REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”

Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl (2013)

Fangirl is this month’s book for the #GGbookclub

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl was such a nostalgic read for me. It’s the story of identical twins Cath and Wren who look the same but are completely different. When their mother left home they handled her absence in entirely different ways. Cath escaped into fiction while Wren hid herself among other people. Both share a love of Simon Snow, a magical book series that is soon to release its final instalment. Over the years, the girls have contributed to the books active fanfiction community, and as they leave to start college, Cath is writing her biggest fic yet, Carry On which has thousands of online readers. College tests their relationship with each other, with their father and the people around them. Perhaps for Cath the biggest challenge of all is compromising between fanfiction and real life. Continue reading “REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell”

READING PLACES: Calderstones Mansion Park

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Calderstones Mansion Park is a very special place, particularly for book-lovers and literary enthusiasts. Not only does it have woodland walks, picturesque ponds and a comerant I tried to befriend (he wasn’t having any of it) but it is also the home of The The Reader , a charity that aims to help those who need it most through shared reading groups. There are plenty of quite corners in the grounds to hide away with the next big read but there is also an on-site cafe to refresh the avid reader and The Reader also hold shared reading groups at the mansion and in the Storybarn for children.

REVIEW: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby



“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”

Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down (2005)

In Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down four individuals meet under unusual circumstances. Its New Year’s Eve when Martin, a shamed TV host, Jess, a teenage delinquent, Maureen, a guilt-ridden single mother and JJ, a failed American musician, find themselves at the top of a tower block in London all considering the same question: whether to end their lives or not. In spite of this they couldn’t be more different, but having unintentionally interrupted each other’s plans they agree to meet again in a few weeks’ time to reassess the situation. Their shared experience starts an unconventional friendship. Continue reading “REVIEW: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby”

BOOKISH BITES: Lemon Drizzle Shortbread


I love shortbread and I love lemon drizzle, so I decided to combined the two in one tasty treat. I found a basic shortbread recipe on BBC Good Food, adding lemon zest to the batter and then made a drizzle from the juice and sugar. I was worried the drizzle would make the shortbreads too moist and they would crumble apart but after leaving them to cool and dry they were ready to eat. The sharpness of the lemon combined well with the sweet dough – they seemed to go down well with everyone else as well!

REVIEW: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope


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You’re stuck with yourself, so you might as well try and be someone you can stand to live with.

Joanna Trollope, Sense & Sensibility (2013)

I really, really wanted to love this book. Most books you start with the hope they will entertain you, perhaps challenge you to look at things differently. I wanted this book to enrapture me the way the original book did, and perhaps that was never going to happen because no one will ever write Austen like Austen.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope”




I have been very restrained recently with my book purchasing. My to-read pile is starting to look like the eighth wonder of the world, and I’ve been trying to slowly work my way through it while occassionally sneaking another book out of the library to read. My resolve finally weakened and I ended up buying these three books on Amazon’s marketplace:

  1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  2. The Posthumous Affair by James Friel
  3. Adverbs by Daniel Handler

They were only 1p each, so I really only paid for postage which seemed like a steal to me! I’m particularly pleased with Adverbs by Daniel Handler, which is in great condition and is a hardback to boot! So, the stack of unread books has grown a little taller but I’m looking forward to coquering it this summer.




I have been happily making my way through Whittard’s Spiced Imperial loose leaf tea recently. I’ve collected quite a selection over the last few months, but like all addicts when something new comes along it doesn’t matter how many tea bags or leaves you have stuffed away in the cupboard- you have to buy them. I went to Chesire Oaks with the foolish expectation that I wouldn’t end up spending any money, only to discover they have a Whittard store. Not only that, but they had a selection of their Easter and Valentine’s themed teas and treats on sale. I wasn’t strong enough to resist. The White Chocolate tea comes in a bright geometric caddy and although I haven’t tried it yet, I have to say it smells heavenly.

I tried to resist buying the tote bag, successfully made it out of the shop and then before we left the car park my resolve crumbled and I ran back to buy it. Still, it will be handy for collecting more tea-related treats!