Return of the Mac

So I have been otherwise pre-occupied this past year, I cant’t believe it has been over a year since I last posted.

But, I have a back log of books to review and a new MacBook, so please stay tuned.

……..I need to get back into the swing of writing.

I don’t always read books….

  

26 Reasons Why You Need To Read More

A great Buzz feed article, asking attendees of the Book Expo America to write down reasons why you need to read more. One of my favourites is:

“Because books tell the stories of people we don’t know, places we haven’t been, and worlds we can only imagine.”

Read the article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/reasons-to-read-more#.fh3AbQwqxo

BOOK SMART; THE UNEXPECTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING AN AVID READER

BOOK SMART; THE UNEXPECTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING AN AVID READER

A Stylist article

I loved seeing this article pop up on my facebook newsfeed, it literaly felt like my insides were shining with the confirmation that reading is good for one’s health!

Reading, it transpires, has a profound effect on mental agility, the memory and our aptitude for imagination and compassion…..It can also help to alleviate stress and aid sleep.

Personally, I read because I crave the feeling of submersion, the feeling of flying away and the ability to completely cut out the real world. I allow each word to engulf me, transforming each into a visual picture, a movie inside my head.

“By losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” says cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis, leading the survey.

At the end of the article is a survey:

WHAT’S THE THING YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT READING?

1. It helps me to unwind and relax

2. The potential for escapism

3. The fact that it challenges me

4. The ability to gain a new perspective

Answer the question and you can see the percentage of readers who voted for each answer. I obviously chose number 2, and in all honesty the results surprised me!

If you want to read the full article, click here.

My year in books: 2014

My year in books: 2014

Not my best year for reading, but I did get engaged and married so I am not going to be too hard on myself.  A total of 23 successfully finished, and additionally some half read books I could not bear to finish; one being The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Sorry Georgie!).

Just a few awards to dish out, obviously my opinions are my own so please do not start abusing me for my choices…

Best book of 2014

Tracks by Robyn Davidson. The true story of Robyn’s trek from the centre of Australia to the West coast, a truly remarkable account. It was funny, sad and exciting and left me wishing I was there, nay, her! I simply could not get enough of this book and I feel it has made me a better person for having read it. Maybe I appreciate people’s dreams or something, not quite sure how I ameliorated myself but I feel it, and that is what counts.

Runner up

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.  This book I think deserves to be on everyone’s reading list.  It is a love story, written from a sad and distant perspective, and it is beautiful in every way. This is no story, it is a piece of literary art. It pains me to say, but unfortunately a story with this depth and skill is apparently no contender for the modern day dribble that we see on the Kindle best sellers, people need to wake up and smell the well written books!

Worst book of 2014:

This is a no brain-er. It has to be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  What killed the ambience of this hollywood read was the terrible writing, shallow characters and the poor quality of the kindle version, to boot! I admit, the story had me turning the pages, but compared to a real thriller (John Grisham is a fantastic thriller writer) it was a wet flannel.

January – 😦

February  – 12 Years a Slave

March – A Respectable Trade

April – Gone Girl, Unchartered

May – The End of the Affair

June – The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Divergent, The Confession (again)

July – Insurgent, Allegiant, Tracks

August – Starting Over, an Officer and a Spy

September – Bite, Sycamore Row

October – Elephant Moon, Daughter, Orange is the New Black, The Secret Life of Bletchley Park

November – Birdsong, Philomena,

December – Dear Daughter

Having the books in list form has reminded me of many an unfinished review. Please bear with me…

My escape

My Escape

 

 

I think this is never more prevalent than now, I have read 3 books within a couple of weeks and I currently have a strong footing in my next. I am not sure how I do it, I just begin reading and become so consumed by the story and the way my brain can make a film inside my mind that I struggle to put my kindle down. I truly believe readers like myself are addicts. I am ok with it.

So, reviews that will be arriving soon are:

Tracks by Robyn Davidson

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Starting Over by Evan Grace

and then the new John Grisham!

Why readers, scientifically, are the best people to fall in love with

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My other half sent me this, makes for an interesting read;
click here to read the article

Book butterflies

The feeling you get when you read a book that has completely consumed you and you then watch the trailer to the film.

Coupled with the knowledge that this profound story is true!!!

I am reading Tracks by Robyn Davidson and I cannot put it down, it has me gripped at the very core of everything emotional and I have just found out it is a true story which makes continuing to read it feel like a gift!

It recently mentioned in the book her relationship with National Geographic, I have found that first copy:

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And the film creative:
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Because everyone deserves the right to an education


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I am raising money to build a school in Zambia by climbing mount Kilimanjaro. This country has children living in poverty and roaming the dangerous streets looking for food and shelter. Providing a school for these kids and giving them an education will empower them to achieve more in life.  Please help this cause by donating just £2 via text (uk residents only) or visiting www.justgiving.com/mybigtrek. Together we can bring an education to the children of Zambia, because everyone deserves the right to an education.

I am raising money to build a school in Zambia by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

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Because everyone deserves an education
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Dear blog followers!! In July I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro….

“You! Climb a mountain? Yeah right! You do realise there are no shops up there!” Well Mum, not only am I (and my pack of blister plasters) going to prove you wrong, but I am going to do it for a very worthy cause.
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EduSport  has bought a plot of land in Zambia and they need fundraisers to help raise the pennies needed to build the school. How am I going to help….by not only doing some ridiculous fund raising but by completing a CRAZY challenge, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

 

Please help support me, EduSport and the children of Zambia by donating via my JustGiving page.

 

What’s new..

Hello everyone!

Thank you all for visiting, despite my recent silence.

