Welcome to our new feature where we talk about random things we’ve seen around the blogosphere. It could be an interesting article, a book trailer, maybe a fun piece of news we feel you should know about, and maybe even a stylish pair of shoes or handbag we’ve seen (if Laura has her way!). Basically it’s a bit of a mashup! Enjoy….


School Children and Reading

I saw a news article on the TV that was discussing children and reading. In it, it stated that by the end of primary school most children are turned off reading for pleasure. This stat makes me so sad, because I have always loved reading from a very early age and to think that so many people are missing that joy and escapism is in my humble opinion a tragedy! Interestingly, if you read the article associated with this feature, it also talks about the type of books children should be reading, the implication that fantasy and horror are some how less savoury:

The books are all in genres that weaker readers tend to prefer – action, crime, fantasy, horror and adventure. They are made up of short chapters or scenes that include plenty of dialogue and action, as well as cliffhanger endings.

Now I should state that, the article does also state the need to find engaging books for children:

Clearly we need to make sure we are providing our children with the right types of books which stimulate their interest, capture their imagination and make them turn the next page.

But as an avid horror and fantasy reader, I resent the implication that they are somehow less intelligent! But I strongly believe that getting a child to read any book is surely any better than none at all? I love the classics too, ahh those Eyre sisters, ohh the seductive world of Mr. Stoker! But I also have tried to read Dickens so many times and, and several times forced myself painstakingly through a couple of his novels for my studies. I know he’s a revered novelist but I’m afraid I hate his books! Classics are classics, but perhaps we need to move with times and let children read more popular genres before we put them off reading all together. What do you think my book loving friends? Did you always love reading? Did your school put you off reading for a long time?

Source: BBC News

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory The Musical

And talking of children’s books, top of my favourites list was the marvellous Roald Dahl, so I was quite excited to see that Sam Mendes, ex-husband of course to the lovely Kate Winslet has been approved to make a musical of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY! Now my favourite of his has to be THE WITCHES, but I’m not so sure it would have made such a great musical! I have also heard MATILDA the music is very good, although I have not got around to seeing it, it even won this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards. But I think CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY would make a super musical. I just hope the base it on the Gene Wilder version and on the Johnny Depp one. Sorry Mr. Depp, but in this instance little orange men one over your pirate cool factor! 😉

Source: Guardian Books

Fifty Shades of Grey Breaks Fastest Selling Paperback Record

I don’t think anyone can have missed the hype surrounding FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, you will have see Carolyn and I’s joint review of it this upcoming Saturday. So the news in the UK this week is that it has now between the likes of J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown to be the fastest selling paperback in the UK since records began.

It does annoy me that the national press does keep referring to it as ‘mummy porn’ and I think that the success of E.L. James’ trilogy is more down to perhaps what have previously been covert reading trends becoming more mainstream. At the core FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is a romance book, and romance books have been until recently slightly taboo. Erotic fiction even more so. I think it’s no surprise that they have a huge share of the ebook market, essentially people still (myself included), don’t like to be seen reading some titles, because of the eyebrow lifting from those that have yet to pick up a good romance.

I just want to pass on my congrats to E.L. James how exciting to write a book you never expected to be more than fanficton and that book propel you to international book stardom. And let’s hope more people will start reading romance with pride!

Source: Daily Mail

High Heel Bookends

I shall finish this week’s Monday Mashup with this super cute bookends I came across. High Heel bookends, these would look very cool on my bookshelves!

Source: Heelme.net


A self-confessed bookworm who's favourite genres are urban fantasy, horror and a good love story with a sexy supernatural beastie. Also has a bit of a handbag fetish… actually, let's not mention the handbags; they seem to be breeding!


Gemma June 25, 2012 at 9:47 am

See, that article about childrens reading habbits annys me. One of the most successful childrens book series is Harry Potter. HELLO! Its Fantasy. That’s what kids like. To escape into a world where you can go on adventures, find treasure, beat bad guys.

I loved reading as a child. My faves were the traditional fairy stories, but I have fond memories of The Worst Witch and MR Magica. And I still love Roahl Dahl. H to me “got” kids.

Which leads on to the Charlie and the Chocolate factory musical. I actually squealed when I heard this. Both Matilda and Charlie and the Choclate Factory? I am in heaven.! :)

I agree with you Laura, on the whole tag of “mummyporn”. I didn’t like the books *Ducks head at rotten fruit being thrown* but I do appreciate the fact that its gotten romance and to the extent erotic out into the mainstream. I do know you and Carolyn don’t see the similarities between that and Twilight. I respect that, but for me the very fact that it started as fanfic and from what I read of the comparison between its orignal format, little has changed. I would have more respect if it were a truly oringal piece of work. Oh, well! Off my soap box.

My final comment? I love those bookends, but with my TBR pile, The shelf would have to be the length of three football pitches…. at least.


Laura June 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Yep, if you read the article, it actually contradicts itself. Because it states Harry Potter as one of the books it should get chlldren reading and then insults fantasy. Kids love fantasy and fun and adventure. If you torture them with Dickens they’ll never read!

