Thursday, 31 December 2015

December Wrap Up: Surprise Parties and Birthday Book Hauls

Monthly Favourites has been renamed Monthly Wrap Up! The layout will be a little different, but the content will stay mostly the same. This is where I wrap up my reading, book hauls and other loves I have discovered by the end of the month!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell // Soul-Sucking Genius

Title: The Bone Clocks
Author: David Mitchell
Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Literary Fiction
Warnings: Violence, war
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
The Bone Clocks is something unique and all together incredible. I cannot begin to imagine how much time and thought went into it, because the nature of it is simply astounding.

The book begins with a teenage Holly Sykes running away from home, and ends almost 60 years later when the world is crumbling to pieces. But from that very day in the summer of 1984, the events of Holly's life are shaped by unfathomable forces that don't come clearly into sight until many years later. Her little brother's disappearance, the strange old lady at the docks - everything is connected by a strange truth: that there are beings on this earth that are free from the limitations of time. Split into 6 sections, The Bone Clocks follows Holly's life from the perspective of herself and others that play key roles in it.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Four Things about Fangirl


Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Warnings: Protagonist with anxiety
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
Fangirl is so much more than a book about Fanfiction. It's about relationships and anxiety and the escape that fiction can provide.

Cath was a very relatable protagonist, and as a writer and an introvert I was really able to connect with her. Her social anxiety was written excellently and came through in her hesitations around new people and her concern when it comes to her twin sister Wren and her father. There was nothing romanticised about her anxiety - it was honest and beautifully written.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Is there such thing as 'lesser' fiction?


"Whatever do you mean by 'lesser' fiction?" I hear you cry.

In the eyes of some, a well-read person is not someone who reads a lot, but someone who only reads 'proper' books. Do you use an e-reader? Do you listen to audio books? Are you a slow reader? Do you prefer YA or fantasy? If so, then some will tell you that you're reading habits are inferior.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books of 2015

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is my top 10 favourite books that I have read this year:


Friday, 11 December 2015

The Emoji Book Tag


I was tagged by Greenish Bookshelf ages ago to do the emoji book tag, and I am finally doing it!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Monday, 7 December 2015

Music Match Monday - Throne of Glass

Music Match Monday is a feature hosted here at Astronomical Books where on the first Monday of every month I match the lyrics of a song to a book and explain why they go together so perfectly. You can link your own MMM posts on the linky feature below to share with other participants. All I ask is that you credit Astronomical Books somewhere on your post so that others can trace the feature back here and take part in the fun.



Song: Castle by Halsey
Book: Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

I'm starting off this Music Match Monday with one of my favourite series and favourite artists. WARNING: This post may feature spoilers for Throne of Glass book 3 (Heir of Fire) onwards.

Celeana is bound to work for the evil king, but opposes him in secret. People hope that their Princess Ailen is still alive and can lead them to overthrow the king and although Nehemia saw the potential in her to rule, it takes a long time for Celeana to accept her destiny as Ailen. It is only at the end of Heir of Fire when the rumours spread of Ailen's return that she makes her way back to the castle, finally ready to oppose the king and avenge all of his wrongs.

Castle can also work for pretty much any strong female character in fiction because it's all about taking control of what you want.

Want to take part in MMM? Add a link to your post below!


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Book Review: Demon Road - my troubles with tone


Title: Demon Road (Demon Road #1)
Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Paranormal
Warnings: Violence and gore, elements of horror
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
An ebook copy of this book was provided to me via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amber leads a dull and uninteresting life... until she grows horns, turns red, and bites a guy's finger off. From that point onwards, her life spirals out of control. Forced to go on the run from her demon parents who want to eat her, Amber goes on a wild road trip in order to find a way to stop them from their ritualistic child eating.

With a premise like that, who wouldn't want to read more?

Unfortunately, the answer is me.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Absolutely Everything to do with Fairytales


If I haven't established it already, I love adaptations. I love when someone takes an old story and reinvents it, so it's convenient that I also love fairytales because that adaptations are endless! Even now that I'm an adult (by law, not by nature) I still enjoy these stories about adventure and magic, as can anyone of any age. Here is my list of absolutely everything to do with fairytales:

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My Story is on The Guardian Website!

This year I attended The Guardian Summer School Masterclass for creative writing. As part of the class I was taught by some amazing writers and ended up producing a short story which is now on their website! I posted the same story here back in August but now it's officially on The Guardian website for everyone to see.

To read my work on The Guardian you can go here. And whilst you're there, read the work of the others who attended the class. They are all amazingly talented and have written incredible stories.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

In which I am terribly clumsy

In an attempt to look at the success of the individual posts on my blog, I accidentally reverted all of my blog posts from the last month or so into draft form. As I was trying to fix it, I published all of my drafts. I thought I'd deleted everything but it's all back to normal now!
Sorry for any confusion!

New to My Redbubble Store: Minimalist

I don't have a TTT post this week because I just couldn't come up with anything for the topic. Instead, I thought I'd showcase some of the designs I've put up recently in my Redbubble store. This is the second set of designs I've made and I'm loving them. They are minimalist each one subtly references a TV show.

As always I am happy to take suggestions for designs. If you buy anything from my Redbubble store, share it on instagram and use @astronomicalbooks so I can see!


Sunday, 29 November 2015

November Favourites

Monthly favourites is where I list the best music, books, and everything else that I have discovered by the end of the month. You now can link your own end of the month updates, lists and catch ups with the link feature at the end of this post to share them with myself and other Bookish blogs and readers.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Which ARC Should I Read Next?


