April Wrap Up…

Welcome to my April Wrap Up. I had a great reading month, finishing 8 books (amazingly 5 books off my TBR). I also received 7 ARC’s this month, and I continued my new goal of reading 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Shakespeare Sonnets, as well as 5 Brother’s Grimm fairy-tales, and 3 ‘books’ from Les Miserable by Victor Hugo. I hope to keep this up every month for the rest of the year. I guess we will see if that actually happens.

I have reviews up or coming up for these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my April Wrap Up…

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: This book was mind-blowing. I honestly can’t describe just how amazing this book was. This whole series was an absolute joy. This book was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I laughed, I cried and I spent the entire book on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved this series and I am genuinely sad that this is the final book.

What’s At The End Of This Piece Of Rope by Tania Cox: This lovely little children’s book is perfect for reading out loud with young children. With a nice array of animals for children to follow along with. This book is amazingly illustrated by Jedda Robaard. If you have young children in your life, this book is the perfect addition for their bookshelf.

Malory Towers: First Term by Enid Blyton: I honestly forgot how much I loved Enid Blyton. This book was an absolute joy to read. I started and finished this book with a smile on my face. I cant wait to read more Enid Blyton books.

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds: I didn’t love this book. The illustrations by Dan Santat’s illustrations were amazing and really made this book. There wasnt really much of a story so to speak, so if it wasnt for the illustrations there really wouldn’t have been a book to read.

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely: This book surprised me. I didn’t know if I was going to like it. It was a little slow at the begin but once it picked up I was completely invested. It was such a new sort of book for me to read and I really enjoyed it. I hope this isn’t the last we see of these amazing characters. I want more.

The Astonishing Colour Of After by Emily X.R. Pan: I had mixed feelings about this book the entire way through it. I think I was concerned that there was so much going on and I didn’t know how it was going to come together. I really didn’t need to worry, it was a wonderful book that I am so glad that I read.

Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling: This book was amazing. I couldn’t put it down. It was easy to read, with great explanations and comparisons and amazing graphs and illustrations. This is a book that everyone should read.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I loved this book. It took a bit for me to realise just how amazing this book was. After a slowish start I couldn’t put it down. This has to be one of the best Historical Fictions I have ever read. I cant wait to read Elizabeth Wein’s other books.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Sonnets in April, I also read 1 Shakespeare Poem. I read the following Shakespeare Works This Month:

King John

The Passionate Pilgrim

Sonnets 31-40

Les Miserable: For those who don’t know this novel, it is broken up into character sections with each character section containing ‘books’. Within each of these books are chapters. These ‘books’ come in various sizes, it is just the luck of the draw really. I hope to read 3 ‘books’ each month. I have read the following ‘books’ this month:

Marius:

– Book 2: A Grand Bourgeois

– Book 3: Grandfather And Grandson

– Book 4: The ABC Society

Brother’s Grimm: I am happy to say that I not only completed my goals of reading 5 Brother Grimm Fairy Tales in April, I doubled it. I read the following Tales this month:

The Skillful Huntsman.

Old Hildebrand.

The Singing Bone.

Maid Maleen.

The Robber Bridegroom.

Fitcher’s Bird.

King Thrushbeard.

The Jew Among Thorns.

The Old Beggar Woman.

The Elves.

Fair Katrinelje And Pif-Paf-Poltrie.

That’s it for my April Wrap Up. I hope you all had a great reading month. Let me know what you guys read this month in the comments section.

Until my May Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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Darker by E.L. James

‘Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.

But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself. Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?

And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?’

This book surprised me.

Retelling the story of 50 Shades Darker from Christian’s point of view instead of Ana’s. I really enjoyed seeing Christian’s point of view, I actually preferred Christian as a narrator over Ana.

I really loved seeing what was going on in Christian’s life and seeing the minor characters in Ana’s story becoming more important in Christian’s story.

Christian’s point of view is much darker and haunting then Ana’s and I really felt for him in a deeper way while reading this book. Seeing him battle with his inner demons whilst dealing with nightmares and the trauma of his childhood made for some really emotional reading.

I understand why people have issues with this book, the plot is the same so you do know what is coming and where it is going, but honestly, that doesn’t take away from the heart of this story.

I genuinely believe Darker is the best book in the series, both original and new books.

