November Wrap Up…

Welcome to my November Wrap up. I had an interesting mouth of reading. I managed to finish 16 books (only 1 from my TBR pile). I was lucky enough to receive some ARC’S and I also did some of my Xmas shopping, which of course led to a nice book haul for me.

I have reviews up or soon to be up for all the books I am about to feature, so if your interested check them out. Due to the fact that I have reviews for these books im not going to go into too much detail about each of them here.

Without further ado here is November’s Wrap Up…

Create, Narrate, Punctuate by Ramy Tadros: This was an easy to follow handbook on how to be a better writer. I didn’t know what to expect with this book. But I am happy to say it was fantastic. With activities at the end of each chapter to help you put in to practise what you have just learned, This book wasn’t just informative it was fun. This book is a must have for all writers/bloggers/reviewers.

Grace and Mercy are Free, and Hope is Eternal by Diane Herbert Brownell: I didn’t really like this book. In saying that I do think it would be a great book for bible study or anyone teaching or learning religion.

Beauty and the Beast by Anne-Marie Ryan: Loved the cover and I didn’t mind the illustrations but overall just didn’t like this version.

Bambi Disney Vintage Collection: This edition of Bambi was perfect. Beautiful illustrations, an amazing cover and this version matches up with the Disney Movie. A must have for any Bambi or Disney Fan.

Alice in Wonderland Disney Vintage Collection: Beautiful cover and illustrations. A little too much of the story was removed or condensed for my liking.

Peter Pan Disney Vintage Collection: Great cover and Illustrations. The story was condensed a little but overall still a wonderful edition for a lover of Peter Pan.

Cinderella Disney Vintage Collection: Beautiful edition. Cover was beautiful, Illustrations were beautiful and the story is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.

Hamlet by Timothy Knaplam: This edition of Hamlet is written in modern english. With illustrations and some original quotes it is perfect for younger readers or anyone new to Shakespeare. Highly recommend.

The Goblin Pony by Vic Parker: This book contained a collection of darker fairy tales. Some of these were new to me so I really enjoyed them. Best for a slightly older child.

Treasury of Fairy Tales by North Parade Publishing: I loved this book. I loved the fairy tales, the lay out and the amazing illustrations. This is a definite keeper.

What is Past is Dead by Mohammed Massoud Morsi: Three men, Radical Idealism and Hashish, it sounded promising. And then it did nothing for me. It was more like a chapter taken from a larger book. Not enough substance for me to enjoy it.

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams: I don’t think David Walliams could write a bad book if he tried. This one had it all; heart, comedy, hope, friendship and just enough crazy. This is a perfect book for a middle grade reader, or to read with your younger children.

The Clock Tower Ghost by Gene Kemp: Loved this book. A cruel ghost and a cruel young girl battle it out for ultimate supremacy. This book was fun, funny and really well written. It’s not surprising it has been in print consistently since it was published in 1981.

The Turners Camp Freakout by Mick Elliot: Book 2 in The Turners Trilogy. Such a funny, cool, exciting book, just as good if not better than book 1. I was lucky enough to win a copy of the previous book and it was fantastic so I was very excited to read the second one. This is turning out to be a great trilogy. I cant wait to get my hands on book three.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Original Screenplay by J.K.Rowling: OMG OMG OMG. I was so excited to get into this, that when I started I couldn’t stop. I ended up finishing it in one day. J.K.ROWLING never disappoints. This book/screenplay is perfect. I held out from seeing the film untill after I had read this. Now im off to see the movie. If you havent read this go and get it now. You will not regret it.

Lagoona Blue and the Big Sea Scarecation by Nessi Monstrata: I won this book in a pack so I didn’t really know what I was diving into. But I am happy to say I really enjoyed it. It is based on the Monster High Dolls, So I had some idea about the ‘World’ based on the toys and stuff I had seen in the shops. I loved the mix between story and diary entries, it really broke up the story and made it a fun little book.

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Treasury of Fairy Tales/Beauty and the Beast/The Goblin Pony/Hamlet

Once again these books aren’t big enough or in-depth enough for individual reviews,which means it’s time for another four in one review. Like my last four in one I will give you some information on each book and then some notes.

Treasury of Fairy Tales by North Parade Publications. This hard cover book contains much-loved fairy tales; Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, the Gingerbread Man, Sleeping Beauty, the Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Snow White and Cinderella. Each story is short but sweet. With big bold print and beautiful illustrations. Making it the perfect collection to read to or with children.

Beauty and The Beast by Anne Marie Ryan with illustrations by Jacqueline East. I loved the cover of this book, but once inside I was disappointed. I didn’t like this version of my favourite fairytale. The illustrations were wonderful apart from the fact that Beauty was depicted as a blonde. If you don’t already have a favourite version on this story then my issues with this version won’t be a problem for you.

Tales from Shakespeare: Hamlet by Timothy Knapman with illustrations by Yaniv Shimony. This Illustrated edition was retold in modern English, making it a fast and enjoyable read. I truly loved the addition of the illustrations. I also loved the fact that important quotes from the original version were kept in this version. This book would be a great book to get young people interested in Shakespeare without overwhelming them with the old English writing.

