February wrap up!

Woah. It’s the end of February already? HOW. DID. THAT. HAPPEN.

February was a wonderful bookish month for me thanks to half term. I got SO MUCH reading done in half term (I think my grand total was 7 books in half term in the end!) So here we go… 

I’m currently reading… NOTHING. I’ve just finished ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ and totally loved it (watch out for a blog post coming soon!)

What did I read?!

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YA books:
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Traitor to the Throne: Alwyn Hamilton (absolutely yes. Please go and read it! BOOK BLOG: Alwyn Hamilton 2)
The Scarecrow Queen: Melinda Salisbury (again… another winner. I have lots of feels about this book and this trilogy, all will be revealed in blog posts to come!)
Margot and Me: Juno Dawson (absolutely devoured this, it is absolutely wonderful… BOOKBLOG: Juno Dawson)
The One Memory of Flora Banks: Emily Barr (enchanted by this story, I read it really quickly! Blog post to come!)
(Not pictured – We Come Apart: Sarah Crossan/Brian Conaghan)

MG books:

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Who Let The Gods Out? Maz Evans (loved this… totally and utterly, finished it in less than a day!)
Alex, the dog and the unopenable door: Ross Montgomery (finished in 2 hours, absolutely wonderful!)
The Tornado Chasers: Ross Montgomery (again another one I finished within the space of hours, really really good!)

What did I buy?

Now… I might have ended up in Waterstones Picadilly at some point this month (because of being at an event in London and I MAY have bought the books…)

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The Mime Order: Samantha Shannon (I won this via a goodreads comp! Thanks goodreads!)
Ink: Alice Broadway (the lovely people of Scholastic sent this over to me and I can not wait to read it and review it… review to come in the next week or so!)
Tale as Old as Time: Liz Braswell (as you all know I am OBSESSED with Beauty and the Beast, so anything themed that way I MUST HAVE)
Heartless: Marissa Meyer (heard SUCH good things about this that I had to have it!)
Dear Amy: Helen Callaghan (I saw a poster for this and knew I had to have it!)
Caraval: Stephanie Garber (I needn’t say anything… anyone who is anyone will know this is one of the hottest anticipated books of this year AND I CAN NOT WAIT TO READ IT).

MG books/picture books:

I Can Only Draw Worms: Will Mabbitt (I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from my book fairy and it is HILARIOUS. The kids adore it! (BOOKBLOG: Will Mabbitt)
Spinderella: Julia Donaldson (I read this to my twiglets and knew I had to have a copy!)
Life is Magic: Meg McLaren (I’m a sucker for magic and a sucker for picture books… so I guess this was meant to be!)
Edie: Sophy Henn (my book fairy sent me this one too… and it is wonderfully wonderful – BOOK BLOG: Sophy Henn)

Radio Boy: Christian O’Connell
Marge and the Pirate Baby: Isla Fisher (another one I won from goodreads, that will no doubt end up in the school library!)
The Night Spinner: Abi Elphinstone (the final book in the trilogy and I can not wait to see how it all ends!)
The Secret Keepers: Trenton Lee Stewart (when I saw this in Waterstones, I knew it had to be mine!)
The Goldfish Boy: Lisa Thompson (a book my tweacher friends have been raving on about for weeks now, so I had to get it!)

So there was my February in books! A lot bought but a lot read! Can’t wait to see what March has in store (no doubt fewer books read but more bought ha!)

S x

The Night Spinner Launch

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch part of The Night Spinner, the new and final book in the Dreamsnatcher series, in London and I had a total whale of a time!

It was so incredible to finally get to meet Abi and talk to her about her books! I’ve been a fan for a while now so to finally get her and get all 3 of her books signed was an absolute treat. There were some wonderful speeches and even some tears! It was so lovely to be surrounded by people who I admire and people who I’ve only ever spoken to on Twitter!

I got to meet some of my other favourite authors too! Even managing to sneak a selfie with the glorious Katherine Webber (the author of Wing Jones, which if you haven’t read yet, then you PROPERLY should: BOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber). I also got to have a long chat with Ross Montgomery (the author of the absolutely magnificent Perijee and Me, which my Y4 class adored) and we spent a long time putting the world to right! It was absolutely wonderful.

