blogmas · book blog

The Christmas Stocking Book Tag | Blogmas

December 12th, 2021

Hi Readers, Welcome To Blogmas Day 12!

It’s time for a festive book tag! I loved this one, created by Kate from ReadingThroughInfinity, which has questions inspired by what you might find in your stocking…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?
Vibrant is exactly how I would describe Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Especially the characters, which Reid is just so talented at doing. Making the characters feel vibrant and real, and just captures your heart with them.

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was a little expensive, but totally worth the price?
The majority of books I buy are second hand so it’s not often a splurge a lot of money on one book. But I did recently spend £30 on a notebook. But it was worth it because Taylor Swift.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.
I’ve got to go for A Court of Mist and Fury. I love how Sarah J Maas writes action scenes and this book has some of her best.

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. For the longest time I’ve heard nothing but praise and I just didn’t get it. I gave the series a second try this year and it didn’t take long for it to win me over. It’s probably a contendor for being in my top three of the year…

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?
Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings. Frodo might be the technical ‘hero’ but Sam is the one who gets him there.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?
Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson is one of my favourite fantasy books, and has all of my favourite fantasy tropes. Hidden identities, runaway royals, love triangles, enemies to lovers, and probably more that I can’t think of right now.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring? To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?
Not too long ago I read From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I loved it so much I immediately started the second book, only to be just majorly disappointed. It’s probably one of my worst books of the year and now I’m not even sure if I’m going to continue the series. I just saw it going in different directions, I think the pace could have been picked up a bit, and I found it a bit repetitive. So yeah, I’d probably rewrite that one…

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?
Maybe The Last Time I Lied. I wouldn’t say it takes a while to pick up but the ending is the best part of the whole book.

Your pile is getting really big. You reach go to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden gem. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. This book is famous for it’s length and denseness and I was expecting something quite dry and hard to get through. I actually found it incredibly emotional, full of romance and heartbreak, and just some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read. Definitely exceeded my expectations, much to my surprise!

I Tag:
Hannah
Siena
T.K.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

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blogmas · book blog · Most Popular Posts

Blogmas Post Ideas!

November 16th, 2020

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Hi Readers!

I’m so excited to be talking about blogmas because it means Christmas is right around the corner! I have never needed the festive season more and a big part of December for me is Blogmas. I get so excited to share festive posts with you and today I’m going to try and convince you to join in as well.

What Is Blogmas?

Very much like Blogtober, it’s an event where bloggers post new content on their blog every day leading up to Christmas Day.

What Can I Post?

So the idea is to post festive themed content, but it’s your blog. Your rules! I’ll be doing a bit both and I’ll give you ideas for both as well.

Do I Have To Do All 25 Days?

Of course not! The end of the year is busy for everyone and 25 posts is quite time consuming. You could instead do the 12 Days of Blogmas.

But if you start planning now, you won’t have to spend the entire month of December writing blog posts.

Why Should I Do Blogmas?

A lot of bloggers from book to lifestyle take part in Blogmas. It’s a real community event and could help others discover your blog.

Festive Content Ideas For Book Bloggers

Christmas To Be Read
Favourite Christmas Books
Gift Ideas For Book Lovers
Things That Make You Feel Christmassy
Favourite Quotes In Books About Christmas
Favourite Christmas Book Covers
Top 5 Classic Christmas Stories
Christmas Wishlist
How I Decorate My Bookshelves For Christmas
Book Characters: Naughty or Nice List
Christmas Book Tags (see below)
Show Your Christmas Decorations
Favourite Festive Foods
Favourite Festive Films
Festive Playlist
Favourite Christmas Baking Recipes

Non-Festive Content Ideas

Reflecting On 2020 (I’m sure we’ve all got a lot to say)
Favourite Books of 2020
Favourite 2020 Releases
Biggest Disappointments of 2020
2021 Book Releases You’re Excited For
Winter Essentials
Cosy Reading Night Essentials
End of The Year Stats
End of The Year TBR
End of The Year Book Tag

Christmas Themed Book Tags

Festive Christmas Book Tag
12 Days of Christmas Book Tag
The Joy of Christmas Book Tag
Christmas Cracker Book Tag

If you’re doing blogmas this year, best of luck! I’m so excited for it to start!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

blogmas · Book Review

Book Review: Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

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Hi Readers!

Today I’m going to review a book I thoroughly enjoyed over the weekend. If you’re in the mood for a slightly festive, heart-warming family drama, this is one I’d highly recommend, and here’s why.

Published: February 2010 by St Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Length: 394 
My Raing: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Winter Garden tells the story of two sisters who lead two very different lives. When their father suffers from a heart attack they are brought back together with their cold,  disapproving mother to grant their fathers last wish. To hear their mothers fairytale one last time, and this time they hear the full story. 

It explores so many things about adult life. Family dynamics, family struggles, the choices you’ve made that have gotten you to where you are, are you happy with where you are, would you do anything differently, is it too late to follow your dreams and make things right. 

I really loved this story and characters. The way this was written drew me in and wouldn’t let me go until the last page. I was invested in these characters and their lives and it’s been a while since a book has made me feel that.

I did find at times the characters struggles to be a little trivial but I also feel that that’s easy for me to say. Also, this book basically tells two stories, one is of the two sisters and the other is the fairy tale and I found the fairy tale part a little confusing at times. I also worked out the ‘twist’ way before the characters did which I did find frustrating. 

After finishing this book my first thought was ‘thank goodness Kristen Hannah has so many published books’ because this is an author whose books I am going to devour. She could become a go-to author for quick and addictive reads.

If you want a read with a lot of soul and a lot of emotion, this is one I highly recommend. 

Thanks for reading,
Jess X

Baking · blogmas

Blogmas: Christmas Baking! (Ginger Biscuits Recipe)

Hi guys

For me, the smell of Christmas is spices; and Ginger is my favourite spice. I put it in everything (basically, kind of) I bake and these ginger biscuits are my favourites.

My Granddad has always made ginger biscuits that beat any shop bought ones. They are chewy and crunchy and ginormous. When I was 12 he gave me the recipe so I could make them in school and ever since it has been my go to recipe.

It is super simple so I thought I would share it on here just in case any of you were looking for anything to bake, seeing as it is the time for baking (and eating.)

 

Ingredients:

  • 350g of Self-Raising Flour
  • 200g of Sugar
  • 125g of Butter
  • 75g Golden Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Tablespoon of Ground Ginger
  • Teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Egg

Equipment:

  • 3-4 Baking Trays
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Weighing Scales
  • Baking Paper (or you can grease the tins with butter)
  • Sieve
  • Spoon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160°

2. Grease 3-4 baking trays with butter or you can use baking paper.

3.  Sieve the flour, sugar, salt, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda into one bowl.

4.  Melt golden syrup and butter together either in a bowl over a pan of water on the stove or in the microwave (make sure to check every 30 seconds if you do it in the microwave.)

5. Beat an egg and add the golden syrup, butter and egg to the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar etc.) Mix it all together until it forms a ball. It may be crumbly at first but just keep mixing till it all comes together. You may have to use your hands.

 

 

6. Roll the biscuit dough into balls. I chose to do mine slightly smaller than a golf ball but you can choose what size you want your cookies to be, depending on how many you want.

7. Put them on the baking trays (do not flatten them at all). Make sure to leave enough space in between as they will flatten and spread as they bake. This recipe normally makes about 25-30 biscuits so you might have to bake them in two batches.

8. Put them in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes.

8. ENJOY!

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Let me know what your favourite thing to bake this time of year is!

Thanks for reading

Jess x