Discussion

Back to School Reading List | Autumn 2017

As I’m writing this, I have one week until I go back to sixth form, and when this post publishes, it’ll be one day (aaaahhh!) I’m sort of dreading starting year 13, especially after a really great summer. I’ve done so many cool things but now I’m preparing to return to a non-existent social life and even more academic pressure than I’ve ever had before.

Sooo, how am I gonna cope with that? BOOKS!

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This blog post is a list of all of the books I hope to read in the (little) free time I have during my first school term.

Disclaimer: I will probably not read all of these books during my first term back. I’m going to be so busy. But the IDEA of reading them is comforting to me, so this post is still valid, right? Without further ado, here’s the five books I’d like to read:

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Haddon Hall: Where David Invented Bowie by Néjib

My dad picked up a copy of this graphic novel, but I had to steal it from him! It’s a portrait of David Bowie’s life, right at the start of his career, documenting his time in Haddon Hall. I’m local to Beckenham and this place Bowie used to live, so I thought it would be a really interesting read. The cover is so vibrant!

Awkward and Definition: The High School Chronicles by Ariel Schrag

I purchased Likewise, another graphic novel by Schrag, before realising I didn’t own the precious books in the series. This graphic novel collects the first two memoirs she wrote, whilst still in high school. I’ve read so many fantastic reviews of this relatable and quirky memoir series, so I’m really eager to start it. And what better time to read it than my last year at school?

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

adored Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the original book and the film. It’s probably one of my all-time favourite YA books. Despite having first read Miss Peregrine’s a while ago, I’ve never gotten around to its sequel. I’m putting this at the top of my TBR pile as I think it’ll be the perfect book for escapism on study breaks.

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Post Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back by Matthew D’ancona

One of my new resolutions is to read more non-fiction; more specifically about politics and society. It’s hard to stay away from the news in the current political climate, but so-called “fake news” has become so common that it’s difficult to know when and how to respond. I’m hoping to learn a lot from this!

They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery

I’ve read so much about Black Lives Matter, but only in small snippets across social media. I’ve wanted to educate myself more about the situation of police brutality in America, so this book has been on my radar for the past few months. The writer is a journalist, who reported on related events over a number of years. This is going to be a very hard-hitting read, but I know it’ll also give me much more insight into an important movement.


 

So, those are the books I’m planning on reading in Autumn! Have you read any? What’s on your own reading list? Leave a comment 🙂

Discussion

Where Have I Been?!

This post might confuse some people, because I haven’t technically been absent from this blog – at least, it hasn’t looked like it. There have been posts around every two weeks so far this year, so there aren’t exactly cobwebs. But I feel like there are. I haven’t actually really written any posts this year; everything from January and February was written around Christmas, and scheduled. In addition, I’ve not done anything hugely creative. Up until a few months ago, I was regularly posting discussions and infographics and things beyond simple reviews.

For anyone who follows me on other social media, though, you may have realised I’ve slipped into the shadows of the internet, in terms of this blog. I used to post on Instagram at least once a week, and Tweet obsessively; that’s dried up now. I tweet probably once every few days, and that’s mainly an automatic thing when a scheduled post publishes.

So what happened? Why have I slowly been disappearing over the last few months?

I thought I’d do a personal post while I have the time now, to let you guys know what’s been happening. Life is busy!

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Here’s one of the products of my recent messing around on Photoshop.
  • I’ve been developing another interest. It’s no secret that I’m hugely into photography, and since beginning to study it, I’ve been pushing myself in my own skills to improve my personal work as well as assignments for school. My free time is even more limited now, so reading time often becomes time where I’m planning, shooting, teaching myself a new skill or editing. If you’re interested in this, you can see what I’ve been getting up to on my Flickr page! It’s not a huge thing, but this is an online space I’m increasingly falling in love with, as I can see my progression. I also have another blog where I post sets of photos.
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This was taken at Wieden + Kennedy, the endlessly awesome advertising agency I had the chance to spend a week with in October.
  • My career ideas are changing. From literally since I can remember, until the start of secondary school, I wanted to be a writer. That changed in secondary school, where for about five years, I was completely dedicated to becoming a future publicist or an editor. Now? I’m not so sure! It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with their career; it’s still something I would love to pursue, and still seriously consider. However, since starting to study photography and media, and after spending a fantastic week at an advertising agency, my ideas are all over the place! I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do next; I’d love to still work in publishing, but my options are widening to photography, videography and advertising too. This has meant I’m devoting more time to exploring these interests, and looking into career paths.
  • AS Levels are hard work, man. I thought I’d find it easier to make time for this blog after GCSEs, but even though you study less subjects at sixth form, it feels like three times the work. My school runs mock exams literally every month, and I’m constantly under pressure from that and the immense amount of homework I get. I’m studying English Literature, Sociology, Media and Photography; the first three require a lot of essay writing and revision. My time at sixth form so far, personally and academically, has been incredibly tiring and stressful. Most evenings, by the time I’ve finished homework, I’m ready to sleep!
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Some photos from my mini Tegan and Sara tour – meeting them and their support acts Alex and Ria!
  • February half term! Usually, in my half terms, I’ll read and review lots so this blog remains active during term time… but I spent February’s week off very differently. If you’ve read this post, you’ll know I’m a huge Tegan and Sara fan, and I have a separate part of the internet where I express that! During the half term, I went to London and Manchester two days in a row, to see them live, along with many friends I’ve made within the community. It was an incredible experience, but a hugely busy one! It was really fun to do something so far out of my comfort zone.