I only joined the book blogging community 6 months ago, so the concept of ARCs is still fairly new to me. I signed up for NetGalley around August of this year, and since then I have reviewed four books for them (1, 2, 3, 4) with incredibly mixed ratings. From my experience I don't think I will be requesting ARCs frequently unless there is a book I desperately want to read, but I am still going to read the copies I have been provided. I've heard a lot about all four of these books but I don't know which to read first and I'm hoping for some suggestions.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trigger Warnings: -
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
This is quite possibly the most uplifting book I've read this year. Everything I have read of late has had an element of darkness, and whilst not all of the books I have read have been outright sad, Simon vs. filled me with such heart-warming optimism. I'm not even a huge fan of contemporaries or romances as my experience of both genres has been largely negative, so I did not expect to fall in love with this book the way I did.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Book Review: The Night Circus


Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Series: No
Genre: Magic Realism
Trigger Warnings: -
Rating: 5 stars
Buy: Book Depository

The Circus is a source of mystery and intrigue for all who encounter it. It is different from the others for there are no clowns or bright colours and it is only open at night. No one knows when The Circus will next arrive or where it will go next, but every night there is like a dream.

Not only does The Circus provide unimaginable wonders filled with illusion and fantasy, it is also a front for a great competition. Two great magicians have chosen another two apprentices to complete their traditional challenge to test who is the better teacher. These young apprentices dance around each other carefully, unaware of each other yet connected by The Circus - maintaining the balance whilst also having the power to tear it apart.

Friday, 20 November 2015

How do I Choose what to Read?


Choosing what to read can be a difficult process. Personally I don't stumble upon this problem too much as my TBR list is sky high, but there comes a point when one has to acknowledge that reading every single book ever published is impossible. Here are some suggestions on how to choose:

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Quotes

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is my favourite quotes from books, with one at the end from a podcast:

Friday, 13 November 2015

How I Fixed the Story that was Stuck

Three years ago, I stumbled upon a story idea that clicked with me. This was the first idea that I'd ever thought could become something big, and with a whole ton of world building I had a thorough plan for a huge fantasy trilogy.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Trigger Warnings for Books


I decided to write this post after reading one on the same topic over on Cuddlebuggery.

With television shows and movies it is very easy for someone to look up if there is any upsetting content. Often this information comes in the form of a parent's guide to make sure their kids are watching appropriate things, but it's still a really useful resource for people with triggers and without. Unfortunately, the Internet provides no such resource for books.

Trigger warnings can help people make a decision weather or not to read a book, or even set it aside for when they are feeling more prepared, by making them aware of potentially distressing content. At the very least they are a form of emotional preparation.

For me, the mental health of others is prioritised over spoilers, and from now on I will mention any potential triggering content at the start of reviews to the best of my ability.

This is not about the censorship of literature. A warning is just that - a warning.

This Guardian article sums up this discussion pretty nicely. And, of course, if I forget to mention something significant at the start of a review that you have picked up on, I'd appreciate if you briefly mention it in the comments section of the review.

You are welcome to discuss in the comments below.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Cover Reveal: The Raven King


The cover for the final instalment of The Raven Cycle is finally here!

We still have to wait until April next year for the actual book, but in the mean time we can simply look at this cover. Isn't it marvellous?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Debut Authors to Watch Out For

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is debut authors who's future books I am looking forward to:

Monday, 2 November 2015

Music Match Monday - The Hunger Games

I'm starting a new feature here on Astronomical Books and I'd love it if you'd participate.

Music Match Monday is a feature where on the first Monday of every month I match the lyrics of a song to a book and explain why they go together so perfectly. There are no set rules, just that you have fun and share your favourite matching music and books with others in whatever way you want.

You can link your own MMM posts on the linky feature at the bottom of each post to share with other participants. All I ask is that you credit Astronomical Books somewhere on your post so that others can trace the feature back here and take part in the fun.


Song: Part II by Paramore
Book: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

This song is the second part of another Paramore song, Let the Flames Begin, which also works with this series. In Let the Flames Begin Katniss is the 'tiny spark' that ignites the start of a revolution. The song is symbolic of the initial rage against Snow and the Capitol, fighting no matter what the cost may be.

Part II is the aftermath. It is when lives have been lost and all seems hopeless. The pair of songs work with any book or series that involves some form of opposition against the norm, and The Hunger Games has a huge conflict that reflects this beautifully. All that needed to be done was to let the spark of hope 'catch fire'.

As it's the first MMM, you might not be able to participate, but if you want to in the future, please comment and tell me if you like the feature so I know if I should continue with it.

Want to take part in MMM? Add a link to your post below!


Friday, 30 October 2015

October Favourites

Monthly favourites is where I list the best music, books, and everything else that I have discovered by the end of the month.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Book Review: The Night Parade


Title: The Night Parade
Author: Kathryn Tanquary
Series: No
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
Buy: Book Depository
An ebook copy of this book was provided to me via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Saki Yamamoto is dragged off to her grandmother's village for the Obon ceremony she expects to be bored out of her mind. But when she rings the sacred bell a death curse awakens, one that she has three nights to undo. Each night Saki is whisked away to the Night Parade, and with the help of some new spirit friends she must break the curse before it is too late.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

New to My Redbubble Store: Colour Puns!


I love designing things for Redbubble, and what better why to combine several things I love: designing, colours and puns! This is the first set of designs I've made and I think they make the perfect mix and match school set, so if you like them let me know and I'll make more fun and vibrant collections like this one.

If you buy anything from my Redbubble store, share it on instagram and use @astronomicalbooks so I can see it and share it!



Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Halloween Edtion - Haunting Books

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Halloween themed, and I have chosen to list some spooky reads: