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Posts tagged ‘books’

5 books that will give you all the feels

In case you don’t know, I read. A lot. And I am one of those people that actually enjoy reading books about pain and heartache and loss because I am a masochist but also because I think it helps put my own life, and my own struggles into perspective.

So without further ado, there is my top 5 list of books that will give you ALL the feels. Keep some tissues handy.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I cannot rave about this book enough. I love it to death. I think it might be my favourite book of all time.

It’s short and bitter and about two teens who sit next to each other on the school bus and fall in love. The reason I think it’s special is because it reminds me of how exaggerated everything feels at that age; how amazing the good things feel and how utterly devastating the bad things feel. It makes you remember all of your firsts; the first time someone looked at you and really ‘saw’ you, the first time someone held your hand, the first time someone kissed you and you felt it right down to your toes.

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Memorable lines:

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

“The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

In my opinion, this book is worth the hype. Why? Because John Green managed to write a book about two teenagers who have cancer and he made the cancer feel secondary; an intimidating obstacle for sure, but always second to them, and to their friendship. Augustus Waters breathed life into Hazel and it was so so beautiful to read. I will never hear the word ‘okay’ in the same way again.

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Memorable lines:

“Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said.

“Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”

“But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.”

It ends with Us by Coleen Hoover

Coleen Hoover is a Wonder Woman. I don’t think she has it in her to write a bad book but this one in particular, really got to me. It is about a woman who has experienced domestic violence in her childhood home and hated her mother for ‘allowing’ it. Fast forward a few years and she is the same position. It shows you just how easily these sorts of situations can develop and how, even if you’re strong, your limits can be eroded. What you might have thought was unacceptable a year ago can become palatable.

I loved this because it never felt simple and that is what made it real. Could you leave someone who was the best thing to every happen to you 99% of the time but also the worst 1% of the time?

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Memorable line:

“Preventing your heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them.”

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This book killed me. It was like a burning dagger to my heart that turned me into a bawling mess crying into my blanket at 1am. And that’s saying something because I have never ever wept whilst reading before.

Theodore Finch isn’t like other people. In fact he isn’t like anyone else at all. He is apologetically himself  but he seems to feel everything. His mind races at 100mph and he is constantly struggling to keep up with his own thoughts to the point where it is overwhelming. From the first page you know that he wants to die, and he’s about to do it when he realises that Violet is also standing on the belltower for the same reason. For someone so set on dying, it hit me right in the feels that he was able to talk her down.

In the months that follow, Theo still wants to die but Violet gives him a reason every day not to. In return he loves her fiercely.

I usually shy away from books like these because I think some authors try too hard to evoke emotions but I thought this was different. The ending felt both inevitable and surprising. Both beautiful and tragic. Both necessary and pointless.

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Memorable line:

“You have been in every way all that anyone could be.… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.”

The above is actually an extract from Virginia Woolf’s suicide note which is one of the most bittersweet things I have ever read.

If I stay by Gayle Foreman

The premise of this story is deceptively simple; Mia loses her entire family in a car crash and she is hanging on by a thread in intensive care. She has one choice to make; should she follow her family or should she stay?

This is not one of those books which is like oh love conquers all, she has her grandparents and her friends and her boyfriend, of course she’ll stay. It is messy and it is honest and it is vulnerable. I really appreciated that it was not clear cut. The snippets of her life as she knew it versus her life in real time were interwoven so compellingly that it made Mia and her choice feel real.

Image result for if i stay book

Memorable passage:

“It’s okay,’ he tells me. ‘If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.’ His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. ‘But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.’

Okay who is cutting onions god dammit?!

Over and Out!

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100 things that encapsulated my 2016

I haven’t posted in months and months but I still wanted some way to remember this year so here goes:

