My Peacock Books Website Banner

August 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

Busy train station
Image from Pixabay.com

Saturday was not a good day to travel.  I had to join the mad Bank holiday rush of people and decided to opt for the train as the best option for travel.  However it wasn’t a good day, not for a lot of people, especially those that died.

When I got to the train station it turned out all trains were cancelled.  there was an accident on a station further up the track, somebody had been hit by a train.  Later this ‘hit by a train’ announcement changed to ‘fatality’.  Train lines to and from London were eventually re-opened but it took several hours before anyone could travel anywhere.

To add to the travel misery, several train stations are closed for a week for major works and so all trains, even direct ones were extra slow as they all had to use the same few stations (rather than ending at several different London stations as is the norm).

When I finally arrived in Victoria Train Station it was already late and although my journey took me further north out of London, there was an announcement at the station that somebody somewhere on the Brighton line was hit by a train (whether deceased or not I still don’t know) :/

There was at least one more fatality on a train line somewhere towards Southampton on the same day, involving another person hit by a train; and on the roads a major accident on a motorway resulted in at least eight deaths.

Saturday was a bad day for travel in the UK.  It was supposed to be the big Bank holiday getaway, but so many people dying made the day a sombre one.


Smart phone
This isn’t my phone just a picture of one.   Image from Pixabay.com

So that was Saturday, which was a strange day.  Travelling took a lot out of me, I’m not the best traveller, but the more people there are the more ill I feel so I’ve been taking it easy and haven’t done much reading recently.  I’ve got some new an exciting books to read though, which I’ll share with you soon in a Book Haul post.  Unfortunately due to my camera dying last week, I’ve been taking pictures of my latest book haul (plus the insides of picture books) with my phone’s camera…which I’m not very good at so apologies in advance for any images that just look wrong or have shadows or something.

correcting

This month I’ve neglected my blog a bit, I haven’t posted as many articles or poetry as I’d hoped due to being away a lot but I hope what I did post was still interesting to some and certainly my most popular post of the month was Does Editing in Books Matter?  If you haven’t already seen it then take a look and add your views I’d love to know what you think 🙂

Tell it to the Moon book coverThe second most popular post is surprising as it’s a review!  This is the first time a review has been one of the top 3 most popular posts of a month but here you are, a review for ‘Tell it to the Moon’ by Siobhan Curham.

Pink flower

 

My last highlight is a poem which I’m so happy it was so popular as it’s a poem I took a lot of time to write and is all about keeping to your true self, your true path no matter how hard it may seem: The Beautiful Path  Please check it out if you haven’t already.  I hope you like it and it motivates you 🙂

Laughing cat

Although those were my popular posts I’d like to shout out my Cats Really do Sell! post which was a bit of silly fun and something I thought anyone who loves cats, or just likes silly clips of cats might enjoy.

 

So that was my August round-up, of course there was one more post that happened a day or two before August and that was this: A Publisher’s Apology and A Chance to See My Old Blog   As the title suggests it was the apology I’d been waiting for from publisher Austin Macauley and yes…a chance to see my old blog – for those of you who don’t know where I came from 😀 😛 !


 

So what’s planned for this month?  I have some books to read, and I’m still trying to catch up with a few books I’ve left behind from old hauls.  Apart from that I’ll try to get those articles out.  One good thing is that I’ve stuck to the #MondayMotivation post.  I’m doing at least one post on the first Monday of each month, and I’ll try to do more when I can.

I don’t want to make too many plans as I’m still a bit online/offline at the moment but I hope to get around to visiting a few blogs I’m still behind with as well as some new ones who have followed me who I haven’t yet visited.