The Goblin Pony and other stories by Vic Parker. This book contains ‘scary fairy tales’ such as The Goblin Pony, the Jelly fish and the Monkey, Tom Tit Tot, Beauty and the Beast, and the Strange Visitor. Honestly I have mixed opinions about this book. I absolutely loved the Illustrations and I did enjoy some of the stories. I was disappointed once again with this books version on Beauty and the Beast. I was also disappointed with the changes made to Rumpelstiltskin (Tom Tit Tot). Other than that I did love this book of ‘scary fairy tales’. I especially loved reading fairy tales that I was unfamiliar with. I would advise that you read this book yourself before sharing it with children because not all of these tales have a happy ending. I guess that’s why they are called ‘scary fairy tales’.

Grace and Mercy are Free, and Hope is Eternal by Diane Herbert Brownell

This little book is a collection of religious teachings and bible passages designed to bring you hope in a world where hope is scarce.

This book was a quick read. It was well set out, and easy to follow.

I feel that this book would be best used as a tool for bible study groups or church services. It is filled with references and plenty of opportunities for further reading.

I have to say this book didn’t really do anything for me. I didn’t hate it by any means. I just wasn’t really excited by it. Since it was a quick read I didn’t get bored with it. So that’s a plus. The author did a good job with the layout but the book just failed overall to connect with me.

Disney Vintage Collection 

I got these books as a four pack, and I am so happy that I did. They are absolutely amazing. The fact that they are children’s stories would usually mean that I wouldn’t bother to review them. But I couldn’t not say something about them so I am going to do a four in one review.

These books are designed to be ten minute reads, so they are a little condensed. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the stories stick to the same plots as the Disney movies, which I loved.

I will just give a brief note on each of the four books.

Bambi: With its beautiful pink cover it was Bambi that caught my eye and got me to buy this pack. All of the much-loved characters are included in this book. The thing I really love is the story wasn’t really altered in the beginning. It did however end with Bambi’s first winter. Which for anyone not familiar with the story of bambi means it ends on a happy note. Which was a lovely surprise and great for the little ones.

Peter Pan: My only negative with this one is that they never said “second star on the right and straight on till morning”. Other than that this was a great book.

Alice in Wonderland: I have a few notes on Alice. I was a little disappointed with the scenes that had been cut from this one. Tweedledee and Tweedledum only had one line and the caterpillar turned into a butterfly almost Instantly. One of the other scenes that was cut was the scene where Alice grows and gets stuck in the white rabbits house. Now I understand that these are 10 minute reads for kids but I was still sad to find these parts of the story missing.

Cinderella: I don’t have any notes on Cinderella other than; it was perfect, just as I remembered it.

Overall this collection is perfect. These books are a must have for every child and every adult that is a child at heart.

Create, Narrate, Punctuate by Ramy Tadros

As the full title states, this book will teach you how to fashion exquisitely styled sentences. Ramy Tadros has crafted a wonderful handbook that everyone should read.

It doesn’t matter if you are a student, professional, a writer or a jack of all trades, this book will help you improve your writing abilities. I read this book hoping that I could pick up some tips on writing better, not only did I find them but I also found out all the things I had been doing incorrectly.

Covering you will need to enhance your writing, from punctuation and grammar to rhetorical style, this book is an absolute gem. I will be reading this book many times in the future. I finally have the prefect writing reference book.

With a funny and engaging style, this book is not only educational but a pleasure to read. With each chapter containing great writing tasks for you to complete, you get to see your improvement as you make your way through the book.

Create, Narrate, Punctuate is a must read for all. Not only will you enjoy it, you will learn from it. Go read it now…

Enlightened Pregnancy by Luisa Magarian 

This beautiful book is great for parents, expected parents or anyone who has or is about to have a baby in their life. With poems and tasks based on Tibetan Buddist teachings to help you and your baby connect on a spiritual level.

With its step by step instructions and easy to follow explanations this book was a joy to read.

This magical book provides wonderful poems and meditations for both you and your baby.

You can re read this book many times and still feel awed by the peace that settles over you.

Enlightened Pregnancy is a must have for any adult with a baby in their life. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will all have an amazing experience sharing this journey with a little one.

Tales from the BanNana Bar by Byron George

Follow Byron George as he tries to navigate a no-strings relationship with different women whilst living in Thailand.

This book was described as erotic tales with powerful descriptions. For me it missed the mark.

The story was unappealing and the characters were one-dimensional. I just couldn’t enjoy this book.

I found the characters weak and shallow and the descriptions weren’t erotic at all in my opinion. Given that the book was set in Thailand I was surprised by how boring it was.

This story could have had potential but the setting, plot and characters were totally under-utilised.

The only shining light was the fact that it was a relatively short book, so I didn’t waste too much time on it.

I don’t really have anything else to say about this one.