  1. 67
  2. 1Million Dance Studios – Mina Young, Sori Na, Lia Kim, May Jay Lee
  3. A dose of cyanicism and realism
  4. Accounting… pensions accounting
  5. Andy Murray’s success
  6. Anna and the French Kiss: “I wish for the thing that is best for me.”
  7. Bailey Sok – the girl with more swag in her finger nail than I have in my entire body
  8. BATMAN Wifi
  9. Beyonce’s Lemonade – and absolutely shutting down the VMA’s with her world class performance
  10. Black Scholes formula
  11. Brexit
  12. British success at the Olympics
  13. Busting my knee at the traffic lights and nearly getting run over
  14. Candy Crush
  15. Dodgy Wrist
  16. Drarry – still my OTP
  17. Dubsmash
  18. Dyeing my hair and actually pulling it off
  19. Elementary… and liking it more than Sherlock ssshhh
  20. Eleanor and Park: “…and his eyes were so green they could turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.”
  21. Escape the room
  22. Facebook
  23. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the awe of watching this at the IMAX
  24. Fear of being alone
  25. Fear of marriage
  26. Fear of settling
  27. Feedback and feedback on feedback
  28. Feeling sexy in gold heels
  29. Forgetting dates, like all the time.
  30. Getting fat, so fat that I can’t fit into some of my old clothes
  31. Goodreads and their reccomended reading lists
  32. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  33. Incidents on the Holborn escaltors
  34. Inheritance issues and family squabbling
  35. James’ and Quidditch
  36. Jersey Boys, The Four Seasons – watching it in Theatre
  37. JK’s boy drama
  38. Ju Ju on the beat
  39. LadyLuthien and Lilly
  40. Leicester City winning the Premier League
  41. ‘Lovely’ by Sarah Jessica Parker – my perfume of choice
  42. Magic Mike… in particular that one interview on Ellen…
  43. Malec – yes I’m talking about Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood
  44. Marium’s birthday party… the best party I’ve ever been to ever
  45. Masters of Sex, the TV show, don’t get your panties in a twist
  46. Memes, so many memes
  47. Micrsoft Outlook – my lifeline
  48. My CA1 squad
  49. My favourite smart trousers from Next
  50. My Iphone 5C
  51. My Iphone headphones, all hail
  52. My new fan heater
  53. My WTW Squad
  54. New watch for my tiny wrist
  55. Old Flame
  56. Our Sky Q Box
  57. Plans that keep falling through
  58. Reigate Manor Hotel
  59. Rick Stein, my favourite cooking programme presenter
  60. Rihanna ANTI – my favourite album of the year
  61. Rihanna’s work work work work they say me haffi work work work work work
  62. Sean Lew – born to dance
  63. Seeing Beyonce live at Wembley – definitely one of the best experiences of my life
  64. Semi serious marriage proposals
  65. Shakira’s engagement
  66. Shambles 1, 2 and 3
  67. Shopping at Oasis – my new favourite shop
  68. SimCity Buildit
  69. Sleeping at 2am for no reason and regretting it terribly the next morning
  70. Speed Dating
  71. SUMIF
  72. Team KC
  73. That never-ending Flu
  74. That stupid day when I got stuck and Greenford and it took me 3 hours to get home and my phone died
  75. The 140 bus
  76. The Apprentice – well done Alana
  77. The Bake- Off, both the show and the annoying move to Channel 4
  78. The Central Line
  79. The continuation of Sumaliya
  80. The Daily Mail
  81. The Diana Memorial
  82. The end of Sumalium
  83. The Exam- Takers
  84. The Garage roof contruction
  85. The horror of becoming 24
  86. The jubilation of passing CA1
  87. The Khandashians
  88. The Nae Nae
  89. The Pink Zone
  90. The return of Gilmore Girls
  91. The SIAS Ball
  92. The soap opera that was the US election
  93. Twerking
  94. Vitamin tablets, iron tablets and an inhaler
  95. VLOOKUP
  96. Weatherspoons
  97. Winning over AW – took a lot of patience and time but so worth it
  98. Wooly hat and socks
  99. WTW Purple
  100. YouTube Playlists… in particular the WTW Playlist

 

146. Heighten your reading experience

My two favourite art forms are music and literature. Both have the liberating ability of evoking emotion and transporting you to somewhere new. What’s even better I find, is combining the two.

I’m not sure how many people do this but I really enjoy having a song on repeat whilst reading. Obviously the choice of song here is important. ‘Barbie Girl’ would not be the right accompaniment to Harry Potter, say. But every so often you find a song just … clicks.

Recently I finished reading the whole Divergent series. 3 books, 3 days, standard. All the while I had this gem of a song playing in the background. It’s a cover of the 80s classic ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’ and I think it’s perfect and heartbreaking. I also think it’s appropriate for lots of stories. The Hunger Games and Monsters of Men certainly springs to mind.

Anyway hearing this song now is like a portal. It takes me straight back to the world of Divergent. I find it fascinating how our brains can associate something so strongly with music.

 

P.S It shocks me how many people don’t know how to play a YouTube video on repeat so I’ll share it here.

Say you have a YouTube video with URL:

All you need to do is replace the youtube bit with ‘listenonrepeat’ as follows:

https://www.listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=HEskmwV1pMU

Tadaaa!

