Category: Features


Friday Quick Wrap-Up

Hello everyone, sorry I have been very quiet recently, but at the moment I am in Uganda. I am having the time of my life and the people here are so nice and genuine. Take any opportunity to come to Africa if you can.

In terms of reading, I didn’t finish Pride and Prejudice before Ieft which was a shame and here I haven’t really had any chance to read. I have read about 40 pages of Richard III, about 100 of Big Bang and about 40 of The Host. No where near finishing any of them! I am back on Monday so I will fill you all in then!

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End of Year Book Survey: 2012

Book Survey 2012Jamie is hosting the End of Year Book Survey again and I thought I would have a go this year, as it seemed a good way of reflecting on all the amazing books I have read in 2012.  My own quick wrap-up and goals for next year will follow shortly, I expect, but for now….


Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 

I read several books in 2012 that I awarded 5/5 to but my absolute best book of 2012 has to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.   Yes, it was a re-read, but it is my favourite book of all time and was amazing this year as well!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I read The Great Gatsby back in January before I started book blogging and was expecting great things from it – so many people study it, I thought it must be really good.  However, I couldn’t get into it and I was relieved that it was so short!  I did put it on my re-read list though, as I assume I missed something.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

I was very surprised (in a good way) with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: I didn’t know what to expect from this book but it was so amazingly intricate and imaginative that it quickly became a firm favourite of mine.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I am going to split this one: the book I recommended most to book bloggers, I think is a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and Cloud Atlas.  Secondly, the book I recommended most to non-bookish people was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, as I thought them a great series for non-readers to enjoy reading with.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I didn’t really discover many new series, which is a shame; 2012 seems to be a year where I read a lot more standalones and classics compared to normal where I really enjoy reading series.  I hope in 2013 I will read more of the series I have already started over the past few years.
I did discover The Hunger Games for the first time and also I enjoyed re-reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Well, I could ramble on this one!  I definitely enjoyed my first Jane Austen (Emma) and my first Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm).  I also discovered that I love Simon Singh‘s way of writing about maths/science too when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem in October.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I wouldn’t say this is out of my comfort zone, but in 2012 I did start reading science/maths novels for the firs time so I guess that counts (again Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem and E=mc² by David Bodanis).  Also I read my first books in French – Harry Potter 1 and Fantastic Mr Fox, which was totally new but great.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I could say either book 1 0r 2 but I will go for book 2: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – I just couldn’t put it down at all.

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I try not to re-read books within 18 months of their first reading so here are the 2012 books that I put straight on my re-read list: The Great Gatsby, David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dracula, Cloud Atlas.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Well a lot of the books I read had really nice covers but here are my favourites:

Emma

Great Expectations

Fermat-Last-Theorem

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

I think this would have to be Lisbeth Salander from Larsson’s books; who is more unique and interesting than Lisbeth?

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

I think I would go with David Copperfield by Charles Dickens for this – amazing writing by Dickens.  (My second choice would be Great Expectations anyway, so good on you Charles!)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

I will say To Kill a Mockingbird again, as I just loved it and liked all the characters and felt as though I really knew them. 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

This is one is definitely The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: everyone went crazy about this book a couple of years ago, so when I saw it in a charity shop in summer 2011 I bought it…then it took me until summer 2012 to read it!  Although, I do quite like the tradition I seem to have developed of Dan Brown as summer reading…

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read.  One does not love breathing.”  16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?”    Scout Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.  Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”     Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

The longest was David Copperfield at a whopping 1263 pages!! The shortest was Fatastique Maître Renard at only 118 pages.  Numerically, my average book length was about 400 pages, which is pretty good, I think.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

There were definitely lots of gruesome and upsetting scenes in The Kite Runner, which was the first book I read this year (before I started book blogging).

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I think that the relationship between Clare and Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is very unique and also very touching and changes and develops throughout the book.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander McCall Smith was definitely the highlight of January 2012: I adore those books and I am very sad that I haven’t read one since then (I have all the way up to book 10 on my TBR shelf, they just haven’t come around yet).  Watch out for lots more of AMcCS in 2013!

