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!

The Year Of Living Danishly- Helen Russell. Image of Book
Image Source: Authors own
The deets:
Author: Helen Russell
Pages: 354
Publish Date: 2015
Publisher: Iconbooks
Genre: Non- fiction
Journalist Helen Russell just a year ago was living in London working in an extremely stressful job when her husband gets the opportunity to work at Lego for a year. Not being sure at first Helen does some research and finds that Denmark is one of the most happiest countries on the planet and she is intrigued why. Helen’s Danish journey is set out in 13 stages that follow the months of the year and an extra chapter called Christmas (the  layout reminded me of Gretchen Rubins books). Throughout, the book is littered with quotes from specialists in Denmark ranging from culture to health and her journey of adjusting to a new culture and all the crazy traditions that come with it.
So what is so different about Denmark than the UK that makes them happier? What I found interesting was that Danes as a whole prefer paying high taxes because they know that one day they will need either the health service or education and have faith that their taxes will be spent wisely. Danes also value family time, in winter whole towns shut down as they prefer to stay in with lots of candles lit. Danes have a good work culture as well as it is mainly 8am- 4pm (Helen was shocked to find her husband back before five some days) and also father’s are given long paternity leave and that working very late is viewed as a negative as it is showing you cannot get your work done within the allotted time. 
Danish people as a whole and this is what I think and what Helen thought underpinned their happiness was the level of trust Danes had for each other. The trust that Danes had in the state and their politicians was high (unlike the UK) and the level of trust for each other meant that people were happy to leave their children in prams outside the shops! What I also loved and picked up in the book about the Danish is that traditions are valued. I feel that in the UK sometimes we don’t value our traditions as we should or we have to be apologetic all the time for being British. Whereas the Danes just don’t care they will set fire to things and throw plates at houses to greet the new year in because they can.
So what did I think of the book? Overall I enjoyed the book, it really gave me an insight to Danish culture  in a candid and fun way from someone who has experienced it first hand. At times, I was starting to find it boring and was ready for the book to finish. Nonetheless if you are interested in Scandinavian culture this book is worth buying. 

Dear Stranger Book Review BecBe
(Image Source: Authors Own)

The deets:

Author: Various
Pages: 286
Publish Date: 2015
Publisher: Penguin
Dear Stranger is a collection of letters written by a variety of people from celebrities (such as Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and Caitlin Moran) to those who have mental health issues regarding the subject of happiness. The book which is in the aid of Mind a mental health charity with at least £3 from every book sold going towards the organisation.
As the variety of authors is so different, it means the letters are all completely different. Some letters were illustrations, others based on personal experience and others were critiquing happiness. At most the letters were two pages long which is enough to create a real impact and leave you thinking about what has been written. Letters I particularly liked were ones by Arianna Huffington, Nicholas Allan, Nick Harkaway, Rachel Joyce, Seaneen Molloy- Vaughan and Thomas Harding. 
  

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?

Jane Elmor Pictures Of You
(Image Source, Authors Own)

The deets:

Author: Jane Elmor
Pages: 406
Publish Date: 2009
Publisher: Pan
Genre: Fiction
The story starts with Luna, a thirty something free-spirited artist, who after going to her father’s funeral wants to understand why her mother, Angie, left him behind. In addition, Luna starts to question the decisions she has made regarding her lifestyle (living the dream as an artist but struggling to make ends meet and actively choosing not to have children) which is the defining theme in the book. As the story develops we see the reason why Angie left Dave, learn about her life on a welsh commune, Luna questioning herself as a woman and we are introduced to a young mother Nat. Nat is trying to build a good life for her children despite the fact she is a young mother who mixes with the wrong crowd. The story is told from three  angles, Luna in the present, Angie in the 1970’s and Nat in the late 1990’s. 
I really enjoyed the book, so much so I have reread it a few times. The hippy 1960’s/ 1970’s era really interests me and always has done. Therefore, I found Angie’s chapters detailing life on the commune to be the best and most appealing to me. Luna was just quite moany after a while and that started to grate with me. However this I felt was meant to be deliberate by the author. Nat didn’t need to be in the book, I much rather had more chapters about Angie’s life on the commune than Nat’s chapters. So I found myself flicking through those parts quite quickly. As there was no connection between Nat and Luna and Angie both (apart from the children and them being women) it felt fragmented and found myself skipping over those parts.  Although it all came together in the end and the book ended well. It left me hoping there is an Angie spin off!