Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge: Day 3

Three Days Three Quotes Challenge

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

Today is the last day in this challenge and I wanted to thank Stephen one more time for tagging me! For the final day I chose a quote which describes the magic of books perfectly:

“Cada libro, cada tomo que ves, tiene alma. El alma de quién lo escribió, y el alma de quiénes lo leyeron y vivieron y soñaron con él. Cada vez que un libro cambia de manos, cada vez que alguien desliza la mirada por sus páginas, su espíritu crece y se hace fuerte.”

-La Sombra del Viento de Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”

-The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I adore this quote and I think it’s the perfect one to end this challenge.

Here are my nominations for the final day:

Simant

Evelina

Raya

There is no need to do this challenge if you have done so already or if you don’t feel like it but if you decide to do it please link back to me so I can read your chosen quotes. Thanks to all who read my posts during these past three days!

 

Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge: Day 2

Three Days Three Quotes Challenge

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

Hi and welcome to Day Two of the Three Days, Three Quotes challenge! I would like to thank Stephen once again for the tag, it’s definitely challenging but also a lot of fun. Today’s quote was one I had thought about for days after finishing this book and I wanted to share it with you and find out your thoughts on it.

“What if the puzzle of the world was a shape you didn’t fit into? And the only way to survive was to mutilate yourself, carve away your corners, sand yourself down, modify yourself to fit? How come we haven’t been able to change the puzzle instead?”

– Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult often explores complex themes and I think that this one rings true in many ways. Do you agree with what she says here?

My nominations are:

Darinda

Mandy

Christina

Tomorrow is the final day in this challenge and I have just the perfect quote for bookworms. Stay tuned!

Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge: Day 1

Three Days Three Quotes Challenge

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

I am stepping away from my usual posting schedule of Wednesdays and Saturdays as I have been tagged by Stephen in the “Three Days Three Quotes” Challenge. Thank you for tagging me, Stephen! This definitely looks like a fun challenge although I must admit that it has been difficult to narrow down my favourite quotes to only three.

For day one I decided to share a moving quote from one of my favourite books:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

– Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

I still remember highlighting this quote in my Year 10 English Literature class as our teacher explained the meaning behind Atticus’ words. There are so many things I have forgotten about school since then but I still remember this minor moment, it’s strange how our mind works.

Today I have decided to nominate (as always, no pressure to do this tag if you don’t feel like it):

Jenny

India

Roxanne

See you all tomorrow for Day Two of the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge.

Studious Saturday: exploring bookshops in London

 

studious saturdays

Some of you who have read my previous post Studious Saturday: exploring bookshops in Bath would know that I spent part of my time during my last visit to the UK discovering bookshops by taking (or maybe even dragging!) my family and friends with me. Today’s edition includes three beautiful bookshops in different parts of London and I would like to share my thoughts on them with you.

Daunt Books

Right at the heart of Marylebone is a treasured bookshop perfect for lovers of travel and adventure. Daunt Books is an inspiration to anyone planning their next trip, or even those who work in the area and want to get away during their lunch break.

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This bookshop is split in several floors. Upon entering we can find the latest hardbacks and paperbacks in contemporary fiction. I though that this bookshop is like any other and does not have anything special until I walked a little further into the travel section.

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From here Daunt Books splits into three main areas – the downstairs focuses on Asia, Australia and Africa, the upstairs has a wide range of books for UK travel and the main level is filled with European books. I especially liked how each section is divided first by country and then in alphabetical order so it does not take too long to find the book you are looking for.

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The interior is beautifully decorated in an Edwardian style building with oak balconies and gorgeous green walls. Overall, this visit was a huge success and I managed to satisfy both my love of travel and books all in one afternoon.

Persephone Books

Our next visit was a short ride away on the London Underground and a half hour later we found ourselves at Persephone Books, a unique and extraordinary bookshop close to Russell Square station.

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This is not only a bookshop but also a publisher of forgotten female authors. I was intrigued to discover that all covers are the same classic gray so here there was no option of judging the book based on its cover. Instead, the short descriptions beneath each shelf were enough to encourage us to skim through books that most peaked our interest.

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There is a huge variety in books, from memoirs to short stories, and the clean gray  covers coupled with the colourful bookmarks that come with each book are just the perfect present for a loved one.

