Reading Resolutions 2017

resolutions
1. Keep a reading diary.

I normally keep track of my reading on Goodreads, which is just fine. But all writerly folk will understand the joy of carrying around a little notebook to keep all my bookish joy inside. You’ll also understand the very strong likelihood of giving up or forgetting to keep up with it after a couple of weeks.

I’m planning to keep track of new releases I’m excited for each month, books I specifically want to read, books I actually end up reading, and my favourite quotes as I read them. I’m hoping it will also help me keep up with the following resolutions.

2. Read at least three books per month.

This is a tricky one as three books doesn’t sound like many at all. However, my reading habits can be quite erratic based on how busy work is, if I can face reading through a headache, and of course whether I get sucked into any multi-season TV dramas on Netflix (case in point, Grey’s Anatomy in 2015 and Gilmore Girls in 2015).That means I could read eight books one month but only one in another, and my TBR pile(s) just can’t cope with that any more!

2. At least one book per month should be written by a BAME author.

This shouldn’t even have to be a resolution.

In an ideal world, if we pick up a book there should be an equal likelihood of it being written by any sort of diverse author. Any kind of human. But the sad case is that, especially in YA, we sometimes have to go out of our way to find it. I’m glad there’s a lot more awareness around the issue at the moment, and pushes to improve the problem.

Whilst there is plenty more character diversity, be it by ethnicity, disability or sexuality, in books being published now, they are still often written by heterosexual, white, able-bodied authors. But we can all do our little part to make sure we’re reading and appreciating different voices to our own. Reading is how we learn.

3. Read more graphic novels.

I own so many graphic novels. They’re on a separate book shelf and slightly less handbag-friendly than a paperback so I always forgetting about them. Worst excuse ever, right? I have a backlog big enough to read one per month, so that’s my aim for this year, in addition to my book goals.

4. Catch up on those pesky high fantasy series.

Here’s my problem. I love high fantasy. When a new book in a series is released (and they’re always in a series) I’ll get all excited and buy it straight away. In hardback. I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading a good book I want to take it everywhere with me…especially since Southern Rail is my main transport link. The conundrum arises because I’m way too lazy to carry around a 700 page hardback. And I just can’t face buying the e-book version and ruining my beautiful set!

Just like everyone else in the world, I want to get fitter in 2017. No, let me clarify. I want an excuse to eat more food. This may involve using my gym membership that I pay for every month but never utilise. Seriously, the gym is boring and it’s hard to read books on some of the machines (I’ve tried). So I’m hoping that Audible can save the day on two counts. This could be a terrible decision…I’ll let you know.

10 Harry Potter Gift Ideas

Choo choo! All aboard the Harry Potter hype train! This weekend is going to be full of Potter goodness in London, with the release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script (I’m ridiculously excited to be going to the midnight launch party at Waterstones Piccadilly) and YALC (aka. Young Adult Literature Convention aka. my favourite convention of the year) hosting their own Harry Potter party in celebration.

For those of you who need an affordable Potter fix, to treat a fandom friend or to affirm your HP geek status, here are ten goodies I’ve been drooling over. Everything listed is from UK sellers because we’ve all wallowed in the self-pity of finding something perfect online, only to find that shipping from the US costs twenty quid and will take three years to arrive.

1. Wizard Glasses Necklace
£15.00 from Literary Emporium + free postage

These Harry Potter glasses (with bonus added lighning bolt scar) are tiny and adorable. And they come in a little gift box. The problem is choosing which colour to go for.

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2. ‘Don’t let the muggles get you down’ Mini Notebook
£1.65 from on heykatiedesigns on Etsy + £1.20 postage (ships from UK)

This shop has SO many different notebooks sporting minimalistic designs of quotes from the books and even lines and lyrics from A Very Potter Musical. These are all a miniature A6 size, but you can upgrade to A5 for £1.45 for plain paper and £1.85 for lined if you so wish.

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3. Set of 3 Unforgivable Curses Pencils
£3.75 from EasilySuede on Etsy + £1.10 postage

What would go perfectly with your brand new, sassy notebook? Torture pencils of course! This set of three pencils have the unforgivable curses stamped on them and you can choose from multiple colours. The shop also sells a set of 6 regular Charms & Spells Pencils for £7.50 in case you’re not a terrible person.

