Saturday, 23 April 2016

MY MASTER POST | Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

It's here, it's here, it's read-a-thon day!! This will be my first time participating in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, and only my second time in a read-a-thon hosted by the book community. I don't know if I'm quite prepared for the undertaking of the event, but what I do know is that I'm super excited to finally be taking part after close to 4 years within the book community on different platforms.
I'm aiming to update here, and on Twitter, multiple times throughout the 24 hours, and so I thought it would be a good idea to have a master post in which I can share everything. Yesterday I shared my TBR for the read-a-thon, which you can find here, and this morning I've been productive prepping for the reading ahead of me. Laundry has been done, snacks have been purchased and prepped, loose ends have been tied up here on the blog and I even got out for a walk just so I don't get cabin fever as I'll be largely reading indoors.
Here in the UK, the read-a-thon officially kicks of at 1pm, so I have had all of the morning to get sorted, which I'm quite thankful for. I don't intend to read for the full 24 hours - I don't know about you, but I need to sleep - however I do hope to read as much as feasibly possible with the majority of my time being dedicated to reading. I don't have any goals in terms of hours read or amount of books read, I just hope to read and enjoy!
1. What part of the world are you reading from today?
UK - more specifically, South Wales.
2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. I've been saving it for the read-a-thon, and it's been hard to resist delving in!
3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? 
Erm... Anyway. Lol! Probably the stash of cereal bars I have... I know they aren't always the best for you, but I'm kind of a cereal addict.
4. Tell us something about yourself!
I'm rubbish when it comes to these kinds of questions. Hi, I'm Jade, 24 years old, mummy of a 2 year old, and very much a Disney addict. Hmm... Should I include a bookish something? I recently completed a book inventory on my collection and I own a total of 140 books.
5. If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Reading good books and discovering new to me bloggers.

It's closing in on 9pm here in the UK, so the read-a-thon has been going for nearly 8 hours now. Although I haven't read solidly for 8 hours, I've made great progress in the time period having completed my first book of the event - Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. That's a total of 402 pages read.

I know reading is a different experience for everyone, but for me reading is an activity that makes me sleepy, and for this reason I tend to read in shorter bursts. I thought this might hinder my progress in the read-a-thon but so far it seems to have been quite helpful.

I don't intend to leave the night having only read the one book, and after writing this update I'll be jumping in to the second book on my TBR. Many people are committing to the read-a-thon wholeheartedly with talks of all nighters and such - that isn't for me, I'm getting a solid block of sleep tonight.

Also, I expected to be updating this post more than I have done, although I've been a little more regular with the updates on Twitter.

I have not taken part in any mini challenges as of yet, but I'm not likely to either - I knew this going in to the read-a-thon.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to write up my read-a-thon wrap up until now on Monday night. In my time zone the read-a-thon finished at 1pm, however I officially ended at 11.30am. I didn't read the entire night through or anything, and in total I read for roughly 7 of the 24 hours. In that time I finished 1 and a half books and am very happy with that outcome. I really enjoyed participating in the read-a-thon and definitely want to give it another go come October.
Wishing you all the best of luck with the read-a-thon - have fun being immersed in words and stories!

Friday, 22 April 2016

READATHON TBR | Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

This coming Saturday, along with many other book bloggers, I'll be taking part in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. Although I've been in and out of the book blog community for close to four years now, this will be the first time I've taken part in this particular readathon.
After signing up for the event, I immediately got to thinking about my TBR. In previous years I've seen other bloggers with quite weighty TBR's, and whilst I admire them for that, that just isn't for me. The path I'm going down with my TBR is reflective of how I read and what I typically find to be page turning books. I also wanted books I knew I could easily immerse myself in as in general I'm not that great at reading for a bulk period of time - I'm very much someone who reads in short bursts. I don't know if my style of reading will help or hinder my readathon experience.
So, on to the books - I know that's what you're here for!

I have two main reads on my TBR - Flawed by Cecelia Ahern and The Glass Cell by Patricia Highsmith.
Cecelia Ahern is one of my only auto buy authors; I really enjoy her writing style and can easily whip through the pages as her stories are always captivating. Flawed will be the book I start the readathon with and I'm keen to see how Ahern does YA. If I finish Cecelia Ahern's latest offering, then I'll be moving on to another novel of Patricia Highsmith's. I only started reading Highsmith's work last year, despite her being an author I'd wanted to read for quite some time, and since then I've read a few of her books with a couple more on my unread shelf.
Two books could seem a little restricting for a readathon TBR, and I would agree. In case I need a bit of a breather, I have Volume One of Roald Dahl's Short Stories to dip in and out of.
Regarding aims for the readathon, I'm going in pretty open minded with no specific expectations in terms of read time or anything - it would be nice to finish at least one book though.
What's your readathon TBR looking like?
All you need to know regarding Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon can be found here.

