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About Hayley

  • Rank
    Mega Bibliophile
  • Birthday 04/25/1992

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
  • Gender
  • Location:
    Birmingham (UK)
  • Interests
    Apart from reading, I like playing the guitar and writing sometimes :)

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  1. Little Pixie`s Bookshelf 2018

    Wow, great book haul! And I'm really glad you posted that picture because I saw Fated, thought 'I'm sure I've seen that before' and when I looked it up it's a book I saw ages ago and wanted to read but I'd forgotten the name of it! I got to 'magical cat' and thought ooooh, I want to read this . Bookshops, magic, mysteries and cats - sounds like an excellent combination!
  2. I'm glad it's not just me because I really felt like I should love it, I just didn't. I actually have The Well of Lost Plots to read but I've been saving it It really is a cool concept! I think that's what made it so disappointing. It should have been brilliant but it just fell a bit flat. I would still recommend trying it though, it's not a bad book, it just could have been better. The Shakespeare Curse by J.L. Carrell 3/5 (but very close to 2 1/2) This is the second book in a series (at least, I assume there are going to be more) and I honestly just didn't think it was as good as the first one. It is incredibly well researched, and the author deserves a lot of credit for that. There's even quite a long section at the back further explaining the history and truth behind some of the facts in the book. But when it came to the story telling, the characters just weren't quite right. The main character, Kate, was interesting in the previous book but in this one it seemed as though she basically got dragged around by other characters, occasionally contributing an essential piece of Shakespeare knowledge. Ben, who acted as a sort of side-kick in the last book was also an interesting character, but in this book he was so pointless I don't really understand why he was even there. I found that I didn't really care about any of the murdered people, even though I'm pretty sure you're meant to, there was just no emotional connection really. And then some of the unravelling of the mystery near the end was a bit sort of 'what? really?' but not in a good way. It wasn't a bad book because I did get really gripped by the mystery and wanted to stay up to read the next chapter and find out what would happen. But it wasn't memorable and it felt like a step back from the previous book. The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge 4/5 I picked this up in a charity shop because I loved Fly By Night by the same author. This book is completely different to that but still very unique and clever. It also turned out to be a Victorian era setting, which I didn't know before I bought it, but was a definite bonus! The book (as the cover suggests, really) has quite a dark atmosphere and, although it's obviously suitable for younger readers as well, it's very emotionally intense in parts. For example, you already know from the blurb that Faith's father is going to die, because that is a key part of the plot, but when that moment actually comes it still feels genuinely shocking. The story does have some very obvious messages. As you would expect, one is about lies and the scale of the consequences they can have. One is about women's roles in Victorian society, the way they were dismissed as less intelligent, the limited choice they have in their lives and the way men were able to control them to an extent. That was particularly interesting to me but it also played a part in the third message, which was essentially about growing up and being at that indistinct point between childhood and adulthood. The main character (Faith) sees the adult world differently, because she's not quite part of it yet, but she is also old enough to have recently begun understanding exactly what the adult world is all about, and to judge the adults around her for their actions. Even though the book is written in the third person, this perspective still comes across perfectly and it's hard not to sympathise with Faith. It is a very good book with a unique, interesting concept which is clearly written very skillfully. I have acquired a couple of new books recently because I went into a Marie Curie charity shop and they were having a 'buy one get one free' offer on books. I spotted The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zaphon straight away and had to get that because I love the authors other books and then I decided to get The Muse by Jessie Burton as the second book. I have heard good things about The Muse (and it also has a really pretty cover) but I felt so disappointed by the ending of Jessie Burton's other book, The Miniaturist, that I was a bit put off reading it. I do really like the sound of it though, so fingers crossed. I'm reading Consider Phlebas by Ian M. Banks at the moment, which I think is the first book I've ever read from the 'space opera' genre and so far so good!
