Category Archives: reading

A boys first love – A guest post from my eldest

I couldn’t let the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter pass without comment. JK Rowling is a hero and inspiration of mine. Harry Potter though , well I know a guy who can talk about his love for that with way more passion than me.

My 16 year old first born. He fell in love with the books as a little little kid . They’re his go to books when he’s had a bad day or is ill or just needs a bit of comfort. I’ll let him tell you all about it,

 

 

Harry Potter. Where do I even start? Hooked at 6 finished by 11. Almost cried when I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter but it probs just got lost, it’s cool, yours did too, right?

I won’t claim to be an expert, for some it means more, and many know more. It will always have a special little scar spaced slot in my heart, from crying when I was younger, when the actor for Dumbledore died, so I was of course terrified that without Dumbledore, who would stop Voldemort? All the way to the woman sat behind us when we saw the last movie, who sobbed all the way through.

But in so many ways it’s so much more than a story. The idea that one happy memory (a patronus) can hold away an army of negativity (dementors) is an incredibly powerful one, as she says “help can always be found at Hogwarts, for those who ask for it” (or sommat like that anyway) That message is incredibly powerful.

Teaching young children about toxic environments, and encouraging imagination will have an impact for generations to come. There will never be a day that someone in the world doesn’t think a positive thought about Harry Potter, and in turn JK Rowling.

Somewhere, in a small café  in Scotland, one woman created a story and a universe that would last long in the memories of millions, some like me who hadn’t even been considered, yet alone born. She would change the lives of millions, and create strong role models for all, no matter what your age, race, gender, or sexuality namely herself, Emma Watson, or even Rupert Grint, for gingers everywhere!

I’ve read so many fan theories, from small little sad ones, like how Sirius and Harry had such a strong relationship because whenever they looked at each other, they both wished to see James.Simply insane ones too, like that Dumbledore is a time travelling Ron Weasely. Each day a new theory pops onto my facebook news feed, and that is how you know when something truly amazing has been created, when after 2 decades, people still can’t get enough, and that is the sign of a true legend.

It creates moral issues, like whether Snape is a good guy or not.I mean apparently abusing and bullying innocent school children isn’t an issue anymore, but that’s a whole different blog, possible series. But it gets young minds thinking on their own, raising their own moral issues, and allows them to gather their own opinion and voice it. In this world, there is nothing more important than standing up for what you believe is right, and that is exactly what she has started to encourage teenagers to do.

It makes us cry, laugh, and fume, sometimes all at the same time. And I could, have done, and almost definitely will reread them over and over again, because with truly beautiful, informative and intelligent writing you learn something new on every page.There is absolutely nothing bad about that, it means that generations upon generations will be passed down books from their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, and millions will be inspired by her writing, inspired to be a Harry, and do good. For that, from billions of potterheads across the globe, thank you JK Rowling

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are”. -Sirius Black, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.    JK Rowling.


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Reading in bed : The Ultimate comfort 


There’s nothing makes me happier than hopping into bed made with fresh bedding, an early night and a great book. Nothing.
It’s the soother at the end of a rough day, it’s a comfort when you’re tired or ill, it offers an escape from the day to day stresses of life. It’s the one simple thing that I can do that soothes my soul and is just a haven of calm and indulgence.

It’s always been this way.

When I was little, and my dad worked nights  or away I’d get into my mum’s bed and we’d sit and read my Enid Blyton books for an hour or so before I went off to my own bed to sleep after probably sneaking in one more chapter! It’s   a really nice, cosy memory of books and chat.

When I was a teenager laying  in bed with a pile of books was still an indulgence I loved. It just was no longer limited to being a bedtime activity. I’d go to the library first thing of a weekend, get get a load of books then just spend the majority of the weekend just sitting in bed reading for as long as I could get away with. Whole weekends were spent in the company of Paula Danziger and Judy Blume books. It sounds like I was an anti social hermit and I suppose I was a little bit, but I’ve always been a fan of my own company and well books don’t ask anything from you in return!

My snug, reading in bed hobby had to take a break for a good few years though. The mummy years. The days when I really could have done with soothing and calm comfort. Only I’d not have been able to keep my eyes open to read with 3 little ones. Having a baby roommate in one guise or another for pretty much 5 years wasn’t conducive to bedtime reading either. When you’re at that sleep deprived place so grateful all 3 babies are sleeping you’d never dare risk that with switching on a bedside lamp. That way lay madness! ! My babies always slept with one ear open it seemed anyway. They woke for a 2am babble and cuddle if they so much as heard me turn over in bed, turning pages, reading would have had them thinking it was party time! !

It came back though, eventually.
It took way longer than I’d expected.

Long after small girl came along and I was back room sharing with  a cute little human who believed even me breathing during the night was secret code for please come and play for an hour. Long after horrible debilitating bouts of anxiety left me unable to read as I simply couldn’t concentrate on a whole  sentence let alone  a paragraph.