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The shop was dimly lit (which also explains the grainy photos, apologies for the low quality!) and classical music was softly playing in the background which made for the perfect book shopping experience. I supported their cause by buying a card for a friend who I was going to see later that day but I would also like to go back and buy one of these wonderful books. I encourage you to stop by this bookshop if you are ever in the area as you won’t be disappointed.

Goldsboro Books

Our final stop was a bookshop tucked away on a side street close to Leicester Square which specialises in signed first editions, perfect for collectors. We decided to walk from Persephone Books to here which in hindsight was perhaps not the best idea; it looked close on the map but the walk was nearly 45 minutes long and by the time we arrived it was already dark. Nevertheless, we were immediately transported to one of the most beautiful and rare bookshops upon entering.

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The store is divided into several areas by genre and publication date. The staff were busy at work sorting some of the latest books that had arrived as we walked around in awe of all the first editions out on display. Some of the most remarkable signed editions include The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (or J. K. Rowling) and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (I know what you are thinking… the original first edition signed by Harper Lee?!). My favourite section however was the stack of Bridge of Clay books in one corner of the room.

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It was evident from the hundreds of copies that they had very recently arrived to the store. Each was numbered from 1 to 500, signed by the author and published in collaboration with Goldsboro Books. I was very tempted to buy a copy but managed to stop myself in the end. I now regret it because I really want to read this book and a signed edition would make the experience even more special. However, I know that it won’t be too long until I visit this bookshop again when I’m next back in London because I loved it so much so I can’t say for definite that I won’t grab a copy next time I pass by.

Our day was over but we had a lovely afternoon in London and discovered three wonderful bookshops. Thank you to my mum for joining me in this adventure! I also hope to continue the “exploring bookshops in…” series in Madrid and any other city I find myself in the future. Stay tuned for more editions in this series soon!

Question time

Have you been to any of these bookshops? If not would you like to go? If you have been, what did you think of them?

 

Book review: Internal Lockdown by Ernie Quatrani

Book Cover

Title: Internal Lockdown

Author: Ernie Quatrani

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Prodigy Gold Books

Publication date: 30th October 2018

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Summary:

Over a morning, you can tend to your garden, paint a room, watch the morning news repeat its talking points. Over a morning, you can do the laundry or visit the doctor for a check-up; you can run errands…Over a morning, you can stop a school in its track, or lockdown an AP English class. Over a morning, you can get revenge.
Green Hill is a small, ordinary Pennsylvania town where nothing ever happens until the morning its normalcy is crushed by a shocking act of violence. One morning the school is interrupted by the frantic announcement calling for a lockdown. AP English teacher, Mike Zarlapski, swings into action, following the lockdown procedures. Although his students help pile as many desks in front of the classroom door as possible, their panic is not allayed as they communicate with what is now the outside world first-in responders, police entering the building, and the shooters who remain at large via cellphone.

My review:

Suspense and tragedy play a huge part of this book and I was very impressed with how the author developed both of these key themes to create an intriguing and thought-provoking story. We are immediately introduced to several key characters who would later endure a school shooting with many lives at stake. The plot delves right into action with a brief introduction of the main character, Mike Zarlapski, and sets the scene of what appears to be a normal morning at school. From here on, the action-filled plot unravels quickly as the characters are subject to the terrors of the shooting and law enforcement is called on the scene. I especially liked how the third person narrative was used as an asset to justify and analyse the decisions that each character took.

With reference to the characters, I must confess that I sometimes found it difficult to keep track of where each teacher and student was located in relation to the shooters and this could perhaps have been made easier with the use of an attached map of the school. I felt that there were too many characters which prevented the opportunity to fully connect with each one. However, I understand the author’s decision to proceed this way as situations like this always affect a wide range of the population and consequently this should be reflected in the story line.

Internal Lockdown is a difficult but compelling read and I encourage anyone interested in developing a better understanding of the implications and lives involved in school shootings to consider reading it. The final chapter, although bittersweet, offered the best possible conclusion to a series of tragic events affecting this community. I applaud the author for handling such a sensitive topic and hope to read more by him in the future.

Internal Lockdown is available to buy now!

