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Mid-Year Reading Slump

I'm in a reading slump.

I read so much through May/June. 

I'm yet to finish a book in July. I've started multiple books, I've got half way through, and stopped reading them. 

I've wanted to read but when I've had the time (and logically I've had plenty of time for reading), I've just found something else to waste my time on. 

This has had an effect on how much I'm blogging too, I'm not reading any books to read about and it could get repetitive just doing summer book tags. 

In a desperate need to read again, because even though I wasn't reading - I wanted too! Here are my tips for getting out of a mid-year reading slump:

  1. Dedicate an hour into your daily diary to read. I find the best time to be when my family sits down to watch TV in the evening, I'll just bring my book down instead. 
  2. Stop checking GoodReads, you'll just feel guilty seeing all of the books everyone else has been reading. I thought it would inspire me. I was so wrong. I felt bad for not being able to update how much of a book I had read, or finishing a book in a day. 
  3. Along the lines of the previous tip, don't put pressure on yourself to read! Some days you just won't have time to pick up a book. 
  4. Make your first book back something short, so you can finish it quickly and feel good about getting back into reading. 
  5. Re-read a favourite book. (May I recommend Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - it's so easy to get into and there is something very comforting about reading a book from your 'youth'.)
What tips do you have to overcome a reading slump? Or do you have tips that stop you from going into a reading slump? I find that while I'm at uni or heading up to deadlines I don't read at all, but I don't feel guilty about not reading because I'm so busy!

- K.B

books to films

Going through my personal library, there are a lot of books that have been adapted into films. I thought I would create a collection of books that have been made into films, that I have both read and watched. 

Harry Potter - J.K.Rowling

It shocks me when people say they haven't read/watched Harry Potter. It should be compulsory reading, in my humble opinion. I love the world of Harry Potter and cannot recommend them enough. If you've already read the books, I also recommend listening to the audiobooks spoken by Stephen Fry! 

Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

I'm a big fan of Kinsella's works, all of the books have a similar plot but they're so easy and enjoyable to read. Her Shopaholic series was no exception. Although only the one book got made into a film, and I have to say it is not my favourite film adaptation. It is still good though. It follows the life of Becky Bloomwood from confronting her spending 'problems', marriage, moving abroad, having a child, etc, etc. This book was previously published as The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins 

I loved reading these books. I did watch the films before reading the books, so I vaguely knew what was going to happen and the basic order of events. Though I've only watched each film once and have never been in a rush to watch them. Nonetheless, I thought the books were brilliant. Read my review here.

Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck 

Firstly, if you haven't read this book already... what are you waiting for? I'm sure 80% of people read this for their GCSEs though. As much as I enjoyed the book & the film, I don't want to watch/read it again. I have the same opinion on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I loved it but it was too powerful for me to reread/watch again in a hurry. 

The Fault in our Stars - John Green

I only recently read this book, review here. Again, I watched the film before reading the book. I had expected the book to be anti-climatic and poorly written because it had been so popular. Which sounds awful. I liked the film, though I've only watched it once. But I really liked the film, easy to read and keep up with. I really liked how I knew many of the locations in Amsterdam, making the whole book easier to follow along and imagine. 

Divergent - Veronica Roth

I have only read the first book and watched the first two films. I found the book to be gripping and kept me hooked throughout. The first film, I got bored near the end. I've watched, the first film, several times and I just can't stick with it. I've only seen the second film (Insurgent) once and I have no memory of what happens properly. 

P.S. I love you - Cecelia Ahern

I feel like every girl has seen this film. It's a sweet film; all teary eyes and such. I didn't love the book, I rate it the same as the film. I watched the film several times before reading the book and I cannot complain about either.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky 

I'm not enjoying this book. I'm half way and I just can't go on. I'm finding it boring. I didn't really like the film, I'm not sure what everyone raves on about. Not for me.  No thank-you. 

- K.B

Review: The fault in our stars by john green

Apologies if these immediate reviews are annoying and poorly written. Most of the time I like to let a book settle until I write about it, but sometimes I'm in the position to write immediately after. So here I am...

Side note: I'm writing this on a Wednesday evening while someone blasts Wonderwall out in the evening sun. Pleasant writing conditions. 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I've already seen the film, I knew what was going to happen. I expected to be disappointed by the book, in fact. It took me a while to read, perhaps because I knew the ending or because I was enjoying it too much to read? 

One of the reasons I enjoy this book is because part of it takes place Amsterdam, which is one of my favourite cities and I was able to imagine everything so clearly. Every room in Anne Frank's house, the streets of Amsterdam. Wonderful. 

It also made me confront death. I've never experienced the death of a loved one. I've had pets die, which did upset me, naturally. The last family member who passed away was my Grandad, I was only 18months old and I have the fussiest and vaguest memories of that time. I've counted my lucky stars that I've never had to deal with the death of a loved one, but at 21 I'm sure it's going to be a shock when it does happen... eventually. The point in me rambling about death is how The Fault in our Stars deals with a death and, for me, it didn't feel like they had truly died. I was struck by how I didn't feel as though they had died. Was it because they were a fictional character? Because I've never dealt with death? Because the character was continuously being spoken about afterwards? Because they're still in your memory to live on? I don't know. I'm just rambling about a thought that I had.

