IT’S CHRISTMAASSS!!

Well, nearly anyway 😉

I’m writing this early on Christmas eve. I’ve finished work for the year (which is a massive relief, having not had a real holiday since last December) and am excited to go spend some time with my family. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite Christmas traditions/what makes Christmas so special for me.

  • Christmas has pretty much stayed the same for me since I was a kid. I’ve spent the majority of them with my mom and step-dad and sisters, with the exception of a few years when I was younger and we alternated Christmas with my dad (best thing about divorced parents = 2 Christmases!)

  • We don’t go anywhere or do anything or see anyone on Christmas – it’s just us ‘immediate family’ – basically those who live in the house/me and my sister now we’ve moved out. I know for some people Christmas means big family gatherings but that’s never how we’ve done it. Boxing Day is for seeing people, Christmas is just for us.

  • Right from the first Christmas I can remember we’ve had ‘bed presents’. They were exciting as kids but now I see how smart my mom was being too. When my older sister and I were young, we’d wake up Christmas morning with a video on our beds – it was the only present we were allowed to open without our parents there. The bed presents kept us quiet as we could go downstairs and watch a film until it was a reasonable time to wake our parents up. And this still happens every year – only with DVDs now, obviously!

  • Me and my three sisters all have beautiful stockings that our auntie made us and I love seeing them all laid out. They’re all very different, but very special as Auntie Astrid sewed them herself and cross stitched our names on them – I’m hoping she’ll make one for baby when it’s born next year too.

  • My favourite thing about Christmas is hard to pick out. I love the atmosphere, I love the food, and I love having some time to just relax and be with family.

I promised my little sisters that I’d come home for Christmas until I had a child of my own, so that means this is my last Christmas with them. I’m going to enjoy every second of it as my last ‘childish’ Christmas, and I’m really looking forward to celebrating next year with just me, Nathan and our baby 🙂

I’m Back!

Well hello there. It has been a while, hasn’t it?


Apologies for the silence over the last month or so, it’s been a bit of a crazy time for me. But I’m back, and with a new shiny blog too.


If you’ve already had a look around (or just checked out my new blog name) then you may have guessed my news, but if not then here it is:

 

I’m happy to announce that we’re expecting a new little Moore to be joining us early next March 🙂

 

This wasn’t something we planned but we’re both incredibly excited, and I guess it’s come at a pretty good (although busy) time. Just before we found out, Nathan (my partner) got himself an amazing new job in London. Because of this, we found it was time to move out of my parent’s house, who have kindly put up with us for the last year or so. While we appreciate everything they did for us (and I know it can’t be easy to have your 24 year old daughter move back home with her partner) it was definitely time for us to move out and get our own space. I’d forgotten what it was like to live in our own home with just the two of us (though that won’t be for long!). My parent’s house also had my two younger sisters and my grandma, so it was always very loud and busy!

 

So now we’ve moved to a lovely village in Milton Keynes, within commuting distance for us both for work (though my journey is particularly long and tiring, but I’m not ready to leave my lovely job yet). We were without internet for a while, hence another reason for the blogging hiatus. But I’m all up and running now and am determined to get back into the swing of blogging.

 

This blog will be a little different than my old one. Apart from looking better (I hope), it’s not just going to be undiluted reviews anymore: I’m also going to be tracking the pregnancy as it progresses, and talking more about my writing too. I’m redrafting my first young adult novel and am feeling the need to talk about it/get away from it for a little while.

 

Unfortunately, in the move from Blogger some of the formatting on my old posts has gotten messed up 🙁 I’m trying to correct it but it may take a little while, so bear with!


I’ll leave this post here for now. I’m really looking forward to getting back into blogging and catching up with everyone again. Please do stop by and say hi some time!

Top Five… Book Titles

I’ve spoken a fair bit about buying books because I love their covers, so this week’s Top Five is books I’ve bought because of their titles. Along with the cover, the title is often one of the first things we see of a book, and a grabbing title can make the difference between picking a book up or moving on to the next one.
 
5.
 
2118745
The Knife of Never Letting Go
(Patrick Ness)
This immediately makes me ask ‘Why can’t you let go of the knife?’ Although it turned out to be far from what I thought it would be (I was guessing it was some kind of magical, possessing knife and I was very wrong) but the story was amazing and lived up to it’s interesting title.
 
4.

Memoirs of a Dangerous Alien

 

Memoirs of a Dangerous Alien
(Maggie Prince)
This is a golden oldie and has always been a favourite of mine. Again, it didn’t go how I expected it to (apparently I like that in my titles) but it was still a title that made me stop and think ‘I want to read that’ and add it to my wishlist.

 

3.
John Dies at the End
(David Wong)
This is moving away from my usual YA a little – I borrowed this one from my boyfriend – but as soon as I heard the title I knew I wanted to read it. Who gives away a major plot point and spoiler in their title? A genius, that’s who (a little gushing, I know, but it’s a very grabbing title).
2.
 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 
(Ransom Riggs)
I’ll admit to being intrigued by the cover and the use of the strange photographs, but I just love the title for this book as well. It instantly says intrigue and makes me want to read it. I admit, the story didn’t go how I expected it to, but I still loved it.
And the winner is…
 

 

 


 
1.
 