How was your August?  Any plans for September and what you might be reading?  Please let me know in the comments box below, I love hearing from you 🙂


I’m also online in in these places:

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

Advertisements
My Peacock Books Colouring banner

#BookReview: Where’s Wally? The Colouring Collection by Martin Handford #MPBooks

Where's Wally The Colouring Collection book coverTitle: Where’s Wally? The Colouring Collection

Author/Illustrator: Martin Handford

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Colouring

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

My Review: I’ve always loved Where’s Wally? and this colouring book is a great special celebration of 30 years of Where’s Wally. Around A5 in size the book has semi-hardback covers and a handy material elastic strap that helps keep the book from getting scruffy while it’s used on your travels. Inside the pages are crisp white and nice and thick. They are printed double sided but quite thick so colouring with pens might work (I use pencils in this so I can’t comment on the use of pens).

Almost all the pictures are double page spreads and contain sections of Where’s Wally scenes. The entire scene isn’t displayed in this book, it would be too small and fiddly to colour in if it were but it’s amazing how much colouring there is to do in this book. Each page also comes with a piece of the page already coloured in, this includes a border or maybe one or two characters coloured in. It’s hardly anything but is supposed to give you a head start into colouring.
Some of the pages in this book contain small blank sections, such as some photos or parts of book covers. these are blank so you can fill them in yourself which is a fun little extra.

Very detailed pictures with some colour to start you off.

Colouring in as I said I use pencils but I will say that although you can open the spine of this book to lie it almost entirely flat, the area of the images that do go into the spine is a little tricky to colour. It’s not that big a deal, but if you like to colour right down into the spine it is a bit tricky and some of the characters that sit right in the centre of the image might not get coloured in that easily. It’s not very noticeable when you look at a coloured in image though.

What’s fun about this book is that there’s still so much to find within each page. Apart from Wally and his friends there’s little objects that are still visible in each scene and it’s extra fun when colouring in each picture as you really get to see all the little bits of a scene that you might miss when looking at a regular Where’s Wally book.

Some different pages with chances to add your own doodles! 🙂

Inside the back cover there is a folded paper, a little smaller than A5 when folded which unfolds to reveal a dinosaur scene. This poster is 16 times its size to when it’s folded! It’s so much extra colouring and can then be hung on your wall!

I really do love colouring books, I already have several Where’s Wally colouring and activity books and this one is another great addition. Not only is it fun to colour in but there’s so much to find you’ll be having fun for hours, even after colouring in the pictures, finding all the things there are to find. I’d recommend this to anyone of any age, whether a Where’s Wally fan or not. There’s a lot of colouring to do and even if you have all the books already, or a previous Where’s Wally colouring book, it’s always fun to add your own colours and make each image unique!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

Some of my colouring-in-progress 🙂

(The coloured in photo I took of my work is actually a work-in -progress. I hadn’t finished colouring in when I took the picture but wanted to give an idea of how it works with pencils.)


Do you like Where’s Wally/Where’s Waldo books?  What about as a colouring book?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you.  You can also find me in these places 🙂 : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

Sad dog

Do You Over-Worry? #MPBooks

Sad dog
A sad dog 😦 – Image from Pixabay.com

Yesterday some things happened and as a result I made my friend feel bad over something really silly.  It was nothing I had really done to hurt them.  It was a silly mistake over posting the wrongly worded comment which some other people may have taken the wrong way (I say may as I didn’t think it would have been seen as something bad) but my friend thought differently.  In an effort to save face my friend deleted some of our communications and whike some of our conversations were deleted, others were private and yet others were left publicly in tact.  In the end a lot of our public conversation made no sense.  My friend feels terrible and consequently I feel terrible too.  Nothing has really happened and my friendship hasn’t been damaged (at least I don’t think it has) so everything will be fine…or will it?

For most people the sadness or any guilt they may feel over what happened wouldn’t affect them long term.  But that’s not what traditionally happens with me, or at least not what has happened in the past.

I make it no secret that I have suffered from severe depression and I’d be lying if I still didn’t go into that dark place sometimes.  But I also suffer from anxiety and a specific symptom inhabits me that I’ve been fighting for years.  It’s an overwhelming feeling of worry, often coming from a feeling of guilt.  This guilt is usually unjustified though.  It comes from the place in my mind wired to think the worst. ‘I could have done something else.  Does that person hate me?  I embarrassed myself.  Everyone’s going to hate me’.  These are some of the thoughts that plague my mind.

