by children!

How To Look for a Lost Dog by Anne M. Martin
There are not enough words to describe how much I absolutely adore this book. It is about a girl with high-functioning autism and it is an incredible read. It is a wonderful book to explain autism to children as well as just having a lovely story at the centre of it about a girl trying to find her dog after a bad storm. A story of hope, love and acceptance.

Girl with a White Dog by Anne Booth
As above, not enough words to explain how amazing this book is. About a girl whose Gran gets a lovely white dog and how that sets off a chain of events that link the story to WW2. It’s an uplifting but sad story that is full of emotions, and hope. It is just an educational story that I think a lot of children should read and are also likely to love.

Squishy McFluff: Seaside Rescue by Pip Jones
This is a cute, fun and playful MG that I read quickly and just enjoyed from start to finish. Squishy McFluff is an invisible cat and in this book, they go to the seaside. It was a really lovely story that is full of spirit and will thrill any animal lover from start to finish – especially those that love a little bit of mischief too!

Posted by Faye

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Five Fabulous…Books Which Challenge Stereotypes

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

I can say with absolute certainty, that I have read a lot of books that have heavily influenced my views on certain subjects. A lot of novels (fictional or non fictional) have made me realise how easily prone I am to accepting stereotypes and to taking everything I see in the news as fact.

Here are five fiction books that have really changed my ideas and opinions:

Wonder-R J Palacio
“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking it’s probably worse”
Auggie is a boy born with “mandibulofacial dysostosis” more commonly known as Treacher Collins Syndrome with a cleft palette. The story follows his insistence to go to a public school and how manages even with an obvious face disfigurement.
This book was an amazing story and Auggie is a really inspirational and brave character who you just love. It really made me think about the treatment of people with physical disabilities, not only the people who can’t help but stare but the people who are overly nice or fake towards these people because they are physically different. It was thought provoking and interesting and I would definitely read it again.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece-Annabel Pitcher
“My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece. Well some of her does. Three of her fingers, her right elbow and her knee cap are buried in a graveyard in London.”
This book was a brilliant read and it makes you think not only about child bereavement and neglect but also stereotyping terrorism (cheery stuff) but what really struck me was the way the book was written like a child, very naïve and pliant. The protagonist is a little boy and one of his twin sisters is killed in a terrorist attack in Trafalgar Square by people who consider themselves part of the Islam religion. This turns his father against people of the Muslim religion because he believes that ‘all Muslims are terrorists’. When Jamie befriends a Muslim girl, he struggles to be friends with her as well as staying on good terms with his father, all this at the age of five.

Looking at the Stars-Jo Cotterill
“The only way we can survive is to work together. Each of us must play our part. The minute we stand alone, we fall alone.”
As one of my absolute favourites, ‘Looking at the stars’ follows two sisters whose lives have been destroyed by a war in their country. They need to reach a refugee camp and find their missing mother and younger sister. After a reread, this book became particularly poignant due to the very full coverage of ‘the refugee crisis’ in the media. Although the novel is fictional, it really opened my eyes to the kind of treatment that refugees receive after losing everything and the importance of family and friends. No matter where you stand on this issue, this book is certainly worth a read.

Will Grayson Will Grayson- John Green and David Levithan
“me: you just sound so gay.
tiny: um . . . there’s a reason for that?
me: yeah, but. i dunno. i don’t like gay people.
tiny: but surely you must like yourself?”
Structurally, ‘Will Grayson Will Grayson’ is an interesting book written by two authors who both wrote two different Will Grayson characters in alternative chapters. This is interesting because when their paths cross you know both the character’s stories. While not really being a classic ‘John-Green-cry-your-eyes-out’ sort of story, it challenges views on the LGBTQ+ community and while one Will Grayson is straight, he meets the other Will Grayson who is gay but in the closet, gay Will Grayson actually goes out with straight Will Grayson’s very flamboyant gay best friend Tiny Cooper. This book presents all different sorts of people struggling to find themselves and shows how difficult it might be for a gay person to come out of the closet. The book was so popular it reached the New York Times Children’s Books Bestseller List and stayed there for 3 weeks, the first of any book with any sort of mention to the LGBTQ+ community to reach the list.

The Kite Runner- Khaled Houssini
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”
I loved this book! It is so powerful and thought provoking and shone a light on a whole variety of traditions that sometimes are ignored by western culture. I was very emotionally invested in the characters and it changed my views on ideas like the Taliban, terrorism and cultural tradition. After reading this book, I realised the powerful effect on people o th media and how people are changed by the government and it follows a story of two friends and one is a servant to the other’s family. It is a representation of slavery and terrorism that still happens today.

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Five Fabulous… Auto Buy Authors

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Every bibliophile has as least one.

An author who’s work is a automatic must buy.

