I am very much a 90’s and 00’s child (I was born in 91!). I loved reading back then as much as I do now. So today I thought I would dedicate this post to some of my fave books I remember from the good ol’ days!

Animal Ark Series – Lucy Daniels

Image of a Animal Ark Book

The BabySitters Club – Ann M Martin

The Babysitters Club

Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

DannyChampionOfTheWorld

Letterland – Richard Carlisle and Lyn Wendon

Letterland ABC

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

Ballet Shoes

Biff and Chip – Roderick Hunt

Biff and Chip

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

Gemma – Noel Streatfield

Gemma Noel Streatfield

George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine

Goosebumps – R.L Stein

Goosebumps

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Smith

Gullivers Travels

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-philosophers-stone

J17 (Just 17) book series

Kipper – Mick Inkpen

Kipper

Look – 360 Ginn Reading Series

Look

Malory Towers – Enid Blyton

Mr and Mrs Men Series – Roger Hargreaves

Little Miss Splendid book

Mucky Moose – Jonathan Allen

Mucky Moose

Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit

Point Horror Series

Point Horror

Point Romance Series

Point Romance

Sheltie the Shetland Pony – Peter Clover

Sheltie the Shetland Pony

Spot – Eric Hill

Spot Book

Stig of the Dump – Clive King

Stig of the Dump

Sweet Valley Series – Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley High

The Sleepover Club

The Sleepover Club

The Bed and Breakfast Star – Jacqueline Wilson

The Bed and Breakfast Star

The Garden Gang – Jayne Fisher

The Garden Gang

The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross

The Demon Headmaster

The Lottie Project – Jacqueline Wilson

The Lottie Project Book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Secret Garden – Francis Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

The Twins at St Claire’s – Enid Blyton

St Claire's

The Tower in Ho Ho Wood – Enid Blyton

The Tower in Ho-Ho Wood Book

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch

Topsy and Tim- Jean and Gareth Adamson

Topsy and Tim

Two Weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman

Two weeks with the Queen

DK Eyewitness Books

DK Eyewitness Book

A Child’s Garden of Verse – Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child's Garden of Verses

I would love to know your favourites! Leave your’s in the comments below!

My thoughts on the texts I read at school (six years on!)

A few of the texts I still kept from school!
(Source: Authors Own)

I often write about the books I read recently on here, however, I have been thinking lately back to the texts I read at school. I studied English Literature to A- Level so went through school studying one text or another. Some books I didn’t like, others I really loved. However, one thing that I do stand by is that I glad I studied English Literature at GCSE and A-level.
Although I read a lot, I rarely got my head stuck in a classic and there are some books and genres as you will see below that I really like that I would have never picked up otherwise. Today’s post is split up into what I thought of the book at the time (from what I can remember) and what I think about it now.
Just to note this post is not to be read as a review post, it is my thoughts on what I can remember now from back then.

Two Weeks With The Queen- Morris Gleitzman

My earliest book I studied at high school, I must have been 11 or 12 so over 10 years ago now. It is about a boy whose brother has cancer and he writes to the queen to see if she has a cure. This book I wasn’t a fan of at first. I think I thought it was too ‘primary school’ for me. I do remember having this slight feeling of sadness when the letter he receives back from the Queen is just a general Buckingham Palace one and he knows that his brother is going to die.

Apart from that moment in the book I don’t remember too much about it. I don’t see myself reading it again unless I have kids and happen to come across the book!

Sherlock Holmes- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A GCSE text, I remember not being thrilled about Sherlock Holmes being a module, but then I absolutely loved it. So much so I bought the box set of all his books.

Postcards- Annie Proulx
An A-level text this book was part of an American Literature module. It is about Loyal Blood who murders his girlfriend, buries her and then worried he will be caught drives off and never see’s his family again. Each chapter is marked by a postcard. It is a stunning read filled to the brim with symbolism. I have read it more than once but not recently. At school, I loved the book.

The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Another A-level text. I wasn’t keen on Gatsby. I remember at school this was the first book I read where I was thinking I didn’t want to go to university if it was going to be this hard. I didn’t like the way it was written which meant I struggled to write essays. I thought the characters were spoilt and self- indulgent and completely unrelatable. All I remember is Daisy being lazy and selfish and West Egg and East Egg! However, years later I watched the film with Leonardo Dicaprio in (which I loved) and I can understand completely why the book is iconic. I have still kept my school copy.