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4. Harry Potter Inspired Polyjuice Potion / Unicorn Blood Necklaces.
£5.00 each from TLCgeekboutique on Etsy + £2.00 postage

These little necklaces are painstakingly handmade potion bottles, ingredients and anything else Potter themed that could go in a bottle (pumpkin juice, Snape’s tears, you name it). There are so many to choose from, you definitely need to check out the whole Etsy shop. They even take custom orders, if your favourite potion isn’t listed.

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5. Hogwarts Watercolour Print
£7.10+ (depending on size) from PrometheanArtworks on Etsy + £1.20 postage

Need to display your love of Hogwarts for all to see? Look no further. From a small 5×7″ print (£7.10) to a large A3 size (£17.20), this artistic, colourful picture will brighten up any room. Plus because they’re all UK sizes, you’ll be able to get a cheap frame just about anywhere.

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6. Gryffindor or Slytherin Illustrated Character Bookmarks
£2.50 each / £7.00 for three from SillyLunastortaShips on Etsy +  £1.20 postage

This beautiful original artwork brings to life various Harry Potter characters in bookmark form. You can buy them individually or as a set, and there are even more characters available in the Etsy shop. Seriously, there’s a pretty damn awesome Voldemort one too.

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7. The Grim Tea Cup and Saucer
£13.99 for tea cup only / £15.99 with saucer from Dreamscapeink on Etsy + free postage

I’m not saying that anyone’s ever called a Harry Potter fan subtle…but here’s something a bit different. The design depicting the shape of a Grim made out of tea leaves is on the inside of the tea cup. It’s like a suprise Potter fix that you can take to work and/or confuse people with.

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8. ‘I Love Tea Like Dobby Loves Socks’ Mug
£7.00 from Printsmadewithlove on Etsy + £4.00 postage

If you want a more conventional receptacle to fuel your tea addiction, then this simplistic but obviously Potter themed design will pronounce your love to anyone who sees you drinking. There’s also a coffee version if you bat that way. The only drawback is that you’ll probably give youself and everyone around you severe Dobby-related PTSD flashbacks.

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9. ‘Accio Sugar’ Silver Plated Teaspoon
£8.99 from Dreamscapeink on Etsy + free postage

Yes, more on the tea theme. Because you’re obviously going to need this hand-stamped vintage teaspoon. £8.99 might seem expensive for a spoon, but at least the shipping is free and it would make a lovely gift.

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10. ‘Mischief Managed’ Coaster
£3.95 from fableandblack on Etsy + £1.00 postage

What else were you going to put your new mug on?

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10 Purrrfect Gifts for Feminists

Social media has been abuzz for International Women’s Day today! I’ve learned about so many awesome women and some less awesome statistics.

Since a friend of mine Tweeted a picture of her notebook covered in the fantastic ‘feminist killjoy stickers’ below (which of course I instantly impulse-bought) I’ve been trawling Etsy to see what other goodies are out there.

So here are my top 10 gifts that you’ll immediately want to buy for all your friends, your favourite feminist, or let’s be realistic here, for yourself. And to celebrate the wage gap pooping on our disposable income, I’ve made sure that everything listed can be posted to the UK without selling your left kidney (here’s looking at everything we’ve ever wanted to buy from the US).

I apologise in advance that so many are cat related (except I’m not really sorry at all, cats rule).

1. Feminist Killjoy Stickers
£3.00 from handoveryourfairycakes + £0.71 postage

These are great. They would be even greater if I hadn’t accidentally ordered them to my parents’ address so won’t get them until I visit at Easter. My personal favourite has to be ‘I’m not sorry about your fragile masculinity’. I can’t wait to stick these on everyone I pass in the street.

2. Leslie Knope Compliments Postcards
£7.58 from tallestreeshop on Etsy + £2.71 postage

Feminism Post Cards

Because Leslie Knope is a goddess and feminism is all about not being a dick to fellow womenfolk, even if you think they’re prettier than you. This set includes 8 postcards sporting  various Parks & Recreation quotes in different colours. In fact, I’m going to need to buy two sets so I can stick them up on my wall whilst simultaneously posting them to all my friends. ‘You beautiful spinster’ would be a great choice for fans of Holly Bourne’s books (#spinsterclub) and ‘you rainbow-infused space unicorn’ is just plain fantastic.

