The Harry Potter Tag

12:00 pm

I found this glorious tag a little while ago over at A Little Boat Sailing and made sure to get round to it once I had the time. I have so many happy memories of the Harry Potter series, both books and films, still watching them on a pretty regular basis to get my fix. It would feel wrong to pass up the opportunity to talk about J K Rowling's wonderful gift to the world.

1. What is your favourite book?

Goblet of Fire. I know it may be a bit of a controversial choice seeing as I've heard so many people saying it's their least favourite film and, in turn, that taints the book for them, but I still love it. Its opening chapter is by far one of the best in the series and still gives me chills when I read it. Plus I like how the format is different to all of the other books (not that there's anything wrong with the others), and there's such an influx of new and important characters, including Mad-Eye and Fleur. Plus who could hate the Barty Crouch storyline? So much drama. 

2. What is your favourite film?

I love the atmosphere of Prisoner of Azkaban, however cringe-worthy it can be at times. I also really like the last two for their darkness and how each of the characters turns into someone new as they encounter this darkness. I'd probably say my favourite is any of them except the first two. However sweet and nostalgic they are, I don't think I could really call them 'good films' in the traditional sense. Child actors grate me.

3. What is your least favourite book?

I don't have a least favourite book, I don't think. None of them stick out to me as being worse than the rest.

4. What is your least favourite film?

Chamber of Secrets. I don't know if I've just watched it too many times, but by the time Harry, Ron, and Lockhart get to the Chamber, I'm bored and want to switch it off. I also really can't deal with young Ginny, no offence. 

5. Which parts of the books/films made you cry?

The first time I saw Hermione's scene with her parents in the first Deathly Hallows film. 

6. If you could hook up with any character who would it be?

Sirius or Draco. Pre-books Sirius, or post-books Draco, although not with the weird beard in the epilogue. Please stop.

7. Who is your favourite character?

Hermione. Is there any other answer? She knows her intellect, she knows her strengths, she knows her weaknesses, she knows what's important and what needs to be done, and she does it. She never falters. She knows what's best for her and what's best for others. She knows when to help and when to stay out of the way. 

8. Who is your least favourite character?


9. What is your least favourite line?

I don't think there are any lines that really stick with me. Some of the Ron-Fleur stuff from Goblet of Fire annoys me, but that's natural.

10. What would your Patronus be?

A squirrel. I am never unhappy when I see a squirrel. I also think we share the same insatiable appetite and ability to shove too much food in our mouths. 

11. If you could have the invisibility cloak, resurrection stone or elder wand, which would you choose?

Hmm. I love the idea of an invisibility cloak, but I'd say elder wand, as long as I actually have the magical power to use it. Otherwise it would be completely pointless. 

12. What house would you be in?


13. If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be?

Emma Watson because she is a true inspiration.

14. If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?

I would not be on the Quidditch team. No-one would ever allow that to happen. Although being a Beater does sound like good stress release!

15. Were you happy with the ending?

Erase the epilogue and I think we're all happy.

16. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

It's not really possible to express into words. It's an integral part of my life and always will be.

I tag all of you reading this as I'd love to read about your Harry Potter experiences!
M x


Some Saturday Thoughts

5:30 pm

After weeks, and probably months at this point, lacking any sort of blog inspiration, it's slowly coming back to me in dribs and drabs. Most of this is thanks to some wonderful books I've been reading recently (my newest 'Recent Reads' post can be found here), but some is also just thanks to taking some time off of writing and allowing myself to not feel guilty for the lack of posts. 

A couple of updates really:

 - I start my MA on Wednesday, eek! I'm so excited, but beyond nervous too. I'll be happy to be back in an academic environment and have some goals to aim for, but on the other hand it'll be completely new and, I imagine, ten times harder than what I'm used to. However my course books I've been reading over the summer have been amazing and I can't wait to sink my teeth into them critically!

 - Over the summer I managed to get myself some work experience at a London archive, which, honestly, I didn't expect to get as it's such an impressive institution with a waiting list. It was a brilliant experience though and I was sad to leave (even though I did get to go back a few times after my placement after being asked to work a bit more on their project, which I was hugely flattered about). 

 - Still nothing positive on the job front, much to my disappointment. The very few classes for my MA makes this time perfect for getting a day job, studying in the evenings, but, alas, no luck so far. I'm not letting it put me off though and have been applying for jobs across the whole of summer, and I won't give up. Luckily there's a lot of babysitting that needs doing in my area at the moment, so that's a little bit of cash in my pocket to cover commuting to classes, hoorah!