Tender is the Night is another A- Level text that I studied in Upper Sixth. I don’t remember much of this book at all, which says it all really.

The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
A GCSE text I loved, The Old Man and the Sea I think was more of the ‘harder’ texts we studied. I think I got an A in either the coursework or exam I had taken on this text so was pleased. I want to read the book again as I remember so little.

Atonement- Ian McEwan
An A- level text which I have read time and time again. It is a story about Cecelia and Robbie who start a relationship together just before the second world war. They keep it a secret because Cecelia comes from a very wealthy family whilst Robbie is poor (Robbie and his mother both worked for Cecelia’s family), therefore, it is likely the parents wouldn’t approve. Bryony who is Cecelia’s sister is jealous of this relationship and so tells a lie that disadvantages Robbie throwing the story into a wicked twist.

I loved this book, luckily for me the movie had come out that year as well, which was done well. I loved all of the symbolism that came with the book. I enjoy World War Two fiction anyway which helped. This book also opened my mind up to other books by Ian McEwan such as ‘On Chesil Beach, The Cement Garden, Enduring Love, Amsterdam and Saturday amongst others. I really recommend this book.

Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It – William Shakespeare
Macbeth was a SAT text I think, I don’t remember much at all of Macbeth, but I do remember Romeo and Juliet. I liked Romeo and Juliet because of all the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets and the romance. It was a fun play to study. As You Like It was an A- Level text. I enjoyed reading out parts in class. I always seemed to be reading one line or another.

The Franklin’s and The Merchant’s Tale- Geoffrey Chaucer
Ahh Chaucer. All I remember about both books was that chivalry was a theme throughout. I didn’t detest Chaucer but looking back I can understand why those books were core texts, as they are important historically. But they were just so plain and boring. I appreciate not every text can be fun but seriously when are you ever going to read something in Middle English?

Whose Life Is It Anyway- Brian Clark
A play this time! Whose Life Is It is about Ken an architect who was paralysed after a car accident. He doesn’t want to be alive and is fighting for his right to die.  It was a really good play to study as there are so many ways you can analyse the theme. I also think the play was ahead of its time considering the debate about euthanasia – I got an A* for my exam in this 🙂

Mirror- Sylvia Plath
Ok it is a poem and it was in an anthology but I remember this poem so well because it is dark. The mirror seeing this woman grow old and thinking it’s part of the wall but as night falls it serves as a reminder that it isn’t part of her. I could go on.

That is it, these are the books I remember studying at school. Did you read any of these texts?


(Image: Authors Own)





Frank Chalk is a teacher in a fairly poor inner city school- a school where the kids get drunk, take drugs and beat up the teachers… when they can be bothered to turn up.

He confiscates their porn, booze and trainers, fends off angry parents and worries about the few conscientious pupils.

Terrifying and hilarious, IT’S YOUR TIME YOU’RE WASTING is Chalk’s real- life diary from the front line of the modern edukashun system.

I haven’t written a book review in years. Eeeek….

I have had this book a number of years and it is one of the few books I have read over and over again. I bought it at a time when I really wanted to be a teacher (before I saw sense). It’s Your Time You’re wasting was published by a small book publisher Monday Books, known for publishing real life books. The book narrated by Frank Chalk (not his real name, probably to save his sanity) goes through the tale of his time as a supply teacher at St Jude’s which is based in the Cherry Tree Estate. He tells us tales of sloppy staff and even sloppier school children all of this which is punctuated with descriptions of the Cherry Street estate so you get to understand why the children behave like they do. 

The story is easy to read as it is in a chatty style, there isn’t any chapters as such, there is just one tale after another all following each other (I have noticed this is the style of writing in other books Monday has published). The author doesn’t feel sorry for himself either, you just let the story wash over you as you find yourself laughing and sinking into despair at the naughty children and feeling really sorry for those poor children who are just trying to get on with life.