(With wonderful Katherine Webber! She is the sweetest!)

(This is Abi having a chat with Ross Montgomery, she’s not telling him off… I promise!)

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“In a ruined monastery in the northern wilderness, a Shadowmask called Wormhook sits in front of a spinning wheel. He is spinning a quilt of darkness known as the Veil. A masked figure then carries the Veil across the lands, slipping it through the windows of children’s bedrooms to poison their minds…

Meanwhile deep within Tanglefern Forest, Moll and her wildcat, Gryff, are waiting for a sign from the Old Magic before they continue their quest to find the last Amulet of Truth and free their world from the Shadowmasks’ terrible magic.
 
Still missing fellow Tribe member, Alfie, and armed only with a mysterious set of clues, Moll sets out on an adventure across the northern wilderness with Gryff and her friend Siddy at her side. They must brave the Lost Isles, scale the Barbed Peaks and face witches, goblins and giants who lurk at every turn . . . while the Shadowmasks draw ever closer.
 
Can Moll, Siddy and Gryff find the friend they think they have lost? And do the Tribe have what it takes to defeat the Dark magic once and for all?”

Moll and Gryff are 2 of the children’s favourites at school and I can’t wait to read this and pass it on to school! 

S x

Blogger Recognition Award

A big thank you to the lovely Kelly @ Kelly’s Ramblings for nominating me for this one. You should go and check out her blog!

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RULES…

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created

How did my blog start?!

I haven’t been blogging ALL THAT LONG. Maybe about 6 months now? So I’m relatively new in the blogging world. I started blogging because I wanted a place to talk about books and teaching. There wasn’t really anywhere else I could think – I had a tumblr years ago and didn’t feel like going back there. I blog regularly for work (each of the classes has their own blog) so I knew the workings of WordPress so figured ‘why not go for it?’ And one day I just sat down and decided that A Little But A Lot would be born. The words are a play on lyrics from Matilda the Musical (which I wrote a blog post about… one of my very first! You can read it here: Matilda The Musical) and I have loved blogging ever since.

Two pieces of advice to new bloggers?

  1. Absolutely blog for yourself.
    Write blog posts you want to tell the world about. Write because you want to share. Write because there’s something in you that you want to shout about. Write things that you would want to read. Too many bloggers get into blogging think it’ll be easy, thinking there’ll be loads of free stuff… those things are wonderful and they’l come to you eventually, but you have to blog for the right reasons. And make sure you’re putting across a perception of yourself that you’re happy for people to see. Your blog is just an extension of you. Be proud of it in its entirety.
  2. The blogging community is a wonderful place, filled with exceptional people.
    Some of my best “pocket friends” as we call each other I have met because of my blogging. Find your niche in the world of blogging and I can guarantee you’ll make some exceptional friends. Don’t be scared to join in twitter chats, put yourself out there and share your blog posts. If you surround yourself with the right people you’ll be grand. Talk to people who are like minded and people who lift you up. I absolutely can not applaud my online community enough. They are my biggest fans, supporters and the people who challenge me most.

Who do I nominate?

 

BOOKBLOG: JEANNE WILLIS, JARVIS

Poles Apart: Fun and beautifully illustrated! Perfect for the classroom!

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I spotted this a few weeks ago in Waterstones Newcastle but didn’t pick it up at the time so when it came to buying it again I had totally forgotten what it was! In fly the amazing friends of twitter I have! They came to my rescue and pointed me in the right direction to get this book and I am so glad.

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“Everybody knows that penguins belong at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole – but what would happen if, one day, a family of picnicking penguins accidentally got lost? When the hapless Pilchard-Brown family find themselves at completely the wrong pole, they need Mr White, the friendly polar bear, to guide them all the way home…”

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The penguin family (the Pilchard-Browns) get lost and the polar bear (Mr White) takes them round the world (visiting lots of different countries) and then eventually they get to their home. 

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This book is sweet, fun and beautifully illustrated… making it perfect for the classroom. It would work brilliantly in EYFS and KS1. There are quite a lot of words in it but our Reception class read it and they loved it! Our kids found it hilarious! Some of them even wanted to go off and write another little bit about somewhere else the polar bear and the penguins could’ve visited!