So there we go. It's not hugely exciting, but excitement isn't really on the agenda at the moment. I'm enjoying taking it easy now as I know in the next few months my work load is going to go through the roof! Be sure to watch this space for some new blog posts cropping up over the next few weeks, probably mostly about literature. I can't help it, all I've been doing is reading!

M x

P.S. The photos in the post pretty much cover that I've been up to today: laundry, reading, crosswords, wearing stripes. Very glam.


Recent Reads #4

4:20 pm

Note: I had definitely run out of surfaces to shoot on as I decided to wash every soft furnishing at the same time, so here are some books on my mattress. I think the check print is quite autumnal though, no?

Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert's wildly popular memoir was something I'd intended to read for a long time, with a secondhand copy of it lying around on my shelves for about five years before I gave it a real go. My mum had nothing but praise for it upon finishing so I decided now was better than never. The book tells Liz's story as she travels the world after I guess what could be called an 'existential crisis' after a divorce and a failed passionate rebound. She begins in Italy, definitely my favourite part of the story, where she eats to her hearts content and focuses on the pleasures of life. I loved this part the most as it felt like this was the time where she was discovering the importance of treating herself and being her own best friend. Even though I loved the rest of the book too (praying in India, and 'love' in Indonesia), I felt less connected to the story, which is a shame as I felt very at one with Liz at the beginning, despite us having very little in common. Worth a read if you're interested in the idea of self-discovery. The film however, in a word, is bad.


The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

A painful tale of a young woman living in New York City undertaking a summer internship. The 'spirit of the age' (a phrase I dislike, but perfectly sums up what I'm trying to say) is really felt in Plath's words but I found myself still able to relate to the narrator's tribulations as she maneuvered the world as a 'new adult'. Her story is one of tragedy, mental illness, and the mistreatment of women, but one that desperately needs to be read by women and men alike. I can say I've never read anything like this before, but it's made me a true lover of Plath and eager to read her poetry, as The Bell Jar was her only novel.


Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

This is one of those books where the less you know about it, the better, as you can take a journey of discovery along with the characters. The story is narrated by Cathy and covers her childhood in a boarding school of sorts with her friends Ruth and Tommy. An air of mystery surrounds the school and their upbringing as they're told they are 'different' and 'special', as if they are 'chosen ones'. Revelations upon revelations occur within this book and with every single one you're shocked, in awe, heartbroken, angry, any emotion you can name. It's such a beautiful read and, even thought I'm not a massive re-reader, one I would happily consume over and over again for its elegantly written phrases and the nostalgic images of childhood it creates. This was quick to shoot onto my list of favourite books, plus the film actually manages to transfer the story and atmosphere of the British countryside incredibly well onto the screen.


Definitely a successful round of reading in my opinion. There are a few more things I've read in the passing months that I'm looking forward to sharing with you, so watch this space! Also, please share with me any recommendations you have either based on what I've loved above, or just things you yourself have enjoyed.

M x


The A-Z Bookish Survey

8:00 am

I recently came across this tag on The Book Journal and knew I had to give it a go, so here's the A-Z Bookish Survey, where I talk too much about The Hunger Games and can't actually think of any inventive answers!

Author you've read the most books from:

I think it's going to be the same for a lot of people, really - good old J.K.

Best sequel ever:

I'm going to have to say Catching Fire as it does such a good job expanding the world of Panem that we already know, and taking the format of the Games to the next level. Plus, it's a whole lot darker and you get to meet the best characters in the series, namely Plutarch, Finnick, and Joanna.

Currently reading:

Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I'm really upset because I only have 20 or so pages left and I've been absolutely loving it, however it does mean I can watch the film with Tilda Swinton (swoon) in. 

Drink of choice whilst reading:

Probably not tea, despite my first thought. I would end up needing a wee every half an hour, so I'll settle for my bottle of water. I am partial to a peppermint tea though when I'm in relaxation mode.

E-reader or physical books:

I'm going to say physical books even though I completely see the appeal of ebooks for long holidays and travelling. There's a strong market for both but I doubt print books would ever fall out of fashion.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

Tommy from Never Let Me Go. No doubt in my heart.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

I would actually say Orlando, the book I'm reading at the moment. I thought I'd really struggle to make it through but I adore it now.

Hidden gem of a book:

Joyland by Stephen King. It's not one of his well-known ones and feels very YA, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's a fast read so I'd recommend it to anyone!

