Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books We’ve Read So Far This Year. I had quite a challenge to pick 10!

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

The Book Collector- Alice Thompson

The Book Collector

This book is so unusual but so good at the same time!

The Last Beginning- Lauren James

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

I love Lauren James! Her writing is brilliant.

The Upside of Unrequited- Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited

This sophomore novel did not let me down. I love Becky Albertalli!

George- Alex Gino

George

So cute and incredibly easy to read.

My Lady Jane- Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story

A very unique read! It made me laugh out loud.

Baby Doll- Hollie Overton

Baby Doll

A fab thriller.

We Come Apart- Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart

I’m enjoying Sarah Crossan’s writing! I loved this book.

Letters To The Lost- Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

My second experience of Brigid Kemmerer went well.

Awful Auntie- David Walliams

Awful Auntie

Love David Walliams. This one was darker than I had anticipated.

Margot & Me- Juno Dawson

Margot & Me

Another favourite author of mine. I really enjoyed this book!

What’s on your list this week? Feel free to leave me a link to your Top Ten posts and I’ll stop by!

Banned Books #36 Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

banned books

Welcome to the 36th Banned Books post which means we’ve been reading Banned Books for 3 years now! Awoohoo! Go us! Celebrations aside, this month we took on Saga: Volume 2 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga, #2)

First published: 2013
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)
Reasons: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: As a relatively recent release my answers for this and the next question are going to be pretty much the same. This month, like last month we’re looking at a book where the focus is mainly on illustrations with few words in comparison. UNLIKE last month, this graphic novel is very, very different. Let me get this straight. I don’t agree with banning or challenging books on any level. I love to get angry about why books are challenged/banned especially when the reasons for doing so are just damn stupid but you know when you read something and you can kind of see why some people might have had issues or been offended? This is the wonderful world of Saga. It doesn’t offend me at all (I’m not easily offended!) but I have been slightly taken aback at some of the images, although I must insist that the art is absolutely stunning and something I can look at for a long time (erm…perhaps unless it’s a very naked, quite terrifying giant monster).

CHRISSI: I actually laughed out loud at Beth’s comment about the naked, giant monster as I nearly took a picture of it to send to her as I was reading it. I agree that it’s easy to see why Saga is challenged. There’s some quite graphic pictures and some very strong language. I don’t think you’d expect that when you pick it up, if you go into it not knowing the controversy surrounding it. I’d totally agree that it has some beautiful images though. The illustrations are stunning… it’s just not for the easily offended (or children!)

How about now?

BETH: Most of the reasons for challenging Saga are completely correct, I hate to admit. Yes, it has explicit sexual content, nudity and offensive language. However, I don’t really agree with the anti-family message. Our two main characters have a small baby, Hazel and are very much together even though they are all “on the run.” Plus in this volume, the grandparents come into play which does show quite a strong family unit, especially when I consider the role of the grandfather in this volume. Also, unsuited for age group. Hmm. Well, it just depends where you make this graphic novel available to be perfectly honest! If it’s in the primary school library that’s a different kettle of fish entirely and completely inappropriate I agree. But if it’s in the local library adult section for teenagers to find for themselves I don’t think that’s too terrible.

CHRISSI: I understand why it’s challenged. I do. I don’t like admitting that, but I do understand why it is offensive to many. I think there should be the opportunity for it to be found in the right places. Like Beth said, a local library would be fine but in a education setting…not so much!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: We looked at the first volume of Saga in our Banned Books for 2016 – please find our post HERE. It had been a while since I read the first six chapters so I did re-read them before embarking on Volume Two and I remembered just why I enjoyed it the last time. As I mentioned before, the art is simply gorgeous and really intricate but the story is also intriguing and makes me want to keep on reading. I’ll certainly be continuing the series and am looking forward to Volume Three!

CHRISSI: Unlike Beth, I didn’t reread the first volume. I went into it cold and luckily remembered a lot from the previous volume. I really enjoyed this volume, possibly more than the first. The artwork is beautiful and I’m intrigued by the story. I can totally see why so many readers are lapping up this series of graphic novels.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- It’s not just week days!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching Lower Key Stage 2. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

Wow! What a week. It’s been full of assessments, Sports Day and report writing. Remember I said that the fun times don’t happen so much in the summer term? Well… this week confirmed that. I’ve literally not stopped all week. There were tests galore in order to write the reports to go home next week. Phew. Luckily, behaviour is much better in my class these days so that’s something that I don’t have to contend with anymore.