An absolute winner from Nosy Crow! I can’t wait to see what else they release this year!

S x

To all those amazing teachers…

To all those amazing teachers, this is a letter for you.

I’m writing this in hopes that it can brighten someone’s day, or help someone through a tough patch, or just be something my teacher friends read and ponder over. It’s certainly not going to change the world! Just my musings, dedicated to teachers and others who work in schools. Because schools are so much more than teachers – there are some absolutely incredible support staff (be it TAs/SEN TAs/lunchtime staff, whoever it is that supports you in your days) this letter is for all of us. (Including me, I do work in a school after all). 

Teaching, working with kids, isn’t easy but it’s certainly rewarding. You work day in and day out to get these incredible balls of energy to learn this, harness this skill, become these balls of energy that can do some incredible things, say some hilarious things and ultimately become little people we are so proud of. It’s hard, it’s tiring, it’s exhausting and you all work SO hard… just keep it up. Those nights of sleeplessness because your lesson plan is running over your head, or that lesson didn’t go well, or because you’ve not marked all those books you need to… don’t let them get on top of you. Keep plodding on. You’re doing an absolutely incredible job. Those kids are learning and growing and maturing because of all of your hard work. You’re helping them become the little people they’re destined to be… give yourself a break. That kid who’s had a horrible morning? That kid who has fallen out with his friend? That kid who doesn’t have a great home life? You make them feel better. You put that smile on their face. You make them feel included, involved and important – and that’s important. 

Sharing ideas and resources is an incredible part of this community. I love that teachers are sharers – they will share what they can. It may be a resource they made, an idea they had, a lesson that went well… there’s always someone sharing something that worked for them! Just take yourself to Twitter/Facebook (ignore the people who are hating on this profession… it’s not all doom and gloom) and you’ll find people who are happy to give advice and guidance to anyone who asks. I love this sharing. It makes us better teachers. I don’t know another profession where people openly share so much. Keep sharing, keep asking. There’s always something new around the corner for us to try and to learn. 

On that note… don’t feel like just because it seems EVERYONE is doing something that you have to do it. Or feel like if you’re doing something everyone is hating on that you’re doing it wrong. Yes, people sharing their ideas is amazing and we can learn so much from each other but what works in their classroom isn’t what will work in your classroom. I have tried things that people have ranted and raved about on Twitter and Facebook and it’s not worked in my classroom. It’s not your fault, you’re not a bad teacher, you’re not failing anyone… kids are just as individual as you are and it’s important to remember that. Just because it works in your friend’s school 100s of miles away doesn’t mean it will work in your classroom. Try out the ideas but don’t feel like you’re failing if it doesn’t work. You know your kids. You know what’s going to work with them… so don’t try something you know won’t help them. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. If you’re doing something that everyone else doesn’t like but it’s working in your classroom then KEEP GOING. Do what’s best for your kids. Not what everyone else thinks is best. YOU are the one who knows your class best. YOU know what’s best for them. Essentially your classroom runs on what’s best for them… not what’s best for kids miles away. If you magpie someone’s idea and it does work then share it with that person! There is nothing better than knowing something you’ve shared works for someone else. 

In regards to your classrooms… make them a space you’re proud of. There’s nothing better than going into a classroom and it being a space that feels very ‘you’. Your classroom should be a space where your kids feel safe, happy and productive. I’m not foolish, I realise that there are kids who don’t want to be there, there are times YOU don’t want to be there. If your classroom is that space you’re proud of then these days will be less frequent or at least feel a lot less shitty. I’m not lucky enough right now to have my OWN classroom per se, but I know when I do get one I want it to be very me. I want kids to want to come into the classroom and want them to want to learn. Your classroom should feel like theirs too. Make them feel included in it somehow. I love seeing everyone’s classrooms – your displays, your reading spaces, your outside areas… keep sharing them with me. There’s nothing more telling about a teacher than their classroom… and they’re always incredible. Thank you for sharing and making your classrooms places that you’re happy to share. I love seeing them.