E.L. James did a fantastic job in capturing the emotional turmoil that Christian goes through in this story, as well as solidifying the relationships between him and his family and friends. These relationships have a completely different feel in this book and I really appreciated these changes.

Darker by E.L. James is not to be missed. In fact, it may just surprise you.

ANZAC Day Reads…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. As today is ANZAC Day, I have decided there is no better time to go through my ANZAC Day reads. I hope you all enjoy.

So without further ado, let’s jump into my ANZAC Day Reads:

ANZAC Day Parade by Glenda Kane: This beautiful little book tells the story of ANZAC Day being told to a child from a Veteran. Not only is the story beautiful and heartfelt but the illustrations are absolutely breathtaking. This book is the perfect way to explain ANZAC Day to young children.

The Western Front by Peter Cochrane: This amazing book is filled with Photographs, maps, letters and information gathered during the Western Front campaign during World War 1. I learnt so much from reading this book, if you are looking for a book to read about the First World War, this is the book for you.

A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart: I absolutely loved this book. This amazing book tells the fictionalised story of Australia’s first female war correspondent. Filled with amazing historical facts intertwined perfectly to the story being told. This fantastic book has Great characters, a fantastic story and an intriguing setting. I couldn’t put this book down, and I can’t stop raving about it. This book is a must read this ANZAC Day.

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle: This fantastic book brings to life the beloved Australian song perfectly. The layout and pacing of this book is amazing and the beautiful illustrations perfectly compliment the song. This book is a must have for all Australian Households.

ANZAC: Australians At War by The Currawong Press: This amazing book is overflowing with information. With information about  Australian’s at War from the World War’s to Vietnam and Peace keeping operations, this book has everything you need to spark an interest in Australia’s military History. This is one of my favourite books, I have read and consulted it many times.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. As usual if you have read any of these books or you have any recommendations for me, hit me up in the comments section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

What’s At The End Of This Piece Of Rope by Tania Cox

‘A little girl spots a piece of rope. She wants to find out what’s at the end of it, but it’s too heavy to pull by herself. One by one, the friendly jungle animals offer to help. Working together, they solve the mystery and discover what’s really at the end of the rope.’

This book was really beautiful.

This delightful little book is perfect for reading aloud with young children. It’s rhyming and repetitive writing makes it easy for children to follow and engage with.

A fun and entertaining read. I can definitely see this book being a favourite bed time read for many young children and their families.

Tania Cox’s wonderful story is perfectly complimented by Jedda Robaard’s amazing illustrations. This beautiful book would not be what it is without the combination of these two talented artists.

Jedda Robaard’s illustrations will instantly capture the imaginations of readers both young and old, pair these illustrations with Tania Cox’s lyrical writing, and you have a dynamic duo and a truly enjoyable reading experience.

What’s At The End Of This Piece Of Rope by Tania Cox, illustrated by Jedda Robaard is a wonderful addition to every childs bookshelf.

The Dream Handbook by Jane Teresa Anderson

‘Your dreams contain wisdom and insight about your waking life – that’s why they are so important. Using THE DREAM HANDBOOK you can discover the meaning of your dreams and nightmares, and then apply the dream alchemy practices to create positive life change.

Included is information about how to:

– stop uncomfortable recurring dreams
– identify emotional obstacles and release them
– create more fulfilling relationships
– discover your talents and life purpose
– heal the past
– work with the emotions and feelings in your dreams
– transform fearful dreams into loving visions
– tap into your creative source
– identify your spiritual lessons and move forward
– use your dreams to strike personal and spiritual gold
– design your own dream alchemy practices.

We all dream – and quite often we wonder if our dreams mean anything. As it turns out … they do! THE DREAM HANDBOOK will help you decode your dreams and provides amazing dream alchemy practices to transform your life.’

This book was awesome.

Jane Teresa Anderson did an amazing job with this book. The layout was fantastic, you can read it from front to back like I did or you can just go to the contents and find a dream that relates to you. As I plan on using this book for future reference, the ability to just look up my dreams as I need them is something I am very excited about.

The writing in this book was really easy to understand which made for a really enjoyable and fairly quick reading experience.

Each dream has a set of dream alchemy practices that are simple yet insightful tasks to help you with your dreams. Whether helping you to understand what you’re dreaming about or something to help you move past what is causing you to dream these particular dreams.

I have yet to actually try any of the dream alchemy practices, but I honestly already feel better about my dreams just by reading this book. I cant wait to put some of these practices in place.

