BOOKISH FINDS: Christmas Gifts

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So my To Be Read pile has gotten bigger again… but it’s not my fault if people buy me books. Although, I did ask for some of them. It’s hard to be a bibliophile and not ask for at least on book related item for Christmas. What else are you supposed to ask for? You just can’t go wrong with a book (in my eyes anyway). This year, I got a super-exciting bookish gift from my long-suffering family: my mother is taking me to Hay-on-Wye festival in May! She might not survive two nights with me dribbling over all the bookshops and poor, unsuspecting authors. It will be a full time job trying to rein me in. The scent of a thousand books might push me over the edge. I can’t wait for the event programme to be released in April. As if that wasn’t enough, I got more literary delights in the form of books: Continue reading “BOOKISH FINDS: Christmas Gifts”

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BOOKISH BITES: Snowflake Shortbread

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Christmas is just four days away. Is anyone else getting really excited for it? I’ve eaten so many mince pies and Christmas tree chocolates in the last few weeks. I’ve drunk every mulled beverage you can think of. Carols and Christmas songs have become the soundtrack to my life. I have gone Christmas crazy. I haven’t watched any Christmas films though, which seems a bit ridiculous. I’ll need to remedy that soon! To spread the Christmas cheer I decided to make some wintery shortbread. If you read the blog you’ll know I make shortbread more often than I should. I followed a simple shortbread recipe but I snuck in cinnamon, lots of cinnamon. I even went the extra mile and decorated my snowflakes, admittedly messily, with white chocolate.

They are the perfect accompaniment to mulled wine but also a great festive nibble to eat when snuggled up with Jane Eyre.

MISC: Winter Reads

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Okay, it’s halfway through December and Christmas is only ten days away. How did that happen? I feel like I went to sleep in October and November snuck off while I was in bed. So some people might say it’s a little late to be posting about my winter reads but I live in the North of England and winter seems to linger here into March. Actually winter would eat its way into spring if it could. Some years you have to beat it away with sticks. Anyway, my point is the nights will be long, dark and cold for the next few months and I have the perfect books planned to snuggle up with. Continue reading “MISC: Winter Reads”

REVIEW: Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell and We Don’t Know What We’re Doing by Thomas Morris

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In an attempt to keep to my word, I’ve started to pick my way through the towering to be read pile that’s taken over the space beneath my bed. We’re not going to mention the two books that accidentally fell into my bag at a charity shop last week- that didn’t happen. The first books I’ve chosen are short story collections I bought at Waterstones during a university trip. Yes, my Masters course took a trip to Waterstones as a lecture and it was magical. The reason I chose them was because they felt like they had something in common with my own writing and as they are the first collection by each writer, I thought I might pick up a few things.

Both collections are routed in place. Lucy Caldwell’s stories take place on the streets of Belfast while Thomas Morris depicts small town life in Caerphilly but both these places have well established identities and the characters in the collections face difficulties when they don’t fit the mould. Continue reading “REVIEW: Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell and We Don’t Know What We’re Doing by Thomas Morris”

MISC: Taking It Slow

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Running a book blog and studying MA Writing means that you burn through books a little faster than you normally would. Or at least you try to. I know there are people on Goodreads who have already completed their Reading Challenge and are on book 140. I have equal amounts of respect and envy for those people. I’m not sure how they do it, or if they even sleep at all. For me, one book every four days is probably more realistic. Unless it’s a tome like the A Song of Ice and Fire books, and then I take a little longer to read them because I’ve tried rushing through them and honestly I lost track of the characters I was supposed to be keeping an eye on. Continue reading “MISC: Taking It Slow”

BOOKISH BITES: Macarons & Maclairs

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It’s been a while since I shared any tasty treats, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to swoon over these amazing delights. I came across the Little Macaron Shop in Waterloo on my lunch break one drizzily afternoon and I’ve been back there three times, subsequently emptying their display cases. Everytime you visit their freshly-baked pastries are completely different but one of my favourite things is the maclair. I don’t think I’m exaggerting when I say they are the best things you will ever eat. The maclair has the delicate shoehorn pastry and cream of an ecalir but instead of a chocolate ganache it has a macaron topping. The ones above were madagascan vanilla. There were fights in my house over them. Fingers were very nearly lost.

You can also stay in and have a coffee if you can’t quite part with the maclairs straight away. It’s warm, friendly and there are no judgements made when you walk out with two boxes full of pastries with no intentions of sharing them.

REVIEW: Captive Prince by C. S. Pascat

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I can count on one hand all the books I’ve managed to read in one day. I don’t even need to count all five digits. It really doesn’t happen all that often unless I find a book that I can’t put down. I did try- the day I started reading Captive Prince I had actual things to do apart from reading. I had a list of things in fact, and there were five or six times where I closed the book and went to do those things but I couldn’t quite shake the story out of my head. It’s easy to sink your teeth into a good book but rarely does a good book sink its teeth into you. Continue reading “REVIEW: Captive Prince by C. S. Pascat”