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Lots of the classics I’ve read this year have been due to various bloggers and lists on websites, but there are some books that I was bought by my friends: And This is True by Emily Mackie, The Shadow of the Wind by Carol Ruiz Zafón, Submarine by Joe Dunthorne and The Crow Road by Iain Banks.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Well, I only started book blogging this year so any book blogs are new to me!  I love them all and I am going to try and be a bit more proactive and discover some more in 2013.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

Oh um maybe my review of Great Expectations where I rave about re-reading as well.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Some of my non-bookish posts had lots of discussions – notably my posts about my exams, results and holidays; I think it’s important to share other parts of our lives too.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I can remember discussing why books in translation or books in other languages aren’t as popular over at Amanda’s blog.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I don’t think there are many book blogger events in England?  And probably none outside of London so I haven’t been to any, however The Classics Club is definitely a main feature of the book blogging world that I am proud to be a member of.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

For me, it would have to be the 1st March 2012 – the day I wrote my first post on adamsbibliomania!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular posts by views are often those that people come across when searching on the internet, for example The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  My most popular post in terms of comments and activity was my original sign-up to The Classics Club.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Actually my Reading Habits post didn’t seem to get read much…maybe it was a bit text-dense or something.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Definitely the new Penguin English Library books this year – very addictive and attractive!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I wanted to read a classic a month after signing up to The Classics Club in March and in 10 months I have read 8.  That’s not too bad and it’s only November and December that I didn’t manage.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Oh so many!  But I am halfway through Villette so I am determined to finish that in 2013.  Also I really need to read The Hobbit.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

I’m really looking forward to loads of books in 2013: Pride and Prejudice, more AMcCS…

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

I really just want to improve – so that means do better than last year!  Who knows if this is a possibility or not with my heavier workload in sixth form etc but I think 35 books in the year is a good target to have 🙂

This week has been very busy!

I know I say that every week but it seems that I have barely been at home since the holiday as I’ve had lessons, badminton, musical things and driving lessons after school every day.  (Not all on the same day of course!)  So I haven’t really had much chance to read, which is a shame, as I was on a reading kick during half term (last week) and I was reading a lot.  I have still finished one book – E = mc² by David Bodanis and I am making my way through Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

I didn’t write a post on E = mc² because I figured it was a bit too sciencey for this blog.  I don’t think I would be able to write about anything more than just how I learnt some new concepts in physics and science in general and so I thought it wasn’t really worth a whole post.  Anyway, I did enjoy reading it and gave it 4/5, but not as much as I enjoyed Fermat’s Last Theorem (5/5).  I would recommend only if you are actually interested in what E = mc² actually means and its applications over the last century or so because there is really nothing else in this book.  If you are interested in that, it is a great read.

Cloud Atlas is a very powerful book already (I am only just halfway through) and I can safely say I (almost) really love it.  There are  6 different stories and the first five, especially 2, 3, 4 and 5 were amazing but I am just not really connecting that well with the last story.  This combined with little reading time means that I’m not really progressing very much…but never mind; there is the weekend now so I may be able to read a decent chunk.  Have a good weekend everyone and do lots of reading!

It has been a very long time since I did a Friday Quick Wrap-Up but nevertheless here I am back to usual.  I am itching to get back to blogging and reading lots…just a shame about life always getting in the way!

Anyway, in terms of reading, I have been trying really hard this week – I am slowly but surely making my way through The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson which is brilliant and one of my favourite books.  However, I am only a third of the way through so I may not be finished that soon.  I am also reading Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh, my first (of many) science/maths books and absolutely loving it.  Singh explains everything very well whilst telling a good story along the way too.  But more about that when I finish it (hopefully soon) and write up my post.

In other news, school has been going as normal – lots of work and not much time!  But so far I am enjoying all my subjects, so that’s good.  Next week it is RAG week (Raising and Giving) where all the sixth form dress up all week and host all sorts of events etc to raise lots of money for charity.  I need to get my costumes sorted asap!

I hope you’re all well and not too depressed about the imminent onset of winter!

Hello everyone…I feel like I haven’t posted anything in ages!

Well that’s because it has been really busy this last week…and I’m not even too sure why!  I have been doing all sorts of little things and they seem to have built up.  There were some parties, meeting up with friends, watching the US Open, applying for my Provisional Driving Licence, finally starting my summer work and lots more.

Today is the enrolment day for sixth form: I have a short interview around 12 just to check my results were good enough to do the courses I want etc.  Should be fine.  Also one of my friends is leaving for sports college so there is a leaving party tonight which will be both sad and happy at the same time!

All this business seems to have left me basically no time to read.  This is a shame but the days have just flown by and I didn’t even realise until now that I have been reading Fantastique Maitre Renard (Fantastic Mr. Fox in French) for like 5 days now and I’m not finished!  This is pretty poor as the book is very short and includes illustrations!  Well, I will hopefully finish it at some point today.

Up next for me is probably Macbeth, but I am not decided yet and I may turn straight to Middlemarch.  Either way, that will probably take up most of my September reading.  I go back to school next Tuesday and I will probably post my monthly wrap-up tomorrow…so see you then!

FQWU: Results!

Hello everyone…good news!!

Yesterday it was results day in the UK and I was collecting all my GCSE results (I’m sure you remember the rather numerous amount of exams I was doing back in May/June).  I was completely over the moon, as I did very very well.  In fact, I got A* in all subjects!  I couldn’t believe the page in front of me.  My Headteacher whisked me and a couple of friends away to talk to the press, as I was the top achiever in the whole school!  It was surreal and I am just so glad all the hard work paid off.

For anyone interested, the subjects I took were:  Maths, English Literature, English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Latin Language, Latin Literature, History, Geography, Music and RE.
I even managed 100% in Latin Language and 100% in numerous Science, French, German, Latin, History and Geography modules.

Wow..it does sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet!  Sorry if any of that sounds arrogant or self-absorbed – I am just so happy and wanted to share my news with the great book-bloggers who have constantly offered support and encouragement throughout my exams – thanks a lot!

In reading news, I am still on Dracula and going rather slowly (it is too creepy to read late at night!) but I should be finished with it rather soon.  It has been an unexpected pleasure to read.  Next up is Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl…but in French!  Should be a nice read.

I hope any of you who have been involved with exams/results are pleased and relieved and that everyone else is having a relaxing August doing some great reading.  🙂

Friday Quick Wrap-Up

Hello everyone from Majorca! I am having a lovely time in the 30’c heat and really relaxing.

I am aware that it is Saturday not Friday but never mind. As some of you may have remembered, I took maths AS this year (a year early) and I got my results on Thursday…
GOOD NEWS! I got A’s on all 3 modules including 100% in one! I am ecstatic! Thanks to everyone for all the support and hopefully next Thursday will be just as successful (when I get all my GCSE results!)

In reading news, I have finished The Da Vinci Code and am now flicking between French Harry Potter and Dracula.

I hope you’re all enjoying August and I will catch up on both commenting and replying to comments when I am home 🙂

Hello everyone!

It has been so long since I last posted! (Over a week!)  Sorry about that, but I do have my reasons: first and foremost I haven’t finished reading any books.  This is not very good but sometimes a book just takes a long time to finish and that is my situation with The Crow Road.  The second reason I haven’t posted is that the Olympics has taken over my life – I don’t just mean by watching them on TV; I actually managed to go and watch them in London.  What a once in a lifetime experience!

We saw Table Tennis on Friday evening, Athletics on Saturday morning and Women’s Basketball on Sunday evening.  We also went to the Women’s Marathon on Sunday.  Everything was amazing and London just looked brilliant.  Some people have been saying during the Olympics, London has been ‘the capital city of the world‘ and I have to agree.  And of course…well done Team GB!  (Our best performance in an Olympics since 1908!)

So I have not had much time to read and therefore nothing to blog about!  Well I am off to Majorca for a week next Tuesday so hopefully I can get some good reading done then.  I am hoping to post once while I am there because I will get my a-level results!  You may remember I did my maths a-level early (this year; year 11).  I will get the rest of my results (my GCSEs) a week later so expect lots of nerves and a thorough wrap-up post after them, as I know lots of you were so supportive during the exams and will be interested in how they all turned out.

Recently The Classics Club blog has been set up which is making The Classics Club much more dynamic and helps out Jillian a lot who was getting slightly overwhelmed by the enormous amount of members!  Although we will never forget who started the project in the first place!

Anyway, I hope you have all enjoyed the Olympics and have cheered on your country as much as I have and that you can get some great reading done over August.  I leave you with my view from sitting in the Olympic Stadium:

I AM SO EXCITED – IT IS THE OPENING CEREMONY TODAY!

So yes, here in GB everyone is beside themselves with excitement for the 2012 Olympics and I am really looking forward to seeing all the nations compete.  Have any of you got any tickets?  My family and I are lucky enough to be going to the Table Tennis, Basketball and Athletics – we are extremely excited!  I don’t want to go on (as I’m sure there are many people who are sick of all the Olympics-hype by now) but it will be really interesting to see you all post/tweet about your favourite athletes as we all watch them do their stuff.

Anyway enough of sport, this blog is meant to be about reading!   This week I have been reading Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and I finished it last night (post will hopefully be up tomorrow).  I enjoyed it towards the end, but found it pretty hard to get into.  I am definitely glad I picked it for The Classics Club and think it is one I will reread at some point.

I am now onto The Crow Road by Iain Banks, a book that was given to me a few months ago, and one I really know nothing about.  I am saving The Da Vinci Code for my holiday in Majorca in a few weeks as it seems like a holiday read to me and I read Angels and Demons last summer.

Who knows how much reading I will have time for during the Olympics – we have 4 TV channels dedicated completely to the Olympics with another 24 (!!!) available online.  Sorry – it seems to be the main topic of conversation at the moment!  I hope you all really enjoy the games, if you’re watching.

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge Friday Progress:

As I have already mentioned, I finished Cold Comfort Farm last night, which is my third book out of fifteen for The Literary Classics Reading Challenge.  The post will be up tomorrow, I think.  Safe to say I enjoyed it, but it was not a particular favourite of mine.

Next up for the challenge will be either Dracula or Middlemarch for new reads or maybe 1984 or Macbeth for rereads.  I am not sure what I will fancy reading over the next few weeks.  If anyone has any tips on tackling Middlemarch then please please please let me know!

Well the summer holidays are finally here!  Even though the weather has been completely abysmal so far (stupid jet stream) it is just amazing to be able to relax a bit!  I am getting a lot of reading done too 🙂

Not much has been going on really (compared to normal) and everything feels quite slow.  I think this is because we know the Olympics are coming (and we have a week in Majorca afterwards) but they are not here yet and we’re not sure what to do!  I personally am enjoying the downtime but I know in a few days I will be active and busy again!

In terms of reading, I have done well this week – I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife on Monday – post here – and I finished a re-read of my favourite book ever, To Kill a Mockingbird, late last night – post will be up tomorrow.  Today I will start Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons which will hopefully live up to its glowing reputation.

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge Friday Progress:

Well this week I finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which is my second book out of 15 for the challenge and absolutely loved it (it is my favourite book).  The post will be up tomorrow.

I am going to start Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons today which will be my third book for the challenge.  I am really excited about reading this one – I have heard a lot of good stuff about it but I don’t have any idea what it’s about!

Good luck to everyone else – I hope you get to read some great classics over the summer. 🙂