The Dream Handbook by Jane Teresa Anderson is a must have for anyone interested in or trying to understand their dreams.

Earth Day Reads…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. With Earth Day coming up this Sunday, I have decided to use that as my theme for this weeks post. This list is a mix of book that came to mind when I thought about Earth Day. In order to keep this post at a reasonable length I have narrowed it down to five books.

So without Further ado, lets jump into my Earth Day Reads:

wed 18/4/18

The Lorax by Dr Seuss: This is my favourite Dr Seuss book. A perfect book to include this Earth Day. “Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.” I loved the message this book has, blend that with amazing illustrations and Dr Seuss’ unique style and this book is a must read this Earth Day.

Adventures Of A Young Naturalist by Sir David Attenborough: This is a fantastic autobiography that will not only entertain but educate you. I love David Attenborough and the way he looks at the world and the animals in it. This book was a joy to read. If you are a fan of David Attenborough, Animals, Nature or great autobiographies, then this is the book for you.

The Origin Of The Species by Charles Darwin: Darwin’s theory of natural; no being or species has been specifically created; all are struggling for existence, with extinction looming for those not strong enough. Revealing the complex mutual existence between animal and plant life, climate and environment, all within the human world. This book was extraordinary. This was the first book I added to this list for Earth Day. If you have read this amazing book, you should get yourself a copy now.

The Handbook: Surviving And Living With Climate Change by James Whitmore: Climate change has arrived, and it’s not going away.  The Handbook is not another book about climate change science or politics, it is an intelligent guide, for all of us who feel helpless and want to know in a practical way what we can do now. This book is both practical and philosophical. It can be read cover-to-cover, or dipped into when you need specific advice. This book might just change your life. A must read for everyone.

An Anguished Cry For Our Endangered Planet by Gladwin Das: This amazing, eye-opening book is written as a plea. It is a call for nations across the world to come together to stop the ruinous course that we have taken, and help nurture this planet into a beautiful home for all humans and all life forms for millions of years into the future. I loved this book, I couldn’t think of a better book to include on my Earth Day List.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. As usual if you have read any of these books or you have any recommendations for me, hit me up in the comments section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Little Whale by Jo Weaver

‘Little Whale has never seen the cold, rich waters of the north. She and her mother travel from the warm southern ocean, passing coral reefs, kelp forests and shoals of shimmering fish – with her mother guiding her and protecting her all the way home.’

This book was absolutely beautiful.

I honestly don’t know if I have enough words in my vocabulary to describe this amazing book.

This delightful story follows a whale and her calf as they migrate north to their home. This story was really sweet and really well told, but it was the illustrations that really made this book unforgettable.

The blue infused charcoal drawn illustrations were absolutely breathtaking. I could not stop staring and devouring each and every page. I would like to say that the illustrations perfectly complimented the story being told, but it’s actually the other way around. The story perfectly complimented the amazing illustrations.

This is one of the best children’s books I have ever seen. Even though it is a children’s books, the beautiful artistry on display really makes this book perfect for readers of any age. This book is such a master piece that it really will be appreciated by anyone who is fortunate enough to pick it up.

This is the first book by Jo Weaver that I have seen, but after reading it I know for a fact that it will not be the last. I feel so honored to have this beautiful book on my bookshelf. I am genuinely excited to get my hands on more of her creations.

If you have a little one in your life, or you are someone who just adores beautiful books then Little Whale by Jo Weaver is the book for you.

Little Whale by Jo Weaver is a must have for all bookshelves, regardless of the age of the reader.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

‘Asha Grant came to Kerenza to escape her past. Too bad he just caught up with her.

Asha survived BeiTech’s initial assault and has been working undercover with the hopelessly outmatched resistance ever since. That, and figuring out what to do with the secret she’s stashed in the crawl space. The last thing she expected to worry about was her ex-boyfriend, but Rhys Lindstrom just landed planetside, and he’s looking finer than ever in his new BeiTech uniform. Is he her way out – or a guarantee she never gets off this frozen rock alive?

But Asha’s not the only one with problems. Her cousin Kady’s ragtag band of survivors are headed for Kerenza – without enough oxygen to last the journey. Oh, and there might be an insurrection brewing. But when have little things like that ever stopped the Illuminae Group?

Too bad time isn’t on their side. With BeiTech hurrying to repair their damaged jump gate, and a mass extermination planned for the Kerenza civilians, only a miracle could save them now. And everyone knows that miracles are just statistical probabilities … right?’