So, there’s four bullet points that sum up a lot of why I haven’t been around much. I do miss blogging and reading, and I especially hope I’m able to balance schoolwork better with blogging, because it’s just as important to me and it’s something I love to do. I’m not going to be taking a break from here – and I’m certainly not quitting! Reviews and whatever else I can manage to write will still be going up as often as possible, and hopefully I’ll be back properly soon.

Thank you to everybody who reads, likes, shares and supports what I write here! I am so grateful for all of you.

Discussion

Bookstagram: Bookish Photography and Accounts I Love

2016-01-31 (11)I really love Instagram – After neglecting my old account for ages, I set up a new one connected with this blog a year ago. Although admittedly I don’t post as often as many people (my phone’s camera isn’t great, so I upload my DSLR photos using a computer client) – it’s probably my favourite social media app. I adore books, and I adore photography, so the ‘bookstagram’ community, a combination of the two, is the coolest thing.

A lot of accounts on Instagram that I follow have beautiful feeds, following colour schemes and styles. I really admire the artistic effort that goes into many Instagram feeds I follow – as weird as it may sound, Instagram has made me very aware of aesthetics in photography and how to master them.

Here are some accounts I follow that I really love!

@therainingwords – Madiya’s account is just so simplistically gorgeous. Every photo is minimalistic but eye catching, composed really nicely and many are Harry Potter themed, which is a plus 🙂

@themilelongbookshelf – Amber’s Instagram captures such a wide range of books and I really love her creative shots.

@hawwaetc – although more art, not just books, I have to include Hawwa’s account in this post! Hawwa’s journaling and photography and just everything is so beautiful.

@blueeyedbiblio – I love the aesthetic of Emily’s Instagram feed, and it’s no wonder she has over 100,000 followers. I love the range of b&w and warm photos. It feels so cosy and autumnal!

@lucythereader – Lucy’s Instagram is definitely one to follow, as she shares many photos of lovely UKYA titles, and often her guinea pigs with said books. I have no idea how she manages to get her guinea pigs to stay in the shot (my pets would never), so kudos.

@booksandquills – Sanne’s Instagram feed is full of pretty books, much like her YouTube channel. Bonus: lots of photogenic food and London scenery.

@teaplusbooks – I really love this account because all of the photos are equally simple and bursting with colour, which is lovely!

@penguinplatform – Penguin’s new YA platform for teens is so great, and their Instagram feed is always bustling with the latest news about Penguin books, events, and just beautiful photos.

I really admire everyone’s artistic photography skills on Instagram. I can never stick to a ‘theme,’ even for a few photos, so my feed is always quite bizarre. But what I do often try to do is take photos of my favourite books with settings or objects that I relate to them – for example, Keren David’s This is Not a Love Story is set in Amsterdam, so just after I came back from visiting there, I photographed it with my boarding pass and map. Here’s a few other favourites!*

I’m hoping, in the future, to post more of these types of photos, as I really love matching the backdrop or surrounding props with photos. It’s a fun challenge!

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*please note that this post has been scheduled months in advance so these are not the most recent photos on my Instagram. (Right now I’m 99% likely to be sobbing underneath a pile of textbooks / in an exam hall) 😛

Do you use Instagram? What do you like about it, and whose posts do you enjoy following?

Competition

COMPETITION: Young Creatives 2016

I’m incredibly excited about sharing this post with you, which is about a competition I recently was informed about – if you’re aged 5 to 16, or know anyone who is, it’s definitely worth reading on! 🙂

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The Young Creatives award is run by Holiday Cottages UK, and aims to showcase creative talent across the country through the competition. It’s run in partnership with Photobox, Puffin Books and WHSmiths, who are the suppliers for the £2500 worth of prizes up for grabs.

Well-loved UK authors Chris Bradford (Young Samurai) and Jeremy Strong (Beware Killer Tomatoes) are the judges of the contest, and you can create anything along these lines to enter:

  • short story
  • photograph
  • art work
  • creative video

along the theme of “where is your favourite place in the UK?”

Prizes that can be won include holiday vouchers, photography prizes from Photobox, and lots of books!

If you or someone you know is interested in entering, visit the Young Creatives website to find out more about submitting entries. The competition closes on April 15th. Good luck – and if you enter, I’d love to see what you made, so tweet me @GeorgiaReads! 🙂