Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 142 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”


The Review

I’ve had the Lemony Snicket Series on my Kindle for a while now. I took advantage of an offer on Amazon to buy the whole series for 99p (99p – it is currently retailing for £42!). I decided to start reading it because I needed to read a new book with my students in school, after one chapter in to A Bad Beginning I knew that this was the right book.

It is a classic story of orphaned children and insidious family members with a dollop of disbelieving adults thrown in the mix. The Baudelaire children are sent to live with their insidious uncle Count Olaf who is desperate to get his money on the Baudelaire fortune and he will do absolutely anything to get it. Anything.

If you like your books to have high drama and high jinx then A Bad Beginning is the book for you. I’m off to read the sequel.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is available now.

For more information regarding Lemony Snicket (@lemonysnicket) please visit www.LemonySnicketLibrary.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: What Would the Spice Girls Do? How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up

Author: Lauren Bravo

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Bantam Press

The Blurb

The words ‘girl power’ conjure vivid memories of short skirts and platform boots. But it wasn’t just about the look, it was about feminism.

The Spice Girls gave a generation their first glimpse of the power of friendship, of staying true to yourself, of sheer bloody-mindedness. And the girl power generation went on to kick-start a new conversation around gender equality.

We may have grown up asking What Would the Spice Girls Do?, but their particular brand of feminism is as relevant today as it was twenty years ago – we still need that fun and fearlessness, we still need accessible and all-embracing equality… we still need a zig-a-zig-ah.


The Review

At the age of thirteen I went through a life crisis. People normally have them when they are middle aged but not me. I had, what I am sure will be the first of many, my life crisis after I had started high school. Some people find high school difficult. I didn’t. I slipped right into the fold and even developed an identity. Student Librarian. I loved it but it did cost me my best friend from childhood. We had been friends since we were about five years old but when high school came along we were in different tutor groups and we had different friends and when I started spending my lunch and breaks in the library she was off with new friends – as an adult I can see that she was doing the right thing. As a child, that stung like a brother pucker.

My saviour from this pit of despair came in the form of five feisty girls who helped me find my inner diva and I guess helped me find my confidence. They were the Spice Girls.

For the purposes of total disclosure I should let you know that I did have ginger hair, got yellow blonde streaks dyed in the front and I worshipped Geri Halliwell to an almost bizarre degree. I did not look like Geri Halliwell.

I suppose what this whole diatribe is about is that whilst some people may look at the Spice Girls now and think that they are cheesy but I personally think that you cannot disregard just how important that they were to a young girls on the brink of a breakdown.

Lauren Bravo has done just that. In her non-fiction book What Would the Spice Girls Do? Bravo has looked at the cultural significance of these five girls. Not just looking at the contemporary impact but the lasting impression that they made.

The book is both fun and makes you assess just how the Spice Girls helped you personally. It is a must read for the feisty feminist and music fan in us all. Bravo, Lauren Bravo.

What Would the Spice Girls Do? How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up by Lauren Bravo is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren Bravo (@laurenbravo) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bantam Press (@BantamPress) please visit www.bantam.press.

Well folks,

We are back in January. Where the heck did last year go? Let’s Hope 2019 is a great year for you all

(and myself of course).

2018 was a great year for me bookwise. I ready 240ish which is more than I normally do. I also listened to 10 audiobooks so I am quite proud of myself. Below is a list of the books I rated 5 stars this year. They are the ones I recommend the most. If you have read any of them then let me know what you thought of them.

Here we go:

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (January)
  • Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (February)
  • Everless by Sara Holland (February)
  • The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom (February)
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (March)
  • The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells (April)
  • Sunsine at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson (April)
  • A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (April)
  • Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Rebecca Albertalli (April)
  • Derby Girl by Shauna Cross (May)
  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (May)
  • The Exact Opposite of Ok ay by Laura Steven (July)
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (August)
  • While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins (August)
  • How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran (September)
  • Floored by Holly Bourne et al (October)
  • Diversify by June Sarpong (October)
  • Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by LC Rosen (October)
  • Make Trouble by John Waters (November)
  • Paper Avalanches by Lisa Williamson (December)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins (December)

I read some exceptional books and if I had to pick a favourite…ooh…ok, a top five it would have to be…top six. Yes Top Six because why not:

  • Derby Girl by Shauna Cross
  • While I Was Sleeping by Danny Atkins
  • How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran
  • How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran
  • Paper Avalanches by Lisa Williamson
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

So there it is folks. My favourite books of the year. I still read more books by women than men and I wish I had a map to mark where each of my books were set because I have travelled through books a lot. I read over 170 new authors as well as reading five classics that I thought I would never get round to reading. I also have to give an honourable mention to Anne of Green Gables which was a book that I read for the first time and absolutely fell in love with.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this year. Get involved and let me know what you have read this year.

Lis x

Ho Ho Ho People,

Well, Christmas is over and I ate far too much. That is all I have. Hope it was all merry and bright for you all and that you were gifted the gift of books…yep. I got a few.

After my November slump I got more into the reading habit in December. Here is what I read.

  • The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl (Hardback)
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (eBook – Carnegie Long List 2019)
  • Paper Avalanches by Lisa Williams (Paperbacks – Review Copy)
  • Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home (Paperback – Carnegie Long List 2019)
  • Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James (Hardback)
  • One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell (Hardback)
  • Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (NetGalley eBook – Carnegie Long List 2019)
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Staid (Paperback)
  • Should I Stay Or Should I Go by James Ball (Hardback)
  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (Paperback)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Paperback)
  • I’ll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller (eBook)
  • Us by Curtis Wilkund (Hardback)
  • The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X R Pan (Paperback – Carnegie Long List 2019)
  • What Would Boudicca Do? by Elizabeth Foley (eBook)
  • White Feather by Catherine and David MacPail (Paperback)
  • New Erotica for Feminists by Catilin Kunkel et al (Hardback)
  • Once by Morris Gleitzman (Paperback)

I was trying to get through a lot of my NetGalley books but I found that I was making myself miserable. I will get through them but in my own time. I am currently trying to get through the Carnegie long list. There are some good ones on the list

I hope your December has been great. Hope you have a brilliant new year.

Make sure you check out my post tomorrow about the best books I read in 2018.

Lis x

Title: Posted

Author: John David Anderson

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Walden Pond Press

The Blurb

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes–though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.


The Review

What would happen if a school banned all mobile phones? As someone who works in a high school I relished the idea that is presented in John David Anderson’s middle grade novel – Posted. Mobile phones are a bloody pain in the bum. The time it takes to tell the child to put it away, the subsequent argument, then the removal of the phone from the student and then the subsequent argument, then the phone call to the parent and what do you know, the subsequent argument. Yes, I feel that phones should be banned in schools.

What John David Anderson points out is that young adults are savvy, and they will find a way and in a sort of devolution the students of Branton Middle School resort to post it notes. Essentially, life goes on but in the tradition of school – kids are mean and the arrival of new girl Rose shows us jjust how mean people can be. Is the fight to get access to phones really worth it when people get hurt along the way.

I really enjoyed Posted. It shows how quickly and easily people can fall into a life of bullying and how you really need your people around you to make sure that you get through high school unscathed.

Posted by John David Anderson is available now.

For more information regarding John David Anderson (@anderson_author) please visit www.johndavidanderson.org.

For more information regarding Walden Pond Press (@WaldenPondPress) please visit www.facebook.com/waldenpondpress.