It’s back now though.
An early night, fresh bedding, a good book. The trio that make up my ultimate indulgence.

Last weekend was the culmination of the middle two children’s birthday celebrations. It was a noisy, chaotic weekend (in a really good way! ) Once everyone was tucked up in bed though, I did likewise and spent a good couple hours reading, cosy and in silence.

I think that will remain forever my ultimate treat.




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My favourite book of January… 

I thought maybe I could add to my blog a little bit about my favourite book of each month. We all know what a bookworm I am and I do spend a lot of time boring those around me with book recommendations so why not do it here ? 
Since the teens discovered  the art of the weekend lie in I’ve found my book consumption has had chance to get back to binge levels so maybe I can share my favourite finds! ! 

My favourite book of January is The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell 

I should declare here my absolute love and adoration for all things musical. I am often to be found prancing around the living room performing to my fave West End showstoppers in my pj’s. Drives the kids nuts but let’s not let worry about that too much . So that someone has written a book about friendship and romance and musicals means it had my name written all over it from the start. 

The story follows two friends Issy and Monique , teachers who set up the Singalong Society for Singletons after Monique’s boyfriend leaves for America for a year. 

Soon Friday nights become all about wine, snacks and singing along to their favourite musicals. As the group expands to include Monique’s sister who has romantic woes of her own and two handsome male actors the groups views on singledom are changed for once and for all. 

This book is a really heartwarming novel about friendship and romance and was, for me, the perfect antidote to cold, miserable January. The characters are likeable and the different relationship dynamics are all genuine and easy to invest in. 

So whilst the weather is rubbish and the days are a bit grey I’d highly recommend this book to lift your spirits and give you a shot of romance and humour. 

Also if there’s anyone fancies evenings filled with singalong musical watching, wine and pizza give me a shout – it sounds like the best idea ever! ! 



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Don’t I always say books are good for the soul… 

My name is Kelly and I’m a book addict.

Books are my ‘thing’.

Reading books, talking about books, watching adaptations of books (mainly to slate them I’ll give you),recommending books, just gazing lovingly at my bookcases, maybe one day even writing one!

Reading is my ultimate comfort.

Even the crappest of crappy, yukky days can be perked up with a duvet, a perfect cup of tea and a good book. You’ll always find a book in my bag. There are always a couple of books in my bed (yes not beside my bed or on my bedside table but actually in my bed, by my pillow)

You can imagine then how rough the last couple of weeks have been as I’ve been unable to read!
I’ve been all agitated and restless and unable to concentrate. It’s not been my usual kind of anxiety that’s been at play either (it’s branching out *sarcastic yay*) I wrote here about one of the worst things for me when a bout of anxiety strikes is not being able to read and that’s where I’ve been of late!

When I’m anxious I do suffer with the horrible mind racing, dizzying feeling. That I  feel as though there are a thousand (mostly random) thoughts whizzing through my tiny mind at  once. These past couple of weeks have been exactly that but in super duper fast forward mode. So many thoughts flitting into mind barely having time to settle before the next one arrives demanding attention… on repeat. It’s exhausting and unsettling.
I will apologise if my trying to explain my experience of anxiety is a bit off the wall and sounds nuts. It feels a bit nuts at the time, but I know some of you will get what I mean!

I’ve started half a dozen books and barely got a couple of pages in before my mind has wandered away from the book leaving reading and that lovely feeling of being absolutely absorbed in a book impossible.

Then I picked up Second Life by SJWatson, same author as Before I go to Sleep which I really enjoyed. It drew me in instantly and had me so hooked my anxious mind didn’t stand a chance of wandering. Not concentrating just wasn’t an option.

You’d think a jumpy, psychological thriller wouldn’t be a good book choice when you’re in the grip of an anxious period but,  for me last week, it worked.

You see being absolutely engrossed in a book and having your heart racing in your chest because of the story – that was kind of therapeutic for me. I was feeling nervy and jumpy for a good reason, not just because anxiety was being a knob. Also, I think the fact that a book has an ending is reassuring. I read this book in a day so experienced all the cleverly written tension and nervousness leading to the crescendo all these type of books need.

Then it ends.

You put the book down and all those feelings (once your heart rate calms down from the exhilaration) are done. As was my anxiety. Getting caught up in a fictional scenario seemed to have purged all the anxious feelings in a positive way!

I’ve not spoken about the book plot itself because firstly I just wanted to talk about how reading managed to drag me out of that particular period of anxiety and secondly I’d likely give too much away. What I will  say though is if you loved Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train and enjoy tense, nervy writing  give this book a go, I recommend it highly.

So here I am now, back in the bliss that is books. I’m not daft enough  to think a book that gets the adrenalin pumping will always work versus anxiety but on this  one occasion it did.

I always say books are fantastic therapy… and I this occasion I proved myself right! !

That doesn’t happen often.