Sunday, 28 December 2008

Book Worm Weekly

If you looked up 'book worm' in a dictionary there may as well be a picture of me, I absolutely love to read! There's nothing quite like being enthralled by a good book and as I'm known to have my nose stuck in at least one book a week, I decided to start a post called 'Book Worm Weekly' to share my love of reading and hopefully encourage people to read some of the really great books that are out there. I read a wide range of books both fiction and non-fiction on anything from Biology to the literary greats so there should be something for everyone! Each week I'll let my readers know what 'I'm reading this week...' I'll then provide a review and rating of the book that I read the previous week. I'll will also have a recommendation each week of a book that I have read that I highly recommend. That's it, simple! Happy Reading.

What I'm reading this week...This week I'm reading a book by one of my favourite authors Malorie Blackman. The book is called 'Double Cross' and it is the fourth book in Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses sequence. I have read the three previous books so I was really excited when 'Double Cross' was released. Luckily a very thoughtful person bought it for me as a Christmas gift :)

I will review 'Double Cross' next Sunday.

Double Cross (2008) ISBN: 9780385615518

My recommendation...As I'm reading 'Double Cross' this week my recommendation has to be the 'Noughts & Crosses sequence'. The first three books are called 'Noughts & Crosses' , 'Knife Edge'and 'Checkmate'. Malorie Blackman is known for writing children's books and I believe these books are aimed at young adults nevertheless I believe they would appeal to most people regardless of age. The premise of the series is a fictional racist dystopia. The books are set in a world where black people (crosses) and dominant over white people (noughts). The first book centres around two focal characters Persephone 'Sephy' Hadley a cross and the daughter of a prominent politician and her best friend Callum McGregor who is a nought. The book is written in first person from both Sephy and Callum's perspective with Sephy's chapters represented by a 'X' and Callum's by an 'O'. The series of books follow the lives of Sephy, Callum and their families. These books are hard hitting and tackle many of the prominent issues surrounding race and identity. Although these books are aimed at young adults I stress that they are not for the faint hearted and feature murders, hanging, rape and terrorism to name but a few of the happenings. However they are also highly emotive and touching and I can not recommend them enough. I was glued throughout each book and could not wait to get on to the next one, so give them a try I'd be highly surprised if you were disappointed.

Noughts & Crosses series:
Noughts & Crosses (2001) ISBN 978-0385600088
Knife Edge (2004) ISBN 978-0385605274
Checkmate (2005) ISBN 978-0385607735
and of course Double Cross (2008)

I'll be back next Sunday with more books, in the meantime feel free to comment or question or recommend any books for me!

Saturday, 20 December 2008


It's very fitting that my first blog should be titled 'Insomnia' as insomnia is partly what inspired me to start this blog...something to do when I can't sleep!

Recently, I have been suffering from really bad insomnia...really bad meaning I haven't had a good night's sleep in over 3 weeks. Insomnia is described as a persistent difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. Now even though I love to sleep and make sure I get at least 7 hours every night (well except when I have a night out then have to get up for work with little or no sleep!), I have always wondered how distressing insomnia actually is. I have experienced minor sleeplessness in the past, you know the kind you experience when you have an exam or some really exciting event the following day, and have never found it to be a big deal which led me to believe that insomnia couldn't be that bad...if you can't sleep you find something else to do...

I can't believe how wrong I was! You would think that the main problem with insomnia would be tiredness from lack of sleep. However, I have discovered that this is the least of your problems. Yes of course I was tired for the first few days but after that you kind of get used to it and learn to run on an empty tank. What I have found to be the most distressing part of suffering from insomnia is the frustration and this frustration comes in a variety of forms. Firstly, the frustration of wanting to go to sleep and not being able to. I get in to bed, I toss I turn, I listen some music, I toss and turn some more...the whole experience is very agitating and eventually you just want to punch the wall or scream or both!

The second thing that I find frustrating is the lack of opportunity to rest my mind or get any rest bite from my own thoughts. In other words I know we sleep to rejuvenate but it is also one of the only times where we can be free from our thoughts and if we are lucky enough enter the world of dreams. If I could at least have some freedom from my thoughts not sleeping would not be as frustrating, but sadly this is not this case and trust me at 4.30 in the morning after 2 hours of trying to get to sleep you will start to resent the random thoughts that are inclined to enter your head.

The final frustrating or maybe I should say upsetting thing about insomnia is loneliness. When you can't sleep you really just need someone to talk to and you realise they are all asleep. Of course you could phone them and wake them up but that wouldn't be polite lol. So instead while the world sleeps it's just you and your thoughts and although your life may be filled with friends during the day, when night falls you feel...alone. Personally I have taken to writing memos on my blackberry to combat the loneliness and frustration of insomnia and these memos were the foundations of my blog!

So there you have it a brief insight into the world of insomnia...feel free to comment!