Thinking in this way is unhealthy and does nothing but make me feel terrible.  Although the guilt everyone feels at some point is natural and a way for us to know we have done something wrong, with some mental health conditions such as anxiety this guilt is accelerated to a level far beyond what it was supposed to be.

For me personally I’ve been through a difficult journey, one I’m still going through if I’m honest.  But I have learned techniques, ways to diminish the guilt I naturally feel.  I don’t always find it easy but these days I take some time away and find ways to replace the ‘guilty’ thoughts with ones that are more sensible such as ‘I could have done something else.  But that person doesn’t hate me.  Maybe I embarrassed myself, but nobody will hate me’.

In my own personal situation with my friend, I know there’s no real guilt to be felt and I hope my friend feels the same.  It was a silly misunderstanding (at least it could be taken as a misunderstanding.  My friend and I don’t have any issue over this ourselves), one that should never have happened, but it’s nothing to feel guilty over.

I decided to write this post as I wanted to share some of the difficulties I face with depression and more importantly anxiety.  It’s not easy to suffer from any form of anxiety.  Many people dismiss anxiety for nothing more than mere ‘fretting’, but for people who have anxiety disorders, the feelings you have, in this case of guilt, are very real.  You are not alone if you feel this way.  And it’s okay to have a bad day when you feel terrible, but it’s important to change those negative thoughts into more positive ones, thoughts that can help move you forward rather than stay stuck.

If you feel this way feel free to share your anxiety problems or any other mental health problems you have if you wish.  Mental health should be something we can freely talk about, so we can stop the prejudice against it and help anyone who may be suffering to feel supported and not alone.


Have you ever felt extreme worry or guilt?  How do you feel about mental health and speaking openly about it?  Please let me know I’d love to hear from you. 

You can also find me in these places ❤ : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

ps I’m away for a lot of today travelling so my responses may be quite delayed.

Book Review Logo

#BookReview: We’re Off to Look for Aliens by Colin McNaughton #MPBooks

We're Off to Look for Aliens book coverTitle: We’re Off to Look for Aliens

Author/Illustrator: Colin McNaughton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

Description: Colin McNaughton boldly goes in search of ALIENS!  Two books in one, this intergalactic epic will make your eyes pop out on stalks!  May the Wilberforce be with you.

My Review:  I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would and I’m sure plenty of kids will too. ‘We’re Off to Look for Aliens’ is a fun picture book, a bit large being wider than A4 but only a touch shorter. Each page inside is a thick and glossy page with very colourful pictures throughout. The book is clever as it’s a story within story and narrated by a child. The first pages are about Dad and the new children’s book he’s created. He shows it to the kids and they all read the book which happens to have the same title and author as the one we are reading.

Lovely and clear illustrations

The story in the book is funny with brilliant repetitive lines. An example of the first page of this is: We’re off to look for aliens, Ugly-bugly aliens, We’re off to look for aliens, Wilberforce and I. This ‘Wilberforce and I’ rhyme keeps repeating on every page with the rest of the text following the same rhyme. You actually get into a rhythm reading this story and every turn of the page is fun to read.

Colourful pictures

The illustrations are very colourful and funny. There’s actually two sets of illustrations with the outer story looking a little more old-fashioned and the pictures from the book the kids are reading being a bit different, with lines being darker and a generally different feel to them. I really like the different aliens in the book and how strange some of them look. I actually really enjoyed the illustrations more than I thought I would as there’s quite a lot to see on many pages and the designs of the creatures are different to ones I often see.