  3. What a great blog! I think that article sums up the things it would be lovely to find in books representing autistic characters perfectly. It was interesting to see the authors view on Autism Speaks too, I have heard of them but had no idea about their questionable "therapies!" And as @Little Pixie said, the colours on the blog are so pretty! I love all the pictures! It's a shame you didn't like the A.S. King short stories, but at least you enjoyed all the other books you read recently
  4. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman 3/5 - I liked it I really liked the concept behind this book, particularly the interdimensional travel, which promises a range of quirky new worlds to explore. And it's about finding books, what's not to like about that!? I think I was hoping it might be a little like the Thursday Next series but it wasn't. There's actually not very much about books, apart from naming the one they're trying to find. Making up for this though is Cogman's library magic, which is essentially magic of words, both written and spoken in the special language of the library. I thought that was a nice idea. However, there were some things that I just felt held the book back from being 'wow, that was really good.' It seemed as though, while the concept was good, everything was very rushed. I don't know if maybe they tried to make the book shorter because it's categorised as young adult or something but I ended up with the impression that a lot of things could really use expanding upon. On some occasions these explanations do come, but they enter the story in a very forced way, that takes you out of the story and makes you as the reader feel like this scene is only here to explain something to you. And when it came to characters, particularly the character Kai, although he wasn't the only offender, it seemed he skipped through about five personalities without any actual development, or any other character feeling as though that was strange. It stopped him from being at all relatable or realistic. At the same time though I did like the main character, Irene, who has enough secrets to be interesting but also enough character development to evoke some empathy. The actual concept of the story and the library itself are genuinely really interesting too, as were the alternative dimensions you get to travel to in this book (although really only one is given in much detail, the first one is passed over pretty quickly). I would definitely try the next book but a combination of little annoying factors stopped me loving this quite as much as I hoped I would. I was in the mood for a good mystery after The Invisible Library so I decided to go for The Shakespeare Curse next. It had a little bit of a slow start but it's getting really good now
  5. Oooh I like the cover! There is something really nice about buying a new hardback isn't there? I hope you like it!
  6. Your new book finds sound great, I look forward to seeing what you think of them! Thank you for sharing the links to those articles, they were really interesting. Did you notice that the author of 'Narrative Devices and the Autism Voice,' Corinne Duyvis, also writes YA fiction? It says her novel 'On the Edge of Gone' is about an autistic girl during the apocalypse and it sounds like it might be interesting.
  7. I know I'm a bit late here but I thought your review of The Reason I Jump was interesting. I have heard of the book and I agree it's really impressive that the author managed to write it considering his communication issues. When my sister was diagnosed with aspergers I was given a couple of books to read with the idea that they would help me to understand what aspergers / the autistic spectrum was, I suppose (I would have been about ten at the time). So I read Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure (I just had to search the title of that one because I could just remember it was something about a blue genie - so I'm quite impressed I found it!) and later A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I can't remember the stories very well now but I do remember thinking back then that these characters are absolutely nothing like my sister. If anything I think they probably just confused me more. So your review got me thinking, is this an issue with books about autism, that they generalise about something that nobody experiences in the same way? It would be nice to see more books with diverse autistic characters so lots of different aspects of living with autism could be portrayed. I'm glad you've been enjoying your last few books too
  8. Hi, what a pretty book! I don't have a definite answer for you but it's definitely after 1861, because that's when the publishers was established. There's a Wikipedia page about them that says they changed their name around 1880 but I think that must be wrong because there are quite a few examples of different books for sale, published by 'M. A. Donohue & Co', that are from the early 1900s. The next part is a bit of a guess because I'm no expert but I have a few books from the mid 1800s and none of them look at all like yours in style. But I do have one book that has definite similarities, also published in Chicago but by a different company and that was published in 1914. So I could be wrong but I would assume it's early 1900s.
  9. It is so beautifully written isn't it?
  10. Yes, as Madeleine said, it's a novella within the series. It comes between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree but, as it's a mini mystery that's not related to the main plot, it isn't necessary to read as part of the series. I wouldn't recommend reading it before Foxglove Summer though, just because you wouldn't understand who the characters were. I think it's a great series, I hope you enjoy them! Thank you, I didn't read The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic first but I know I'd still have fallen in love with the series if I did! I think after the Tiffany Aching books I read one of the Witches novels, I'm pretty sure it was Wyrd Sisters. I'm finding it interesting seeing the order they were actually written in now.