This book was MIND BLOWING!

I honestly don’t know if I have enough words in my vocabulary to describe how awesome this book was. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I laughed, I cried and I spent the entire book on the edge of my seat.

This entire series is one of a kind. I absolutly adored the first two books and I had high hopes for this book. Obsidio not only lived up to my expectations but thoroughly surpassed them.

I loved getting to see all the characters I had grown to love over the last two books band together in this book, as well as getting new characters to connect with. Bringing all of the main characters together made for an absolutly thrilling end to an amazing series.

The Illuminae Files as a whole has been one of the great series I have ever read. It was fresh, exciting and genuinely one of a kind. Having the books told through a dossier including surveillance footage, chat logs, maps, diagrams, ect, is something I have never seen before and made for a truly engaging reading experience.

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have done an amazing job with this series. I can’t think of another series that has made me feel the way the Illuminae files has. I loved the plot, the characters and the way in which these stories were told. I am just sad that this is the final book. I’m glad this series is ending on such a high but I am sad to say goodbye.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the perfect conclusion to a once in a lifetime series. The Illuminae Files is a must read series that you wont regret reading.

Dymocks Children’s Charities Book Bonus Campaign

Welcome to Wacky Wednesday. Today’s post is a little different then usual but it is something that is very dear to my heart so please continue to read.

Dymocks Children’s Charities is a not-for-profit organisation which tackles Australia’s low and declining literacy rates. All of their programs only supply brand new, quality books which the school and children choose, as they believe providing books that children want, and select themselves, is critical to building their love of reading and improving their literacy skills. In the last financial year, they provided 33,449 books to 18,463 kids across 124 locations in all states and territories of Australia. This was an increase of 47% more books than the previous year and with our help, they hope to give even more books to kids across Australia this year.

Book Bonus is an online read-a-thon for students and is linked to the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. All students have the opportunity to seek sponsorship from family and friends for the books they read for the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge and all funds raised will supply new books to schools, schools in need and students in NSW. For every dollar raised, Dymocks Children’s Charities will give $1.25 worth of new books to schools, plus an additional 25% to schools in need so they can also choose books for their students. In addition, every student who raises $200 or more will get to choose their own book for themselves.

Book Bonus 2018 has started and Dymocks Children’s Charities need our support to ensure parents in NSW are aware of this rewarding program and get their child/children involved.

If you are in NSW and want to register your child you can Register now at www.bookbonus.org.au

Please check out Dymocks Children’s Charities Facebook page while you are at it https://www.facebook.com/DymocksChildrensCharities/

Please pass on this information to help improve Australia’s declining Literacy rates.

Share this information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs and with everyone in your circle.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post today. If you can please share this information to help draw attention to this wonderful program.

❤ Gem

Happiness For Humans by P.Z. Reizin

‘Don’t tell anyone, but Jen is one of my favourite people.

(Machines aren’t supposed to have favourites. Don’t ask me how this has happened.)

Jen is sad. Aiden wants her to be happy. Simple? Except that Jen is a thirty-something woman whose boyfriend has just left her and Aiden is a very complicated, very expensive piece of software.

Aiden has calculated that Jen needs a man in her life for optimum wellbeing. And with the whole of the internet at his disposal, he doesn’t have to look far to find a perfect specimen and engineer a meeting. But what, exactly, makes human beings happy? And can a very artificially intelligent machine discover emotional intelligence in time to fix Jen’s life?’

I absolutly adored this book.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but I really enjoyed it. It was everything I wanted; smart, funny, sweet, joyful and interesting.

The whole concept of this book was really interesting and current. I loved getting to see how the AI developed and the different ‘personalities’ on display. In a world where AI is becoming a reality, It was great to get to read a book about AI that wasnt technical in nature.

I love the characters in this book; Jen, Tom, Aiden and Aisling were so fun to read about and journey with. I found something to relate to in all of these characters, which really surprised me. The characters were well-developed and real, which made it really easy to get invested in them.

I am usually not a massive fan of reading a book with multiple narrators but it really worked for this book. I also loved that the story was broken up into ‘books’. This really enhanced the story and helped with the pacing of this book.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I laughed, I cried and I finished the book with a smile on my face.

Happiness For Humans by P.Z. Reizin is a must read book that will give you a genuinely joyful reading experience.