The Sunshine Blogger Award | Books, Writing & All That Good Stuff

The Sunshine Blogger Award makes another appearance! Thank you so much Saudade for nominating me to do this award/tag. I really enjoy taking part and getting a chance to answer some interesting questions! Saudade’s blog is full of the most heart-breaking and thought-provoking poetry. You really don’t know what you’re missing! The link to the blog is here.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

This is an award honouring bloggers who inspire creativity, positivity by bringing sunshine in the blogging community. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee and should be extended and awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it.

Rules:

1.Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

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1. What is your favourite thing about being a blogger?

I really enjoy having a hobby that feels a lot like a ‘job’. Every time I write a post I feel just as productive as when I finish a piece of homework (though of course blogging is more enjoyable)

2. Why did you join WordPress?

I set up my blog through WordPress so I’ve been here as long as my blog has. I didn’t really consider any other options – I just wanted to get started!

3. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Forcing yourself to write may be a working method for some people, but for me it just doesn’t. If I don’t feel like writing then I won’t! If you really have a passion for something then motivation will spark again sometime.

4. Name the book(s) that changed or shaped your way of thinking monumently?

There are so many books that have changed me! However ‘Sophie’s World’ has got to be on the top of this list. It developed my love for philosophy and encouraged me to read a lot more. 

 

5. When writing, do you generally start with an outline of the story or simply begin writing?

Novel-writing is something I used to be really passionate about but now I’ve fell out of love with it. I mostly write poems and I never intend for them to tell a story but to express my feelings. However, if I was to write a short story then I would outline it to begin with. Authors say that a good technique is to start with the ending and work backwards. 

6. Three things you wish to have right now?

I would like to have some rest but, at the same time, I need to get some blogging and school preparation done! Some food would be nice so I’ll have lunch in a few minutes. My last wish would be for an extra day in the week so I could have an extended weekend 😂 I don’t really like wishing because I already have what I need. 

7. What is one genre that you really want to read more of this year and why?

Historical fiction is a genre I have got into this year but not read much of. I plan to read The Tattooist of Auchwitz before the year is through! Have you read it? What did you think?

8. How do you deal with anxiety, if you have any?

I’m not diagnosed with anxiety (as in the mental health problem) though when I do get stressed and overwhelmed I like to drink water. I sip on a glass for a minute or two and try to level out my thoughts. If I am at home, however, I will usually sit down with my journal and reflect on the day. Writing out to-do lists is also theraputic. If you have a lot to do then it’s a good idea to write it all down!

9. What are your three all time favourite quotes?

“If you want to live in a world where people are not afraid of mice, then you must give up living in palaces” – E.Lockhart, We Were Liars

This is the first one that comes to mind – I’m not really sure what my other favourites are!

10. What are the two songs on your playlist, right now?

Lights Up – Harry Styles

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

11. If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?

I would love to be a Britain’s Got Talent judge and watch all of the auditions! I think that it would be amazing. 


My Questions

I would love to hear your answers to these questions:

  1. Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?
  2. If you could change your name, what would your new name be and why would you change it?
  3. Name a body part you wouldn’t mind losing.
  4. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but are too scared to?
  5. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would it be?
  6. Who was your role model as a child?
  7. What is the longest word you know? (that isn’t supercalifragilisticexpialadocious)
  8. Would you prefer one wish right now or three wishes over the course of five years?
  9. If money wasn’t a concern what would you really like to buy/where would you like to go to?
  10. Which famous person would you never like to meet (that isn’t a politician)
  11. Do you prefer hot or cold drinks? 

Thank you for reading my Sunshine Blogger Award! If you would like to answer my random questions then feel free to, and tag me in the post. It’ll be really interesting to know what celebrity you would never like to meet!

I hope that you have a really positive week (whether the sun is shining or not)!

