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Christmas Shopping: Supporting Independent Bookshops

November 21, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Christmas, Gifts

It’s that time of year again – Christmas shopping. If you’re anything like me you like to buy books as gifts. The thing is that I am housebound so I can’t get out to do my shopping in independent bookshops and, naturally, I want to support them as much as possible. Well this year I’ve made a new discovery, and to be honest I can’t believe it’s taken me so long. It’s a website called (Note – this isn’t sponsored, I just wanted to share.)

hive logo is an online bookstore that supports your local high street. Basically do your book shopping on the hive website, choose whether to have your order delivered or to pick it up in your local bookshop, and then choose a local independent bookshop you’d like to support with your purchase!

Personally I think it’s a fantastic concept, and a great way to support independent booksellers if you can’t visit their stores. What’s more, their stock is well-priced AND you can get cashback through Topcashback (8.92% cashback ends tomorrow)! Oh and they have signed books available to purchase (here) – I do LOVE a signed book as a gift, don’t you?

There’s more though. Hive have a partnership with Bookindy. Bookindy is a fantastic browser plugin that runs in the background. Say, for example, you are browsing Amazon for a particular book, Bookindy will pop up to remind you to support your local independent store. It’ll tell you your nearest indy store, the distance to it, how much the book costs and it’ll also give you the option to buy it online through hive. Pretty cool eh? Amy over at The Literature Life has a great post about Bookindy, so if you want more information about it be sure to check out her post.

I can’t believe I only found out about this year – they’ve been around since 2011. However, I’m so glad I have discovered them. Together with the Bookindy plugin, I now have no excuse for not supporting independent bookstores… plus they offer FREE UK delivery! Yay!

Do you know of any other websites that offer a similar service? I’d love to hear about them.

As always, this isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliate links.

Top Ten Tuesday #36: Favourite Quotes From Recent Reads

November 17, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to participate too, see here.

Top 10 Tuesday Strupag

This week the topic is…

 10 Quotes I Loved From Books I’ve Read In The Past Year






Why be happy-4

golden son5


invisible library

7I'll Give You The Sun8

queen of shadows9

My heart10

son of the shadows

What are your favourite quotes from your recent reads?

Illumicrate Unboxing

November 14, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Illumicrate

If you follow me on Twitter you are probably aware of my excitement surrounding the new bookish subscription box Illumicrate. Well, the first box has arrived and I’m really pleased with it.




Illumicrate is a quarterly subscription box curated by the lovely Daphne over at Winged Reviews. It costs £29.99 which includes free UK shipping, but international shipping is also available.

This is the first bookish subscription box I’ve ever received. I’ve seen so many unboxings but most of those were for boxes from other countries, and despite being extremely tempted to order myself one, the international shipping costs were just too prohibitive for me. So I was delighted when Daphne started up the uk-based Illumicrate.

I’m scared of spoiling anything for those of you who are still to receive your box. So, in pre Match of the Day style, if you don’t want to see the scores contents, look away now…

Still here? Ok, let’s go.

(Please excuse the poor photos – a combination of my dismal photography skills and a dreich day here.)

The first thing I pulled out the box was this Harry Potter Series Poster by Abbie Imagine. It was also my find indication of the attention to detail in this box, ribbon that coordinates with the brand.

poster collage frame

In among the yellow packaging I found this beautiful Mockingjay necklace, exclusively designed for Illumicrate by My Clockwork Castle. There was also a wee Six of Crows badge tucked away beside it … and you know my love for Six of Crows!

necklace and badge frame

Carefully wrapped in the box was this cute Books Before Looks pocket mirror from Raspberry Finch.

mirror frame

Then there is the book, a new release – Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin complete with SIGNED BOOKPLATE!

book frame

Finally, to go with that book an exclusive hand panted Wolf Tattoo Bookmark from Skinny Hues.

bookmark frame

I’m really pleased with the box. I have been wanting to read Wolf By Wolf, but just hadn’t got around to buying myself a copy.

full box frame

I love the attention to detail too. Daphne has obviously put a lot of careful thought into the contents of the box, as well as the box itself.

I’m already looking forward to the next box. If you are interested in receiving the next box be sure to sign up via the Illumicrate website to be notified when subscription re-open.

Lest We Forget

November 11, 2015 in Personal

nam aonar


 A Gaelic poem and song (you can listen to it here under Eist) written in memory of Gordon MacPherson, a 21 year old from Argyll who lost his life in the Falklands War, in June 1982.

Review: I Am Because You Are

November 5, 2015 in Book Reviews, Short Stories

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: I Am Because You AreI Am Because You Are Published by Freight Books Genres: Short Stories
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

In November 1915 Albert Einstein published his now world famous General Theory of Relativity. It made key predictions around gravity’s influence in space and time. It introduced to physics new concepts around the curvature of space, the passage of time, the bending of light, black holes and the behaviour of bodies in freefall.

I Am Because You Are is a timely collection of new fiction and non-fiction from novelists and science writers, all inspired by the theme of Relativity. Each contributor treats the subject in their own unique way. The results are charming, witty, sometimes challenging but always accessible, presenting complex science themes in imaginative, easy-to-understand and highly entertaining ways.

Contributors include novelists Andrew Crumey, Dilys Rose and Neil Williamson, alongside popular science writers like Pedro Ferreira, Jo Dunkley and Lance Miller. Edited by acclaimed, award-winning writers Pippa Goldschmidt and Tania Hershman, I Am Because You Are will be the perfect vehicle for both press and public to engage with this important centenary.

I’ve recently been enjoying collections of short stories, and making more of an effort to discover new reads. When I saw that Freight Books had an anthology out inspired by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, I was sold. The scientist in me couldn’t resist reading I Am Because You Are.

This month it’s actually 100 years since Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity. To mark the occasion science writers and novelists have come together to create this collection of new fiction and non-fiction pieces.

Naturally, I found the non-fiction articles very interesting – I knew I would. What I wasn’t sure about was how I’d feel about the fiction but, on the whole, I loved it! Each writer has taken inspiration from the theme of Relativity to create short stories which draw upon this topic.

Honestly, the range of writing in this book was fascinating. Many were very obviously Relativity-related while some more far more subtle – I enjoyed both extremes equally.

I do want to mention just a couple of the stories I particularly enjoyed, the first being The Two-Body Problem by Ruby Cowling. Focusing upon the lives of twins, the page is split down the middle with Stella’s thoughts and story on the left, and Esther’s on the right. It was very impactful.

There was one story in this book though that affected me more than the others, Eric’s Mum Has A Black Hole Inside Her: A Science Project by Clinton and yours truly (Eric) by Rosa Campbell. I was NOT ready for this story and ended up in tears. It’s quite different from the other pieces of writing in the book, written from the perspective of Eric, a young boy whose father has left and whose mother is spending most of her time in bed. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful, and is a story I know will stay with me for a long time.

The balance of non-fiction, fiction and poetry in this anthology was perfect. I loved the range of ways that Relativity influenced the writing and the different take the authors had on the subject. All in all, a very good read and a great way to mark the centenary of this life-changing theory.