Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 8: Books

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

What books are you most grateful for (1)

Day 8 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge is all about the books that you are grateful to have read. I used to be a prolific reader, working my way through at least one book a week. However, blogging and social media management means that, while I spend a lot my of my time reading, none of it is actually within a book format. Continue reading

#Shelfies For World Book Day

From the adventures of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree, Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mr Tom and Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole to the beautifully crafted Heidi by Johanna Spyri, What Katy Did by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (under the name of Susan Coolidge), J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, my childhood was spent with my head firmly buried in a book. One of my favourite activities after school was visiting our local library, which my sisters, mother and I did every week.

My love of reading has followed me throughout my life. As a teenager I became obsessed with autobiographies, diaries, Jane Austin and Emily Brontë, reading and re-reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, The Diary of Anne Frank, EmmaSense and Sensibility and Wuthering Heights until my copies were so tattered that I had to buy new ones. In my twenties I adored Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and cried at Dave Peltzer’s A Child Called It and John Grogan’s Marley and Me. I became fascinated with the Cosa Nostra, devouring books on the history of Italian-American gangsters and started reading biographies of celebrities from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I continued to read Maya Angelou, I loved Bill Bryson’s travel adventures and I discovered the eye-opening exploits of Belle De Jour (who puts the Fifty Shades of Grey nonsense to shame), and I read the Harry Potter series in the order of 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 6, 7 after my mother bought me the fourth book as a birthday present one year. I read the dystopian novels of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale (I still think of it every time I see the small packets of butter in restaurants) and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. While I am not a huge horror fan, I went through a Stephen King phase after reading Rose Madder, and read Carrie, Thinner and Four Past Midnight in just a few months. In my thirties I was (and still am) inspired by Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman and AJ Rochester’s Confessions of a Reformed Dieter, and I’ve giggled at Tom Cox’s experiences with his cats in The Good, The Bad and The Furry.

As a teacher, I encourage my students to read as often as possible and I am pleased that I work at a school where a love of reading and literacy is promoted. Our students participate in the daily activity of DEAR – Drop Everything And Read – where lessons are stopped for twenty minutes, everyone takes out their book and reads in silence. It’s a lovely opportunity to take some time to relax and immerse ourselves in a different world, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

As it is World Book Day, I wasn’t able to dress up as a character from a book, although our English department did (I would probably have done Alice from Alice in Wonderland if I had possessed the time, money and confidence), but I thought I would share my ‘shelfies’ in celebration instead. These are just two shelves of about ten, but they give an overview of the sorts of things that I read regularly.



Do you want to join me? Share your #shelfie with me on Twitter and include my Twitter handle with the hashtag – it would be brilliant for me to see what sorts of things you are reading at the moment!

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

Don’t forget to check out my wonderful sponsors – they’re all very exciting and unique bloggers and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy their offerings as much as I do! You can find their buttons in my sidebar…

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Plot

imageIt was 11am and I was hanging out of the lounge window, smoking a cigarette. My head was pounding from the consumption of my entire bodyweight in Sambuca shots the night before and my feet were swollen and sore from the ridiculously high heels that I had insisted on wearing, despite knowing that I would only last half an hour in them before I had to take them off. I had make-up smeared down my face, my hair was creating it’s own style and had managed to stick up all over the place at the back and to finish the whole ensemble I was sporting my enormous blue ‘Winnie The Pooh’ dressing gown. Gorgeous. I heard the door open and in walked one of my nine flatmates (I lived in a flat of ten at my university Halls of Residence). He’d been up early and was returning from the gym, as he always did at the weekend. He looked at me, smiled and said:

“Morning Bridget!” Continue reading