Week #23 | What I spend my money on

The answer to this is pretty easy: BOOKS.

books

It’s no secret that I’m a book addict – in fact, it’s in my site’s tagline. I try to read at least 30-40 books a year and I honestly wish I could manage to read more. I’m happy to switch between genres: I read classics, sci-fi, fantasy, children’s books, horrors, crime, historical novels, romances, young adult contemporary… you name it, I’ll try it.

Obviously, such a huge reading habit requires money… on top of reading the words, I’m also a bit of a collector. I like libraries and have always wanted my very own since I saw Beauty and the Beast. I have a love of fine, leatherbound books and beautiful regular covers too… and I try to keep all of my purchases as pristine as I can even whilst re-reading them to death.

I allocate about £30 a month specifically towards buying books (Waterstones loyalist), but occasionally I will find a must-have that costs substantially more than that. This usually happens if I spend any length of time on the Easton Press website.


My library of books is constantly increasing, so much so that I have had to double-line my downstairs bookcase and get my partner to build me a modular bookcase upstairs so that I can add shelves to it whenever necessary. I even have a collection of Discworld books in the downstairs bathroom (safely away from any water, don’t worry!). There have been talks of getting a bookcase in the bedroom as my partner understands this is a sickness that is not going away! For instance, I currently have 141 books on my TBR list… I long ago accepted the fact that I will never be wealthy, except in terms of paperbacks.

I’m still in the process of moving some of my books from my parents’ house to my new home, but here is what I have managed to transfer so far:


Obviously books aren’t the only thing I spend my money on. Food is a big part of my paycheque, along with a mortgage, household bills, pet insurance for my various fluffies and travel. I also enjoy gigs, theatre tickets, treating my nephew and nieces to days out, going to the cinema with the Boy or with friends and buying materials to make craft like pillows and blankets for my family:

… but it’s mostly books.

Top 15 Friday | The Best of British (Authors)

fish_and_chips


Today is National Fish and Chips Day, which is all about celebrating this iconic British dish, as well as everyone who works hard to get it from the sea to the table. Fish and chips is a staple takeaway food in my house (I’ll certainly be having it tonight!) and I started thinking of what other British greats make my life as enjoyable as my delicious battered cod. As always, my thoughts turn to books. This post was initially going to be my Top 5 British authors but I simply couldn’t whittle it down to that small number. So, here are my Top 15 British Authors instead…
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Top 5 Friday | Favourite Fantasy Trilogies

They say bad things come in threes, but some novels are proof that very good things can as well. Book trilogies are quite commonplace these days, especially in fantasy. It seems like a three-book arc is simply what’s needed to cover the scope of world-building and character development. Yet, this is not always the case… sometimes they can suffer from ‘Middle Book Syndrome’, which means the second book has no real story of its own and merely serves as a link between the first book and the last.

Well, here are my top 5, which I believe are solid gold the whole way through…
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BOOK REVIEW | The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb (4 stars)

DragonKeeper-UKVerdict: Intriguing, well written and emotionally provocative. A great and enjoyable fantasy book.

I’ll be honest, it feels really strange to be writing a Robin Hobb book review and not being in a state of complete emotional trauma. I have long associated Hobb with tears, lengthy, horrified rants and exclamations that I will never again open myself up to such literary heartache (ha!). The Dragon Keeper by comparison was… pleasant. I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Bingtown and the Rain Wild; it welcomed me like an old home and it was like I’d never left. I have no real criticisms of the book at all. Although, at a stretch, I’d say that I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it lacked the emotional depth and investment to be able to traumatise me, and didn’t have a fantastic ‘grey area’ villain like Captain Kennit… but then, that is true of most books! Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (3.5 stars)

Howl's moving castleVerdict: Fun, easy and humorous read with an unfortunately vague ending.

Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three, which in Ingary means she’s nothing special. She’ll never go on adventures or achieve greatness but, being shy and humble to a fault, she’s resigned to her fate. Yet, when Sophie falls foul of The Witch of the Waste, her boring future is turned upside down as she’s forced to seek help from the fearsome Wizard Howl.


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Assassin’s Fate is out! | Meeting Robin Hobb

hobb signingLast night, I headed over to Shaftesbury Avenue for a Robin Hobb book signing. It was pouring with rain but trivial things like terrible weather have never stopped me celebrating my geekdom. Robin Hobb, for me, is the Holy Grail of fiction writers and apparently I’m not alone in thinking that. When I got there, the queue was very long. Fortunately my friend Maria had arrived in plenty of time to save a space for us. S.E. Berrow rocked up a short while later, bringing clear skies with her, and the door to Forbidden Planet opened.  Continue reading