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The Fall Bucket List Book Tag

Today’s post is going to be a very light-hearted tag because it’s Monday and I doubt either you or me wishes to read something heavier. I’ve seen this tag circulating the book blogging community over recent days and thank you so much Marta for nominating me! Please go and check out her Fall Bucket List Book Tag after this one 🙂 I’m only going to use books that I have read for these prompts so I’m sorry if the genres aren’t too broad!

The Rules

  1. Link back to the original creator in your post.
  2. Feel free to use any of my graphics in your post, or create your own!
  3. Tag 7 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them (I’m really bad at letting people know so please excuse me if I have nominated you later in the post but forgot to let you know…)

 

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Lara Jean

Who else would it be? Lara Jean is an amazing chef and every part of the book where it described food my mouth was almost watering. It sounded that good. I don’t have Netflix therefore I haven’t watched the film but I’m sure it looks as good as it sounds!

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Wonder

A book has never made me physically ‘jump for joy’ though Wonder did leave me in happy tears. For some reason I find Middle Grade books really cute! SPOILER ALERT: there was nothing sad about this book which is what I really enjoyed. After reading some really dark and depressing stories, this really was the light at the end of the tunnel. I immensely enjoyed it.

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Undercover Princess

There are so many books I could choose for this one but for me Undercover Princess particularly stands out. This book was full of some really cute romances but also had a bit of a dark side too. The main protagonist throughout the book was a princess-obsessed teenager with blonde curly hair, a bubbly personality and she kept her favourite teddy with her! If you don’t think that’s cute, then I don’t know what is. It warms my heart in a retrospective sort of way because I was princess obsessed when I was little. Sadly I’ve grown of that phase but I’m still excited for Frozen II in December 🙃

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The Book Thief

Liesel and Rudy are the best friendship I’ve read all year (apart for maybe Six Of Crows – but the banter made it less sweet). Though SPOILER ALERT there was a tiny bit of childish romance throughout the book it was mainly a friendship and that’s what I love. When best friends develop feelings for each other it usually all goes horribly wrong (Jacob & Bella for example).

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

This book is definitely worth the hype, don’t get me wrong, though some parts of it didn’t seem very realistic to me. I know that it was set in America so maybe that’s part of the reason. Most of the books I read are only hyped up though bookstagram so for this prompt I tried to use a quite well-known title. Have you read this book? Do you also think circumstances change between different countries for teenagers?

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928 Miles From Home

I read this book in a day for that single reason. It was really light-hearted and though the protagonist’s pasts weren’t all happy the storyline didn’t have any dark themes. I found it in the Older Teen section of the library though I’m not sure why because to me it felt a lot like a children’s book! If you want a book to pick you out of a reading slump then this is definitely one to choose.

I Nominate:

Have you read any of these titles? What did you think of them?

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Wonder | The Best Character Development I Have Seen In Middle Grade | Book Review

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Title: Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

Number Of Pages: 410

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

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My Review

This book has been on my TBR for such a long time. A few days ago I was talking to a friend about how much I wanted to read it and she offered to give me her copy! Within the space of 24 hours I read this book from cover to cover. I must admit there were tears… but only of happiness! I didn’t look into the context much before reading. All I was aware of was that the main character was called August and he had a facial deformity. Throughout the book I did discover the different perspectives which was really interesting. It’s really odd how one-sided a book can get without having the perspective of the ‘so-called’ bad guy.

The overall book was a pleasure to read. The growth of the characters from the start to the finish was really beautiful. Though the book’s main focus was on character development, the plot was also interesting! It’s really hard to express my love for this book without giving spoilers. You really need to read it and then we can chat about it in the comments! The morals of this story are really important: even you don’t think that you need a reminder.

Have you read Wonder? What books have been on your TBR for a long time?