Many thanks to Laura from Prodigy Gold Books for providing a free advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.

Studious Saturday: Blogger Recognition Award

studious saturdays

Many thanks to Molly and Kaleena for nominating me with this award! If you have the chance then I encourage you to stop by their blogs as they are both a wonderful celebration of books and reading.

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THE RULES

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Write a post to show your award
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide a link to the post you’ve created

HOW FACING THE STORY STARTED

I have loved reading ever since I was little and wanted to share my thoughts with others, exchange thoughts and opinions and discover new books to read through recommendations. However, I didn’t know much about the technical side of blogging such as choosing a hosted program and using HTML. Luckily my boyfriend helped out a lot with the technicalities (and even thought of the name!) and encouraged me to just start writing and see where it takes me. I wanted my blog to be a platform for my personal views on books I have read and would recommend to others as well as a create outlet for other musings, which is also how Studious Saturdays first began. In addition, I was also hoping to use writing and blogging as extra experience and an introduction to the Publishing industry in Spain as I was originally struggling to look for inspiration. My confidence and desire to write have grown tremendously since starting this blog back in June and I still hope to use it to pursue other opportunities in the creative industries.

MY ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS

1. Reach out to others in the blogging community. This is the best way to make friendships, ask for advice when needed and get inspiration. Getting started is the hardest but the community is open and friendly and there are many others who would be willing to help you set up. You will find your own voice as you start to write and you can decide to design your blog based on your personal preferences to make it a platform you are proud of and look forward to checking at the end of your day.
2. Don’t be afraid to take a break when needed. Blogging is hard work and it is especially difficult when life gets in the way and we get busy or stressed. It’s sometimes better to step away and take a much needed break instead of writing when you have no inspiration or no time. Scheduling helps a lot here, and if you’re someone like me, knowing that your post is ready to go live at an especially hectic time of your life is usually a huge relief. However, if you prefer to write when you feel like it, know that your blog and your followers will be here for you when you come back from your break and that your mental health is always more important.

NOMINATIONS

These are some of the brilliant bloggers whose posts I have loved recently and I would like to give this award to:

Krisha

Meggy

Amy

Nicole

Shruti

Jennifer

Katie and Dee

Kristina

India

N S Ford

Inge

Stephen

Sophia

Grace

Sarah

Thank you again to Kaleena and Molly for the award and thanks to everyone who has read this post. I look forward to reading how others got started and their advice to new bloggers. If you have already published a post of this award before please leave me a link, I would love to read it!

 

Book review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Book Cover

Title: Then She Was Gone

Author: Lisa Jewell

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital

Publication date: 27th July 2017

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Summary:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

My review:

To give you an idea of just how gripping this book was, I read it in 2 sittings – the first on a flight and the second as soon as I arrived home. I was already aware of the hype surrounding Lisa Jewell and her books and felt compelled to read it after it was recommended to me by Stephen (many thanks for the recommendation!). As soon as I started it I felt compelled to find out what happened to Ellie and who was responsible for her disappearance. Storytelling is Lisa Jewell’s main strength and I was impressed with the varying changes of scene and narrators, especially as this also presented the perfect opportunity for the reader to understand each character’s motive and involvement in Ellie’s disappearance.

Original and captivating from the very beginning, this book is very different to most recent thrillers because there are many hints of the kidnapper from the start and it becomes more apparent as the events unfold that our suspicions were right. Nevertheless, the author used this technique to her advantage and created a unique story, both character and plot driven, which ultimately delivers in nearly all respects. There was never a chapter where the character’s emotions were not fully analysed and despite identifying the culprit from early on, I felt compelled to carry on reading until the end.

My only complaint about this book, and also the reason to downgrade to a 4-star rating, revolves around the slightly far-fetched events involving Ellie’s disappearance. (I don’t want to give too much away here but if you have read the book you would probably know which part I am referring to.) Despite this shortcoming, I was still able to warm to the characters and appreciate the plot, thick with suspense as Laurel’s story line developed in ways I didn’t anticipate. The epilogue was bittersweet and perhaps the most near-perfect scenario in such delicate and somber circumstances. I greatly enjoyed this mystery and have already made plans to read some of Lisa Jewell’s other books.