Day Out at Anglesey Abbey

Hi Readers

Today’s post is a non-book related one. Last week I took a trip around Bury-St Edmunds and Anglesey Abbey and had a lovely day with the parents and wanted to blog about my mini summer adventure.

I’m not much of a traveller. I get very anxious about going to new places and I had never been to Bury St Edmunds before. However, when I got there I was pleasantly surprised.

We went on the day of the Market and had a lovely stroll through all the stalls. I didn’t buy anything but the wonderful smells from the bakery counters was enough to make my mouth water.

The town itself is packed with so many unique and quirky shops and cafe’s, one in particular was a shop called Pocket Watches and Petticoats. It was a clothes store that sold 1940’s woman’s fashion and it just transported you. It had an old working tv and the clothes were beautiful.

There was also the ARC shopping centre, which has all the shops you could ever need, including a wonderfully large Waterstones which I spent maybe half an hour in. Honestly I could have stayed in Bury St Edmunds all day but we wanted to get to Anglesey Abbey in time for lunch.

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When we got there I was so worried because the car park was so full and I hate crowds. But the place was so huge that once you enter the walks it’s so quiet and you could go ages without seeing another soul.

The first thing we did was find a bench to have our picnic and I’ve never had a more lovely one. I had a chicken and pasta salad (if you were interested) but it’s the fact that Anglesey Abbey is so peaceful and relaxing. All of the anxiety I had been feeling about the day went away.

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We went on a few of the walks, explored the gardens and had a look around the working mill (which you can actually buy the flour from in the gift shop.)

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The house itself was beautiful and surprisingly modern. I love how relaxed it was. You could sit down on the couches, read a book in the library and take pictures. This house also has a lot of famous art which I’m not particularly interested in but a couple even I had to admire.

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I hope you all had a lovely Summer.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

August Book Haul

Hi Readers

This is my birthday month so while I didn’t actually get anything physical for my birthday (apart from the most amazing chocolate Dairy Milk Oreo Crunch, you all have to try it) I did get some money from my lovely relatives. So of course I bought books with it.

Station Eleven: Okay. I’ve heard so much great things about this. I’ve started it. And I’m not liking it. I’m putting it down for now. Will pick up again later. 

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith: This is a classic coming-of-age novel that I am very excited to read.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig: I got an earc of this and reviewed it months ago (which you can find here) but I now finally own a finished copy of this beautiful book.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell: I was very excited when this came in the mail. This was sent to me by the publisher for review and comes out in November. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt: I now own three of her books and haven’t read any. But that’s fine because I have a feeling I’m going to love this one. 

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante: You all know how much I love this series but I borrowed the last three from the library so I’m now slowly purchasing the books for my personal library. 

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Let me know if you’ve read any of these. 

Thanks for reading

Jess X

 

 

Help Me Decide What To Read This Bank Holiday!

Hi Readers

I’m having a reading crisis. I’ve not been liking ANYTHING I’ve read atm and now it’s bank holiday and I am determined to find a new favourite book. 

The weathers going to be glorious so I plan on sitting outside with a book. The only thing is, I can’t decide what book that should be!

I have 5 maybe’s. Here they are:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Past by Tessa Hadley
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood

Or, if you have any summer-y books recommendations please let me know! 

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Books From Before I Started Blogging

Note: Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and is hosted by ThoughtsonTomes on the Goodreads Group.

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Hi Readers

Today’s T5W topic is top 5 books I read before I started blogging. I have always been a big reader but I definitely never read as much as I do now. I was 14 when I first started watching booktube so most of these are children’s books.

5. My Sister Jodie – Jacqueline Wilson: I loved JW as a kid. 

4. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins: I found this because T-Swift did a song for the movie.

3. Secret Garden – Frances Hodgsen Burnett: One of my favourite childhood books.

2. Shadow Forest – Matt Haig: I read this during school. My first Matt Haig book. 

1.  Harry Potter (obvs) – J.K. Rowling: I’d read these multiple times before finding booktube.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

 

 

Revisiting Old Hauls #1

Hi Readers

Inspired by BooksandLala.

