How To Stop Time By Matt Haig; Release And Review.

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Disclaimer: I was sent this proof copy for a review by Canongate, at my own request. What follows is my honest opinion.

How To Stop Time is (finally) out today. Whew! Take it from me; this is a great book. And I really enjoyed it. Take it from me, if you like time travel, fiction, and just a little sprinkle of humour, you’ll love this book. (Oh, and if you’re a fan of the eighties classic Highlander, you’ll love this book. Like me!)

As not to give too much away, I’ll tell you the very basic plot line, in spite of the fact that there are many layers to dissect: Tom Hazard has an ailment, meaning that he ages not as fast as other humans. In fact, he has been alive for centuries. And it costs him dearly. But who would suspect this from a London history teacher?

I really like the structure of the book, it that there are continual flashes forward and backwards in time-perfect for somebody who loves history like me! There are appearances from Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the Bard, Captain Cook, Witch Hunters, and many more. They interact with Tom, whilst he contemplates his own ailment. And the way that they are characterised is just so vivid-which makes the novel somewhat alive. Because that’s what you’d want in a history teacher, isn’t it?

My only real feedback is that the protagonist of Tom Hazard isn’t always in touch with reality-obviously, being somebody who has been alive for over three centuries, you wouldn’t be. But I feel that this lets the book down, just a little bit. For example, when interacting with boys in his class, he almost seems as if to not comprehend the situation-even during a mugging incident. He is seemingly away in the clouds, and not focused at all. The plot line could have been a little bit snappier as a result. (But then again, dear readers, that’s just my humble  opinion. Each of us are different in our tastes, after all.

I will admit that the end had me just a little bit teary. This book is innately human to the core, which can teach us a lot about ourselves. to anyone reading this, it’s worth reading. And I give it a rate of 14/15.

Click here to buy How To Stop Time. 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mensa Book Review.*

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Disclaimer: at my own request, Chloe Moss, on behalf of Carlton Books, sent these to me to review. What follows constitutes my own opinion.

Three things I admire are common sense, logic, and a good sense of humour in people. But when paired in a book? I love it.

These two books were sent to me; they are riddles and brainteasers-as you can see from the above photos-which are Mensa-esque. I’m not sure if the actual organisation had any say in the development or formation of this book; needless to say, as I rarely understood the puzzles, I have come to the conclusion that I’m simply not clever enough for this organisation.

The product:

I really liked this product, as it had quite a simple layout, which ‘spoke to me’ as a reader.  As a paperback, it is also small enough just to fit into your bag. For any long haul flight-I wish I had had this going to the US-this is perfect, because it would keep you occupied. There’s also solutions in the back, so you’re not banging your head in frustration.

Packaging:

I really liked that this package arrived with a personalised note-as I’ve said before, I’m all for a brand that makes this effort-and that there was not a lot of packaging for these books. (There was a package of four!)

Feedback:

Maybe there could have been far easier puzzles? I understood maybe one out of the two books!

Click here to buy the books.

Rowan Coleman: The Summer Of Impossible Things Book Launch.

Hello!

A little while ago I found an invitation in my inbox, inviting me to the Book Launch of The Summer Of Impossible Things, the latest novel by Rowan Coleman. (I would just like to admit that I was a little bit shocked, as I am never invited to events like this. And I was suspicious. So I just had to check it was legitimate…)

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The place it was at was a small bookshop; it specialised in collectible, first edition, signed books. As I had forgotten my copy, I bought a hardback to be signed..

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I also felt so grown up! I turned eighteen in March; look what I was offered! (I only had one though…just to be responsible, as I was travelling home on the train.) As soon as I was introduced, Rowan immediately knew I was the “Queen fan” from Twitter! (Not a bad thing, right?)

In this photo, my expression may be a little bit strange, but I was so nervous, and just a little bit anxious. (That’s code for “trying to keep it together”!) Needless to say, I think I need to learn how to take a decent photo, and to have a decent photo taken of me…

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I briefly chatted to Tess Henderson, Rowan’s publicist; we exchanged pleasantries about the blog tour I was a part of, publishing, etc. I also said about my Aspergers. how Rowan’s books make me feel less alone… She then went to get Rowan to tell her! (Hhmm… best be quiet next time.)

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Whoops.. I forgot to add how I made a new friend, Katerina. She had won the Twitter contest, and was dubbed “The Italian Fan Club” that evening. As we knew virtually no one at the launch, we stuck together near the door; it was hot, so that way we could feel the breeze. There was also food there..