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
(Catherynne M Valente)
I don’t think anything can top that title.
This popped up on Amazon when I was buying something else and I added it to my basket immediately: it deserved that for being so epically titled. The others in the series are similarly named but this was the first that caught my eye. It also happens to be a very good book, so check it out 😉
I’d love to hear any other awesomely titled books that you’d recommend!

Top Five… Couples

In honour of Valentines Day this weekend, my Top Five this week is Favourite Couples. I’m not the overly romantic type so some of these may be bitter sweet relationships! And I’ve added in some fan fiction for good measure 🙂
 
5.
 
Sonea and Akkarin by CartographerCaitlin
Picture by Cartographer Caitlin
Sonea and Akkarin – The Black Magician Trilogy (Trudi Canavan)
I’m going to admit that I can’t say much about this relationship: it’s been a really long time since I read the books and I’ve forgotten a lot of plot details, but I remember loving these two so much. At least this way there’s no spoilers for anyone (including myself – I want to read the books again as if it’s the first time!) I remember it from so long ago so I’m sure it’s worthy of a place here!
 
4.



Picture by Laurajanetolton

 

Sabriel and Touchstone – Sabriel (Garth Nix)
I’ve always loved the scene where Sabriel and Touchstone meet: there’s such an innocence and curiosity there that seems so genuine. Theirs is a relationship that develops slowly and doesn’t seem contrived: everything that happens occurs naturally and their relationship isn’t even a big focus of the book, which I appreciate. I also love being able to see them grown up in the next book, with an even stronger relationship despite all their trials.
 



3.
 
 
I Wished For Her - the-night-circus Fan Art
Picture by Greeneiris
Celia and Marco – The Night Circus – (Erin Morgenstern)
Celia and Marco are true star-crossed lovers: right from the beginning they are destined to be pitted against each other, and it’s infuriating when Celia doesn’t even know who her opponent is. But I think that the wonders they create for each other in the circus show an incredible love that can outlive their fate.
2.
 
Picture by Nick Morgan

 

 

Alyss and Dodge – The Looking Glass Wars (Frank Beddor)
It’s never an easy ride for Princess Alyss of Wonderland and Dodge Anders, son of the Captain of the Guards. Alyss is destined to wed the spoilt and rotund Jack of Diamonds and even if he were out the picture, Alyss could never marry a servant. When Wonderland is taken over by Alyss’ evil Aunt Redd, the childhood sweethearts are separated for almost 20 years and they both have a lot to work through when she returns. Still, they make an amazing couple and Alyss is very strong, inspiring woman.
And the winner is…
 



 
1.
 





Picture by Gtjiyeon
Will and Lyra – His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
I told you there’d be some bitter sweet in here! Lyra and Will’s relationship was one of the first that I really remember touching me from my younger days of reading, and it always stayed with me. There was something so natural and truthful about their relationship and the progression of it, whereas these days it often feels like relationship are just shovelled in for the sake of it (especially the dreaded love triangle!) This relationship was made more memorable by the sacrifice they made together (which I won’t spoil, in case you haven’t read it.
Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day this weekend, whether you’re celebrating with someone special or enjoying a little me time 🙂

 

Top Five… Sisters

(That’s Top 5 sisters in books – I’m not numbering my siblings in order of preference. That would be mean.)
Today my older sister turned 27, so I thought I’d dedicate my Top 5 to her and my other two (younger) sisters. Girls seem to run in my family a bit – my mum had the four of us, and she had five sisters of her own.
I also love writing about sibling relationships and it’s something that drives my own work. So this week I’m looking at my favourite sisters in books I’ve read.
5.
 
 
I’ve loved this book forever, not only as a ballet nerd but as it has three (adopted) sisters who all have dreams to follow and achieve them through working hard. I love how rounded and different they are as characters: they can all be flawed at times but ultimately they pull through for each other.
 
4.
 
Not only is Georgia’s little sister Libby hilarious throughout the series, she also reminded me a lot of my relationship with my youngest sister (she’s now 12 and behaves a lot more ‘normal’ mostly…) She was the kind of kid that you couldn’t trust around a new boyfriend because she’d definitely come out with a Libby line.
 
3.
 
Katniss and Primrose have a memorable relationship and it’s Katniss’ love for Prim that gets her into the Hunger Games in the first place. When I read this the first time, I was around Katniss’ age and one of my sisters was Prim’s age and I just knew exactly how she felt. I’d go through a hundred Hunger Games for any of my sisters.
 
2.
 
I loved Pilbeam and Appleby’s relationship in the Mennyms series. I think the main bit for me was when Pilbeam was introduced as their sister and snapped Appleby out of her brooding. Although they fight often and can be such different people/ragdolls, they are also really good for each other.
And the winner is…
 
 
1.
 