This weekend has been packed with school related jobs. I had the Summer Fayre yesterday. I had to run a stall. I did have some parents come up to me and say they were sad that their child wasn’t going to be with me in September (they’re in another year group currently!) That was a real confidence boost for me. It’s lovely to hear.

Today, I’m mainly thinking about pupil progress meetings next week. I have a meeting with senior management and the rest of the teachers in my team. We go through each child in the year group and see if they have met the expected standard for their age group. There’s then discussion about why they have or haven’t met the standard that was expected of them. I find these meetings super stressful. Unfortunately, sometimes children come to your class rated higher than they actually are and it makes it look like they’ve made no or very little progress with me. I am spending today, trying to justify why they’ve not met the standards that they were ‘predicted’ to make. Ooh no, I’m not bitter at all..

Why I love reading David Walliams to my class (5 Reasons Why #1)

I like to spice up my blog content to keep things fresh so recently thought about doing a 5 reasons why post every now and then with a topic of my choice.

First up are reasons why I love reading David Walliams to my class. My current class (20 week days left with them… 😦 ) are between 7-9 years old.

This school year we have read:

  1. They make them laugh out loud. David Walliams is funny.
  2. His stories (particularly The World’s Worst Children) have inspired some fantastic writing (and drawing!)
  3. The children genuinely enjoy his writing.
  4. It’s a logical step up from Roald Dahl. Walliams writes in a similar style.
  5. Lots of his stories have heart. Quite often they carry with them a lovely message. When we read Gangsta Granny recently it particularly touched one child who had gone through a similar thing (no spoilers) with her grandparent. The story brought tears to her eyes!

Fairy Tale Friday- The Farm Yard Cock and The Weather Cock

This was a random and very short story which centres around a farmyard cockerel and a weather cockerel on the same farm. They’re arguing about who is the best. The farmyard cockerel brags and says that he is the better one. The weather cockerel breaks and falls down, which means the real life cockerel was really the better one…

Next Fairy Tale- Five Out Of One Pod

 

Love & Gelato

Love & Gelato

How did I get it?:
I received a copy from Walker Books. Many thanks to them!

Synopsis:

The dying wish of 16-year-old Lina’s mother was for her daughter to live in Tuscany and get to know her father, whom Lina has never met.

“Howard is the best man I’ve ever known,” her mother says, “he’ll keep you safe.” Why did her mother wait so long to tell her about him? Lina has a happy life in Seattle and doesn’t want to leave. Shortly after she arrives at Howard’s home, Lina meets Sonya, who gives Lina a diary that belonged to Lina’s mother, the one she had kept while she was a photography student in Florence. While Lina is living her life and exploring Tuscany with her handsome neighbour, Ren, she follows in the footsteps of her mother and gets to know her as never before. She also finds out the truth about her father. Mostly she finds out about herself.

Thoughts:

I have had Love & Gelato on my radar for the longest time, so I was incredibly happy to be able to read a copy, thanks to Walker Books! It’s a wonderful summer read. I think if you’re a fan of the contemporary YA genre, then this book is certainly for you this summer.

It’s set in Italy and follows Lina. Lina moves to Italy after her mum dies on her mum’s request to be with Howard- a man from the past. When Lina arrives in Italy, she is given her mother’s old journal. Lina starts to read the journal and learns much more about her mum and herself than she had ever anticipated!

I loved following Lina, who I found incredibly easy to connect to. I felt for her, having to deal with the loss of her mother and then have to move to Italy to live with a man that she had only just heard of. Lina really gets herself into awkward situations, but this made her all the more realistic in my eyes.

I was impressed that the author took their time with Lina’s grieving process. She did struggle at first, she did question. She didn’t just move to Italy and everything was magically better. That’s more real to read about!

Love & Gelato has made me want to visit Italy. The author really painted a picture with her words. It left me craving gelato too… I’m definitely more inclined to go to Italy after reading this cute story!

I can’t believe that this book was the author’s debut as it feels incredibly established. I would definitely pick up her next book!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A very cute YA contemporary read. Perfect for the beach!

This Week In Books #68

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Blood Sisters

NOW Blood SistersJane Corry– I’m just about to start Blood Sisters, which looks like my sort of book!

The Girl in the Red Coat

THEN The Girl In The Coat- Kate Hamer– I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and almost fairy-tale esque in its nature.

Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga, #2)

NEXTSaga Volume 2Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples– This is the banned book for the feature that I do with my sister, Beth!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know or leave a link to a post that you do! Happy Reading!