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I loved being invited to this launch, as I also got some great advice as to how to get published; I was also told some ‘gossip’ about the book, which I can’t print, but I’m so excited! I am so grateful to have been invited; it was such as a privilege.

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Click here to buy The Summer Of Impossible Things.  And to find out more about Rowan Coleman, click here.

The Summer Of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman: Release And Review. 

Disclaimer: On the announcement of release, I requested the proof of this book to review. What follows is my honest opinion, having been a fan of Rowan Coleman for a while now. 

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Excuse my language, but what a bloody brilliant book this is! (You can also have some tripled alliteration along with that.) Having arrived in the post, I was surprised at the bulk-more that three hundred pages, and presumably longer than any other volumes written prior. Eagerly, I got stuck in. (A long car journey warrants this. At twelve hours, I needed a long book!)

Firstly, I was a little bit bewildered at the ‘voice’ of Luna, the protagonist of the book. She, at thirty, seems a little bit childish, almost idealistic, in repeating the same mistakes, over and over again. (Apart from that, she’s really cool in that she works in a male-dominated environment, dressing to reflect this.) But with the revelation that she can travel through time, Luna begins to change-meaning I developed more empathy towards her. (The mother of the story has died, but her two daughters have to uncover the secret she leaves behind in Brooklyn. )

Trust me, this is a very tense book, as well as highly emotional. In the end though, I loved the twist. And I promise that I won’t spoil it for you.

However, at times I did feel that this book is too weighty-in that the depth of description often goes against the plotline. It can take a little while to get going, fully immersed into the story. (It could do with maybe cutting some of this?) But once I did, I was completely captivated by this book. Immersed fully. And I was disappointed once it ended. It’ll be a firm favorite on my bookshelves from now on.

It’s released today, and I encourage you all to buy it.

Rate: 14/15

Click here to buy The Summer Of Impossible Things. 

The Lebister Award.

Whew! good morning. You’ll probably think that today’s post is really self centred, pretentious, but Blog Awards are a great way for Bloggers to connect, hence why I’m writing this for today. I was nominated by Daniella, whose blog you can read by clicking here.  For this post, you have to:

  • Post eleven personal facts
  • Answer the 11 set questions
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with a further 11 questions, whilst tagging them.

Sounds easy, right? Here goes-and my eleven facts are:

1.I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in January 2015. Although that seems a long time ago, it really is not, in taking into consideration how long it took me to get diagnosed. (Because, well, to be blunt, it’s really obvious. I was the ‘different one’, the ‘freak’ who was picked on at various times. How horrible.) But I see it as ‘my job’ to raise awareness-because why should anyone be picked on?

2.The last book I read was called The Spy, based on the life of Mata Hari.

3.My hero is Jacqueline Kennedy, because she was a well educated woman, and restored the White House, spoke several languages, and was a book editor for the last twenty years of her life. *I’m always asked about her style-but I like her substance.

4.I LOVE Rock music-Queen, Genesis, Dire Straits…

5.You’ll probably find me in a library, enamoured with a dozen or more books, looking for something to read. (Or maybe with my cat, also reading.)

6.The first record I bought was A Night At The Opera (Queen) in a shop, and Resurrection (Anastacia) online. Quite the contradiction!

7.Of all the people that I wish to interview, Brian May, Queen guitarist and all around really cool person, tops the top of my list. (RT this, and @ him, okay? Ha ha!) I did meet him once, and he seems like somebody who could tell you a good story or two.

8.Funnily enough, my first cohesive memory is of listening to Queen-You’re My Best Friend. (who said I was a fan girl?!!)

9.I love to talk about politics, having taken it as one of my three A levels. Whilst I know that it can be polarising-just look at Brexit!-I think that we have a duty to hold those in power to account, and to be well informed.

10.Feminist? Yes.

11. In spite of the fact that I juggle being a full time student, a blogger, and a columnist-meaning that I have to be VERY organised-I am a very messy person.

And now for the set questions from Daniella to answer! (Still with me?)