Overall, I enjoyed the book though. I'm not sure if I'm in a rush to read it again. Although I do want to watch the film again. Mostly to be annoying and compare the book to the film. 

Have you read The Fault in our Stars? If so, let me know what you thought about it. I'm interested to hear other people's opinions of it. I'm wondering if I read it in too much of a positive light and in reality, it could be a poorly written novel. 

- K.B

Books from my childhood library

Going through my books, I'm sure we've thrown or given away loads of books from my childhood. I can think of so many books that I've read but I'm unable to find them. Probably stowed away in a storage box somewhere. I still adore so many of the books that I read as a child, all of the obvious ones: We're going on a bear hunt, The Gruffalo (although I'm sure I was too old for this one), The Hungry Caterpillar, Winnie the Pooh, The Tiger who Came to Tea, Elmer, Six Dinner Sid, the list goes on! But here is a list of the books that I'm still in possession of...

Starting off with the wonderful Roald Dahl, my all time favourite Roald Dahl book is Fantastic Mr. Fox but I've misplaced my copy. Other I love are...

The Twits
"Mr. and Mrs. Twit play some horrible tricks on each other. I bet you have never met two people more revolting. The never wash, they trap birds for Bird Pie and they hate children. Find out what brilliant trick the Roly-Poly Bird and the Muggle-Wump monkeys think up for them."

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I just have to say that I love the original movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but do not come near me with the Johnny Depp remake. No thank-you.

"Mr. Wonka's inventions are out of this world. He's thought up every kind of sweet imaginable in his amazing chocolate factory, but no one has ever seen inside, or met Mr. Wonka! Charlie Bucket can't believe his luck when he finds a golden ticket and wins the trip of a lifetime around the famous chocolate factory. He still could never have dreamed what surprises lie in store!"

The Witches
"You could be sitting next to a witch and never know it. They look just like ordinary women but they're extremely dangerous to children! Luckily for the boy in this story, his grandmother knows what signs to look for but, even so, things don't go quite as planned."

The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber and Nicola Bayley
Mousehole is famous for its Christmas lights displays with the locals and tourists to Cornwall. The Mousehole Cat is a story inspired by the old Cornish legend of Tom Bawcock. 

"The dramatic and moving Cornish tale of Mowzer, the cat, and Tom, the old fisherman, who brave the fury of the Great Storm Cat to try and save their village."

The Merrymaid of Zennor by Charles Causley and Michael Foreman
I feel as though I'm a living cliche of a Cornish child, so many of the picture books, from my childhood, are based on Cornish legends. Perhaps one of the most famous stories is of the Merrymaid of Zennor though.

"The stranger's glimmering robe fell away and the Zachy saw that she sported not two human feet but a pair of gleaming fish's fins. 

She was a merrymaid!

From the poet Charles Causley and prize-winning children's illustrator Michael Foreman comes this enchanting picture book about the strange and wonderful things Zachy sees after Tom Taskis the tin miner runs off with the beautiful mermaid. But he tells no one, for who would believe such tales from Zachy who loved to wander the cliffs and make up stories in his head?

Based on a traditional Cornish folk tale and set in the real village of Zennor, both story and pictures are rich in the mysterious atmosphere of the windswept Cornish coast... where anything magical might happen."

The Dolphin Boy by Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman
I also seem to own a lot of picture books that Michael Foreman either illustrated or wrote. Of course, the wonderful Michael Morpurgo had to come up eventually too, I find it difficult to believe anyone could've lived their lives without reading at least one of his books!

"Jim lives in a fishing village - but no-one goes fishing anymore as all the fish have gone. One day, Jim spots a dolphin beached on the sand. He runs to get help, and everyone works together to return the dolphin to the water. Afterward, the dolphin stays in the harbour, playing with the swimmers - and he even carries Jim on his back! Then the dolphin disappears, and everyone is so sorrowful they take out a boat to find him. Suddenly the sea is boiling with dolphins leaping out of the sea! They have come to stay - and the village comes to life with tourists, mended boats, and dolphins!"

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 
I'm not sure that this is *technically* a children's book. But I remember reading this before I was 10 and I wouldn't hesitate to allow a child to read it now. I'm sure many know the story of The Hobbit or have watched the film adaptations.

"Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out onto the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye.
He was only pretending to be asleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance...

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Although quite reluctant to take part in this quest, Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar!"