3. Leslie Knope Quote Printable A4 Poster
£1.80 from BandsAndButtons on Etsy

Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope Quote Digital Print

Did I mention I love Leslie Knope? This isn’t a physical poster but you get a downloadable version that you can print in A4 at home/school/work (or at a print shop if you want better quality). To finish it off, there are plenty of affordable A4 picture frames about. Here are some from Wilko under £5.50.

4. ‘IDGAF’ Pocket Mirror
£3.47 from ilikeCATSshop on Etsy + £0.95 postage

Feminism Mirror

Who doesn’t need this? Sassy cat, yes please. Expressing your disdain for society’s ideals being imposed upon women, yes please. Especially useful if people are staring at you for putting on make-up on the bus because you couldn’t be bothered to get up early enough to do it at home.

5. ‘Cats Against Cat Calls’ Button Badge
£2.00 from BandsAndButtons on Etsy + £0.91postage

Cats Against Cat Calls Button Badge 3cm diameter

This kitty is even cuter. Seriously, why is cat calling even still a thing? No, I’m not going to smile just because you feel like you deserve to walk around in a more aesthetically pleasing bubble.

6. Feminist Killjoy Coasters
£10.00 from punkypins on Etsy + £2.50 postage

Feminism Coasters

The amount of pink is getting a bit much, I know. But these coasters are worth it. As far as I can discern, they say ‘Feminist Killjoy’, ‘End Catcalling’, ‘Pro Choice Pro Something Something Something ‘ (100% accurate translation) and ‘Feminist & Proud’.

7. Feminist Cat & Sloth Necklaces 
£11.95 each from riotcakes on Etsy + £3.78 postage

Feminism NecklacesSmash the Patriarchy Feminist Sloth Necklace

I couldn’t choose which one to post, so the link will take you to the whole selection which are all the same price. This may be a bad sign for your bank account , especially if you’re as indecisive as me. Somehow the sloths manage to be even more adorable than the cats. HOW?!

8. Feminist Cat & Sloth Stickers
£3.58 each from riotcakes on Etsy + £1.27 postage

Feminism Stickers

The necklaces might be a little pricey but luckily you can get all the designs as stickers, too! And it means you don’t have to rip your heart in half choosing which sloth is the cutest. Although obviously it’s the one that says ‘how about no’.

9. ‘What Would Hermione Do?’ Necklace
£7.50 (16″ chain) / £8.75 (24″ chain) from TheDreamingRabbit on Etsy + £1.50 postage

What Would Hermione Do? WWHD Hermione Granger, Harry Potter Necklace

Well, she’d save all the guys’ butts, that’s for sure. What’s better than feminism? Feminism combined with Harry Potter.

10. ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Human Rights’ Mug
£9.85 from missharry on Etsy + £3.98 postage

Feminist coffee mug - Girls just want to have fun-damental human rights & a nice cup of tea

A classic quote you’ve probably seen on your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feed at least 5 times today, but apt nonetheless. Obviously the mention of tea is what makes this mug though. You can also take it to work and then your colleagues will have to discuss feminism if they run out of small talk whenever you get a cup of tea. Genius! This is what they call the feminist agenda.

Welcome To My Face

CrXieVJzJust in case there weren’t enough book blogs out there…or food blogs out there…I’m here to add my tuppence worth with book reviews and pictures of cake. You’re welcome, world.

Clearly I’m very indecisive, but it’s just that I love a lot of things. Luckily, I’ve never met a bookish person who wasn’t interested in food, so hopefully you’ll enjoy both!

Here’s a bit about me:

  • My name is Jade, I’m 24 and live in London.
  • I work in education and organise events, conferences and training for schools.
  • I have an unhealthy obsession with many things including but not limited to: YA and fantasy books, fictional characters, food, wine, trashy Netflix marathons and polar bears.
  • My Harry Potter obsession trumps all of the above. I’m a Ravenclaw by the way.
  • I often forget to get off the bus/tube/train because I’m reading. I’m sure you can relate.
  • I love to cook and bake, but my kitchen is the smallest in the entire world.
  • I have a genuine problem with following recipes. I just can’t do it. It usually turns out pretty well though. I think I might be the Half Blood Prince of cooking.
  • Except when I try healthy cooking. It turns out I’m really not good at that. So I’m currently experimenting with that and trying to improve just to avoid going to the gym.