  • Why did you start blogging? I saw an article in Shout Magazine, which was a place I could take refugee in, being a lonely pre-teen. (Not a lot has changed.) It looked really cool-and a way to write-so, with the permission of my parents, I jumped in1
  • Who inspires you, not just in the blogging world but in life? Oh lummy, that’s a tough one. Jacqueline Kennedy is my hero, but I am also inspired by Anastacia (I created my own version of one of her outfits recently), Brian May for being just a really cool person, Caitlin Moran for the way she writes, Jodi Picoult for the way she writes and tackles issues, and Lesley Ann Jones, the lovely and supremely cool rock journalist and author.
  • What social media app do you find you use the most for your blogging? WordPress to write posts from, Twitter to post.
  • One thing you are most scared of in life? Dying? (Yeah, about that…) I do believe that there is a God-because there just must be more to life than this-but I don’t want to have wasted the time I have on Earth. Oh and the Tube. Too many people-it’s an ASD thing.
  • Do you prefer a night in with friends or a night out on the town? Depends on the mood I’m in. I prefer town because I can go down to Brighton, and get lost for hours. Everything exciting seems to happen there! But I love to host Netflix evenings.
  • What topics do you blog about most and why? Too many to count! Lifestyle encompasses a lot-so books and autism, I guess. I love books-and you can never be lonely with a book-and Autism, well to raise awareness. 
  • Do you find the blogging community supportive? Largely yes. I won’t elaborate as to the ‘no’.
  • If you were an animal, what would it be and why? Always a cat-I love cats!-and my nickname is the crazy cat lady. Apt, no?
  • What is your favourite genre of music? Rock.
  • What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in the past week or so? Probably talking to a lecturer with eye contact, and I managed not to feel anxious at all. (Eye contact is a hallmark for those on the spectrum.) I also can find it hard to interpret what they mean. And yes-I’m being neutral in case they are reading this. But they are such a good teacher-it’s just me being me 🙂 This is something that I find happens frequently, in that I cannot maintain eye contact, but it is something I am overcoming. 
  • Do you prefer savoury or sweet treats? SWEET!

The Eleven Bloggers I wish to tag:

Kimberly Jessica

Country Katie Uk

This Stuff Is Golden

Lisa Kallas

A Beautiful Caos

Freya Creech

Youralmostalice

Envy Fisher

Grace Brown

Blogger Badger (Emily)

Faz

And anyone else who wishes to do so!

My questions for you:

  1. How do you keep organised, in terms of a planner?
  2. Ice cream-yay or nay?
  3. Manicure or pedicure?
  4. Apple or Samsung?
  5. First album you bought?
  6. What motivated you and why to start blogging?
  7. Dream job as a child?
  8. Would you call yourself a feminist?
  9. Who is your role model?
  10. And hero?
  11. Pineapple on pizza-yes or no?

Until tomorrow,

Lydia

XO

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

A Trip To Waterstones.

Books. Books! Lovely books.

Whenever I go to Waterstones, I always compile a list of books I wish to read; after all, of there is any purpose I can have, it could be to cram by brain with what a book gives, and pass the information on. Anyway, here are a few photos I took to share with you all..

Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman.

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I am fascinated by magazines, how they are formed, layout, etc. Vogue, according to this book by a Now ex-editor in chief, has been around for a century, a full one hundred years. Surely I could pick up some culture, clothing tips, etc, along the way? Style is what remains, and what I hope to one day possess.

Karl Marx by Gareth Stedman Jones.

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Despite the fact that I study politics, I still find Marx quite hard to understand, and to get to grips with. And yes, I know that he wrote The Communist Manifesto, but I can’t interpret this very easily. And biography has a lot to do with the actions an individual has intent to do, I feel. Anyway, I want to express about the antithesis of the Democratic ideals I love.

Imagine Me Gone By Adam Haslett.

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It was largely the title of this one that caught my eye.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan.

This is a book that I have wanted to read for a while. A summary of the blurb essentially is that somebody is missing, possibly kidnapped, and is writing to an agony aunt, sending a signal to find her. And there’s a twist! I love a drama, as well as a detective book, and would love to read this.

Insane Clown President By Matt Taibbi.

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For all his controversy, I want to read about Donald Trump, in order to understand him, his impact, etc. That way, I think I’d be better equipped to understand this new form of politics.

What books do you hope to read?

Lydia

XO

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Pink: LYDIAPINK

Purple: LYDIAPURPLE

Black: LYDIABLACK

Things A Woman Should Know About Style Book Review. *

 

Disclaimer: this is a proof copy that I was sent to review, at my own request. What follows is my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe at Carlton Books.