Teachers are an incredible bunch of people. Keep up the hard work. You’re all wonderful. I can’t wait to be a “proper” teacher (see: qualified). 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Juno Dawson

Margot and Me: heartbreaking, soul filled and beautiful.

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The first I heard of Juno Dawson was when I read the Crisis ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ short story anthology and I absolutely loved her short story about a Geordie boy (see my review here: BOOKBLOG: Tom Becker) and as soon as I heard there was a new book coming up I KNEW I had to read it! A few of my friends and I agreed to read it at the same time and we all started it on the same day… I am so glad we all started it together, despite the fact I was one of the last to finish it! I love my online group of bookworms, they’re my favourite people.

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“Fliss’s mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss’s stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot’s wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back.

But Fliss soon discovers Margot’s life during the evacuation was full of adventure, mystery… and even passion. What’s more, she learns a terrible secret that could tear her whole family apart…”

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I picked this book up with very little knowledge of what it was about and I’m pretty glad I didn’t know! It was an absolute revelation to read it totally blind, to discover the characters and the story without any previous knowledge. I had read the blurb, but it had fallen out of my head. 

The story starts out with an introduction to Felicity, who is being made to move away from her life in London to a secluded farm in Wales run by her grandmother. Initially Fliss hates her life in Wales: the girls are horrible, she can’t do anything right, her grandmother isn’t your typical grandmother, she hates the farm and then eventually things start to turn. Fliss discovers her grandmother’s diary from when she was evacuated to Wales. 

For me, Fliss was quite a hard character to like at first… I don’t know what it was, she just didn’t sit well with me, but as you go through the book (as my friend Aoife said) “she’s a grower”. She will grow on you, she grew on me. Her grandmother was the biggest surprise to me. I found her hard, cold and abrupt initally but once you learn her story you’ll find that she is like an onion, there are so many layers to her. Her diary extracts became the thing that I was reading on for. I absolutely loved learning about her life through the diary extracts. You’ll meet so many incredible characters through the diary extracts – my favourites including Ivor, the gentle giant – and eventually it is the diary that saves Fliss and her grandmother’s relationship. 

This story blew me away. I wasn’t expecting it to. But it made my heart so so so happy. I cried an awful lot. The ending broke me. I had grown so attached to these characters – both in the now and the characters of Grandma’s 1940s life – that I wasn’t ready to let them go. The amazing thing about this story is that it came out of nowhere. The relationships between the characters are so complex yet so brilliantly sculpted. The story is beautifully weaved and deals with some incredibly hard hitting subjects: death, bullying, evacuation, war, sexuality, racism, grief, love, heartbreak and pregnancy. (It’s scary to read this book and realise that during the 40s there probably were people who thought the way that people thought in Margot’s diaries.)

I implore you all to read this. It’s incredible.
If you don’t believe me check out my friend’s review: Kelly’s Ramblings: Margot and Me

S x

Half term… happiness

Ah, here we are again… after what seems like the toughest 7 weeks of my working career (I have no idea why, this half term just felt ROUGH) we have reached half term. Half term is a funny time for me, I am so bad at switching off and I spend a lot of it on my own – this isn’t a problem, I am good in my own company, but sometimes it gets a bit blah. I am one of these people who flourishes in work. I love my job, but I also know that half terms are important time to recharge my batteries for the half term to come. I thought I’d write  a blog post about the things that make me happiest, and share with you my plans for this half term (because there’s some exciting things happening!)

So what makes me happy? What helps me to relax? What do I do to recharge my batteries?
Here’s 5 things that I do to recharge my batteries! 

