Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History

‘A comprehensive, chronological survey of rap and hip hop from 1973 to the present by Chuck D, arguably the most influential rapper in the world.

In the more than 40 years since the days of DJ Kool Herc and “Rapper’s Delight,” hip hop and rap have become a billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon. Yet there is no definitive history of the genre-until now.

Based on Chuck’s long-running show on, this massive compendium details the most iconic moments and influential songs in the genre’s recorded history, from Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin'” to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Kendrick Lamar’s ground-breaking verse on “Control.” Also included are key events in hip hop history, from Grandmaster Flash’s first scratch through Tupac’s holographic appearance at Coachella.’

This book was awesome.

The layout of this book was absolutely perfect. Having these events chronologically placed means that you can pick an era and jump right it. I read this book from start to finish, but I will definitely be using this book as a reference book.

I loved the addition of Chuck D’s insights, it was great getting to read about his personal experiences with these artists. These scattered insights really added a personal layer to this book that I wasnt expecting.

This great book included some really beautiful illustrations. The illustrations were a real surprise to me and really added and extra layer to this already wonderful book.

I was honestly surprised by how much information this book contained. From singles, albums and videos to deaths, infighting and tours, this book really is a treasure trove of information.

Reading this book was a wonderful experience, it was like taking a walk down memory lane.

Chuck D Presents This Day In Rap And Hip-Hop History is the perfect book for any music lover, and an absolute must have for any Rap and Hip-Hop fan.




The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange―to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.’

I absolutely loved this book.

I will admit, having never read anything by Leigh Bardugo, I was nervous going into this book, I was concerned that I wouldn’t understand everything that was going on. Thankfully my fears were unfounded. I’m guessing you may get more out of these stories if you are familiar with Leigh Bardugo’s work, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t, because these stories were perfect.

I loved that I had the option to put this book down after each story, or just pick a story at random and jump in. I didn’t end up doing that, I read it from start to finish, in one sitting, I honestly couldn’t put it down.

I actually had a lot of fun reading this book, trying to figure out what fairytale each story was referring too. These fresh yet familiar tales made for a truly wonderful reading experience.

Leigh Bardugo’s amazing stories were perfectly complimented by Sara Kipin’s beautiful illustrations. Sara Kipin’s illustrations really added an extra dimension to this book. I loved that they grew and built as the stories did, culminating in a complete illustration at the end of each story.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. If you havent yet read this book, do it now.

The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo is a must have for every reader.


Name Book Tag…

This is a fun little tag I came across and thought I would add it to my wacky Wednesday posts. Using each letter of my name I have matched a book title that starts with the same letter. I have decided to only include books that I own.

So without further ado, lets jump in…


Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof

East Of Eden by John Steinbeck

Riding This Road by Joy McKean

A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart

Minefields by Hugh Riminton

IT by Stephen King

Eelectric by Adam Burnett


Kokoda Spirit by Patrick Lindsay

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

The Girl With The Lost Smile by Miranda Hart

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer


Being 14 by Madonna King

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Rory The Dinosaur Needs A Christmas Tree by Liz Climo

Kokoda by Peter Fitzsimmons

Elements by Theodore Gray

Ratburger by David Walliams


Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed todays post. Let me no if you have read any of these books or if you think there are any books that I havent included that I should read.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem


Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors

‘9 authors
9 stories
to make you laugh your head off again and again!

A scary shower + three twisty little pigs + a choose your own adventure + a Halloween chicken + a demonic clown + an unexpected gift + terrible twins + a famous dancing dog + a running race like no other = one hilarious book.’

This book is a great book for young readers. Given that there are nine different stories, you can pick a story at will and read it. I loved this aspect of the book. I think young readers will love being able to pick any story that they want and jump in.

I have mixed feelings about the actual stories in this book. Some were funny and engaging, whilst others just didn’t capture my interest. The fact that these stories were short and easy to read was a blessing when it came to certain chapters.

As an adult reader, I had the ability to stick with the stories that weren’t very engaging but I’m unsure if young readers will be able to do the same. I can see some of these stories being read many times, whilst others get passed over.

I think the premise of this book is fantastic, but overall for me, it just missed the mark. I can still see it being popular with young readers and their families, but I feel it had so much more potential that just didn’t get met.

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors is out now.



Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

‘World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.’

I absolutely adored this book.

As someone who loves History, I have read countless books about World War 2 and the tragedies that happened during the War. Given my love of the subject, I was astonished that I had never heard anything about the Wilhelm Gustloff.

I knew going into this book that it was a Historical Fiction, yet after completing it, I had to do some research to try to understand why I had never heard anything about this immense tragedy.

Ruta Sepetys did a marvelous job with this book. Having the story told through the eyes of four completely different characters, from different backgrounds but with one ultimate goal, made for an extremely emotional reading experience.

Ruta Sepetys ability to weave fact and fiction together is truly remarkable. The Wilhelm Gustloff tragedy is something that should be known by everyone, and Ruta’s characters give a face to the victims of this unbelievable disaster.

The story being told in this book is so incredibly heartbreaking and at times painful to read, yet even in the worst of times, Ruta shines a light on the strength and determination of these amazing characters.

This haunting book takes the reader on a truly eye-opening and heartbreaking journey through the horrors of war. Seeing these characters band together for survival, whilst trying to come to terms with their personal demons and trauma, highlights both the best and worst aspects of humanity.

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a hauntingly beautiful Historical Fiction that with take your breath away and stay with you long after the final page. The world is a better place with this book in it.




After The Fall by Dan Santat

‘How Humpty Dumpty got back up again. Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?’

I adored this book.

This beautiful book is an epilogue to the much-loved nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

This book was absolutely amazing; the story, the message and the illustrations were perfect.

With a wonderful message about over coming fear and picking yourself up after you fall, this book is perfect for young readers and their families.

The illustrations in this book were breathtaking. Not only did they perfectly compliment the story being told, they added an extra layer to it.

After The Fall by Dan Santat is the perfect book for all children and all adults that are children at heart.



Q&A with K.L. Loveley

Today we have a Q&A with K.L. Loveley. This Q&A is part of a blog tour for K.L. Loveley’s book Love, Secrets and Absolution.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

Where and when can we buy your book?

Love, Secrets, and Absolution is available via Amazon from November 1st.

Give us an insight into your main character?

The main character of Alfie is adorable and complex on a number of levels. He sees the world differently from his peers and at times suffers the consequences of this. This is a story of his coming of age and the difficulties, he encounters along his own personal journey.

Was there a particular moment or smell that sparked your idea for this book?

There was no defining moment for me. It was a germ of an idea that grew, alongside my desire to write fictional stories about real life gritty situations.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from this book?

Throughout the story we see the character of Alfie grow and develop from a baby to a teenager. Love, Secrets and Absolution’ is a coming of age story. The teenage Alfie I would like to see played by Nico Mirallegro, a young actor who played a Goth in the TV drama, Killed for being different.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always written since I was able to put pen to paper. As a child I wrote short stories, kept a diary and later a journal. In terms of becoming a published writer, this was always my dream. I guess, in answer to your question, nature decided that I was to become a writer. It is in my blood.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

Once again, I can honestly say that there was no trigger for me to sit down and write. For some reason, I felt driven to do so.

Do you have a special time or place where you like to write?

This is an easy question for me. My husband and I own a narrowboat. This is my special place to write. The best time of day is when the natural light shines through the windows, which is usually anytime until late afternoon, depending on the time of year.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No, not at all. I write as much or as little as time allows or for as long as my inspiration continues to flow.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I always write directly on my laptop, using Microsoft Word.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from a variety of sources. For example: a current public health concern, such as an increase in children’s mental health conditions or a reported change in women’s drinking habits. In addition, I might read an article in a newspaper or magazine that inspires me to fictionalise a topic that may be of interest to readers.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

Generally, I have a rough outline in my head. As the characters within the story develop, so does the plot. Sometimes, I surprise myself and develop a subplot that enables me to expand the story, which hopefully, the readers will find interesting.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Some would say that it is the isolation of working alone. However, for me this is not the case. What I find hard, is ensuring that my husband does not get too lonely while I am frantically typing away at my keyboard.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

These days I would say that the use of the keyboard has made writing easy, along with spell check and Grammarly as virtual assistants. Goodness knows, what it was like, to write everything free hand.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not yet, thank goodness.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Having not experienced it, I am not in a position to advise. However, should this occur, I guess that I would take a short break from writing, do a spot of travelling and try to find inspiration from life in general.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I am currently reading The Mistake written by another Nottingham author. K L Slater.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

Social media has opened up a whole host of opportunities that were otherwise not available in terms of marketing. In a nutshell, I think that used correctly, social media is amazing.

How do you relax?

Reading, sewing, swimming and socializing with family and friends. I also enjoy watching a good drama on TV and going to the cinema.

What is your favourite book and why?

Anna Karenina, written by Leo Tolstoy. It is so profound and well written. A sentimental tragedy full of love, passion and drama.

Which writers inspire you?

There are many wonderful authors, both male and female. However, when asked to name an author who I truly admire, I turn to history and nominate Jane Austin, who died at the early age of forty-one in the year 1817.

By today’s standards, such a short life and yet, her writing suggests a life well lived, in terms of the experience she poured into her books.

As a woman, dependent first on her father and then her brothers in terms of her financial security, there is no doubt, that her writing was, both a means of escapism and a desire to provide her own income. Considering that she was the daughter of a clergyman, I am in awe of the width and sophistication of her observations. I would imagine that Jane was exposed to a limited amount of acquaintances, bearing in mind the limitations of her social circle. Despite this and other variables, she created such interesting characters, who to my mind, are as interesting today as the time they were written

What is your favourite quote?

To thine own self-be true’. Polonius in Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare.

What is your favourite film and why?

There are so many good films to choose from, however for some reason the one that constantly springs to mind is, The Shawshank Redemption. A 1994 American drama film, written and directed by Frank Darabont. The reason I love this film, is linked to the word ‘redemption’.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The truth is, if only I knew back then, what I know now would I have done things any differently? I have no regrets; therefore, my advice would simply be. “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing will be alright”. Lyrics from Three Little Birds, written by Bob Marley.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Our Queen Elizabeth, so I could congratulate her on a job well done.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austin. Because it is a great classic and timeless.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never give up trying.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Just a huge Thank you.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: Twitter: @K_L_Loveley Facebook: Goodreads: Google + LinkedIn:

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s Q&A. Dont forget to check out Love, Secrets and Absolution by K.L. Loveley.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Girl With The Lost Smile by Miranda Hart

‘Chloe Long has lost her smile. She’s looked everywhere for it. (Under her pillow. Under her bed. Under her nose. Obviously.)

She’s tried everything to bring it back. (Her favourite cake. Her favourite gran. Her favourite joke. Obviously.) But nothing seems to be working!

Until one night, something utterly magical happens – and Chloe finds herself on an adventure that is out of this world …’

I absolutely loved this book.

Miranda Hart has done a fabulous job with this book. This amazing story will take the reader on a magic journey that warms the heart.

Miranda Hart’s wonderful story is perfectly complimented by Kate Hindley’s beautiful illustrations.

In a time when the world seems like such a dark and scary place, Miranda Hart brings us a fantastic book that highlights the importance of hope, optimism and imagination.

As an adult reading this book, I felt so much joy and optimism. This book left me with the warm and fuzzy’s. I can only imagine the joy this book is going to bring to young readers and their families.

I have no qualms in saying that The Girl With The Lost Smile by Miranda Hart is one of the best children’s books I have ever read.

If you have a young reader in your life, do them a favour and get them this book. I would be genuinely shocked if it doesn’t end up being one of their favourite books.

Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf 

Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to her long time neighbour Louis Waters. Both Addie’s husband and Louis’ wife died years ago, leaving Addie and Louis living alone in empty houses. With adult children who have long moved away from their childhood homes in Holt, Colorado, Addie and Louis are terribly lonely, with no one to talk to. After Addie’s unexpected visit the bold proposition that came with it, the duo embark on a love story at a time when they both believed their lives were all but over.

I absolutely adored this book.

This is by far one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It was simple, delicate and completely moving.

The overwhelming humanity and kindness of these characters made for a truly emotional reading experience. The tenderness that these characters radiate touches your heart and draws you into this story from the start.

The story itself is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. With such emotion radiating off the pages, the addition of perfectly timed humour really grounds this book.

Our Souls At Night is Kent Haruf’s final novel, yet my first time reading his work, but certainly not my last time.

I havent stopped raving about this book since I read it, I have recommended it to everyone I know. I honestly can’t think of a bad word to say about this book.

Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf is a once in a life time book, and I am a better person because of it.

By Your Side by Kasie West

‘When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?’

A cute story partially set in a bookworm’s heaven.

The setting of this book is like my dream come true. Who doesn’t want to be locked in a library over the weekend with a cute boy? As soon as I heard the premise of this book, I just had to get my hands on it.

I absolutely loved that Kasie West tackled mental illness in this book, with one of the lead characters suffering from an anxiety disorder. As someone who suffers from anxiety I really love that these issues are starting to be discussed more openly.

As someone with anxiety I am often critical of how it is portrayed, given that, I can honestly say I was extremely pleased with the way Kasie West approached the topic and how Autumn, Dax and the other characters handled it. I think it was perfectly described, I only wish I had this book when I was a teenager.

Now on to the characters, mainly Autumn and Dax. I really loved the relationship between these two characters. It was cute and sweet yet still felt grounded and real. With some truly beautiful scenes playing out between these characters. I also really loved the dialog between Autumn and Dax, especially the way it changed depending on the subject matter being discussed.

I loved the blend of darker themes and lighter moments. The darker themes really helped to build a well-rounded picture of these characters. These darker themes were perfectly complimented with lighter, more playful moments that helped to stop this book from becoming too heavy.

Now on to my issue with this book. I felt cheated by the lack of time spent in the library. Going into this book, given its synopsis, I was expecting the majority of the story to take place in the library. That did not happen. By three-quarters into the story the characters escape the library.

Given the premise of this book I was not happy about this development. I understand that the whole book couldn’t take place in the library, but I was expecting far more time to be spent in the library.

Unfortunately for me, the abrupt departure from the library so early in the story really bothered me and kind of ruined the book a little. I was annoyed and that effected my interest in the story.

Whilst I still enjoyed the remainder of the story, I wasnt nearly as excited as I had been. I think if I had of gone into this book without knowing the premise I would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.

By Your Side by Kasie West is a cute, sweet story, partially set in a library. If you go into this book knowing that you will absolutely love it.