Remember Fashion? That very controversial subject-it raged over the fur debate, is still a major industry, and bloggers are now sat on the front row, complete with its own hashtag. One thing that strikes me about this book is that it seemingly does not like fashion-and prefers style as the alternative. (Jacqueline Kennedy had style, yet it is her ‘look’ that endears today. Fashion comes, fashion goes, which is the most notable difference.) So far, so good.

The further I progress through this book, however, the more I think it has a little bit of a snarky tone; there are claims such as ‘cheap clothes don’t look good on people over thirty’. What exactly are cheap clothes, anyway? Mine are largely pieces worn over and over, from places like H&M; I see nothing wrong with these. They fit well into my style of wannabe preppy student, anyway.

However, my favorite thing about this book is that it uses history to back up its arguments; the twenties and thirties had style-courtesy of Coco Chanel, who is then partially quote on one of the pages. And it gives examples of fashion by era-seventies, eighties, nineties, etc.

This book is ideal for a style-conscious friend, a fashion blogger, even as a Mother’s Day gift. Yet, I’m not sure it’s entirely for me.

Rate: 8/15

Click here to buy the book.

My favourite books list. 


Books are life, and life is books. These are my list of my favourite books:

  • The diary of Anne Frank.
  • Searching For Grace Kelly.
  • Dreaming in French by Alice Kaplan.
  • Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon.
  • Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
  • Pain, parties, work; Sylvia Plath in New York, 1953 by Elizabeth Winder.
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Big Life by Ann Shoket.
  • First woman by Kate Brower.
  • Dear Pussycat by Helen Gurley Brown.
  • We are all made of stars by Rowan Coleman.
  • The book thief.
  • Reading Jackie by William Kuhn.
  • The Help.
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
  • Sherlock Holmes.
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
  • The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.
  • Deathless.

What are your favourite books?

Lydia

XO

Get To Know Me By My Books. 

Hi!

You know when you read a magazine such as ELLE, they always have the cover star, or somebody else, deaptailing the books that formed part of their identity? For this post, I thought I’d do the same; I get to write about books, and not much else 😂

How to be a women By Caitlin Moran.

This is such a brilliant book! I think I was twelve when this came out, but didn’t read it ’till a year later. I hadn’t come across a writer as unique as Moran-convinced by her ideas, apt at turning a phrase, able to use a swear word at least once a paragraph, and still remain serious. She is part of the reason why I now describe myself as ‘feminist’. I’d also love to interview her.

Click here to buy.

The Diary Of Anne Frank.

History lessons these days are primarily about the facts these days-why X led to Y, and so on. I want to read about the human side of history! This book I read first when I was six or seven, I think; it made a lasting impression.

Click here to buy.

Searching for Grace Kelly.

Contrary to what you may think, I do enjoy some fiction, as long as it’s grounded, and at least seems plausible, in terms of writing, etc. Anyway, this book is about the fifties, and the lives of three very different women, and how they come to New York to accomplish their dreams. I like it for it’s authentic history, and how it informs me-we aren’t this way any more, so be grateful for what we’ve gained.

Click here to buy.

What books ‘make you’?

Lydia

XO

Revolution Review. *

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me, at my own request, for me to review. What follows constitutes my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe Moss at Carlton Books for sending me this! (I think it also worthwhile to note that I am not a Communist, and do not plan on any revolutionary activities.)

Revolutions are a controversial subject, aren’t they?

There was Mcarthyism, as well as the red scare, meaning that the subject almost could not be publicly addressed. As a form of semi-scaremongering, it was used as an accuse, seemingly. But this book is great for exactly that reason. It ignores the issue of the impact, and analyses whatever Revolution it’s talking about, thus relating it objectively. (For a point of reference, I have yet to finish this book, but I do plan to-eventually.) As somebody who is currently studying history, I find the disdain given to these ideas a little bit illogical, and the fact that they are often taught-as in, passing it down generation to generation-odd, because there is still some contempt. (Rant over, I promise.) But this is why I really admire this book!

Plus, it is beautiful when you pull it out of the casing-almost akin to a newspaper. Just have a look at this:


All the clippings seemingly relate to the contents of the book.

For anyone studying politics, even history, this is such a useful reference guide; virtually any revolution of the last century is covered-some I didn’t even know that existed. (Famous ones are also referred to-Castro and Cuba, for instance.) There’s even photos to illustrate, plus pull out documents-always useful for hands on learning.

