The Twelfth Day of Blogmas - Journies around Middle Earth

Some of my favourite books have an incredible sense of place. It's like you can close your eyes and picture the world around the characters, what it sounds like, what it feels like. Today I finished reading Sky Song, and that is definitely one of those books. I'll definitely be talking more about that soon. But another one of my favourites that fills every location with a level of detail you can almost reach out and touch is The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's Middle Earth is incredibly deeply layered and carefully put together.

Nowadays of course,  there's a film studio that decided that New Zealand is the closest thing on Earth to Middle Earth, and some lucky people (like Charlotte) go there and walk around what is left of the film set, and it does look pretty magical. But it's not quite the real thing.

However, it is unlikely there'll be an Elven ship pulling into the Tyne quay anytime soon. The last ship has sailed.

Nevertheless, there have been times on my o…

The Eleventh Day of Blogmas - Bookish Naughty List Tag

This is a day late coming to you. My internet connection has been playing up badly. So just pretend it's still the eleventh day of Blogmas until I get back on track.

I was tagged in this book tag by Jenn so I'm going to have to give it  go! So I need to tick all of these naughty (bookish) things I've done, to see if I am on the naughty or nice list this year.

Received an ARC and not reviewed it - I've only ever received 3 ARCs, but I've only actually read two of them. I reviewed The Fandom. Sky Song I finished just today, and I will absolutely review it, but I did get a copy of Orphan Monster Spy in a goody bag and I haven't even looked at it.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley - I've not registered on Netgalley so I'm going to pass on that one.

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) - No, I haven't done this yet, though I'm sure I will.

Folded down the page of a book -…

The Tenth Day of Blogmas - Six For Sunday

Hi! It's Sunday again, which means that I don't have to try to come up with some brilliant, original idea for my blog today, and instead I can just ride on the coat tails of Steph at alittlebutalot and have a go at this week's #SixForSunday books.

This week the theme is Favourite books about Winter.

I'm going to try to avoid specifically Christmas books here, because I've read ahead and that's coming up on Christmas Eve.
1. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. It's not a Christmas book, it's a Hogswatch Night book. I love this because it really feels like Terry is exploring some of the gritty, pagan roots of our Christmas traditions, but doing so with humour and affection. 
2. The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. This feels a lot closer to a classical fairy story than The Hogfather. Tiffany Aching is one of the great female characters in fantasy literature, and here she faces off against the personification of winter, who decides he quite likes her. It'…

The Ninth Day of Blogmas - Christmas baking

Hello! I've just put my Christmas tree up and decorated it and it's finally starting to feel a bit more Christmas-like in here.

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favourite Christmas traditions, baking. I've been baking at Christmas for years now. Most of the year I'd do very little, maybe the occasional batch of scones, a birthday cake or two. Then at Christmas I'd do mince pies and sausage rolls. This year I've been baking pretty much year round, but as I'm making Christmas dinner for my family I've decided to go all out on the Christmas baking, with a few new things for me.

So far I've made a Christmas cake, a Christmas pudding and mince pies.

The first step for each of them has been essentially the same. A massive amount of different types of dried fruit and peel go into a big mixing bowl, with a bit of alcohol, and it all sits there overnight. That's a wonderful part of Christmas baking. The smell of the fruit in the alcohol f…

The Eighth Day of Blogmas - reading with children

I've been reading a few different opinion pieces recently about reading with children, and since it is one of my own favourite things to do, I thought I'd share my thoughts.

I have three children of my own, my daughter is ten and my sons are eight and four. I'm really lucky, in that they are all really bright and they all enjoy reading to some extent. My daughter, El, is a really enthusiastic reader and has been for some time, while her brothers are starting to get into it too.

I don't live with them and often only see them once a week, but I started reading with them again last year. Their school is really keen to push reading at home and the older two have reading journals to complete, so this was a way to help them meet these commitments.

Honestly, it was a bit of a drag. My time with them was already limited and reading took a chunk of that up. My son was bringing various reading scheme books from school, and although he seemed to enjoy them, I just found them qui…

The Seventh Day of Blogmas - Blogger Recognition Award

Good evening, I got tagged with this by Jennie from, via Twitter. I love tags! I really do. Mainly because I feel like I'm happiest writing within some kind of organised structure. It's lovely to get tagged on things like this when my blog has only been going a week. The book blogger community, especially those I've met on Twitter, have been so lovely and welcoming and supportive. I'm sure there is drama, but it's happening way over there somewhere, out of my sight! So I'm starting with a big thank you to Jennie, and check out her blog
Blogger Recognition Award RulesWrite a blog post to show your awardThank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blogGive a brief story of how your blog startedGive two pieces of advice to new bloggersSelect 15 other bloggers to nominateComment on each blog to let them know you have nominated them. Provide the link to the post you created.
How my blog startedHmm, let's see if I can remember. It&…

The Sixth Day of Blogmas - A Christmas Book Tag

Hi there. I didn't have anything planned for today, but Amy did this Christmas book tag, and while I wasn't tagged, she said she was happy for other people to try it, so here we go! Apparently it's a few years old now, and was originally created by Kate 1) A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with? The Weasleys, at the Warren. They're one of my favourite parts of the Harry Potter stories, and just seem like a wonderful, and fun, family to be around. I can imagine Christmas dinner with them would be hilarious, touching and thoroughly magical. 2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift? After years of using bus and train tickets to mark my places in books, I've finally started buying a few bookmarks. I've only got a couple of fairly basic, though pretty, ones and there are some amazing ones out there. Also, anything bookish that'll look good framed on my feature wall alongside my wall stickers and floating bookshelves.
3) A ficti…