Reading around a life

I can’t be the only one who struggles with this, who was an introvert through circumstance in childhood and now has to learn how to balance reading with a social life. Actually leaving the house, or having people come over and socialising. I’m just not used to it.

My parents weren’t the type that liked to have my friends over and they also needed 2 weeks notice if I was going to a sleepover or the like. We also didn’t live close to any of my school friends, no buses and definitely not in walking distance. So I was alone a lot, hence my obsession with Animal Crossing and reading! Now that I’m an adult, and for now (whilst I’m at uni) I have my own place, I can actually have people over, go out when and where I want. It’s a little confusing in itself and I’ve still not gotten to grips with it over the three years I’ve not lived at home. But adding reading into the mix? Just makes it even harder.

I’ll be moving back into my parents place soon, as I have finished my degree and don’t have anywhere else to live while I hunt for a job, or decide generally what my future might look like. I expect that this will result in more reading time as I’m shut away in my room, passing the hours with the internet and all my books. But I can’t stay like that forever, essentially hermitted. So when I eventually get my own place again I’ll have to find that balance. Who knows where it’ll come from…

I take a book, kindle or iPod for an audiobook everywhere I go to squeeze in reading time. But often people consider it antisocial, even though I only pull out my book when everyone is sat on their phones and not talking. I know I could read on my phone but I hate to buy ecopies of physical books I already own and my phone screen isn’t huge. Most of my friends aren’t readers, we’ve bonded over other pastimes. They don’t understand the want to read and think that you can interrupt just as you would with a Facebook article or a youtube video. They mean well, they just want to chat, but all this extra socialising not only means you brought your book for no reason but it also means you’re too tired to read once you get home.

I love my friends, I really do. If I didn’t I wouldn’t spend so much time with them! But finding a way to incorporate one of my favourite pastimes whilst actually having a social life (which I am still really not used to) is unexpectedly difficult. Genuinely, if any readers have advice please tell me! I guess I’m just an introvert by circumstance and an extrovert in personality.

This has been a bit ramble-y. I’m just typing this out on my phone while I’m visiting York and it’s a lot harder to edit on here! But let me know if you have this issue too, or anything similar. Surely I can’t be alone in this!

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

Just Henry is an engrossing book based around the time of WWII. The book follows the life of a young boy, with a father who died in the war, living with his mother, step-father, gran and younger sister and his days at school and his love of photography.

Due to the stigmatisation which was common in those days and enforced by his grandmother, Henry is tested when partnered with two boys in school as one is a bastard (born when his parents were not married) and the other has a deserter for a father. He also meets a woman whilst trying to get into an age restricted film at the cinema and soon becomes friends with her. Through help from his unlikely friend as well as from his mother, teacher and what he truly believes; Henry becomes friends with these two boys.

He also develops (see what I did there) a love for photography and through help from both his teacher and his unlikely friend he starts taking pictures and learning how to make the best of the limited number of photos.

This love of photography and his close new friendships turn out to be crucial during a plot twist involving his father, gran, sister and a lot of worry.

The twist within this novel will have you glued to the pages as Magorian again manages to reel the reader in and not let go, this novel will grab you from the start and you’ll love learning about life in the post-WWII period as well as seeing the changes which occur at this time and how the characters develop.

Recommended for:

Those who love the WWII era.

This is my favourite era in history, meaning that I fell in love with this book almost instantly. The plot is easy to follow but also interesting and seems to stick to the historical accuracy of the time. The book shows what life was like once the war ended and how the countries landscape was changed, not only physically but mentally as people adjusted to others who were different with more ease.

Age recommendation:

Young Adults+

This book is aimed at ‘young adult’ readers with language and themes which may be slightly too mature for younger readers but which is simple enough that it is understandable. I would suggest that the reading age is around 12+ although this will vary from person to person, and many adults will enjoy this book as I still love it myself after many years.

Sorry for not posting in a while, I’ve had a busy summer! I hope you are all having a great time while the nice(ish) weather lasts!

Comment what books you would like me to review next 🙂

Minus Me by Ingelin Rossland

This is an amazing book about a young girls life after she almost passes away at a diving competition. She is brought back by a mysterious boy who keeps appearing when she least expects it. This book will grab you with short, easy to read, chapters and an interesting plot with a major twist at the end.

I managed to finish this book in 2 hours whilst doing other things around the house, it is so absorbing and I would love to re-read this book a million times. Sadly I have an advanced publication meaning I have to return this to my book store where I work but I am contemplating purchasing the book once it is for sale in my store!

Recommended for:


This is very much a teen novel, I can imagine older readers finding the writing style too childish. However for those who like the teen style, such as myself, it is a very good book.

Age recommendation:


This book does have a plot which can upset readers, it made me cry and I’m an adult! So those giving to younger children should probably read this book first to ensure their child is ready to read it.

Comment what books you would like me to review next 🙂

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This is an amazing heartbreaking story of two best friends in War time. The girls attempt to infiltrate France comes to a halt when their plane is hit by opposing fire and they cannot land. This book is split into two halves, one which focuses on “Verity”, who is captured by the Nazis, the other half focuses on the pilot of the plane – Maddie.

This book will draw you in and not let go until the very end, with one of the best plot twists I have read in a long time. This plot twist is unexpected and unpredictable, right until the moment it happens.

This book has so much detail crammed in that it is very hard to describe it without giving away the whole story! This is shown by the synopsis only being 4 lines long. This book is so good that I’m having to resist the urge to go back and re-read it all again!

Recommended for:

Those who like books based in WW2, action, drama and spies.

This book really captures the time period with Wein using many sources, which she references in the back of the book, to make the story-line as realistic as possible. This means that those who love this period in history (like me!) will thoroughly enjoy the book. There is a lot of action, drama and suspense within the story as well as an unexpected theme of spies which is integrated throughout.

Age recommendation:

Teens and up.

This book does have violent elements which are probably not appropriate for younger readers, however the style is suitable for both teens and adults alike who should vastly enjoy this book. As usual, if you are thinking about giving this to a younger child I would recommend reading it first so you can make your own judgments on whether the book is suitable for them. You may even find that you love the book yourself!

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The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Read on the Blloon app for iPhone.

This is an amazing and engrossing book about a centurion who has had an extremely eventful and unlikely life and who can’t give it up, no matter his age.

The story follows Allan Karlsson as he relives his old adventures across the 20th century as swaps between his memories and the present, both of which are very almost unbelievable. The story starts as Allan escapes the care home he lives in to avoid his 100th birthday party, he ends up at the bus station watching someone’s bag. When the said someone doesn’t return for their bag in time before Allans bus arrives, he just takes the suitcase with him on his journey to as far as he can get for what money he has.

The book has a very intricate plot with a lot of changing from the past to the present. However, this is easily got used to after a while.

You can read this book for free using the Blloon app for iPhone.

Recommended for:
This book is a narrative of a man’s adventurous life and, as such, can be enjoyed by anybody.

Age recommendation:
15 and over.
The book does contain violence as well as illegal activities although they are on a small scale and the violence is not described in great detail. As always, if you are worried about your child reading this then I suggest you read the book yourself first. You may end up loving it.

Comment what books you would like me to review next 🙂