A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow – George R. R. Martin

Words cannot explain how much I am enjoying the A Song of Ice and Fire series and especially the first instalment of the third book. (NOTE: If you have not finished the first and second books in the series, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, you will find some spoilers in this post).

As I have mentioned in a previous review, compared to the fast paced opening book, I found A Clash of Kings to be a bit of a disappointment. The plot dragged and got bogged down with unnecessary details and a lot of battles. Well, there are no such problems with A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow.

At the end of A Clash of Kings, we are left, as always, with a handful of cliffhangers. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Stark family. Catelyn is in a similar state of distress and grief as at the end of A Game of Thrones. Continue reading

Top 5 Favourite Reading Spots

Finding a good book is great, but reading a good book in your favourite reading spot is simply wonderful. We all have our favourite places to read. The weather can be an important factor, sometimes the time of day and quite often the spot you prefer can depend on what you are reading.

Some people have very odd habits with their favourite reading locations. My choices are quite unoriginal, but nothing makes me enjoy a book more than reading it in the places listed below.

In a Café with a Cup of Tea and Cake

Sometimes you just want to get away for an hour or two. Leave all your dirty washing and other household duties behind and have a bit of time for relaxation and indulgence. We all need somewhere to escape to! I have many favourite cafés in different cities across Europe that I have visited. My choice of food and drink doesn’t often change though – A cup of tea and cake!

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Bookwise – Southwell

Recently, a couple of friends and I took a much needed day off. We didn’t want to travel too far from home, but wanted to get away from the same old cafés in the centre of Nottingham. We were hoping to spend the day drinking tea, eating cakes and having a good old girlie natter and catch up. At the suggestion of one of our parents, we drove over to the nearby town of Southwell, which seems to be the land of lovely tearooms.

We did indeed spend a couple of hours eating, drinking and chatting, but left enough time to have a little explore. Southwell is a picturesque town with a beautiful minster and some interesting shops. Of course, my eyes were kept peeled for a good bookshop, and as luck would have it, I did not need to look very far!

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The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey

I was thrilled when The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey landed on my doorstep free from Waterstones! It was also followed by perfect, wintry weather but for some reason, winter slipped past and before I knew it spring was blooming all around me, and I had still not picked the book up! So at the beginning of April, when the weather surprised the whole of the UK with a couple of days of unexpected snow, I was secretly quite pleased. This book is definitely meant to be enjoyed on a snowy day whilst wrapped up in a comfortable blanket or duvet.

This magical story was inspired by the old Russian fairytale of Snegurochka, or The Snow Maiden. The fairytale is about a lonely, old couple who make a little daughter out of snow. Although, I had never heard of this particular fairytale, when I was younger I used to love Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. There is something about a cold, icy setting that is just perfect for a magical tale, and when reading The Snow Child, I felt all of those fond memories coming back to me. Continue reading

Gigi and The Cat – Colette

I can’t believe I had never heard of Colette until a couple of months ago! Of course I recognised the film posters for the musical of Gigi, but had never seen it and wasn’t even aware that it was based on a book. I feel as though I have been living on another planet!

As soon as I read this review of The Cat at Literary Relish, I knew I had to give Colette a go. This is the second book that I have read for the Pay It Sideways Challenge.

This book is made up of two short stories and is the perfect introduction to this brand spanking new (for me, anyway) author. In a short amount of pages, Colette manages to show off her power over the written word. She sets the scene, creates an atmosphere and then whisks you through bizarre situations with some witty dialogue to keep things interesting. Continue reading

Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

So, it’s been a whole year since I first started Bundle of Books and I’m so glad that I’ve stuck around! It’s been a fun year and I’ve read some great books! I’ve also enjoyed some interesting bookish discussions with other book bloggers out there and learnt a lot from comments people make on the blog.

I first started Bundle of Books in April last year with a review of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. I was working in a very uncreative and frustrating environment at the time and was desperate for a creative output. Bundle of Books has been great for that. I was also pleasantly surprised with all the other book lover bloggers out there! Continue reading