Tag Archives: #bookadayuk

Book A Day Challenge Week 4

The final week. Only two months late. Fail. But still, now I can go back to normal blog posts that will hopefully happen a bit more frequently. I heard there was a second one running through July. Haha. Jog on, son.

Day 22 – Out of print

The Log of the Ark – Kenneth Walker (illus. G Boumphrey)

log of the ark

This is a lovely children’s book from 1923, though I first read it when I was already an adult. It is a different take on the story of Noah’s Ark, featuring talking animals and a few now sadly extinct species such as Luminous Puffins and Wumpety-Dumps. It is funny and heart-breaking and beautifully explains why some animals hunt others. All the animals start off as friends, but by the end of the journey (through the slimy, nefarious deeds of the Scub) tensions are mounting… If you ever find a copy; grab it. The one on our shelf is falling apart from numerous re-reads.


Day 23 – Made to read at school

Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy


Writing essays about books often ruins them forever, but I still think fondly about Far From the Madding Crowd. I’m not desperate to read it again, mind, but when you wade through the bucolic idyll there’s some weighty issues in there. Illegitimacy, women’s lib, sex and death and obsession… it’s all there. Like the Archers before the Archers.


Day 24 – Hooked me into reading

Redwall – Brian Jacques


For all I stole my sister’s books, or got in fights with her, she sometimes read to me when I was little. I have no idea why this occasionally happened. I asked her one day what she was reading, and it was Redwall and she started to read it to me. Wow, what a story! I must have been seven or eight? I could of course read for myself by then, but the Redwall series isn’t exactly light on word-count. By the time I was in secondary, I was pinching the series from her, but it was that first telling of Redwall that lit the fire of storytelling in my brain. Thank you, sister!


Day 25 – Never finished it

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell  – Susanna Clarke


This would seem right up my alley, wouldn’t it? But… meh… I just couldn’t get to grips with it. It’s still on my shelf, and I keep promising to re-visit it one day. It’s survived various house moves without getting given away. This winter’s project, perhaps?


Day 26 – Should have sold more copies


I have no idea. I don’t really know if the books I buy are bestsellers or not. All of the books on this list over the whole month I would implore people to buy, or borrow from somewhere. How would I even find out if they sold well? I mean, I can give you some recommendations… Twelve by Jasper Kent is for horror and history fans, Masquerade by Rivka Spicer is for dark romance and urban fans – no fifty shades stuff though – and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is for sci-fi, modern exoticism fans.


Day 27 – Want to be one of the characters

Harry Potter and the… – J K Rowling


I mean, come on, I pretty much AM Hermione Granger.


Day 28 – Bought at my favourite independent bookshop

Every cross stitch pattern book a person could possibly want. *pleased sigh* The below is only a selection.



Day 29 – The one I have re-read most often


I have a cadre of favourites that I cycle between. Ready, Player One, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Pride and Prejudice, Chocolat and Feet of Clay. Bitch got range, y’all. Above all of those though, I think I’ve probably read The Girl Guide Handbook more than anything else in my life, ever.


Day 30 – The book I’d save if my house were burning down

Conversations with Spirits – E O Higgins


Like trying to decide which child to save… this was super tough. But given the rainbow-vomit review I did of this book, I had to pick it. If nothing else, he signed the darn thing, so in 100 years when my grandchildren are talking to the android of Fiona Bruce on Antiques Roadshow, hopefully it’ll help them retire to Mars. Plus it is an amazing marble statue of a book.


Well, that’s it, folks! Please look back over all thirty days’ worth, or trawl through the #bookadayuk hashtag on Twitter to find some great reads. My TBR pile grows larger every day…

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Book A Day Challenge Week 2

Time for the #bookadayuk week two collection!

Out of all the things that are my favourite things, books are definitely and forever top of the list. Sorry, potential future husband! I am both envious of and have sympathy for the poor people in the @boroughpress offices who are retweeting, favouriting and commenting way outside of office hours. Are you abusing some poor intern, Borough Press??? Good.


Day 8 – More than one copy

JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

They put a spell on me

They put a spell on me

I own this book in three languages: English, French and Spanish. I will one day own the whole series in all three. I’m currently at Eng 7, Fr 3 and Esp 1. I am a first-gen Potter fan. I was turning eleven when book one came out and I spent all summer waiting for my letter. PS is the only book in the series (in English) that I have in paperback. I couldn’t wait for the paperback for the rest. I think waiting for the next Potter book was my introduction to the frustration of reading ongoing series.


Day 9 – Film or TV tie-in


I read them first! Before they were pictures!

I read them first! Before they were pictures!

I tend to avoid buying books that have the film-related cover. I don’t think I have any of those! I have a fair few books that have since been made into films or TV shows, though!


Day 10 – Reminds me of someone I love

David Gemmell, Echoes of the Great Song

Not the original one I borrowed (which was beautiful) but the awful CGI reprint.

Not the original one I borrowed (which was beautiful) but the awful CGI reprint.

One of the first Gemmell books I read was a creased, well-thumbed paperback of Echoes that I was lent by my best friend. Whenever I read it, I think of him, and the journey we have taken together so far. Can’t wait to see where we go next.


Day 11 – Secondhand bookshop gem

Gaelic Self-taught

Ciamar a tha thu?

Ciamar a tha thu?

Language and learning languages is a big part of my life and now I live in the Highlands, it seems more important to tackle Gaelic (pronounced ‘gallic’ in Scotland) and this very dry, old-school, much re-printed little book will at some point be my guide. When I’m not busy doing everything else.


Day 12 – I pretend to have read it

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Getting dusty

Getting dusty

I bought it, it sits on my shelf… that’s where it’s been for years. I know exactly what happens in the story, so now I never have to read it. I studied Far From the Madding Crowd at GCSE (pre-Gove) and sort of enjoyed it, so I bought Tess and now it sits there, judging me. Like buying a gym membership and never going.


Day 13 – One that makes me laugh

George Macdonald Fraser, The Pyrates

Always a great read, sa-ha!

Always a great read, sa-ha!

Fraser also wrote the Flashman books, if you’re thinking you know the name. My dad is a big fan and while I never got into Flashman, I did repeatedly steal The Pyrates. It’s anachronistic, farcical in places, and in a way similar in style to the Princess Bride. It takes all the best of pirate stereotypes and puts them in 1950s Technicolour. Think Danny Kaye’s The Court Jester mixed with a pinch of Carry On and The Voyages of Sinbad. It makes me laugh every time.


Day 14 – an old favourite

Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes

Utterly charming

Utterly charming

Another one that I liberated from my sister’s shelf. I have never read any of the other Shoe books, though I often think about it. Ballet Shoes is such a charming book. It tells the story of three adopted sisters who choose a surname for themselves as they don’t belong to anyone else. They grow up in London and end up at a stage school because their guardian can’t afford to send them anywhere else. Pauline, the oldest, is blonde and blue-eyed and becomes a good actress. Posy, the youngest, is the daughter of a ballet dancer and thinks with her feet. And in the middle is Petrova who would rather make meccano models than do embroidery. The sisters grow up fast in a house full of lodgers who are needed to pay the rent. Everything turns out alright in the end of course.


Don’t forget to use the tag #bookadayuk if you’re joining in at home, and keeeeeep reading!

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