Zoe’s Bookshelf #2 | Blogmas 2017

Welcome to my 12 days of Blogmas series! Every other day until Christmas I will be posting something festive for you all to enjoyย ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I am doing a Christmas version ofย Zoeโ€™s Bookshelf which you all seemed to really dig last time! Although last month I focused on two books I had recently read (Armada & Nerve), today is going to be shorter reviews on my top picks for Christmas reads. Enjoy!

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The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Self-help, lifestyle, design

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This is one of my favourite books of all time! I absolutely adore the feeling of it, it’s just so, dare I say it, hygge? “Hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish concept of coziness. Think about drinking a hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire, in soft slippers and watching the snow fall outside. That’s hygge. And, what is more hygge than Christmas?! The warmth, the love, the delicious food, the warm drinks and the fairy lights.. there’s nothing not to love about this time of year and this book definitely reminds you of that and puts you in a cozy mood. Please have a read of this next time you’re in a bookstore – I encourage you not to buy it!

The Story of a Nutcracker – Alexandre Dumas

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Fairytale/fiction

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This is such an adorable edition of my favourite Christmas story. As a kid (and now, I won’t lie), I was absolutely obsessed with the Barbie in the Nutcracker movie, from which progressed a love for ballet, Christmas and the Nutcracker story. I’ve now seen the ballet performed three times and every viewing I fall more and more in love with it. The only reason this gets a 4/5 is because I don’t get to see the dancing that goes with such a beautiful, Christmassy story. It’s a must read!

Twas The Night Before Christmas – Edited by Rosemary Gray

Rating: 5/5

Genre: fiction/short stories/fairytale

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This book I picked up in a shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur at the end of November last year, where I read the entire thing in one sitting on the way home. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll know I adore fairy tales and magical short stories, and when you combine that with my love for Christmas you get the perfect book! This edition boasts some classics, and tales I hadn’t heard of before, and it suitable for all ages and reading levels. I love to read this whenever I can squeeze in one of its delightful stories as it always gets me feeling festive.

Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone | The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Rating: –

Genre: fiction

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The only reason I’m including these at all, and together, is because I feel it is rude not to! As two of perhaps the most successful series’ of all time, these books within are the perfect additino to any Christmas reading list. The first Harry Potter is so magical and includes such a festive feeling aorund Christmas that it’s hard to put it down in December, whereas the second book in the Narnia series has a visit from actual Santa Claus himself. There’s something about he childlike magic in both of these books that really inspires me to remember why I fell in love with Christmas in the first place – the magic that one night can bring to your life ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your must-reads for Christmas? Let me know!

Check out my most recent posts; November Favourites & Christmas Apartment Tour!

Zoe x

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Zoe’s Bookshelf | #1

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that reading and writing are my entire life! Considering this, I’m honestly surprised it’s taken me this long to come up with an idea like this – Zoe’s Bookshelf! I’m an incredibly fast reader (we’re talking a book a day type of thing), and I always have opinions on what I read, so I thought to myself – what better place to share these thoughts than my blog? That’s what it’s there for!

So, depending on how busy I am/how much I get to read/etc, I’ll throw up some of the current books I’ve read on here and let you know what I think! I particularly love dystopia and sci-fi, so if you have any recommendations for me I’d absolutely love to hear them! Check out my top books hereย  and my fave childhood books here ๐Ÿ™‚

Armada – Ernest Cline

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Sci/Fi, Gaming

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I really enjoyed this book! I’m a big fan of Cline’s other famous work Ready Player One, and although I didn’t love it as much as RPO, I definitely couldn’t put it down. The plot follows an 18 year old boy that’s a particularly good video game player of the game ‘Armada’, which turns out to be a training simulation for an alien invasion. I won’t give any more away, but the story is full of twists that, although are pretty predictable, are entertaining as hell. There’s a bit of romance, family drama, action in shitloads and some excellent video game writing. If you like fun sci-fi, you’ll really enjoy this! Cline’s writing style is fast paced, page turning and exceptionally easy to read, barring the gaming terminology. Definitely worth checking out – the only reason it didn’t earn a 5/5 was because it was a bit simple & predictable in plot. Nonetheless, a solid book with a sick premise!

Nerve – Jeanne Ryan

Rating: 2/5

Genre: YA/sci-fi (ish)

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I was really disappointed by this book. I don’t think it helps that I watched the film prior and really loved it, but this book just didn’t live up to its promises. While the film is full of suspense, amazing dares, real drama and issues, the book just doesn’t deliver. I finished it, so that’s a good start, but the plot was juvenile and pretty basic. They changed QUITE a lot for the film, but all the changes they made really worked. The book is based off the idea that there is a game called Nerve where you sign up as a watcher or player, where players complete increasingly dangerous dares to earn prizes and money. Unfortunately the dares weren’t that dramatic, the main character is a bit of a pussy with not much development (and a very strange backstory that comes across as dramatic but we never learn enough about it to care very much), and a very forced love story. I rarely say this, but the film trumps the book by a lot, which is very unfortunate as the story’s potential is clear. If you liked the film, you might like it, but it just wasn’t that entertaining for me.

Images sourced from Google Images.ย 

Check out my most recent posts;ย October Favouritesย &ย Korea Haul!

Zoe x

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My Favourite Books

I am a HUGE bookworm. Anyone who knows me will tell you that straight away. I absolutely adore reading. To me, nothing quite comes close to losing yourself in a completely different reality that is personal to you. No one quite reads things the same way – we all project our own lives onto the characters and the plot and that makes every single line unique to you. And I fucking love it.