  1. Read. Everywhere. Everything.
    There’s never a shortage of books on my TBR list and half term is the perfect time for me to get through 3/4 of them. I like to read A LOT during half term. It’s the time when I pick up on my reading challenges. Term time is so hectic with work and uni that I like to spend some time reading things I WANT to read, not just academic things!
  2. Starbucks.
    Yep. I’m a Starbucks fan. My particular favourite is the Starbucks in Newcastle by the Monument. I like to sit in the window and read and watch the world go by (which is also where you’ll find me on a Sunday during term time doing my marking/planning/blog planning/uni work planning! It’s the place I’m the most productive idea wise!) I’ll probably be drinking a peppermint mocha, a hot chocolate or a breakfast tea (in the middle of the day. rebel)
  3. Goddaughter dates.
    I am blessed that I have 2 absolutely gorgeous twin goddaughters, who are getting older and are now wanting to spend time with me (they’re almost 6, but yknow! still want to spend time with Auntie Spot) and I’m lucky that I get to spend that time with them. Whether its cinema dates or going to the park, or the pub for lunch seeing them always makes my heart so happy. 
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  4. Walking.
    This one I’ve not done much of recently but now that the weather is improving I will definitely be doing more of. I like walking, it’s that perfect kind of exercise that you can think to your heart’s content and you can have all those stupid conversations with yourself that you’ve been meaning to have for weeks. You have time to mull over all those situations you have lived over the past few weeks too. Newcastle is a beautiful city and I’m lucky that I live in such a picturesque place, so walking is definitely the way to see it all.

  5. The seaside.
    Now… this is a funny one. I used to walk along the seaside all the time, then it became the place I went with my ex so every time I went back I was reminded of them and now that I’ve closed that book I need to start going more. I was there a few days ago and I only had 5 minutes on the seafront and I felt just relaxed. It’s incredible what a trip to the seaside can do for a soul. It is definitely my happy place.

So what does this half term have in store?

Well, for a start probably, ultimately SOME work. Dissertation/planning work must be done BUT… IN MORE EXCITING NEWS…

I’m going to London to go to the book launch of the wonderful The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone! I can not wait!

AND WHILE IM THERE I GET TO HAVE LUNCH WITH MY BOOK FAIRY. Guys you have no idea how excited I am. My book fairy is my favourite person in the world, and I get to finally meet her and chat to her about all things kids books and I get to say thanks for all the books. It is going to be glorious. You should be excited for me too.

I am going to read MANY OF THE BOOKS. I’m currently reading Paper Butterflies which is destroying my soul. I may have bought a whole host of other books too… which will just add to me TBR.

I am going to schedule a whole host of blog posts about all kinds of things! If you have anything you want to see from me then please just holler, I love hearing your ideas.

I am going on 2 cinema dates with my twiglets. I think we’re going to see Moana and Ballerina. Who knows? I’ll go and see anything for those two gorgeous people.

How about you guys? Are you on half term? Have you just had half term? Do you not get the luxury of half term? Let me know how you relax or what you do to recharge your batteries! I’m always looking for new ways to chill myself out!

S x

DISNEY?!

I spend a lot of time championing books on this blog and I thought it was about time that I shared with you all some of my favourite Disney films. Now, I’m not one who loves watching films but I LOVE going to the cinema – I find it holds my attention more than sitting at home watching a film. It’s all about the atmosphere and the ambience… you can’t replicate that at home! I’m going to share my top 5 Disney films (or 5 films that I really love at the minute since my top 5 change QUITE OFTEN).

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Beauty and the Beast
OBVIOUSLY. I love this film. I love the soundtrack. I love the animation. I could watch this weekly if I had the time. It’s just such a gorgeous tale of love, acceptance and friendship. I love Belle the most. She is my all time favourite Disney princess – she’s a reader, she’s badass, she doesn’t stand for Gaston’s absolute cockiness… she’s just wonderful. The songs are absolutely wonderful – I think this has one of those soundtracks that I can listen to again and again… and yes, I know all of the words to all of the songs. And the whole film. This film makes me happy and it makes me cry. There are numerous occasions that make me cry. But I love it. The furniture are some of the highlights for me, namely the sassy armoir. (Side note: I am VERY EXCITED for the 2017 live action adaptation, but there is part of me that is SO WORRIED too. I hope they don’t ruin it. I’ve seen the final trailer however and I think it’s going to be wonderful).

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Robin Hood
I don’t feel like Robin Hood gets enough praise. It’s one of my favourite Disney films and not enough people enjoy it. Or give it the praise it deserves. I think he is a total fox (lol, puns, sorry) and he has morals and he stands up for the people who are being wronged. It’s always an interesting story to talk to kids about because they get torn between ‘is he doing the right thing or is he doing the wrong thing?’. But this film I absolutely love. The scene with the mice in the church makes me absolutely bawl. 

