Monday, 28 July 2014

Great summer reads

The holidays began a little while ago...for uni this was about 6 weeks ago or more, for private school, about a month and state schools/college broke up 2 weeks ago. So it's got to that stage: you have done your odd jobs, laid in the sun and eaten copious amounts of ice cream. And you don't want to admit it but you're now slightly bored.

But worry no more, because I have compiled the ultimate summer reading list to keep you entertained. I have tried to contain a mixture of books, old and new of all different genres so hopefully there will be something for everyone. Check them out...

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This has recently been released in the cinema, to very high acclaim and great reviews. But the book is obviously better. Saying that, the film is quite excellent and a very good representation of the book so you are safe doing both for a change. It's a bit of a tear jerker and really makes you think about life and what you value within it.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
A really sensitively written novel containing experiences of mental health problems. It takes you a while to get into it but stick with it because it is really great and gives valuable insight into the innermost feelings of those suffering from a mental health disorder and how it began.

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
A classic that you just have to read. It brings you back to the roaring 20s and displays the parties and dressing up to and restlessness that many young people can relate to today.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A love story with a twist. Told in absolutely beautiful detail in a really realistic way.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A chilling but gripping thriller...will keep the pages turning

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
I really like Sophie Kinsella but I do think this is the best of her novels by far. The main character makes a very unlikely friend who gets her into all kinds of hilarious scrapes. Mostly involving men in some way. And a ghost. And a naked painting.

One Day by David Nicholls
An interestingly written book and the romance is not's more about friendship and comedy rather than anything else. But when it does come, it's so heartwarming, you'd never guess the author was male

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini's novels are just beautiful in general...with stunning descriptions and epic storylines that he doesn't shy away from

Room by Emma Donaldson
Another quite intense thriller, that keeps you hooked all the way through. Very readable and she has a wonderful style when dealing with some very daunting topics.

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Suicide Note

Poetry Prompt 6 - the first line is also the last line.

I wish I could begin again.
If I could reset the clock
I would
become a better person
but it requires effort to
change yourself completely.
Sometimes I think you should
just laugh
and be done with it.
I want to give up
this ridiculous charade
of my life. Or live
someone else's instead.
I would prefer
an easy life too.
Everyone wants
something they don't have
and in this case it is
striving for a perfect life.
One day, hopefully
I will have it.
Peace -
it will come eventually
although when I have no idea.
I wish I could begin again.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Heart Breaker

So I have decided to get back on the poetry again after a little break. Here is my Poetry Prompt 5 - An Unlikely Thank You

Dear Mr Dick Head,
Do you remember what it was you said?
All those many months ago
back when you thought I didn't know
that you were in love with someone else?
And always put her above myself.
You really thought I didn't see
that you never really cared for me?
You met me on that final night
and rambled on about a load of shite,
saying how we just could not be
and you were desperate to be free.

So you could just wait for her in peace.

Well thank you, Dick - you're the best.
It's not like you've messed
me up or anything like that.
In actual fact,
I'm great, terrific, absolutely fine.
Let's meet up sometime.
And you can hear all about my perfect life
and how I will never be a wife
because I will never be silly enough
to trust again. Or worse - to fall in love.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Today is an important and possibly one of the most life changing days of my 22 years. Considering that my graduation from Reading University is tomorrow afternoon, it has only just occurred to me that THIS IS IT. After this day I shall be a student no longer but I think 18 years in education, (including four in this wonderful institution in the south of England), is quite enough. That doesn't stop me from feeling slightly panicky though. After tomorrow I can not put the job hunt off any more, because real life has finally arrived.

As I sit here on the eve of the real beginning of my life, I have become rather reflective. There are many recent graduates, who, despite only graduating in the past few days, are already looking at their time as students through rose tinted spectacles. Many of them have put up Facebook statuses saying 'It was the best three years of my life' and 'thank you Reading for everything....I wish I could do it all over again.' WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? Have you already forgotten all the stress? Do you seriously want to take those horrible 9:00am exams again? Do you really want to write 10,000 words (or in my case 18,000 words) of dissertations again? Do you actually want to sit through those three hour boring lectures again where you couldn't take in a word because you were concentrating more on not throwing up all over the table? And what about all those arguments, mistakes, death-by-alcohol, embarrassments, heartbreaks and you really want to go through all those again?

University is one of those times where you really begin to find out who you are and with that there are always going to be ups and downs. Life isn't perfect, nor is university. There are upsets and tears but also so much laughter and happiness. I would not change one bit of my university experience, even the bits where I was horrendously low as they all add up to make me the person I am today which I would not want to change for anyone or anything. And as much as I would never want to return to the beginning of uni to repeat the bad experiences, I don't think I would like to repeat the good experiences either. They were special back then and remain special to me now, but you can always have too much of a good thing. Repeating the experience, if you could achieve that in some way, would take away this special-ness and definitely not be as good the second time around.

It is so important to recognise university for what it is...a phase in your life which has now ended and it is time to move on from. Those who are determined to hold on to their student status are only impeding their own development, and, quite frankly, are not quite mature enough to grow up yet. University was an adventure, but life is too. So it's time to embark on that one instead.

I entirely disagree with my fellow graduates that university was the best time of my life, but tend to side with the far more literarily-proficient Dickens (10 points if you can name the novel) - 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of despair...' I think that just about sums it up.

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Friday, 4 July 2014


Poetry Challenge Day 4 - A haiku from your window


The sun has gone to
bed, smothered by night's blanket.
Will you rise again?

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