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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…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 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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Party Invite…

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389I’m not quiet sure how the Big Book Little Book Blog birthday manages to creep up on me each year, but lo and behold, I turned a few pages ahead in my diary and there it was “July 15th Big Book Little Book 5th Birthday!!”

Our firth birthday is the perfect opportunity to revitalize the blog, re affirm our connections in the book loving community and re launch our Fabulous Five feature.

Five Fabulous Books is an original 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 are looking for people who would be willing to write Fabulous Five guest posts for Big Book Little Book to feature during our birthday month.
Links to your own website/ blogs/ twitter and a bio will be included with your post.

For people who prefer to only write content for their own platforms we are inviting people to post their own Fabulous Five posts in July.

Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own. If you create your own Fabulous Five posts all we ask is that you link back to Big Book Little Book.

Make sure that you leave a link to your post in the comments below or in the Fabulous at five linky we will provide, so that we can check out your recommendations and include you in our birthday wrap up post.

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Blog Tour: Defender Of The Realm

defenderSuper-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.
Today on Big Book Little Book Mark and Nick share their

Top Ten Fantasy Inspirations

Lord of the Rings

His Dark Materials

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Elidor

Game of Thrones

Neil Gaiman

Artemis Fowl

Discworld

Stephen King

Chronicles of Narnia

Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go! To learn more about Mark, Nick and their work check out their website here. Alternatively you can follow,interact and converse with them on twitter. Click here to visit Mark’s twitter accountand here to visit Nick’s

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#FinishItFeb Caroline’s Week 1 Round Up

FinishItFeb1
Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: None

Total books read: None

Series completed for challenge: None

General feedback:
This week hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped! Unfortunately between illness, my own and my baby’s, work and other commitments I haven’t had the opportunity to even start the challenge.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The baby is sleeping so I’m going to take the opportunity to crack open one of those gorgeous hardbacks!
How has your week been?

You can read how well Faye has been getting on this week by clicking here You can also add your round up posts to the linky.

How have you found the first week of the challenge? Its not to late to join the challenge. Check out this post(here) for more details.

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Caroline’s #FinishItFeb 2016 Goals

FinishItFeb1

Wow! I can’t believe that this is the third year that Faye and I are hosting Finish It February, A month-long event dedicated to reading unfinished books and series.

In 2014 I managed to read four books and finish three series, making a small but satisfying dent in my personal TBR pile.

Last year, with my change in circumstances ( the birth of my third child), my aim was to match 2014’s results and I selected the four books, out of all my unfinished series, I was most desperate to read. Life with a newborn was hectic and I was happy to finish one and half books, completing two series. While this certainly didn’t rank as the most successful reading challenge result, personally it was very satisfying to know that I was still able to carve out a bit of time for myself despite a young family.

Following on from #FinishItFeb 2015 I have found that with a few adjustments, mainly developing a love affair with ebooks, I have been able to include at least an hour of reading in to most days ( who knew that juggling a newborn, two older kids, a husband, job, labrador and house renovations would be so time consuming?! 😉 ). While this is nowhere near the amount a self confessed bookaholic like myself is used to consuming, I find that a little sniffle every day keeps me from going sir crazy.

Although I have managed to reincorporate reading in to my everyday life I haven’t found much time to attend to the blog. If it wasn’t for the contributions of my fellow BBLB team mates, this blog would have fallen in to disrepair over the last two years from neglect. While the focus of this challenge is to catch up on unfinished reads, I am setting myself the personal challenge of writing weekly updates for the duration #FinishItFeb in the hope that It will reignite my passion and help me find space in my life for blogging.

Caroline’s Goals

*Write a goal post– don’t you love an easy task you can quickly cross off of your to do list 😉

*Write and post weekly updates

*Co-host/join at least one #FinishItFeb related Twitter chat

*Finish the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, so much so that I preordered the second and then the third book. Both books have sat, unread, gathering dust on my TBR since their bubble wrapped arrival on my door mat. I anticipate that this will be the hardest element of my challenge as they are both hardbacks and not as easy as ebooks to read while multitasking.

*Finish the audiobook of Rachel Hartman’s Shadow scale- Audiobooks the perfect multitasking reading tool ( then why haven’t I finished this book?!). I see some looooong dog walks in my future.

Wether your goals are large or small, your TBR mountainous or molehill like, we would love you to join us. You don’t even have to have a blog to participate. Feel free to add your twitter (#FinishItFeb) or Facebook updates to the link below.

If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event.
Posted by Caroline

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#FinishItFeb2016

FinishItFeb1

Hello All!

Today I am happy to share with you all that Caroline and I will be hosting #FinishItFeb again this year!

The idea of #FinishItFeb is to read either books that you’re halfway through and finish them OR to read books that you have left in a series to finish the series!

It will run throughout Feb and is a chance to finish those half-read books and part read series!

To sign up for this fun-filled event, all you need to do is add your link to the linky post below. If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event. You do not have to have a blog to participate, feel free to link to your twitter or facebook!

Throughout the event Caroline and I will be posting weekly updates to let you all know how we are doing with this challenge and add a linky to our posts so that you can all link to your own updates as well.

Lastly, if you need any help remembering what happened in the last few books in the series, we recommend you have a look at Recaptains, an incredible blog that sums up what happens in the previous books in a large proportion of series.

Aside from all of that, let’s have some fun!

Posted by Faye

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