My only real feedback is that this book is quite cumbersome; not only for its shape-larger than most books-the depth of details inside means that it is also heavy. (Imagine this at the end of the day: you have all of your textbooks, exercise books, pens, etc. But you have to additionally carry something else; it will get heavy, won’t it?)

Rate: 10/15

Click here to buy a copy of the book.

The Bibliophile Tag! 

Hello!

It has been a while since I posted a “tag” post-a marvellous tool, in terms of interactions between bloggers. Anyway, there hasn’t been one that has caught my eye for a while now-therefore, I thought I would create my own. Hence this new post, The Bibliophile Tag!

The rules:

  • Answer the following questions.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Tag up to ten other bloggers.
  • Use the term ‘books’ at least once.
  • Tweet it, Facebook it, etc.

As an aside: books can be proof copies, or on any electronic device, for the sake of this post.

And the questions are as follows-complete with my answers.

img_09211. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was The Great Gatsby, in conjunction with my English A Level. In the last two years, this has probably been the fifth time I’ve read it. (It all counts for revision, right?!) Although I still remain sceptical of the plotline, I love the evocative imagery of the Jazz age, and how Fitzgerald captures the hedonism underneath.

2. Why do you post about books?

Books are integral to the way we think, how we define ourselves, how we influence world events-and yet are often very overlooked. They are fonts of knowledge-if thats the right phrase-and I wish to promote, even share that, with you lot, my lovely readers!

3. What is your favourite book?

See, this is always a hard question to answer-it changes over time, often dependent on mood, context, and author. For that reason, I’ve picked five: The Diary Of Anne Frank, Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig, Dreaming in French by Alice Kaplan, First Woman by Kate Anderson Bower (sp?), and My Turn by Norman Wisdom. And maybe The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. (But that’s six!)

img_09224. Imagine you are about to have a dinner party. But you need guests-they can be fictional characters, authors, etc. Who would you invite?

Firstly, the broadcaster and Journalist Lesley Ann Jones-I’ve met her, and have reviewed all her books on this blog, and she can also tell a good story. Secondly, Minnie from The Help, simply because she’d be a riot to be around-and I’d like to know what she’d have thought about today’s civil rights’ issues. Thirdly,  Norman Wisdom, because in spite of the harrowing experiences detailed in his biography, he still remained cheerful. Fourthly, Luna from the book on the right-how does it feel to travel in time?! And lastly, Rudy from The Book Thief.

5. If everyone had to read one book in their lifetime, what do you think it should be, and why?

House Rules by Jodi Picoult. Here is a writer who is exploring in fiction a very modern issue-and it is so well written.

I tag the following bloggers to answer this tag:

  • Kimberly Jessica
  • Countrykatie
  • Sophia Leigh
  • Mary Lane
  • Lisa Kallas
  • Lauren TSIG
  • Jess

Post to you soon,

Lydia

XO

Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon: Review.

Now I must admit, there’s not a lot that I know about OCD. Having never experienced it, and having not met anyone who openly says they have the condition, all I really knew was derived from various blog posts. Hence one of the main reasons I wanted to read this memoir. (And I’d also seen some promotional images on Instagram.) Gordon was not somebody whose work I was familiar with-I had not even read her first book, The Wrong Knickers.

What really struck me is how much of a call to arms this book is. (Not in the literal sense!) Mad Girl really makes the case that mental health is just as important as physical health. It additionally notes how it is not necessarily taken as seriously as it should and could be-and that could potentially have quite diabolical consequences.

Following on from this notion, I felt really sorry for Bryony at the time that Gordon recounts in this memoir-trapped in a time that OCD was not as understood as it is today. Yet, what shines through is the real character strength-meaning  that to feel sorry s emus almost wrong; in spite of the self-destructive urges, used as a tool to seemingly blot out the OCD, Gordon has managed to write two books, marry, have a child, become a Columnist. This has clearly been no easy feat. And it shows.

My only real criticism is that I sometimes did not understand the language-what is ‘WLDN’, anyway? (I’m a terrible teenager.)

This book is a teastement as to why we need better mental health care. And I love it for that exact reason.

Rating: 10/15

Click here to buy Mad Girl. 

Radical Self-Love By Gala Darling. (Book review!) 