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Big Hero 6
I couldn’t do a Disney appreciation post without mentioning Baymax. He is one of my favourite animated characters of all time. There are so many moments which absolutely make me burst out laughing. Baymax is the loveliest. This is another one that makes me cry… I mean how can you not? There’s always some death in Disney films… ergo tears. But I love the relationship between Baymax and the unexpected heroes. There are so many gif worthy moments from Big Hero 6 and there’s always one that’s appropriate. Plus it helps that he is super cute. 

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Brave 
I love Merida. I love her attitude. I love her voice. I love her hair. I love how strong she is. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself. I love that in this film she goes on a total voyage of discovery… for herself, for the traditions of her country, for her mother. The soundtrack of this film is also wonderful. The animation in this film is incredible. The fact they make ALL of her hair look like it’s real hair amazes me. Good work people. Made me cry, obviously.

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Tangled
Ah, Rapunzel. One of my favourite fairytales of all time. When I found out they were making a film of it I was so excited. And the film does the story SO MUCH JUSTICE. I love this film. Rapunzel is sassy, a bit up and down and awkward at times. Flynn makes me laugh the most because he’s a bit Gaston-esque but is quickly bumped down a few pegs! I love their developing love story and Rapunzel’s contrasting feelings towards wanting to leave and wanting to be free – that is one of the scenes that makes me laugh most. Naturally, the ending made me cry. 

So what have we learned about me from this list?

  • I love Disney
  • Disney films always make me cry
  • I have a thing for soundtracks. (I might do a post on favourite Disney songs in the next few weeks)
  • Disney princesses who are a bit sassy and stand up for themselves are my favourite kind of princess

S x

3 stars and above, please

Welcome to guest blog number 2, this time coming from my wonderful friend Kelly – This Northern Gal (her details are at the bottom of this blog post!).

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I’m not a very good book-worm, or book-blogger for that matter. I think Shakespeare is kind of over rated, and way too overvalued in English schooling. I don’t have much time for Austen. My bookcases aren’t picture perfect and my collection is spread between houses. I tend not to have all the latest books, nor the prettiest editions.

Worse than that though, I only share positive reviews on my blog.

In part, that is because I have always wanted This Northern Gal to be a positive place, where I share the things I have been loving and that have been making me happy. That ethos continues to the books that I choose to share there. If I love a book, I want to write about it in the hopes that someone else will love it too. I’ve found that to be slightly more effective than babbling incoherently and thrusting my favourite books at confounded friends.

But more than that, it’s due to a much bigger decision to avoid reading books that I don’t enjoy in my free time.

You see, I read a lot of books. A LOT. I’m four years into a degree in Classical Studies and English which means that I’m constantly carrying books and trying to deny how long my to-be-read list is. At its worst, I was expected to work on three novels a week, as well as critical reading, and you know, sleeping. Anna Karenina and Great Expectations were among the lists too, if that helps you feel bad for me.

It’s calmed down a little now but not by much. So, to save my love of reading from total annihilation I promised myself that I don’t have to read any books that I don’t want to in my free time. If I’m not into it in the first 25% of it, I stop.

Some, that I think I could enjoy but are too much of a challenging read for right now, are added to my post-graduation list. Anything too dense or too long is reserved for that glorious time of unemployment. As is the entire Harry Potter series because I have been waiting a long, long time to re-read that.

Only books that I am enjoying make it to my blog because they are the books that I spend my time reading.

The kind of books that I read has also changed during my degree. My love for fantasy has increased, and I’ve been really enjoying short stories and poetry at the moment. Books that make a delightful treat after a long day of studying or working are on my agenda and therefore my blog.  I no longer feel guilty about that, about not ticking every box that comes with the title of ‘book worm’, ‘book blogger’ or even ‘literature student’. Why should I?

I might not have a very balanced blog, or read the books that I should but I do love to read. Surely that’s what matters. Especially if it gives me a chance to natter about books with other literary lovers.

 If that makes me a bad book blogger, then I’ll wear that badge with pride.

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I think the message that Kelly is getting across is SO important here and it’s one that I stand by firmly. There are books that I read that I don;t particularly enjoy but I would never put a negative review on my blog. I want this blog, just as Kelly wants hers, to be a place of positivity. Books are one of the things that I love most about the world and about my little world. I have all the time in the world for supporting incredible authors and their incredible stories. I’ll always be honest, I’ll always tell you my real thoughts about a book but I would hate to think that people thought of A Little But A Lot as a negative place. 

If you’d like to follow Kelly (and I suggest that would be a wise move on your part) you’ll find her:
Twitter

Youtube

Instagram

This Northern Gal blog

Thank you so much Kelly for this wonderful message,

S x

To my pocket friends…

Hello all you wonderful people on the internet,

It’s only right that here, Valentines Day, I share a message with the people who inspire me, push me and support me the most.

The internet is a place filled with trolls, horrible people and badness… but I’m lucky that I have found you. I’ve found my niche in the world of ALL OF THE PEOPLE SAYING ALL OF THE THINGS. It’s hard to take the internet seriously sometimes because there is so much going on – so much clickbait, so many trolls, so much content being read and thrust in your face at one time – but it’s important to remember that the internet is a wonderful place that connects people of like minds. It connects me to you: some of the most incredible people I have the luxury of knowing and calling my friends. 

I am very blessed in that this here blog, my corner of the internet, has been taken under the wing of so many of you wonderful people who I don’t know in real life, but who are my biggest supporters. You champion my tiny little blog,  support me and are the first to read my posts and retweet my tweets. All of your suggestions for improvements, the things you send me of things you think I’d love are so gratefully accepted. I’ve never known a bunch of people to accept me as willingly as you have and it makes me so happy.

Twitter is the place that has introduced me to most of you. Twitter is a wonderful place (it’s also a terrifying place of anger, hatred and darkness) filled with love and friendly faces. I want to thank each and every one of you for being lovely to me, for supporting me, for telling me to keep going. You all make me feel loved, supported and part of a wonderful community. Whether it is the teaching community, the book blogging community of just the community of awesome twitter users you’re all wonderful and welcomed me with open arms.

To my SundayYAhoneyz: I can’t wait to meet you all and hug you.  YALC is so far away, but we have already formed such an incredible friendship that I know by the time YALC comes we will be the firmest of friends. I love you ladies so much.
Rachel: you are the reason we are so incredibly close, you’re an absolutely incredible woman, I’ve never known anyone as inspiring as you. You truly are our overlady. Kelly: you’re one of those special people in life you come across so rarely. I can’t wait to come to Wales and see your life! Aoife: you’re my favourite Irish person, you have the most amazing spirit, don’t let life suck that out of you. Remember we believe in you every single day. Cora: I love that I have another northern compadre. I can’t wait to get to spend more bookish events with you. You’re one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known and you always have wise words to share.
You ladies have no idea how quick you have become a part of my every day life. It sucks every single day that we all live so far away. I love each and every one of you. You all have such an important part to play in my life and I will never have the words to say thank you enough. Your messages of encouragement, questions and laughter make even the worst day seem bearable. I love you all massively.

To the UKYA twitter community: All of you are absolutely wonderful, you’ve all changed my life in ways you’ll never know. I never really felt part of something as big and as special as this. You are all my favourite people. From the wonderful authors, the publishers and my fellow bloggers, thank you so much for including me in this incredible world you call the UKYA community. I am so proud to be part of it.

To the twitter teacher community: you guys constantly affirm my positivity in that teaching is the best job in the world. You are all incredible educaters, you are all inspiring and you never fail to answer any of the stupid teaching questions I have. I love seeing what happens in and out of your classrooms – I have magpied an uncountable amount of things for my own classroom, when I finally have one. You guys are also always on hand for a chat about books to use in the classroom. I have loved watching the teacher book community grow and surrounding myself with you wonderful twitterers.

Finally, to each and every one of you who has ever had something nice to say to me, I am so so grateful. You are all wonderful people. I am always here to chat. I have all the time in the world for you all.

Love, eenalol x