- K.B

Instagram Book Challenge (Part Three)

The final ten days of my 30 day Instagram book challenge:

The first ten days here, and the following ten days here

 Twenty-one: A book that takes place on the ocean - Life of Pi by Yann Martel

 Twenty-two: A book recommended by someone - Divergent by Veronica Roth

 Twenty-three: A book set in London - this is a love story by Jessica Thompson

 Twenty-four: A book that takes place somewhere warm - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

 Twenty-five: A book that made you cry - P.S I love you by Cecelia Ahern

 Twenty-six: A book that takes place somewhere you hope to go - Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella

 Twenty-seven: A book adapted into a movie - The Fault in our Stars by John Green

 Twenty-eight: A book that has a wedding in it - Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

 Twenty-nine: A book you've been meaning to finish - The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Thirty: A book of poetry - Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur 

Link to my Instagram, where you can follow my book challenge (here) and general life.

- K.B

Instagram Book Challenge (part two)

Day 11 - Day 20 of my Instagram book challenge, if you haven't already, you can view my first ten days here.

Or view the list of daily challenges here.

Day Eleven: A book from a high school summer reading list - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Day Twelve: A book about star-crossed lovers - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Day Thirteen: A book you bought at the airport/train station - I never fancied him anyway by Claudia Carroll

Day Fourteen: A book about best friends - A street cat named Bob by James Bowen

Day Fifteen: A used book - Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Day Sixteen: A book with the ocean on the cover - Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Day Seventeen: A romantic comedy -  Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Day Eighteen: A book in the front window of a bookstore Your personal library - bookshelf and my pile of tbr.

Day Nineteen: A book that takes place in Europe - Us by David Nichols

Day Twenty: A book you bought without reading the back - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Link to my Instagram, where you can follow my book challenge (here).
- K.B

June Wrap Up

A fairly book heavy month for June. Starting off my summer reading list and also making my way through some of my books in my recent book haul.

I started off the month working my through The Hunger Games Trilogy, after thoroughly enjoying The Hunger Games I went onto reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Both were wonderful. I'm not 100% about the ending of the trilogy, I struggle with endings, but I can see why it ended the way it did and can understand why this is a good way for many. I had seen the films before reading the books, although I only saw them once and I felt that I gave myself enough time to distance myself from the book and the film. I have previously written a review on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (here), but let me know if you would be interested in a more in-depth review of the trilogy!

The Girl on the Train has been on my TBR list for over a year, and I never got around to reading and always found books to read over it. I had been recommended it by others and after the film came out last year, I finally bought myself a copy of the book. I imagined the book to be along the same lines as Gone Girl (which I believe was published around the same time), I'm not a massive lover of thrillers, but this one was really good! I read it in about a day. It took me a few chapters to initially get into the storyline though, so plow through the first part and you'll start receiving the information you need. This is the kind of thriller where you get given a heap of random information, which makes no sense at all, until the end when something clicks and the whole thing makes sense again. I wrote a book review (here) straight after I read the book, so head over there for fresher review of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. 

After that, I wanted to read something more light-hearted and in the form of a YA fiction. Step in, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. I had no desire to read this book before buying it, I only bought it because I saw it for a £1 in the charity store. I was skeptical about the YouTubers book, and although it wasn't groundbreaking literature. It was enjoyable. I'm not desperate to read the other books in the series, but if the opportunity came up... I think I would read more of Sugg's books. 

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen; I have been meaning to read this book since I bought The Girl on the Train last year. I bought them at the same time on Tesco's 2 for £7 book offer and left them both on my bookshelf for the past year. I wasn't sure about this book while I was reading it, it was a charming and enjoyable book, but there was no 'end goal' with the writing. Bowen has written more books about his furry companion, Bob. If you get the opportunity it wouldn't be a waste of time to read the book, but I wasn't too keen on how negative Bowen is about dogs (specifically staffies). 

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern, I bought this after reading Megan's review of it (here). I'm not sure what I expected from the story, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Altogether a decent read, took me a couple of days. Not a difficult book to follow. 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I've seen the film, once, and I did enjoy watching the film. It was a nice film, nothing too revolutionary and I haven't seen it since. But it's the kind of film that I would put on if I saw it on TV one day. So, I went into reading this book knowing what was going to happen. Which perhaps may have already guided my view on the book, but it may have been similar if I had read the book before seeing the film. I wasn't too bothered because I watched the film in early 2015. I have got a dedicated review of this coming out soon though, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!

- K.B

Five years on from compulsory education

2012; the year of the Olympics being in our great country and the year I left secondary school. The year I left behind Launceston and pretty much packed up my whole existence to go to college and then onto Uni. Where has that time gone?

I had no idea what I was doing with my life five years ago, although I still have no idea what I'm doing with my life at the age of 21. But now my little brother has also finished secondary school, knowing what he wants to do with his life, and it has got me thinking about where that time has gone.

I went to a college where I didn't know a single soul, traveling by bus every day and attempting to keep up friendships and school works between two counties. I created my original blog, PointSnapFlash, in 2013. Moved to Exeter in 2014, completing my FDA in 2016 and making a life for myself there. Then last year, I packed up my bags again and moved back to Cornwall, and have been at Plymouth Uni since. 

What now? Well, I'll finish my BA next year, graduate, do a variety of shows across the country. Then hopefully in the next year, an idea will come to me!

The photographs just confirm how little I've grown but how much my brother has!