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My Current (And Quite Small) TBR

Writing this post is mainly for my benefit because these books have been on my TBR for a long time and I really need to get around to them. If you don’t keep telling me “pick up Caraval” or “A Darker Shade Of Magic is an amazing book you need to read it” then I never will. That’s the sad fact about book bloggers. Our TBRs are endless and we keep trying to ignore how huge they’re getting! However, this post is also for your benefit because you might find a book you’re really interested in.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

I really want to read this book – not only because of its interesting synopsis, but also because of the hype of bookstagram. After reading The Night Circus, I’m really craving another circus-based novel and this sounds like the perfect one. The reason I haven’t yet picked it up it because 1) I only picked it up from the library a week ago and 2) I really don’t feel like reading fantasy at the moment!

A Darker Shade Of Magic – V.E Schwab

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 

I’m not a big fan of adult novels but I’m really interested in the concept of this novel. As a big fan of Doctor Who, I’m no stranger to parallel dimensions, but this sounds even more interesting (no offence Whovians). As the writing is a bit heavier (compared to YA) I will definitely be taking it slow but it excites me nonetheless! 

Stranger – Keren David

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

Astor, Ontario. 1904.

A boy staggers out of the forest covered in blood and collapses at the feet of 16-year-old Emmy. While others are suspicious and afraid, Emmy is drawn to him. Is he really the monster the townsfolk say he is?

Astor, Ontario. 1994. 

Megan arrives from London for her great grandmother Emmy’s 105th birthday. It should be a happy family occasion, but Megan is nursing a broken heart and carrying a secret she fears might consume her.

I picked up this novel from the library thinking that I would read it around Halloween (because it is a bit spooky) but then I ended up making plans for that night so I couldn’t get cosy in bed and read it cover to cover. However, I am still really intrigued by this book! I’ve not read a book written in different perspectives since Percy Jackson in summer XD and I would love to visit that style of writing again. Have any of you heard of this book? It seems a little but underrated.

Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige

Synopsis (on Goodreads)

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

I picked this up from Oxfam yesterday and it looks so good! I’m already 20 pages in (so I guess it’s not on my TBR anymore) and the way its written is just how I like it: simple but effective. I’ve not read any twisted tales (not even the Disney ones) so I was really intrigued by that element. It’s also quite chunky and covers issues like bullying, substance abuse and loneliness. I want to sit down at some point today and get a good chunk of reading done because I’m desperate to carry on reading!

Have you read any of these books? Are you, like me, struggling with endless TBR syndrome?

I hope you have a really good day that helps you tackle your huge TBR!

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The Little Book Of Lykke | The Danish Search For The World’s Happiest People| Book Review

Title: The Little Book Of Lykke

Author: Meik Wiking

Publisher: Penguin Life

Number Of Pages: 288

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis 

It’s easy to see why Denmark is often called the world’s happiest country. Not only do they have equal parental leave for men and women, free higher education and trains that run on time, but they burn more candles per household than anywhere else.

So nobody knows more about happiness – what the Danes call lykke – than Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of the bestselling sensation The Little Book of Hygge . But he believes that, whilst we can certainly learn a lot from the Danes about finding fulfilment, the keys to happiness are actually buried all around the globe.

In this captivating book, he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to inner fulfilment. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet. This is the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.

My Thoughts

Reading this book was really fulfilling. It’s the first non-fiction book that I’ve read cover to cover this year! I really enjoyed the casual tone and I learned so much in a short 288 pages. I know that Hygge is now a popular lifestyle throughout the world though its origin is in Scandinavia. Similar to Hygge, Lykke is the idea of happiness and finding fulfilment in the little things. This book had a constant theme that material things do not bring fulfilment and I agree! I found it almost like my old self giving me a reminder and it felt like meditation whenever I was reading it. The book was split into categories and then the final categories was a round up and I found that really helpful. I finished it this morning and now I find myself off to a good start! I would really recommend this book and though you can find most of its content online, nothing beats the contentment of reading in bed. I feel like the message comes across more prominently when reading. 

Have you read about Lykke? What are your thoughts on a Hygge lifestyle? 

I hope you all get a chance to implement Lykke into your life today,

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