Over and Out!

 

 

143. Things I Think I’m Good At

Well hello there! My term ended last Thursday and whilst I thought it would be an emotional day having my last lecture, it turns out I was just pretty darned relieved that I didn’t have any further content to revise.

Which brings me onto REVISION. I’ve only just begun and I’m already sick of it. Too much bloody content. Anyway during this rather horrible period I always feel a bit shit so I thought I’d remind myself and share with you guys that I’m not actually (completely) incompetent.

Without further ado, here is a list of things I *think* I’m good at:

  1. Candy Crush– I am GOOD at this game. I can spot a speckled candy or a packet faster than you can spot your mum. OHHHHHHHH.
  2. Formatting on Microsoft Word– I’ll have you know that this is an art form. Tables, borders, shaded cells. You name it, I can do it. I even got commended during my internship for sorting out some dodgy line spacing. Don’t mess.
  3. Remembering song lyrics– I often recite entire songs in my head when I can’t sleep. My favourites are ‘She will be loved’ by Maroon 5 and ‘Just Lose It’ by Eminem when I’m feeling adventurous.
  4. Flipping omelettes– I don’t do anything extravagant like chuck it in the air but I have perfected balancing it on the spatula and turning it over before it breaks. It’s all in the wrist action.
  5. Clicking my joints in weird and wonderful ways– Disgusted? I hope so. *clicks neck*
  6. Identifying sequences– There’s a reason I study Mathematics. I was once good at it.
  7. Acting like I’m listening when I’m not– You need to strike the balance between smiling and nodding and mhmm-ing at the right time.
  8. Enjoying my own company– I think more people need to get better at this. I am perfectly happy entertaining myself (titter). No but seriously I don’t feel alone even if I’m by myself.
  9. Reading quickly– I don’t know how many words per minute but I’m fast. I can read heavyweight books in a day.
  10. Finding good gifts– If Maths doesn’t work out, I think I could set up a successful tailored gift service. I like giving people kooky but practical things.
  11. Using keyboard shortcuts– It physically pains me to see people using their mouse to do things a keyboard could do in half the time.
  12. Not wasting money– I don’t get a high from retail therapy but I do when I see my bank statement.
  13. Being on time– not late, not early, on time. I think people who arrive early are nearly as annoying as people who arrive late.
  14. Adjusting to the situation– I can be sharp and serious when it matters, quiet when I need to be, loud when I want to be, and social if I have to.

Wowwww this list really isn’t very impressive.

Over and Out!

98. What kind of reader are you?

The Devourer

This person doesn’t read books, they devour them! Hunger Games trilogy- yeah read it in 3 days. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- read it one day. They are hellbent on finishing their book as soon as possible…
Goes to the bathroom, takes book with them. Sitting at the dinner table, takes book with them. Meeting friends? Not anymore! Cancels and reads book instead.
For that day, they are completely and utterly immersed into another world.

My Harry Potter Experience

The Slow Coach

This person is still reading the same book 6 months on, reading approximately 5 pages a day and justifying it with ‘oh the plot is super complex and there are lots of characters’. Seriously I could hand write the book in that time…

The Organised One

This reader sets a guideline ie. they decide to read between 30-50 pages each days and actually stick to it! They pace themselves and take time to savour the details.

The Commuter

They guys are always reading on the bus/train making sure all the other passengers can see how well they are using their time and looking down upon the peasants reading the Metro. That is of course unless they’re reading 50 Shades of Grey in which case they’ll replace the book cover or hide behind their Kindle. You need not have bothered- your dilated eyes and panting give you away…

The Literature Hipster

Not content with what the ‘average’ folk read, they insist on reading things like the Iliad or something in Latin. More importantly they must inform everyone what they’re reading and occasionally quote it to really dig it in. You think you’re well read- I get it. Now shut up and let me read Twilight in peace.

The ‘oh whoops spoiled it’

This happens for books that are part of a series. This person reads the first one, is desperate to know what happens next, wiki’s it (or watches the TV series) and then decides that they don’t need to read the rest of the books because they now know how it ends. Well done.

The Later Later

Gets the book, leaves on desk for 3 months, renews it 10 times and eventually returns the book having never opened it.

The Pretender

Reading the spark notes version does not count as having read the book no matter how well you know the ‘themes’ and ‘symbolism’. Cheater!

Guilty!

Illiterate

What’s a book? These idiots can’t read nothing unless it’s in chat-speak or all gangster like. Yeh sik blad. Safe safe.
Let me know when you get a job.

Over and Out!