Firstly, I am still plugging away at the Memoirs of Cleopatra. Although, I am almost there at 90% of the way through. I went through a period of resenting the book for taking up so much of my time, however, I have grown to love this amazing historical figure.  More on her in my final review.

Secondly, I have purchased a book. Yes a book! A physical copy with pages and everything.  I saw ‘Marie- Therese’ in Waterstones at the weekend and began reading it in store (whilst waiting for the boyfriend to finish browsing) and realised I needed this book in my life.  It is the story of the first born child of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, and her survival of the French revolution. It begins where Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser ends, and after finishing it I was desperate for more information on the scandalous Bourbon family…and now I think I have finally found it!!

(If your a Goodreads member, click on the image for more information)

So excited!

Thank you

I woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise, the author of the Ice King has messaged me personally to say thanks for awarding him 5 stars on Goodreads. He is yet to discover the amazing 5 star award on my blog (but I shall post a link to him).

I liked to see his thanks, people tend to abuse social media and use it to push market, and it is so refreshing to see an author reach out and send a personal message to thank his readers.  There was no ‘check out my next book..’ and other blah blah marketing scams.

I should imagine he enjoyed my 5 stars as much as I enjoyed the little note. Thank you Geoff!

Life and death.

I am still in the midst of Cleopatra’s memoirs, actually I am 79% of the way through. But I have come to realise that this book is more than just a history tale, it has enlightened me to a new outlook on so many different aspects of my life, recently and tragically it has helped me through the passing of someone I held dear to me.

Everyone knows where they were and what they were doing when you are told the news that someone you knew and cared about has passed away. Whether it be a family member, a friend or even the guy you buy your mocha-locha grande latte from every morning, each person has affected you with their life brushing or colliding with yours. For me, last week I had a moment of reflection interrupted with a slice of information I hoped to God wasn’t true. Sitting pondering things as I often do, this particular day I was digesting my current read, The Memoirs of Cleopatra. I often find that when I am engrossed in a book it provokes lingering thoughts, especially if it is factual based as this one is.  But it is through this book that I realised I could relate life’s unexpectancies to, where I could find solace to a crazy world. Just a few short hours after receiving the tragic news, I was attempting to flee reality and bury my sorrows during my lunch break by getting my head back in the book, the next page Cleopatra referenced her late lover Julius Ceaser, “Iacta alea estthe die is cast which he famously quoted on the battlefield with his acceptance of fate and for all that he can no longer do to alter his path. I know it may seem solemn to think that people part this life because it was written in fate, but in a way surely is it not comforting? Because if we knew we could alter our own pre-determined end, perhaps the human race wouldn’t be so fearless. We would sit tight twiddling our thumbs whilst watching the world go by and never grab anything that passes our way for fear of sealing our fate. I know that he lived each day to the fullest, went on the most amazing holidays, attended festivals and loved his kids with more than his big heart,  and for want of a better phrase, simply enjoyed life!

It is reassuring to know that I don’t need to be influenced by celebs and popular culture of today, all I need do is pick up a book and be transported to a world of resilient women captured by Margaret George in The Memoirs of Cleopatra who can make me float away on her adjectives and keep Cleopatra alive within my head.  It proves that no one ever really dies, they live forever in memories, and I will always remember his laugh and how every greeting was an ‘alright?!’.

Perhaps life isn’t so much about whom we leave behind, but rather how we continue to live?

A dedication.

Erin

Re-named!

To all who read my blog, I am very grateful and I doubt that you all read it because of my blog name. It is probably in spite of the blog name.

Well I have decided to re-name myself. I have changed from ‘To the point reviews’ to ‘My Books are Your Books’. I simply felt that my old name was harsh sounding and resonated ideas of a critical individual who liked nothing more than to get to the point of every opinion and thought and as a person I am simply not like that. I am a romantic and love to explore books and I am known to go on and on about everything and anything, I have even spoken for a whole hour about dogs to the poor ears of my boyfriend! So I hope you can understand my reasons for change.

Please, as always get in touch with me 🙂 by Twitter or email.

Erin

500 pages down, 500 to go!

Just a quick update to inform you all that I am now 50% of the way through Memoirs of Cleopatra, my mammoth of a challenge.

Although I am still reading the book which bodes well for it’s appeal, I have to say that I was hoping it would be written more like Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. I feel this book is a YA….does anyone know?

Finally!

I have a confession to make, I have been neglecting my blogging duties. But I have been monitoring my blog daily in the few minutes I could spare.

My time has been consumed by two lengthy projects.  The first being my final dissertation for my masters degree. The second, The Memoirs of Cleopatra.

The difference is, the project I have now conquered and will submit in person to my university on Friday (yaaaaay)

The book however, i’ll be honest, I am seriously struggling!

I will no doubt keep you updated with my progress and also continue with my content……I do love quotes!

My Current Obsession

So many times I have empthasized my passion for history, in particular the fictional books that are spawned from factual events and periods in time.  After demolishing Michelle Moran’s Egyptian series, and then Philippa Gregory’s Tudor works, I have found myself within a slightly raw subject of Anglo- American history; in particular the slave trade.

Within this week alone I am now on my 3rd book.  After Underground, I was so moved that I simply had to feed my craving for more insight into this heart renching story and after much googling I found the Narrative of Frederick Douglass, a slave in Southern America written by himself (the review will arrive immenently). 

Now, I am reading Ice King, the story of the slave trade in Liverpool. A huge book, for a huge topic, an important look at this harrowing piece of our history……..

Has anyone read Salmon Fishing in Yemen?

I desperately want to see the film but would much rather read the book first, does anyone have any thoughts on this?