Interesting and fun aliens

The ending of the book has a very fun twist that really made me laugh as I wasn’t expecting it. I think this book will have a wide appeal to both kids and even some adults and the repetitive sing-song nature of the inner story will keep many entertained. I’d definitely read this book again. I actually didn’t think I’d find it as fun as I did and I’d definitely recommend it, if just for that twist ending!
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


Do you like books with aliens?  What about picture books with twists?  Let me know 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

Book Review Logo

#BookReview: The Lonely Giant by Sophie Ambrose #MPBooks

The Lonely Giant book coverTitle: The Lonely Giant

Author/Illustrator: Sophie Ambrose

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture book

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

Description: How the giant loved to heave and hurl logs and smash and mash mountains!  But the more he smashed and the more he bashed, the smaller and quieter the forest became.  Until, one day, little yellow bird appeared…

My Review:  This is a lovely picture book with a brilliant environmental message. ‘The Lonely Giant’ paperback book is as tall as A4 in size but slightly wider and filled with thick matt pages full of colourful illustrations and text. The story starts with the giant doing giant things such as puling out trees like they are weeds and smashing mountains. But soon the forest becomes quiet and the giant is all alone.

Great and large illustrations 🙂

The story is an environmental one and is told really well. I don’t want to spoil what happens, although I’m sure many can guess, but it’s a great message to give to kids about the importance of conservation. I really like the illustrations in this book. I love the way the giant looks, especially in the cave, and I love how simple all the pictures are. They really tell the story well, you don’t even need to read the text to know what is happening.

Lots of great and clear pictures among the text

Sometimes I dislike books that go on about the environment to children because some books can be overly pushy about it and try to scare kids, but I love this picture book as it doesn’t do that. Instead it’s a brilliant message with a lovely ending. I know I would have enjoyed this book when I was young, for the pictures alone, and the added message about the environment is a wonderful extra I’m sure many adults would love to teach their kids.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this book?  Do you like books with conservation/environmental messages?  Please let me know I’d love to hear from you.  Check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

Book Review Logo

#BookReview: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch #MPBooks

Love & Gelato book coverTitle: Love & Gelato

Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

Description: Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, fulfilling her mother’s dying wish that she should get to know her father.  With the help of her mother’s journal, Lina uncovers a magical world of secret romance, art and hidden bakeries.  People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

My Review:  I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this book! ‘Love & Gelato’ is a YA romance/contemporary novel with a feel-good story. Lina’s mother tells her she wants her to move to Florence to be with her father, Howard, but Lina doesn’t know Howard, her mother never even mentioned him until now.

The story is told in the first person and after a brief prologue where Lina’s mother explains her wish to her, the story begins with Lina arriving in Florence and getting to know her new surroundings. The tale quickly moves forward when Lina finds out about her mother’s journal, the one she kept when she had been in Florence herself, before Lina was born. The rest of the book is a combination of both Lina’s story and her mother’s journal entries, which act like a second story.

I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. I’m not a big reader of romance novels but this one is just so heartwarming. I felt compelled to keep reading even though there’s not a lot that initially happens compared to some books I’m used to. Although Lina’s story, her situation with Howard and getting to know new people and Florence was exciting to read, I really enjoyed her mother’s journal entries much more. It was like reading two stories at once and the questions that came from every entry just made it more and more compelling. The way Florence is described is amazing. There’s not long paragraphs of description but it’s enough to really make you feel like you’re there and although I’ve never been there myself, this book made me want to visit.

Although the book is a little predictable in parts, I did guess what was happening to Lina’s mother far earlier than Lina did at the start of the book, it was still a compelling read.  There were enough twists with the story to really keep me reading on and I found myself engrossed in the tale, especially in the second half when Lina’s mother’s journal entries start to reveal some hidden truths.

The book is both a romance and contemporary novel.  I loved the romance in both Lina’s story and her mother’s but there was an equally good almost mystery sort of story about finding out the truth of what happened in Florence all those years ago.  That’s why I’d say it’s a good contemporary novel too.  I really loved the ending,  where everything was so well wrapped up.  It was both a very satisfying ending and also one that left a big smile on my face.

There is nothing at all offensive in this book. If you speak Italian you may find one word that’s not exactly swearing but not so nice (if I can put it that way) but there was nothing about this book that is offensive and it’s just a really good, feel-good story.

I’d recommend this book for anyone interested in a summer feel-good read, whether you’re into romance stories or not.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you enjoy romance novels?  Let me know.  You can also find me in these places: 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon