Saturday, 19 October 2013


So my Halloween reviews really failed, didn't they? Sorry about that! 

I really enjoy blogging; I love writing down my opinions, and reviewing books is something I've really enjoyed so far, but I'm going to be going on hiatus for a little while (not that I was posting much anyway!) just because I need to settle into my new routine.

Now that my MA has officially started I need to be submitting around 3,000 words of my in-progress novel to my workshops each week while also critiquing everyone else's work (which I thoroughly enjoy doing), and on top of that I'm trying to get involved in as much extra-curricular activities as I can. This year I'm volunteering at Litfest (the annual Literature Festival in Lancaster), applying for part-time jobs and work experience, as well as regularly attending open mic nights and other local writing events. As I'm still getting into the swing of things I'm struggling to read things regularly never mind review them!

So for now I'm going to be taking a little hiatus until my life is a bit more organized, I just thought I'd post this here so that my blog is one less thing I have to worry about for now. I'm tired of feeling guilty for not updating when really my other stuff is more important right now.

With any luck I'll be back sooner rather than later with a lot more exciting content.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Well this is awkward...

So the 1st of October has come and gone and yet you've had no review from me. Really it's just typical that the first day of a new challenge I would fail utterly, but I do have my reasons! As some of you may know I travelled back up to Lancaster last weekend to begin an MA in Creative Writing and today I had to register on my course. Yesterday, however, I discovered that to register I would need a bunch of documents that no one told me about until I'd already arrived back at uni. So I spent the entire day (and most of the night) panicking in case I wouldn't be able to register.
     As it turned out, out of the five documents I was told I'd need OR ELSE, they only looked at two. Bloody typical. So I'm very sorry that I failed my challenge at the first hurdle!
     So instead of daily reviews (they are pretty much ruined now) I'm going to do weekly reviews instead, and these weekly reviews, to make up for my utter failure, will be texts outside of The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories. I may review something by Stephen King or something by Susan Hill, or perhaps even a well known text like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
     I hope this makes up (in some way) for my failure! I guess I should have known from the beginning that something would go wrong...

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Reading Wrap-Up | September 2013

I managed to get through two books in September which, given that one of them wasn't even a hundred pages long, is pretty pathetic. I do have my reasons though! Last weekend I moved back up to Lancaster to begin my MA, so I spent the majority of September packing up and getting all my finances sorted. So I'm not really that disappointed with my progress this past month, and I'm definitely not surprised.
     October looks like it's going to be even busier - especially with the challenge I've set myself - so I have no idea when I'll be able to get back into reading novels regularly, but I'm not going to let it worry me. I'm just three books away from completing my fifty books challenge; I'm pretty sure I'll have gotten through three books by December 31st.

     Anyway, on with the wrap-up!

Misery by Stephen King

My Rating: 

After a car crash, writer Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She brings him home, splints his mangled legs, and all he has to do in return is write a very special book, one all about her favourite character. Because if he doesn`t, if he is bad, she will be cross - very cross.

I'll be honest, I've never really been a fan of Stephen King. I've tried on multiple occasions to read one of his novels but each time I haven't been able to get into his writing style, which is particularly frustrating when he gives such good writing advice; I desperately want to like his work.
     I watched the film adaptation of Misery starring James Caan and Kathy Bates several months ago and really enjoyed it, so when I came across a little copy of the book for 50p I decided to pick it up - I had nothing to lose - and I'm so glad I did! For the first time ever I managed to get through a Stephen King novel; in fact I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was suspenseful, nerve-wracking and, at times, pretty horrifying too.
     Now that I've read Misery I'm hoping I might be able to read more of King's work in the future, but now that I've finally finished one of his novels I won't be too disappointed if I can't get through another.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

My Rating: 

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." 

Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of my all-time favourite classics but, until just a couple of weeks ago, it was the only one of Orwell's books I'd read. Many friends of mine had the chance to study Animal Farm at school but it was never on my syllabus; we studied books like Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Golding's Lord of the Flies which, let's be honest, aren't any more cheerful than Animal Farm.
     I found a copy of Animal Farm in my parents' local library and was surprised upon discovering how short it was - I'd never realized it was less than a hundred pages long, so I decided to borrow it with the intention of reading it in one sitting. Instead it took me two days to finish, which just goes to show how busy this September was for me.
     In short, I loved it! It was so bizarre and there was a creepiness to it in that it felt as though I was reading a children's story, like one of Aesop's Fables or one of Kipling's Just So Stories, rather than a piece of political satire - but that's why it's so effective. I'm looking forward to reading more Orwell in future.

So this update is short and sweet. With any luck I'll have more books to talk about at the end of October!