Thursday, 14 April 2016


One | I finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia! I've been reading the series since early on in the year, but have been keeping the books as a stop gap read as opposed to primary reads, and that's why it took me so long to get through the series. I see myself returning to them in the future for sure.

Two | Recently I've really gotten in to wax melts, specifically, I bought the Yankee Candle Scenterpiece, and I love it! Everyone loves a good candle, but not me over here, oh no - I have a fear of fire, so buying a wax melt is the perfect substitute. I've tried four scents so far, with the Black Cherry and Lemon Lavender being my favourites. I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of put off initially buy the price of the melts given the relatively short melt time, but honestly a little goes a long way. Often times I don't even plug the warmer in, I just pop a melt cup in taking the lid of and within 10 minutes or so the scent is in the air - they're powerful, but in a good way. If you have the same wax melt as me, be sure to share any of the scents you've tried in the comments below.
Three | Something I've been juggling these past few weeks is finding a balance. Alexander (my toddler son) has recently dropped his afternoon nap and so I've effectively lost an hour an a half in the day that was 'me time'. I love having the extra time with him, don't get me wrong, but finding the time to do everything in a day is definitely a juggling act now.
Four | With toddler due to start part time nursery early next year, I've been doing some thinking about the direction I'm going in life. I'm currently a stay at home mum, and am happy to have the opportunity to do so, but I'm also someone who very much enjoys work, and so once my son starts school full time (this is not for a couple of years yet) I'm keen to return to work in some capacity. I've been toing and froing about what exactly I hope to do, and have finally recently settled on a plan of action. It feels good to have come to a decision and I hope that the plan comes to fruition - it means retraining, which is equal parts exciting and nerve wracking.
Five | It looks like we'll be getting a pet in the coming months. We had intended to get goldfish as a first family pet, but that decision has since changed to hamsters instead. I'm not that much of a pet person, and so I've left most of the decision making to my partner on this. Ultimately he would like us to have rabbits (he had them whilst growing up), and we hope to in the future, but once we have a house of our own (we won't get started on the UK house market right now - nightmare!) and so we have decided to add hamsters to our family instead. We won't be getting them until after we return from our mini holiday next month, but a lot of research has been done of late and we've now started stocking up on all the necessities.
Six | I'm thinking of doing a book inventory on my book collection. I don't have the biggest collection in the world, but I've been thinking it would be nice to have my collection laid out in written form in some capacity or another. I might share it here, given that this is my go to place for all things bookish. Have you ever compiled an inventory on your book collection? If so, how did you go about it?
Seven | I've signed up for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. I wasn't too sure about committing to the readathon to begin with, but taking part in more bookish blog events is a goal of mine for 2016 and so I just thought, go for it! I've heard so much positive feedback surrounding the event, and honestly, this particular readathon is the event that springs to mind first when I think of bookish blog events and so it would be silly not to take part really! Despite my hesitation to begin with, I'm really excited to participate and have even picked my TBR already. If you're taking part in the readathon, have you picked out any books yet?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantastical middle grade novels jam packed with adventure, friendship, imagination and a moral or two along the way.
With seven books, it's safe to say that there is a lot that goes in to the series as a whole, however the books are relatively short in length and you can easily get lost in Narnia for a couple of hours or so and finish one adventure in that time period.
I'm not intending to say too much about the individual books, but the overall plot of The Chronicles of Narnia follows the Pevensie's siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) as they unwittingly find themselves in the fictional realm of Narnia and end up taking a focal role in the history of the land. It's worth mentioning that all four siblings do not feature in every book, and eventually they peter out and are replaced by a couple of other children. Going in to the series I knew this, and thought perhaps it would disturb the reading experience in a way, but I didn't find that to be the case.
The world of Narnia, and surrounding lands, are well developed with quite a depth and history to it - the history of Narnia spans the entire length of the series, from creation and onwards. Narnia is quite a whimsical land, if there ever was one, with magic ever present and a vast population of talking beasts. The adventures that take place within Narnia are fun and action packed, with never a dull moment to be had.
Although the adventures hook you in to the reading experience, I'd say the narrator of the series is what draws you in initially. The narrator is the kind that includes you as a reader, checking in with you along the way, making the reading experience feel intimate in a way - a one on one story time perhaps. The narrator is also pretty witty with the story telling and I always appreciate that in a book.

The Chronicles of Narnia are known as being Christian novels, however whilst reading I didn't look in to those aspects too much as I'm not a religious person. The themes are there, prominent in more places than others, however if like me you aren't religious, I would recommend delving in to the series regardless as a great tale has been laid out within these pages.
Most known for being children's books, I'd say The Chronicles of Narnia is a series that can be enjoyed by all and I'm sure I'll make many a trip back to Narnia in the future - by myself, and with my son when he is a little older.
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