One author who’s work inspires joy and excitement, WANT and NEED. MY PRECIOUS.

We don’t need a cover image or even a blurb.

We only need the the promise of hours of escapism and guaranteed reading satisfaction to reach for the preorder button.

In no particular order I present to you my top five must buy authors.

Zoe Marriott
Zoe is one of the most reliable authors on my bookcase. Now I realize that on the surface referring to Zoe’s work as reliable might seem like a luke warm complement. For me reliable is that friend you can call day or night, who will be there without fail, laugh with you until you need to pee and hold your hand, or your hair back, through the tough times.

I honestly don’t think that you can underestimate the pure joy of finding an author who’s work you just click with, who’s work that is guaranteed to enthrall, entertain, and even educate. I have loved every single Zoe Marriot book I’ve read and I cant wait read her next book Barefoot On The Wind (due for publication in September).

Check out Zoe’s Goodreads author page (here) to learn more about her work, including Barefoot on the wind.

Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie writes one of my favorite genres Speculative Fiction (read about it on Wikipedia here), unapologetically and seamlessly combining magical, fantastical, historical and horrific elements with complex characters and beautifully, poetic prose.

I credit Maggie with being one of the authors that got me completely hooked on the Young adult storytelling as a not so young adult. Maggie is one of my favorite authors and as such I’ve written about Maggie’s work many times (here) but you don’t even need to take my word for it, you can read some of her work for yourself, for free ,over at the Merry Sisters of Fates site (here)

V E Schwab
ARRRGGGG I can’t tell you how much I love Victoria’s characterisation. Not that her plotting and world building isn’t also first class, but she creates such three dimensional, interesting and at time surprising characters that I can’t help but squee at the thought that I have her new book sat on my shelf right now with at least two wonderful new beings to meet and two interesting new lives to explore.

Stephanie Perkins
Not only is Stephanie a talented writer, who’s contemporary romances are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, she is also a fantastic editor. Her My True Love Gave To Me, Christmas anthology has already become a part of my seasonal ritual, I re read it last year and have every intention to re read it again this year. I enjoyed the collection so much that when I saw that she had edited a Summer anthology, Summer Days and Summer Nights, I one clicked and ordered the hardback without even looking to see who else was involved in the project.
Click here to visit Stephanie’s Goodreads authors page to learn more

Melinda Sailsbury
I don’t think that it is premature to add Melinda to my must buy list. She may have only published two books, but I was so completely blown away by both of them that I don’t have any doubts that I will immediately buy whatever she publishes, particularly if it is the third installment in the Sin Eaters Daughter trilogy. If I enjoy it as much as the second instalment I will be a very happy book worm.
You can read about how much I and my fellow Big Book Little Book team members love her work here. If that isn’t enough of a recommendation you can learn even more about Melinda and her work by clicking here to visit her Goodreads authors page

Posted by Caroline

Who are your auto buy authors?

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Five Fabulous…Adult Thrillers

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

I am on such a Thriller kick at the moment that it just makes sense to share with you all some of my favourites – It was hard to choose!

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas
There was something so eerie about this book that really gave it an edge. I couldn’t put it down and when I did it was just constantly on my mind. A very dramatic thriller.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The very first Liane Moriarty book I read and I loved it! At the end of each chapter was a snippet to the big reveal as you tried to work out what was going to happen. Very cleverly done.

How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst
This book is one of those awful books that you wish will never happen to you. It’s dark and horrid and addictive. I loved the way it flipped between past and present as you tried to work out what was happening.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris
In this book, you are instantly set on edge from the beginning. Something just isn’t quite right and it really made me feel uncomfortable. This is a scary kind of thriller as you realise it could be happening. Very gripping and very emotional.

Far From True by Linwood Barclay
I have always loved Linwood Barclay’s books so I jumped to read his newest one. It was only towards the end that I realised it was a sequel but that’s okay because the book was still incredible. It twisted and turned and kept my interest going until the very end – and now I must have the finale asap!

Posted by Faye

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Five Fabulous books…Made in to Films

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is a new feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and share recommendations for similar books. We hope to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. If you create your own Fabulous Five posts be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations!

Two of my favourite things to do are reading books and watching films. Therefore I get really excited when there are films which were originally books.

My fabulous five favourite books made in to films.

Harry Potter
The sound track to the film is absolutely amazing! It really brings the magic to life. Whenever I hear the music I tingle!

Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
All of the special effects brought the strory to life just as I imagined it to be.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The real actors portrayed the characters as they were in my head.

Paddington
The way that they made Paddinfton Bear was amazing! It actually looked like there was a real live bear which made it look fantastic.

The Worst Witch Saves the Day
The film was very true to the book. The bits that were missed out or changed slightly didn’t take away from the story

Post by Avilee (8)

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