And Dahl did get kids you’re totally right, his books are superb.

I find the mummy porn tag irritating, whether it started out as fan fiction or not, the fact is it’s a risqué novel that has become popular with women, so immediately it gets tagged and I don’t know I feel like it somehow demeans it in a way. Not sure I’m putting my point across here very well. But whenever women read romance, all you need to do is mention Mills and Boon to illicit sniggers. I just wish people could see there was nothing wrong with sex and a happy ending. I think I might be on my soap box now lol!


Gemma June 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Yeah, I think it is rather demeaning tagging all books that are not so light and fluffy in the sex department as “mummy porn” What? are we living in the dark ages? Women do like to read that sort of stuff! Pfft!

I admit, I used to read Mills and Boons. I used to read my grans books. Ah, they seem so… tame now. lol. Though the newer ones are supposed to be more modern.


The Blonde Zombie June 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

That article does make me mad! My eldest child, who is 9 likes to read. He reads Horrid Henry, Horrible Histories, Tin Tin, Captain Underpants, Darren Shan… the more gross and funny the better! He has been enjoying adult graphic novels lately, like Batman and The Dark Knight, so what if there is the odd swear word or a picture of some guy getting hit and blood etc… The kids see this and more atrocities watching Newsround on a kids tv channel!

Who the friggin hell wants to get bogged down with Dickens, and overly descriptive literary writing…kids want to escape in books not fall asleep in them. I think that telling kids what they should and shouldn’t be reading will put them off reading altogether… there’s plenty of time for Dickens when we retire, let kids be kids!


Laura June 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Oh I’m totally with you and hope that my son reads all of that sort of stuff when he’s older, to be honest I think I’d be a bit alarmed that he preferred Dickens to a bit of gross snot and creepy crawlies!

I remember as a girl I used to love Sweet Valley High, happy trash, but I was never allowed to put them down on my summer holiday reading challenges as they were not deemed worthy. Blah!


Carmen June 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’m very, very lucky that all 3 of my girls – two of which are nearly 12 and 15 all love reading as much as I do. That article though – what? Don’t they know that books like Harry Potter (I agree with Gemma) are the future ‘classics’.

I never have been able to read Dickens or Shakespeare. I can watch adaptations on the TV but reading them is positively yawnsome. Surely if a kid is reading ANYTHING and enjoying it you shouldn’t deter them? My nearly 12 year old is gobbling up all the YA horror I’m passing on to her but also loves Jaqueline Wilson where my eldest prefers the likes of Twilight and Angel – who am I to tell them they are wrong (especially when I have my nose in a good zombie novel?) Both girls are constantly praised on their intelligence, imagination and creativity at parents evening – I certainly will not be telling them what they can and can’t read.


Laura June 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Yes I so agree with you and Harry Potter is most definitely a future classic. If you encourage them to enjoy reading, there is a good chance they will at least try th classics at least some point in the future on their own even if just for curiosity. There are some superb classics out there as well as dreary ones, but for me they should be able to explore and discover in their reading choices rather than being forced to comply with a forced choice.


Sabrina June 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I really hope that more readers will start reading romance with pride. Reading happy books about love is nothing we should feel bad about.


Laura June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

How perfectly put Sabrina, I completely agree with you :) x


Vickie June 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

On the topic of reading with children… Can I ask who reads with their kids and how old were you when you started?

I work with year fours at the moment, so for those of you that are unsure, thats 9 years old or there abouts. I am gutted to say that the majority of the kids in my class hate reading. Its like pulling teeth getting them to read. So pretty much the article has been generous. One pattern I have noticed however is that those children whose parents have been reading with them since small, have a better vocabulary, are more fluent with their reading, and don’t get mortified at adding a voice or two. They comprehend what they are reading much more, and are able to write better stories. So if we as parents take the time to read with our children, perhaps they would continue to be interested in books for a bit longer? I know this is the case with mine so far. ( I don’t mean this to be a sweeping statement, just an observation of my class and some of the students I come across).


Laura June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

That’s a really good point. I’ve already started reading with my boy, singing bits in some of the books and trying to make it fun. He’s only 8 months old, but I want him to love books as much as I do. It makes me sad that the majority of kids don’t enjoy it :-(


Vickie June 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I have always read to my kids, since them being tiny, like you are doing. Silly voices, singing, talking about the pictures and anything to get them engaging in the books. They have just done their assessments in school, and they are both way above average in their reading comprehensions (by at least 3 years). I am not doing this to brag about their skills (although naturally I am a proud mummy) but to highlight why it is so important for people to read to their children when young, and to continue to do so as long as you can. It makes such a massive difference to them in school. Despite being able to read perfectly well, my kids both enjoy having stories read at bedtime (they are 6 and 8) and I figure that if we read them to them now, they will be more inclined to pick them up again as they get older, as they will have fond memories of hearing them when they were little.


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