November TBR…

Okay so I did my first Wrap Up in October, so it feels like November is the right time to do my first TBR. I’ve always had an issue with TBR, I never stick with the same books. I don’t no if it’s just me or if everyone has this problem. I pick my monthly reads I feel good about it, then new ARC’s arrive or I find myself in a bookshop and I always finish the month without finishing my TBR. 

In saying that the next ten books are the ones I am hoping to read this month. I guess we will know by the November Wrap Up if I succeeded in reading them. So without further ado, this is my November TBR.

Devour by L.A. Larkin.

Difficult people made easy by Eleanor Shakiba.

The mom’s guide to a good divorce by Sarah Armstrong.

Infinite Hero – the awakening by Andy Bex.

Create, Natrate, Punctuate by Ramy Tadros.

Insensible loss by Paul Michael Peters.

The Windy Season by Sam Carmody.

Two decades naked by Leigh Hopkinson.

The American by Nadia Dalbuono.

Blood & Guts by Sam Vincent.

Keep your eye out for reviews, and I will let you know how my TBR looks in my November Wrap Up. Now wish me luck..

Happy reading…

❤ Gem

October Wrap Up…

Welcome to my first ever wrap up. I’m just going to wing it here so if you have any tips or suggestions for me for next month let me know.

Okay here goes nothing…

I had a great reading month in October, managing to hit my target of ten books. If you can’t tell I am pretty pleased with myself. I have reviewed all 10 books so I’m not going to go on and on about them here. If you want to know more about my October reads the reviews for them are on my blog, if they aren’t all there they soon will be.

I kicked of the month with Revenants: the odyssey home by Scott Kauffman. Now Scott sent me this book for an honest review a i am so grateful that he did, it was awesome. A perfect book to kick off the month. The story revolves around a teenage girl who just lost her brother in the Vietnam War and is forced into working at the VA Hospital. At the hospital she discovers a mystery patient and makes it her mission to get him home. This book was so beautiful and heartfelt that it really helped me get into my reading groove this month.

#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet was a great choice for my second read of the month. A book about the trouble you can find yourself in while living in our social media obsessed world. With the perfect amount of humour, romance and craziness I couldn’t put this book down.

I have mixed feelings about this next book. The secret in their eyes by Eduardo Sacheri. It was really well written with the plot twists being revealed in the right places, I just found it a little hard to get into at the start. I will freely admit I went into this book with a bias. As this book has recently been made into a movie I thought I had an understanding of what I would be getting. I was wrong. The film has obviously made some dramatic changes to the storyline. After I got over my biases I really enjoyed this book. After the first few chapters I forgot all about the film and let the author take me on a journey. If you haven’t seen the film you shouldn’t have an issue with this book. If you have, give it a change before your right it off. It really is worth it.

The next three books are all by igloo press. Wonders of the world, people who changed the world, and events that shaped history. I truly only loved wonders of the world. I think these books would be great reference books for kids and high school students but for me I didn’t really learn anything new by reading them. The beautiful photography in wonders of the world is reason enough to buy that one. The other two I could take or leave. 

Onto Who’s the lucky guy by Samuel Mugginton. I don’t rate this book. I couldn’t get invested in it. I didn’t like the main character, the plot was too weird for me and there were too many intertwined storylines. I feel that this book could actually benefit from becoming multiple short stories instead of one novel.

The final three books this month were all quick reads. Vision of hope by Leilani Faber kicked it off with her true story of recovery from drug addiction. I really enjoyed this book. As the title states it was a vision of hope. Leilani’s story didn’t focus on the rehabilitation from drug addiction just the rebuilding of her life after drugs. I found it refreshing and hopeful. 

I really don’t have alot to say about Tales from the BanNana Bar by Byron George. I didn’t like it. The nicest thing I have to say is I’m glad it was a quick read. 

And finally I finished October on a high note with Enlightened Pregnancy by Luisa Magarian. I’m not pregnant nor am I a parent but I adored this book. Filled with poems and activities to help the reader connect with their baby, this book was just beautiful. I’m glad I finished the month with this book, it left me with a happy feeling and a sense of calm.

Well that’s it form me. If you like the look of any of these books check out my blog for full reviews. If the review your looking for isn’t up yet it will be by next week, so don’t worry.

As I said at the start this is my first wrap up so if you have any tips or you didn’t like something let me know and I will try and do better next month. 

❤ Gem

Vision of Hope by Leilani Faber

In this book Leilani Faber shares her story as a recovering drug addict. Leilani gives hope to other recovering addicts and their families while showing a realistic image of what recovery and the future look like.

One of the things I loved about this book was its focus on the recovery after getting clean. It didn’t delve into the dark world of addiction or the withdrawal process like many books about addiction often do. This book doesn’t say it’s going to be easy, in fact it shows that it won’t be. With Leilani facing legal problems, custody issues and many knock backs because of her history, while trying to rebuild her life.

This honest account of recovery is well written and optimistic. As you follow Leilani’s journey through her highs and lows the main feeling you take away from this book is hope. Hope for a better future, hope for redemption and hope that her story may help others that find themselves dealing with addiction.

As most people these days know someone dealing with addiction this book is a wonderful read for everyone.