One Hell of a Year

One Hell of a Year

A Reflection on 2015

2016 Bring it on Frame

One hell of a year. Some years are better than others, but I am so happy to see the New Year on the horizon as 2015 has been one of the tough ones. One hell of a year.

The highs were incredible, my daughters both achieving so well in their studies, my husband landing his dream job, a family wedding combined with a trip to the Cape, my relationship with my sisters blossoming and many fun hours spent in their company.

The lows were hard, we almost lost a daughter and a parent. An ocean between our marriage at a time when we needed each other the most.

But here we are. Survivors. Our little nuclear family reunited for the December summer holidays, travelling to South East Asia and exploring a foreign country which will be home for a while.

I want to shake off the negativity but am finding it hard to find the energy. Depression, like an ever-present monster on my shoulder, rears its ugliness just when I should be the happiest. It clouds my life, seeping into every crevice. Binding my creativity, strangling my voice, snuffing out any spark of self-confidence.

Arguably there are many ways to calculate stress, but is it something that can be counted?

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale found at Mindtools gives a quick test to check personal stress levels according to your environmental and personal changes.

If stress is calculable and if this scale is correct it is no wonder I am bushwhacked.  Scoring way off the charts, it looks like meditation is in my immediate future… or champagne and chocolate.

Could I have my cake and eat it? It is Christmas after all.

Why I Hate the Sneak Peek

sneak peek

Why I Hate the Sneak Peek

We are talking about sneak peeks, one of my bookish pet peeves, the few chapters of the author’s next book found at the back of the book you’ve just read…  

What I wish publishers knew? They are a waste of time! Well, I think so anyway.

I don’t read them and here’s why…

It’s the feels

When I’ve just finished a book I want time for the story to soak in, time to revel in the experience before I start another book. Depending on the book I’ve just finished this may last a minute or an entire day.
What I don’t want is another book experience, especially one that I haven’t chosen myself.

I feel cheated

But most of all – it’s that feeling that a book I am enjoying still has a while to go… While reading, especially a physical book, I have an idea of how much more of the story I can look forward to by the thickness of the unread part. When it’s a really good book I feel cheated that it ends way before the pages end…
Surely I am not alone in this?

I want it all

If I loved the book I’m going to want to read more of the authors work. But I want to read a whole book. What’s the point of reading a few chapters and then having to wait until I can get my hands on the book? I would prefer to keep the specialness of starting a new book written by a really good author to when I can actually finish the book!

What do you think? Do you read the sneak peeks? Love them / hate them?

 

More about the things I think authors and publishers knew here

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Pointe crop

Pointe was one of those books that you know you’re going to love before you’ve even finished the first page. It felt like coming home, the writing warm and soothing. This did not stop the story from packing a powerful punch. The blurb and hype surrounding the story tried to prepare the reader, but I am still reeling in shock…

Despite a slight slump at the conclusion the story was dramatic and delivered just how I like it – rich smooth writing and a plot revealed in short bite-size pieces keeping the reader on their toes.

I like to describe the books I read in words summing up my emotions and thoughts as I read. This story floated between beautiful, sad, gritty, lonely, tough, mesmerising, shocking, wistful, longing…

Theo’s repetitive thoughts swirling through the story were both frustrating and realistic. She reminded me a lot of myself at the same age, so desperate for love that I sought it in all the wrong places.

Go and get this book! Read it, share it and let me know what you think. 5 Star

Recommended age: 13+

 

Title: PointePointe
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publication Date: 4 August 2015
1st published April 2014
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book:
Amazon.com
Amazon UK
Book Depository
Loot.co.za

Add to your shelf:
Goodreads

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. 

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

I am thankful for libraries

I am thankful for libraries.

I am thankful for libraries.

In every new town we move to one of the first things I do is register with the local library. When I look back over the places we have lived, I remember each library so vividly I could probably find my way around them in the dark. I guess it’s no wonder I became a librarian myself!

There have been big libraries and small libraries, in one case it was a library caravan, but here’s just one place we lived in where there was no library and that’s a tiny little village in the centre of Sumatra, Indonesia. When we lived there I had to beg and borrow and steal books. I loaded my suitcase with books on return from every trip home to South Africa, I paid exorbitant prices to ship internationally (I didn’t know about Book Depository then), but best of all was Singapore. From big brand bookshops to my favourite second-hand bookshop tucked away in a side street, I was in heaven.