My Naughty Little Sister is something my big sister used to read to me (even though I’m sure she was the naughty one really…) I can’t remember either of the sisters names – maybe they weren’t mentioned – but I do remember these being some of my favourite stories as a child and, even if one sister was often naughty, it showed a really lovely relationship.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I am completely unfamiliar with these things, but the lovely Eve Estelle over at Edge of Night has nominated me for this award, so I shall give it a go!
 
 
  • #1 Favorite book author?
Ah this is such a tough question! For now, I’m going to say Patrick Ness, as I’ve really been enjoying his stuff lately. But I don’t think I could ever really pick one favourite author.
  • #2 What inspires you?
 
I think reading in general inspires me. I love delving into other worlds and other people’s heads and it inspires me to keep writing myself.
 
  • #3 You’ve won a free, all-expenses-paid trip to anywhere in the world. You’ll be there for one week. Where do you go?
 
I don’t have a specific place I want to go right now, just somewhere warm with a beach and a pool where I can read and do nothing else.
 
  • #4 What song is stuck in your head right now?
 
All American Girl by Carrie Underwood – its on pretty much all my playlists at the moment.
  • #5 If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
 
Chill out. Keep reading, keep writing. Be wiser with money!
Like Eve, I will keep it to five questions to answer, and they are:
  1. What book are you currently reading and what made you choose it?
  2. If you only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  3. What book would you love to see turned into a film/TV show?
  4. Which author would you love to meet and why?
  5. Finally (non book related) What’s your favourite joke?
And so, nominations. I’m only a couple of weeks into blogging and don’t know many people so I won’t do too many.
Nominations:
Priya @ Priya Piggle
Send me the links if you do it, I’d love to see your answers 🙂

Top Five… Book Covers

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but we’ve all definitely done it at some point (I’m sure that phrase is really for people and not for books). So here I list my Top 5 favourite book covers.
5.
I know this is a relatively simple one, but something about this book cover really grabbed me when I saw it on the table in Waterstones. I like the bright colours and the way the trees crowd the writing and how it feels in my hands.
4.
This is a classic one for me, and I’m referring to the whole series of books rather than just this one in particular (although it is one of my favourites). I know they could probably do it loads better with digital technology these days but I love the way the morphing looks and the idea of turning into animals always appealed to me massively.
3.

 

This is another that is pretty simple and that’s what made me want it. This popped up when I was buying a different book on Amazon and I knew from the cover that I wanted to read it (and I was right, it’s such a beautiful story).
2.

 

I’ve mentioned this book quite a lot lately and knew it would make it in my Top 5 somewhere. This is the first in an amazing trilogy and I think it just captures the story beautifully. I love things to do with the sea, and the Merlee on the front and the waves of blue hair were an instant winner for me.
And the winner is….

 

 

1.
I am a sucker for anything Alice in Wonderland related, and this trilogy is no exception. Although I like the other two covers, this, from the second book, is by far my favourite. It captures the menace of Redd and the Cat quite perfectly and I want to read it all over again just looking at it!
Anyone else have any books that they picked just for the covers alone? I’d love to hear/see your recommendations!

My First Week in the Blog-O-Sphere…

…Or whatever it’s called.

So, today marks a whole week since I started blogging and tweeting as Maia Moore Reads. I’d thought about blogging on and off for a while and kept thinking it was something I should get into. But it was only last week that I started to get really obsessed by the idea and, instead of waiting around any more, I started it as soon as I got home from work last Wednesday.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing (and still don’t compared to the rest of you out there) but I figured out a fair bit on my own, through trial and error mostly (although I work in IT so this should probably come easier to me!)

Despite a few little hiccups over HTML and GFC (still don’t get it) I’ve really enjoyed this week. I’ve reviewed three of my favourite books, signed up to the British Books Challenge 2015 and had a lot of fun selecting my Top 5 Opening Lines. It’s been great having a browse through other people’s blogs (still working on this as well, just trying to follow and flick through lots and see what I enjoy) and talking to like minded people.

Another highlight was taking part in the #UKYAChat (my first ever Twitter chat, compliments to Lucy for that). I’ve not thought a lot about where my books come from and am trying to support UK authors more now.

To sum up my first week, as of writing this I have:

51 Twitter followers (including some authors of some of my favourite books, which excites me no end!)
115 people I’m following
131 Tweets I’ve written
725 blog views
4 blog followers

I’m aware that these are baby numbers compared to everyone else, but for me on my first week I’m very chuffed. I’m really looking forward to reading lots and chatting to loads of different people for the next few weeks.

For anyone reading, thanks for making my first week blogging a welcoming one 🙂

Top Five… Opening Lines

Here are my Top 5 opening lines from some of my favourite novels.

 

5.
You would not think, to look at me, that I was a dangerous alien.

Maggie Prince, Memoirs of a Dangerous Alien

 

4.
It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow city streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.

Trudi Canavan, The Magician’s Guild

 

3.

There was once a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

 

2.

When the Dead Man got Rachel I was sitting in the back of a wrecked Mercedes wondering if the rain was going to stop.

 

Kevin Brooks, The Road of the Dead

And the winner is….

 

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.

Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

Let me know what you think should be on the list!