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Therefore, I thought it would be fun to share my absolute favourite books. I love so many that this list was hard to choose, but I think I’ve got a good selection here! It’s also worth noting that I love series too – like Harry Potter, PJ, Hannibal/Silence of the Lambs, TMI/TID, etc, but these are the single books I can read over and over again. Let me know what you think!

Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Fairytale style book, beautifully written (I love Neil Gaiman), young love and magic, fantasy, set in medieval times.

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Reader’s Digest – The World’s Best Fairy Tales
A HUGE book dedicated to original Fairy Tales. My favourite book in the world – as you can see from the state of the book! Multicultural fairy tales and includes all the classics.

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The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Told from the perspective of a young boy, he follows his somewhat insane dad who thinks America is a sham and ships his family into the South American coast to escape the apocalypse he thinks is happening. A bit ‘Lord of The Flies’-y, but not too much. One of my all time faves.

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The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
And we’re back to fairy tales, lol. I love all of Blyton’s work but there’s something so magical about this story that I keep coming back. Set in early 1900’s England, three siblings and their cousin have an array of magical adventures in a local magical forest. Super sweet.

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Brave New World – Adolus Huxley
Dystopian future setting where children are genetically created to fit into social classes and life is governed by very Freudian principals. Give me anything dystopian and I will drink it up, but this is one of the classics.

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The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
All about hygge (hoo-gah), the principal of cosiness. There is something so warming about this book, I tend to re-read a chapter a week or so.

IMG_2562.JPGNineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Not sure if this even needs an introduction, but 1984 is one of my absolute favourites, definitely my favourite in the dystopian genre (sensing a theme?). Set in a futuristic England, the protagonist struggles with the extent to which he is being controlled. 10/10 book, definitely worth its popularity.ย 

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Again, a classic that probably doesn’t need a caption, but one of my top picks. This follows the paedophile protagonist who has a relationship with a young girl – Lolita. Sounds fucked up (it is), but it is so stunningly written and the plot is so complex it is well worth it if you are a literature fan.

Note – Yes, I forgot to photograph these in the group book shots. Whoops.

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The Song of Troy – Colleen McCullough
This is one of my faves for my mythology side. This retells the story of Troy from multiple sides and with breathtaking form. I found this book for the first time in a 2nd hand book sale, and as soon as I started reading it I was competently hooked.

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Maus – Art Spiegleman
Graphic novel re-telling the Holocaust in the form of cat v mouse. Incredibly powerful and very confronting, but definitely a one-of-a-kind book that deserves all the praise it gets. Incredible story.

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The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Oh, another dystopian book? Who could have guessed! This is a futuristic, desolate world setting, where the few survivors either find food or eat each other. It follows a father and his young boy traversing a burnt America to find the ocean where things will be better. It is a very quiet book (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean by this), and definitely makes you feel all the emotions.

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Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors ever, as he writes a hell of a story. This book (and its subsequent series) are my favourites of his, taking you on a fast-paced action adventure, laced with history and mythology. For a nerd like me, that earns a solic 10/10.

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What are your favourite books?

Check out my previous posts (they will open in a new window):ย Life Update,ย August Faves,ย September Bullet Journal.

Zoe x

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My Favourite Childhood Books

Feeling nostalgic isn’t something a lot of people love, but I really enjoy the good memories from my childhood. So, I thought I’d share my favourite childhood books to see if any of you had the same! A lot of these are classics, and could serve as good inspiration for gifts for baby showers or christenings. If you love old books like I do, you’ll get a kick out of this one. Who says kids books are just for kids?! Enjoy!

Enid Blyton

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I absolutely love Enid Blyton’s books as they are just so magical. These were my mum’s and I love to read them every now and then.

Fairy Tales

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I read fairy tales way more often than I’d like to admit. There is something so calming about them. I have been through this 700+ page book probably around 50 times and I can’t get enough. Some of the stories are so quirky and beautiful, I’ll never be too old for these.

Shirley Barber

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I absolutely adore Shirley Barber’s artwork, and if you’ve never heard of her, Google her. She is spectacular and the images she creates are just stunning. I can’t wait to pass these books onto my own kids some day.

Scholastic Book Fair Books

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Did anyone else live for the book fairs?! I had so many of these little box books but this is the one that’s lasted. I don’t really know why, I wouldn’t have ever said I was a real girly girl (I had a thing for magic though, you can probably tell lol) but reading it just makes me smile. I used to run around the place sprinkling dust and waving my wand!

Wizardology

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I think most people had one of these books, either this or Egyptology or Dragonology. You can still get them today and I think they’re just so cool!

Those Random Little Books…

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Most people have a collection of random little books like this don’t they? I know I have practically a whole shelf of them (I have a lot of books…) and every now and then it’s so fun to peek through them and relive what I used to love as a three or four year old. They’re so cute!

Harry Potter

 

This can’t be a childhood book post without mentioning Harry Potter. I breathed that shit in. I had my own wand, Harry Potter book bag with notebooks I had made, my own quill, cloak, broomstick, invisibility cloak, you name it. I have a read time turner, Marauders Map and Scarf. I even used to write my own versions of the Daily Prophet. Reading these books (or one of the many other Harry Potter related books I own) immediately transports me back to a lovely place.

 

If you liked this post I’d be more than happy to share some of my favourite childhood movies and games too! Let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a bonus for making it to the end – me as a four year old!

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Zoe x

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