Important moment in your reading life:

For any of you who have read The Wasp Factory, you'll know what I'm talking about, but I won't give it away to anyone who isn't in the know. This Iain Banks work taught me that books can be horrifying when before I didn't believe words on a page could have the same psychological impact as a film or TV show. I was very wrong and will never, ever forget this book. He was an absolutely superb writer and could construct such realistic images for his readers.

Just finished:

The graphic novel series Y: The Last Man. An absolutely incredible read. Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand, are the last two males remaining on the planet after a mysterious occurrence kills off all of the others. That's all you need to know. That, and that all of the female characters are positively kick-ass.

Kinds of books you won't read:

After attempting a historical romance recently (I can't even remember who wrote it), I'm probably going to swear off them for a few years. It was so dull.

Longest book you've ever read:

Ulysses. ULYSSES.

Major book hangover because of...:

The Hunger Games trilogy. I whizzed through them all so quickly and now feel lost without their world. Waiting around for Mockingjay Part One on the big screen is agony.

Number of bookcases you own:

Only one, alas. But it's one of those huge IKEA units, and double-layered. I really need to buy a new one.

One book you've read multiple times:

I'm not really one for re-reading as my reading list is already so long, but I have read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone a handful of times for nostalgia's sake.

Preferred place to read:

Since moving back home, I've got my own sofa on the other side of my bedroom that creates the cosiest little nook of blankets and pillows to read it. It's sufficiently far away enough from my laptop too to stop me from being distracted! I also really love reading on public transport with just atmospheric sounds around me.

Quote that you like from a book you've read:

'The end is in the beginning, and yet you go on.' - Samuel Beckett, Endgame.

Reading regret:

Whinging when I was at university that I had no time to read, when I knew damn well that I had plenty of time to read. That was pretty much three years of reading time wasted.

Series you've started and need to finish:

A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think I got about 6 or 7 books in before I fell into a reading lull and never got through the rest. However I do plan to get through the series again at some point!

Three of your all-time favourite books:

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (for the laughs)
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (for the tears)
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro (for some extra tears, just in case)

Unapologetic fangirl for:

The Hunger Games. I don't even care. This obsession has just grown in me and I'm trying to push it onto as many people as possible. I hate how people just shrug YA off as 'not real literature'. 

Very excited for this release more than others:

I'm not sure, I'm pretty bad at keeping up with book news. I only know about things once they're released! Maybe Meg Cabot's new fiction that was announced. I always loved The Princess Diaries.

Worst bookish habits:

I personally don't think it's a bad habit, but a lot of people have looked down on me for it, and that's writing in books. I think books are an experience and it's important to highlight passages that made you feel certain things, annotate parts that reminded you of other stories/films/art, etc. Documenting the experience is really important, I feel. 

X marks the spot - start a the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book:


Your latest book purchase:

I recently picked up It by Alexa Chung and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I was giggling in the bookshop over how every YA book on display had a quote from John Green on either the back or front cover. He is the YA king. 

Zzzz-snatcher book - last book that kept you up WAY too late:

For the last time I'll say it: The Hunger Games.

I tag all of you lovely book readers out there! I'd love to know your answers to these questions and see what books you recommend reading. You can also add me as a friend on Goodreads here if you want.

M x


A Little Day Trip

6:03 pm

When my mum invited me to Brighton for the day a few weekends ago, it was a no-brainer. I hadn't been since I was little and had heard so many wonderful things about the city through the blogging community. It seems to be the 'other' capital of blogging, away from London, with salty-sea views and any food you could set your mind on. It was a very low-key day, as most of the best ones are, with chicken gyoza from Kokoro on the high street, very vinegary chips from the seafront, and, of course, a wander around Tiger. It was also a day of bargains thanks to Body Shop discounts (£5 Silky Cleansing Oil, yes please). I definitely fell in love with Brighton and have a long list of things to go and see the next time I'm there.

M x


Mixtape #7

3:59 pm

Another specifically named mixtape, this time being the 'songs you may not have heard before but definitely need to listen to right now because they're amazing'.


M x

P.S. All of my playlists are constantly getting updated, so it's worth following them and seeing what gets added.

You're the Best Around!

8:44 pm


Just a little belated thank you for over two-hundred followers! I thought I'd leave it a bit so I didn't post saying 'THANK YOU FOR 200 GUYS' and then lose ten followers.

It really means so much to me that you've all stuck around to hear what I have to say, even if I'm not really saying anything on a regular basis.

Stay sparkly.
M x