Saturday, 17 December 2016

5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Readers

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I mentioned this the other day, whilst discussing things that make me happy, but boy do I love gift giving! In the spirit of sharing said passion, I've put together 5 Christmas gift ideas for readers because sometimes it's not as easy as picking a book off their wishlist. 

These bookish gift ideas can, of course, be used for birthdays and similar celebratory occasions or, failing that, you could just go all out and treat yourself because you are a precious flower and you deserve it. 

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 an edit of your favourite reads of the year 

This is a really easy way to make buying a book for someone a little more personal and sentimental. Browse through your top rated books of the year, or the past few years, and put together a little edit for the recipient. As a nice touch, include a little explanation as to why you've decided to gift them each title and what it is about said books that made you fall head over heels for them. Once the recipient has read it, you can then look forward to a conversation about what you both thought! This, of course, works best if you share similar reading tastes.

I've bought one of my best friends a copy of Tipping The Velvet, a favourite of mine from this year, and another friend a copy of Submarine, a favourite from a few years back that I've bought for quite a few people, in the hope that they'll love them as much as I do! Fingers crossed! 

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 a marked up buddy read
This is particularly good if you don't live local to one another yet want to embrace that cosy book club kind of vibe. Pick a book that you think you will both enjoy and begin marking it up. Underline lines that resonate with you, fold over significant pages or make notes in the margin. The idea is to document your reading experience on the page. 

When you're done, gather together some page markers and a cute pencil set and wrap it all up. The recipient then not only receives a new-to-them book but also gets a ton of insight into your experience of reading the book too. They can then make their own observations alongside yours. This is something that I definitely want to do more of over the next year! 

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 a bookish night in box 

Create a 'bookish night in box' for them to call upon when they're in need of some TLC. Throw in an immersive read, a bookish scented candle, a teabag or some excellent coffee, snacks, a fancy new book, some cosy loungewear or a face mask. Package it all up nicely with a tag declaring it the ingredients for a perfect bookish night in and they'll be grinning from ear to ear. This is also hygge af! 

Please can we have a minutes silence to acknowledge me being even vaguely on trend or relevant. Thank you.

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 a bookshop crawl, experience or retreat 

If you've exhausted the previous gift ideas for readers, why not think about taking them on a bookshop crawl? Set a budget and go on a crawl of all the bookshops in your local area, complete with a stop for cake because duh. In the past, I've taken best friends to the local £1 secondhand bookshop and told them to buy whatever they wanted. My generosity will kill me one day, I know. It's fun to see them scurry about the aisles and you both get a fun afternoon out of it. If you're really keen, you could draw up a map of the crawl route that you intend to take on a cool map or something. Have fun! 

 Alternatively, you could book them in for a bookish reading experience. Bookshops often hold book talks or signings with authors that can be really fun to attend. Otherwise, you could get them a bookish experience. For instance, the wonderful people at Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath hold 'reading spas' where you can go along and talk books with a bookseller who will then handpick a selection of titles that they believe you'll fall in love with. In a similar vain, why not subscribe them to a bookish subscription service? Find them on places like notonthehighstreet or make one of your own!

If you've got a bit more cash to spend, you may want to treat your reader to a bookish retreat! You could bundle them into the car and find somewhere to hole up with a pile of books for a few days or you could visit a place that has connections with a certain author or series of books. I would highly recommend trailing around Greenway if you're a fan of Agatha Christie! 

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 their favourite book in a stunning edition 
Publishers have cottoned on to the fact that readers love nothing more than a beautiful book cover. There are so many beautiful editions to choose from these days that it's becoming commonplace for me to own several editions of one book! 

You've got Folio Society for all your luxe hardback needs, the new Vintage Books Woolf collection for abstract vibes, eclectic Penguin Essentials covers, pastel Roads Classics, and many more. My top tip for always finding the best edition of a book is to look it up on Goodreads and trawl through all of the listed editions until you find something that stands out. Browse my post on beautiful books for further inspo!

And there we have it, 5 gift ideas for readers! If you'd like to share some of your own, feel free. Regardless, I hope these bookish gift ideas are of some use to you. I'm off to catch up with one of my best friends for a few hours!

Check out my other BOOK POSTS or my stationery gift guide


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Things That Make Me Happy 65

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seeing my work published
healing and getting stronger
best friend traditions
hotel stays
knowing good days will always come

(photo credit)

I have been sharing things that make me happy lists for years. If you'd like to read some more, you can scroll through the archive.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Book Reviews ft. Daphne Du Maurier & Brian K. Vaughan

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During November, I read a book by one of my favourite authors and a recently hauled trade paperback. A very quiet reading month but a happy one, nonethless!

my cousin rachel by daphne du maurier 
FINISHED: 10/11/16 | PAGES: 335 | ISBN: 1844080404
Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will come to love his grand house as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two have constructed is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. In almost no time at all, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to a flame. And yet...might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?

As with most Du Maurier, a sense of unease permeates the novel and it's driven by a delicious subtext concerned with authority and the male gaze that I cannot help but be in awe of as it wasn't commonplace to query such things so boldly back then. 

It may not have gripped me as much as the other Du Maurier's that I've read (Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek) but that's not to say that this novel doesn't ooze elegance and skill because it really does. Cousin Rachel will be a character that I will think of for years to come. Don't make this your first Du Maurier but do give it a read.


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FINISHED: 02/11/16 | PAGES: 144 | ISBN: 1632156741
In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. 

A throwback girl gang adventure from the creator of Saga that features time travel.What's not to love?! As I said in my book haul, if you're pining for Stranger Things then this'll fill that void. Batshit and badass, Paper Girls has Vaughan's stamp all over it with its fast-paced action and quick-witted humour. The story quickly descends into madness and calamity and I was more than happy to embrace it.

The artwork complemented the story perfectly with a stunning colour palette and panels that I would gladly paste my walls with.I've added the next one to my Christmas wishlist. I have too many unanswered questions!


If you'd like to scroll through all of my book blog posts then you can. Or, alternatively, you could just flick through my book reviews instead. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy the books through the links I've provided, I'll earn a 5% commission which will be put back into the blog.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Stationery Gift Ideas

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I've decided to bring you a few gift ideas from Chronicle Books for those that love list writing, reading, writing and planning. A couple of these were given to me as gifts and I for one loved them so they have my seal of approval which, admittedly, counts for shit all but they've got them anyway!

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