Disclaimer: This is a book that I bought for my own personal consumption, and has not been endorsed by any publisher. I am reviewing this for myself, and not in exchange for a proof copy. 

Ever since I read a post over at Oberjean by Jean about Filofaxes, having clicked an external link to Gala Darling’s website, I’ve been fascinated. Here was somebody with a very relatable writing style, a back story to listen to, and so much colour! For a long time, I’ve wanted to read her book-Radical Self Love-so I thought I could review this for today’s post. (At The time of writing, I haven’t finished it yet.)

First of all-and this will probably sound a little bit odd-but I really liked the feel of the book. It’s a paperback, yet it has a different feel to the average version-and is possibly more glossy. It’s also pink-as in, Gala Darling Pink. (Yes, that version of pink has to be capitalised!) Every time I look at this book, I can’t help but smile. It’s bold, ballsy, and just a little bit enviable-and differs to the average paperback in that respect.

To be honest, I haven’t finished this book yet-simply having not had the time-but at times it seems just a little bit too simple. 

One of my favourite sections has to be Tapping; I’ve heard of this practice before, but have always been a skeptic-“how can tapping a part of the body be at all helpful when you’re talking to yourself?” was my general line of questioning. But now it makes sense-to admit to yourself what you can change, etc. Additionally, the section on How To Infuse Your Day With Magic is just pure brilliance.

Gala Darling, thank you for writing this. This is part of a facet that I’ve found that speaks to me as an individual, and that I have come to admire. This book is brilliant. And we could all read it. 

What do you think-would you read this?

Lydia

XO

Click here to buy Radical Self-Love by Gaka Darling. 

On the value of the library; a plea to value them. 

Okay, this is a post I’m writing a little bit out of guilt; in spite of the fact that I have a library card, I don’t go to my local library often. Yet, this is an instution I value highly.
Books have been a part of my cultural landscape for a long time now; ever since I learned to read, all those years ago, I have been fascinated by books. These are palpable time portals, and the easiest methods of transportation; you could sit anywhere-in a noisy cafe or the quiet park bench-and travel around all these worlds inside your head. And it’s something that I take great pleasure in.

Any library is effectively a curator of what I’ve just written; these are the instutions that hold these books dearly close to them. And unlike Google, they aren’t the most popular result; as the writer Caitlin Moran once stated, the difference is that they are the best result. And often from librarians who know what to look for, complete with familiarity of the books.

Nowadays, I’m a student sitting her A-levels, whilst juggling revision, blogging, writing a column, a shorthand diploma, and a (very limited!) social life. That’s why I don’t visit the library near my house any more; too busy, too wrapped up in learning, writing, cramming. Yet, these buildings are where ideas take true flight, where we could hone our beliefs, learn about anything we could have ever wished for. I value this instruction highly, yet I don’t use it enough.

The writer Matt Haig also made a very good point on Twitter; “Libraries are not just about books. They are almost the only public space we have left which don’t like our wallets more than us”. Apart from keeping my library card there, I find him to be completely correct; libraries are virtually free nowadays. We don’t have to pay an entrance fee, for instance. We can borrow books, for free. (Only a fee is paid if overdue, usually, or having to order in, etc.)

Libraries are beautiful things.

As a Bibliophile, I wish to encourage you all to go to your local library more-it’s something that I’ll try to do more of. I do my part online for books-such as in reviewing review copies, interviewing writers-but I do worry that this is not enough. Our libraries are valuable. Our libraries are an educative tool. We need them now more than ever.

Lydia

XO

Beat The Blacklist TBR Challenge: Crossing The Water #1

 

Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath. I was first introduced to her back in 2013, when Company Magazine, now defunct, featured The Bell Jar in their monthly A-Z. It was the 50th anniversary of publication. And they were raising a “dirty martini” to Plath in celebration. Fast forward four years, and Plath is still very much part of my life.

This was a Christmas gift-thanks Mum!-and contains a good few poems that I am unfamiliar with. As the blurb notes, these were collected by Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, and constitute the transitional period between The Colossus and Ariel. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

What’s lacking is Sylvia over reaching influence; these lack order, and aren’t necessarily as meaningful as later verses, such as Daddy and Lady Lazarus. But the one that stuck out most to me was Parliament Field Hills-the poem documenting Plath’s miscarriage. It’s sad beyond words. But it’s a moment in time that impacted the rest of her literary career.

What do you think? Do you read poetry?

Lydia

XO