This is the beginning of a series of blog posts where I revisit old book hauls and see what I’ve read, what I’ve unhauled and what I have yet to read.

I’ve had this blog for almost three years but I’ve been hauling books online for 5 years (although the older ones are no longer available because 14 year old Jess was embarrassing.)

I’m going to start off with combining two book hauls. The first is my January book haul from 2014:

  • Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas: READ
  • Legend Trilogy – Marie Lu: READ
  • More Than This – Patrick Ness: READ
  • The Elite – Kiera Cass: READ
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor: READ
  • Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin: READ
  • Wonder – R.J. Palacio: READ
  • Shadowhunters Codex – Cassandra Clare: READ

And these are from my February/March book haul from 2014.

  • Unite Me & Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi: READ
  • Maze Runner – James Dashner: READ
  • Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness: TBR
  • Tempest – Julie Cross: Unhauled
  • Magic Study – Maria V. Snyder: TBR
  • Storm Glass – Maria V. Snyder: TBR
  • Through the Ever Night – Veronica Ross: Unhauled
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien: READ
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Nick Vizzini: READ
  • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac – Gabrielle Zevin: READ
  • Everyday – David Levithan: READ
  • Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin: READ
  • Cuckoos Calling – Robert Galbraith: READ

We’re actually starting off really well in terms of books I’ve read. It’s definitely not as bad as I thought it was. Overall we have:

READ: 19
TBR: 3
Unhauled: 2

Let me know if you think this series is a good idea. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Hi Readers

Today I’m going to review a non-fiction book that is the first in a trilogy and inspired the ITV show The Durrells. 

Corfu Trilogy

Published: 1956 

Source: Library Book

Length: 273 Pages

Goodreads Avg. Rating: 4.27

My Rating: 77/100 ****

 

This was a wonderful read. I read it during the BookTubeAThon and I just became immersed in this very British family and the shenanigans they get up to when they move to Corfu to get away from cold miserable Britain. 

Yes, British people have been complaining about the weather since post WW2.

You only have to look at the title to know that this book is going to be hilarious. The family consists of a single mother and four children, three brothers and a sister and they all had me cracking up.

Gerald (the youngest and the author) has amazing wit and wrote such a light-hearted book. I read this with a smile on my face and definitely laughed-out-loud on more than one occasion.

While I definitely read this book for the characters and the setting, this wasn’t the authors original intention, in his own words:

“It was originally intended to be a mildly notalgic account of the islands natural history, but I made the grave mistake of introducing my family into the book in the first few pages. Having got themselves on paper, they then proceeded to establish themselves and invite various friends to share their chapters.” 

I may have no love interest in nature I did love his passion for it. In his book he’s only 8 years old but to read about him studying the animals on the island is infectious. I was worried I’d find those parts boring but his writing is beautiful that I enjoyed every moment of it.

If you’re looking for your next summer/beach read, I highly recommend this one. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

 

TBR Books I Bought in 2013

Hi Readers

I have been hauling books online since 2013 and I want to start a series where I revisit them and work out what I’ve read or have yet to read. But the 2013 hauls aren’t really that interesting because I’ve read most of them (thank goodness.)

I’m going to casually set myself a rule that if I still haven’t read them by the end of this year I HAVE to unhaul them. 

These books are the few I have let sit on my shelf unread for 4 years. 

Eon by Alison Goodman – This sounded so cool when I bought it and I think I did try and read it, but now I’ve lost interest. 

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – Another that sounds really cool but I don’t know if I’m maybe too old to really enjoy this now.

Death Cure by James Dashner – Yes, I bought the last book in a series first. 

The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness – Yes I bought the second and third before the forth. I hate my past self. I’ve tried reading the first multiple times and I just can’t get into it. I may have to just let them go.

Small Island by Andrea Levy – I bought this for my A-level but never read it and it ended up being useless in the exam anyway. But it still sounds mildly interesting. 

Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin – I will definitely get to this soon. I am obsessed with the show and I’m currently rereading the first book and LOVING it. 

Let me know what you think. Are some of these just not worth reading?

Thanks for reading

Jess X