We are returning to that little village in Indonesia and this time I am older and possibly wiser. There will be Book Depository, there will be Kindle‘ing, there will be AudioAudible‘ling, there will be begging, borrowing and stealing… and I know that I will never feel that desperate, sick feeling of having nothing to read next. That feeling when you long to read, but know if you do your book will be finished and there is nothing lined up to replace it. I never want to experience that again.

As a school librarian for the last ten years, I have had access to more books than I could possibly ever read, but in preparation for the big move I have resigned and found myself back at the little library in our tiny South African town.

Walking in, after shielding my eyes against the harsh orangey yellowy glare, I was surprised to see how popular it was. (read: I walked in, tripped over a table leg and brought down a whole display stand causing mayhem). I wondered over to the YA section and although it is just one tiny bookshelf I was really impressed to see the titles are pretty recent. Go our library!

What’s your local library like? Do you use it? Have you ever had that awful nothing to read feeling? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you.

An insider tip 

The better the borrower statistics the better chance the librarians will be able to get more funding to buy more books. So wherever you live, support your local library, if you have one, and remember to say hi and thank you to the librarians who make it all happen.

These Books Should Be Adapted to Movies

These Books Should Be Adapted to Movies

movie

I love movies almost as much as I love books. Okay that’s not quite true, but I do like movies. A lot.

These are the books I can’t wait to see adapted to film…

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor 

This book will remain one of my favourite reads forever. Rich and memorising with unique, enchanting characters.

Once upon a time a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burnt the doorways to their world and she was all alone…

Do I want to see them on screen? Yes and no. . . The story line full of complex, interweaving layers and I would be so heartbroken if the movie was a disappointment. But I’d still watch it. I think.

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein 

I adore WWII books and movies, and this story is one I am so glad I read and would watch the movie over and over again if it was made. I need this movie. Where’s my fairy godmother?

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. . . 

I can’t say much because I don’t do spoilers but don’t miss this book. It may start a little slowly, but it doesn’t end that way… Read it now before the movie is made.

 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis 

I don’t really like Sci-Fi but every now and then I am blown away. This story was totally unexpected with unpredictable with twists and turns. I loved the whole series and hope it’s adapted to movie.

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

 

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

A local South African hero, this true story deserves to be seen. The beautiful African bush and the graceful and intelligent elephants would look so good on screen.

He was the herd’s last chance of survival – notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn’t take them.

I have no idea why it’s not a movie. No elephant actors you say? What about elephant puppets, it worked for the stage production of War Horse…

 

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr 

Beautiful and frightening, this Faerie world overlappings our human world. Beware – follow the rules or things will never be the same again.

Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries. 
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.

There are just not enough Fae movies – at least not dark, sinister ones…

 

Reckless by Cornelia Funke 

Another brilliant, magical and dangerous world. Find it through a mirror… If you dare.

Dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and cause chaos to rule forever….

Woah! Yes. Please.

 

The Ruins of Gorlan – Ranger’s Apprentice #1 by John Flanagan

Ranger’s Apprentice is one of the most popular series in our school library. Readers of both gender aged from ten to eighteen fight over the battered copies. The books have been read more often that they can last and the pages are literally just holding on with a lick of glue.

The Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people.

 

Mice by Gordon Reece

This psychological thriller is quirky and full of dark comedy.

On the eve of Shelley’s sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace and something inside Shelley snaps.

I loved it and it would translate to screen so well.

 

Defiance by C.J. Redwine 

A fast paced plot, a strong, feisty female protagonist and a dragon that puts all the dragons that came before to shame. What’s not to love?

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, they discover a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

 

Banished – The Blackhart Legacy #1 by Liz de Jager 

Another fast-paced fantasy, this time with a feisty heroine and an enchanting Faerie prince. Add betrayal and treachery and this would make a movie worth watching.

Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…

 

These books should be adapted to movie…. What do you think? 

Would you vote for any of these or do you have the perfect book for a movie adaption? I would love to hear about it.

Top Ten Tuesday reduced

 

Top Ten Tuesday is created by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week Theme is Book To Movie Adaptations.

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