Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Guest Post - Carly-Ann Clements

Today I would like to welcome my first guest post - hope you enjoy!
Image via Etsy

Carly is a writer and social media type known mainly for her blog, Thoughts in Little Boxes.

Thoughts in Little Boxes blog

As a bit of a jack of all trades, her blog covers a number of topics offering something for everyone. If you can't find a topic on the blog, then there's no doubt you'll find an external blog that she writes for covering it. Today her guest post covers one such topic:


I am a complete bookworm. You would have thought that that would have be evident after studying literature for many years but it wasn't until after I stopped analysing texts that I really started appreciating them. A few years on from studying and I'm known to take a longer route home so that I have extra time to read. I'm happy going for a meal on my own with a good book in tow. I have even stayed up all night to finish a book with work the next day. I read everything from graphic novels to Greek mythology, young adult fiction to thrillers, chick-lit to non-fiction. Everything has its time and place and with that in mind I'm going to share some of my favourite summer reads with you.

Though good literature can be enjoyed at any time, I always think that the right environment will enhance your experience. My list will feature a wide range of books that I feel benefit from a bit of sunshine, relaxation and a dedicated stint of reading time. So if you're planning a beach holiday or just sitting in your back garden this summer, pick up one of these books and lose yourself in the pages.

Marching Powder - Rusty Young

Marching Powder is a true crime novel about an Englishman named Thomas McFadden who is sent  to a Bolivian prison for drug trafficking. It's an amazing insight into the bizarre world of San Pedro Prison where inmates either live like kings or run the risk of being killed in their sleep; they even do guided tours for visitors within the prison walls. Rusty Young documents the stories Thomas told him during visitations to the prison - some will show the pure elation Thomas experienced, some will chill you to the bone but all of them are unbelievable. The book isn't for the faint of heart but worth every second you dedicate to it. If you're usually a thriller or crime reader, give this a go, if you just like non-fiction you really won't regret reading it.

One Day - David Nicholls

This book exploded into the public eye as soon as it was published but many are yet to read it. The book takes place on the 15th July every year for twenty years following the story of Emma and Dexter after they meet on the night of their graduation in 1988. We follow them through their uncertain relationship and often troubled lives on a scale unlike any other. This book is mesmerising and written in a way I've never really come across before. The fragments of time we experience with the characters is enough to really understand them and by the end you feel as though you know them as well as you know your friends. It's a book that you can return to time and time again and I often find myself reaching for it and reading my favourite passage for no particular reason. It's a book you want to throw yourself into head first so make sure you have a clear schedule when you start to read it.

I Heart New York - Lindsey Kelk

I secretly love chick-lit. After a dark and serious read there's nothing better than whipping out a light-hearted, comical book to wipe away any dark emotions. I Heart New York is about a woman called Angela who finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her at her best friend's wedding. With little more than the clothes on her back, Angela decides to leave her woes behind by escaping England and jetting of to NYC. A first person narrative that shows all the gritty, embarrassing details of a clumsy girl trying her luck in a new situation and all the problems that ensue. What's better than being in a foreign land than reading about someone else in a foreign land making all the social faux pas you can imagine?

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami

Haruki Muakami is one of my favourite authors but his books aren't for everyone. Kafka on the Shore is one of his best known novels. It's a duel narrative following a young man called Tamura as he runs away from home at fifteen and the slightly more surreal Nakata who is a tracker of lost cats. A truly bizarre and wonderful novel that stays with you long after reading it but be warned… there are some disturbing images that may upset some readers. It is one of the few books I have read and honestly had no idea where it would lead and a great introduction to the world of Murakami and something for those who love the bizarre and wonderful.

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

If you loved Twilight then why not give these books a go. A series of Young Adult Fantasy fiction following Rose, a young vampire guardian in training and her best friend and vampire princess, Lissa. The first book in a series of seven takes the reader deep into the world of vampires, forbidden love, ruthless social scenes and terrifying rituals. It's a really easy read that sweeps you along leaving you wanting more. A great book for those times you just want to escape the real world and embrace a bit of fantasy.

If none of these books take your fancy but you can't decide what to take on holiday then I recommend sticking to books that are bright and cheerful to go along with the relaxed, sunny, summery vibe. I also recommend reading the first 5 pages of a selection of books to see how you connect with them - nothing worse than lugging a paperback halfway around the world and realising that you don't like it. And lastly, never read anything that feels like a chore. Reading is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable so don't try to read War and Peace if you look at it and feel your heart sink.

All the books I've read on holiday have made the memories of my travels even more vivid. I hope your next summer read does the same for you.

You can also follow Carly on Facebook and Twitter @woshixiongmao 

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