The book hit a chord with me because you can see through Frank’s eyes how the education system has failed the children. This is through two ways. One the lack of support at home. Frank visits a few children homes to tutor them and he see’s the effect of constant TV, fast food, the lack of books and interest from the parents resulting in the children being disengaged with anything that is longer than two minutes. The result of this being children who vandalise school property, not being able to understand school work and being downright nasty to anyone. You could argue that his book reinforces stereotypes, through the names of the children and the description of the council estate. But this is the reality of modern Britain as it is repeated through books like this one and on programmes on the TV such as Tough Young Teachers. So disillusioned is Frank with the school that he tells parent’s of a child to move to a better school. However, I feel that the author is realistic and what comes across well is Frank wants to teach but with the children not accepting responsibility, there doesn’t seem the point.

To conclude, this book is well worth a read if you want to while away an afternoon or want some escape. If you truly hate your job this book may also be of use, as by the end of reading you may think your job isn’t too bad 😉

(Source: Authors Own)

I bloody love books and since I travel on the train I am always reading. Here is what I have been enjoying this month.

Leaves On The Line- Martin and Simon Toseland
A Laugh- Out- Loud read. This book goes through everyday English phrases and gives a real life interpretation of what they mean. Perfect if you want a book you can pick up at any point.

Marks and Spencer Home Spring 2015 Edition Magazine
This free magazine I grabbed whilst waiting to pick up a package has the most beautiful pictures of their homeware inside. If I wasn’t living in rented accommodation I would definitely have a list of items that I want.

The Opposite Of Loneliness- Marina Keegan
As mentioned in my reading list, this book by the late Marina Keegan demonstrates her literary talent. As the book is a selection of essays and short stories it has again a book you can dip in and out of. Recommendations of stories to read include The Emerald City, Challenger Deep, Even Artichokes Have Doubts, Against The Grain and finally, of course, The Opposite Of Loneliness.

Love Is Not Enough- Merryn Somerset Webb
Although I am not awful with my money I could do better. Love Is Not Enough is essentially a dummies guide on how to improve your finances specifically for women. The book is split into sections that you are likely to encounter in your life such as children, marriage, divorce, investments, pensions etc. What I liked about this book, in particular, is the candid writing style Merryn adopts. It is not stuffy, it is spoken to women who need help understanding the basics.

Strong Woman
Karren Brady is a woman I admire, from Managing Director of Birmingham City FC from the age of 23, she is a true woman made of grit. I have watched all of The Apprentices with her in it and enjoy reading her Cosmopolitan column. I have had this book a couple of years now and is definitely not a new book out. However, I picked it up as from time to time you always need an inspirational story and this is it. Karen talks about what drives her to success (mainly motivation and sheer hard work) and how she has found managing it all with children, TV work and other interests.

#GIRLBOSS
One that isn’t featured in my photograph above because I forgot to add it in! #GIRLBOSS similar to Strong Woman in that it details how Sophia Amoruso built her Nasty Gal busy up from a tiny eBay shop to the empire it is today. This book shows how hard work and determination really pays off and is so easy to read. I read it in two days.

I love reading and there is nothing more I enjoy doing than sitting down with a good book as the day goes by. If you are thinking about reading more this year or looking for something new to read take a look at the books I have read in the past year below:
Looking For Alaska- John Green
The Understudy- David Nicholls
Starter For Ten- David Nicholls
The Last Telegram- Liz Trenow
Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
Limestreet Blues- Maureen Lee
The Opposite of Loneliness Essays and Stories- Marina Keegan
Likeable Social Media- David Kerpen
Happier At Home- Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin
Student- David Belbin
Love Lessons- David Belbin
Until The End Of Time- Danielle Steel
Lone Eagle- Danielle Steel
Fine Things- Danielle Steel
Pictures Of You- Jane Elmor
Molly’s War- Maggie Hope
Sh*t My Dad Says- Justin Halpern
When Science Goes Wrong- Simon Levay
Birdsong- Sebastian Faulks
A Week In December- Sebastian Faulks
Atonement- Ian McEwan
The Midwife’s Confession- Diane Chamberlain
It’s Your Time You’re Wasting- Frank Chalk
Firefly Lane- Kristin Hannah
Fly Away- Kristin Hannah
Perfect Match- Jodi Picoult
The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult
Nothing you fancy on here? Take a look at this website I use for book reviews: http://www.lovereading.co.uk/