  11. Thank you all I was offered a few days extra to make up for the time I lost so that really took the pressure off and it's all done now! The length of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is daunting, it's probably the reason I haven't started it yet to be honest, but I've heard really good things about it so I think I just need to start! I've read some brilliant books since I last posted a review but since there's so many I'll keep them short... Death Masks by Jim Butcher 3 1/2 out of 10 This is the fifth book in the Dresden Files series and, like all the others before it, it was a good, gripping and easily readable book. In some of the books there's a lot more about the magical world and the creatures who live there, which I prefer, but this wasn't one of those books. This one has a more political, rival vampire courts, focus. I really enjoyed the return of a character from the earlier books (who I won't name just in case of spoilers) but overall this was a basically good book, just not my favourite in the series. Interestingly, when I read some other reviews after reading this book, some people say it's the worst in the series and others say it's their favourite. There are a lot of different elements in the Dresden Files books, I assume that's why there's so much of a difference in the ones people consider the best. I still have the next three books on my shelf anyway so looking forward to seeing how they progress! The Firework Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman 3/5 This was a bit of a random read. My friend is a teacher and was thinking of reading this book with his class while they did a fire safety topic. I said I liked Philip Pullman and he asked if I would read it and tell him what I thought (he doesn't really like reading). And how could I turn down reading a free book? It's a short, sweet, simple book with a folk tale style, set in a fictional world which I think is meant to be a combination of China and India. It has some humour running through it but also some moral messages. Two of these messages are very obvious. The main character is nearly prevented from doing the thing she loves because she's female, but she rebels against her set role and decides she'll make it on her own if she has to, thus bringing up the subject of equality. The other obvious one is about finding your talent and never giving up, even when things fail. There's a more subtle one at the end, which I think only slightly older readers would get, which is about the creative journey of artists and inventors. It wasn't the most outstanding children's book I've ever read but it was good. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 5/5 I don't know how this book escaped my notice for so long but I'm so happy my sister bought it for me! Firstly, it's set in my favourite time period (Victorian - mainly 1840s). Secondly, it has a good, compelling mystery behind it that you really want to know the truth about. And thirdly, it's just so well written. It's so precisely crafted, with such detail and wonderful descriptions. Take the quote from the blurb, for example: 'Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' The story itself is based on true events and there are little snippets of newspaper articles and witness statements at the beginning of some of the chapters. I really liked that inclusion because it gave the impression that the story really was closely following actual events. However, fact is a slippery concept in the novel, which is very psychological and written from two different first person perspectives. One perspective is that of Grace Marks, the convicted murderer, and the other is from a psychiatrist, who is hoping to use his methods of unlocking supressed memories to find out the truth about the case. It was one of those books I had to stay up until three in the morning to finish. It really makes you think and I can easily see it being a book that's still being read as a classic in years to come. The Furthest Station by Peter Grant 4/5 I was a bit worried that this would just be a sort of teaser for the next Peter Grant book but it actually had quite a lot to it. It felt like a well-developed story in its own right. It had some interesting new magic, some of my favourite characters from the previous books and a good mystery to be solved. It's a pretty light hearted, easy read (with the serious crimes aside) and doesn't go into any of the main story features from the novels, but that was to be expected. I'm very much looking forward to the next Peter Grant novel now though, which I think is coming out in November The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett 5/5 I chose this to cheer myself up after the laptop incident and it didn't fail. I love Rincewind and the Luggage. The loyalty of the latter still manages to be genuinely heartwarming, even if it is a slightly freaky, murderous, many-legged box. Pratchett's social commentary really kicks in for this book too when facts, data and a power hungry know-it-all try taking over the traditions of the magical Unseen University. Sometimes the world just needs a little bit of unexplainable magic. And eccentric furniture. I love the world building in this book as well, there's a brilliant combination of grimy, corrupt cities and magical fairy tale landscapes. The acknowledged clash between the real world and fantasy elements is always hilarious too. Always brilliant, much-needed escapism. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 5/5 I really loved this book. I find old folktales and fairytales fascinating and as this book centres around traditional Russian tales, I really enjoyed that aspect of it. The main character, Vasilisa, is one of my favourite book characters now. She reminded me a lot of Terry Pratchett's character Tiffany Aching, who I also love (actually the book reminded me of a darker version of Terry Pratchett's The Wintersmith. It would be interesting to find out if he based that on a folktale...). There are wonderful magical characters, but not the kind of magic you see in so many fantasy books. The magic here is about folktale and superstition, and very much about having a connection to the natural world, which I thought gave it something more personal and emotional. Within with the fairy/folktale based story (which is very cleverly done but I don't think I can say how without spoilers) is the story of Vasilisa growing up, finding the strength to stand up for the things she believes in, even when it isolates her and trying to reconcile what she feels she needs to do with what's expected of her. It really is a beautiful book, both in the writing and the essence of the story. I found out when I added it to goodreads that it's actually the first book in a trilogy, so now I'm equally very excited to find the next book and worried that it can't possibly live up to this one! And that's me all caught up! I've just started reading The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which seems really interesting so far. Hopefully it's going to be another good one
  12. Good news, my laptop is here! The downside is I have until Monday to finish typing up 10,000 words, but the keyboard on my new laptop is very nice to type on at least. Once I have that out of the way I will actually be able to post the reviews I've been wanting to do! For now I've just updated my lists
  13. Thats a shame! I would have thought all Waterstones stores had the same offers! I'm reading The Bear and the Nightingale at the moment and it seems very promising so far! Thank you I am really glad I decided to reread them, it's been so long I'd forgotten a lot of the things that happened! I couldn't resist reading the Shepherd's Crown when it came out but I did actually cry when I finished it, and it does take quite a lot for a book to make me cry! Oh good! I am looking forward to it, it's nice to hear good reviews though, makes me less worried that it won't live up to expectations! I actually have a few reviews to put up and I need to edit my list, but I've not been having the luckiest of weeks... first, my nephew spilled a pot noodle over my laptop. He didn't tell me at the time and it wasn't until the next day that I tried to start it and it just freaked out. On the plus side, the hard drive wasn't damaged, so I didn't lose anything, and it was quite old anyway, so I've ordered a new one that I will hopefully get soon. It's a bit of a nightmare when I have a lot of work though. But, I have a Microsoft surface tablet, which my parents bought for me a couple of years ago and which has a little keyboard attached. It takes me longer to type on the little keyboard than a normal one, but I use it quite a lot when I'm doing work away from home and I thought I'd just use that while I wait for the new laptop. Then I stepped out of my front door and somehow, I have literally no idea how, the tablet slipped out of its protective case and cracked on the concrete floor. And just to top it off, when I called my local computer repair company, they said it would cost £230 to replace the screen. The tablet does actually work with the keyboard, but one side of the screen has lost sensitivity and there are small pieces of glass that I'm a bit worried I could cut myself on. I am considering just buying a glass screen protector and sticking it over the top of the break to stop the glass coming out. It wouldn't fix it but it should at least make it useable. So I'm using my phone for anything internet related at the moment, which is why I haven't posted for a while, I find it a lot harder to type at length on my phone (and if there are odd words in this I apologise, it keeps trying to autocorrect me!) Fingers crossed for better luck and speedy laptop delivery!
  14. Noll's 2018 Reads

    I think your gratitude journal app idea is great, it would be a perfect relaxing and beneficial thing to do, less intimidating to those who don't know where to start or aren't the best at drawing (like me!) as well. I definitely know people who would use that if it existed! I love your costume too, the medieval banquet sounds like fun! And that is a very cute monkey
  15. What's Up in February? - 2018

    Wow, that's fantastic! Congratulations! If I had a country cottage with an open fire, I don't think anyone would be able to drag me back to the city! At least after a day of moving logs you can curl up in front of the fire with a good book I have a lot of different things to get done this month work-wise so I'm trying to stay organised with those but I also might have a weekend camping trip before the end of the month, which would be nice