The Book Title Book Tag

BlogADay #11
I have seen this on a couple of blogs but copied it from The Book Prophet’s blog. I’ve never done a book tag challenge before but 2018 is all about trying new things…
I made the challenge a little harder by only answering it only with books I read in 2017.


1. Title That’s the Story of Your Life

Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

I think this is pretty self-explanatory!

2. Title That Describes Your Perfect Weekend

Paris Versus New York by Vahram Muratyan

Spending the weekend in either Paris or New York sounds pretty good to me! 

3. Title of an Adventure You’d Like To Go On

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

While this story wasn’t my favourite I have to admit that of the books I read last year the whole idea of the adventure of Caraval is one that intrigues me.

4. Title You Want to Name Your Child

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I find this far too funny! My poor future kids should they ever exist!

5. Title of Your Ideal Job

We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby

I would love to work from home or remotely!

6. Title of a Place You’d Like to Visit

The Impossible Museum by Céline Delavaux

This is being a bit cheeky but I would like to explore an actual museum with all the beautiful lost, missing or destroyed masterpieces (from paintings on canvas and cave walls to structures) that this incredible book of “lost art” describes.  

7. Title of Your Love Life

Appunti di parole by Yoshiko Noda

This is a short, cute Italian book which loosely translates as ‘Appointment with words”.

8. Questions You Ask Yourself

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
by Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell (Translator), Erica Segre (Translator)

Good answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Sorry I couldn’t find a better book for this one from 2017/ 2018 but on the to be read list is:

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
by Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Oyler

Which would have been perfect! 

9. Title of a Kingdom You Want to Rule or Name

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Simply because it sounds like one of the most incredible places on earth – if anyone knows of somewhere like it that exists outside the book please tell me so that I can visit it!

10. Title You’d Name Your Band

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Which sums me up far too well!



Sunday Round-up

BlogADay #10

So far I am managing to stick to my goal of blogging every day for two weeks although it is proving tougher some days than others. I’m enjoying it though! This is my first ever round up of everything I have blogged thus far during this challenge;

BlogADay Round Up

  1. Tendencies & Tenacity
  2. Simplify your bookshelves
  3. Down the rabbit hole with Mnemonics
  4. Parisian life… through vlogs?
  5. The end of listening…
  6. Suspicious
  7. Costume and the Spectacle of Carnival
  8. Flashback Friday
  9. Saturday Inspiration

Now that this roundup is done I am going to kick back, relax and enjoy the day. Hope you are doing the same!


Saturday Inspiration

BlogADay #9

Great Blog to follow – Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Travel Inspiration – Bookish places to stay!

Reading Inspiration – Around the world book list!

Language Inspiration – John McWhorter

What I’m reading this weekend – War and Peace (from my to-read pile & it is awesome) and Be Good to Your Gut (which was my January book purchase – yes thus far I am sticking to my goal of buying only one new book each month). Reviews of these will follow at some point.

Enjoy your Saturday!pexels-photo-302810.jpeg

Flaskback Friday – to the Apothecary’s Garden

BlogADay # 8

I have begun a serious decluttering of my digital photos of the last 16 years. This is long overdue and actually a lot of fun but I am discovering several things I didn’t know about myself, for example, I take way too many photos of seagulls. Seriously I have so many photos of seagulls from nearly every holiday I have taken in the last 5 years – both at the beach and in port cities that I visited. London, Paris, Dublin, Rome… I had photos of seagulls from them all. Somehow I wasn’t too nostalgic getting rid of a lot of those but I am finding some gems. Such as this picture from a garden I visited with my Mum in Ireland (I think). It is funny in that I remember this being such a good day with her and some of the things we did such as the garden and finding a lovely cafe where we had tea and chocolate cake. I remember her asking me to take this photo but I am not sure where we were in the UK or in Ireland. I am leaning towards Ireland but who knows. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting (and as you can see completely unedited off-kilter) photo so I wanted to share it.

I also think it is an interesting thing that many of the modern things we use to address our modern ailments are based on many of these. For example, I drink Valerian tea when I have trouble sleeping and it often knocks me out. Aloe is always my go-to product if I stay out in the sun too long or when I run out of moisturiser. A good mint tea is one of the things I cannot find where I am living at the moment and I really miss it. I’m planning to stock up when I am home next!

Does anyone else use some of these or have any tips for others?


Costume and the Spectacle of Carnival

BlogADay #7

Carnival or Carnevale is originally derived from carnem (meat) and levare (remove) in Latin, the festival of Carnevale marks the beginning of Lent (the start of the 40 days before Easter), a Christian celebration marked by fasting and abstinence (often from meat and other luxuries). As I child I often gave up sweets or chocolate as is the custom in Ireland. This is celebrated at the end of lent with Easter and (importantly for me) with chocolate Easter Eggs! I love Easter Eggs! However, here in Italy there is a great deal more emphasis put on the beginning rather than the end of Lent. While there are famous Carnivals held in Venice, Viareggio, and Ivrea, every town and city in Italy holds its own celebrations with children in costumes and some adults as well. There is a great atmosphere with mimes, music and sparklers with a lot of paper confetti litters the streets afterwards.

Now that this day is over I am counting down the days until I can legitimately buy my Easter Eggs!

via Daily Prompt: Costume


BlogADay #6

Today I wanted to post about the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris, inventor of the original FERRIS WHEEL. Despite great suspicion over its safety Mr Ferris presented the Ferris Wheel as a rival to the Eiffel Tower at the World Exhibition 1893 in Chicago (USA). There was great fear that this revolving wheel could not possibly be safe yet Ferris persisted and the popularity of Ferris wheels has grown and continues to play a key part in fairs, Christmas markets, and awkward rom-com moments. Additionally, notable copycats such as the London Eye have become iconic structures in our cities.

ferris wheel

Image Credit

A couple of years ago Google honoured Mr Ferris and his wheel with an interactive doodle on their homepage which you should definitely check out as well.

via Daily Prompt: Suspicious

The end of listening…

BlogADay #5

This is a depressing thing, at the last public lecture I attended I looked around at one point and every single person was on their phones. The lecture had a hashtag and there were plenty of generic tweets relating to it but what exactly is the point of this. Is it not better manners to listen attentively to the person who has probably put a lot of work into preparing for this lecture? Yet it seems that firstly it is difficult to hold our attention on the person speaking and secondly if it isn’t online then it didn’t happen. I am not going to say I have never looked at my phone during a lecture or tried to do two things simultaneously but the truth is whenever I have tried to attend a lecture and at the same time answer emails I do both badly. The emails are rushed because I am trying to listen at the same time and I miss much of the lecture because I am trying to do two things simultaneously. Giving into distraction, the cult of busyness and justifying the need for multitasking with these means that it is more and more difficult to just be present. I know it is not always possible but when you can;

Turn off the phone*

Tune in to what you are doing



(Image Credit)

*or at least silence it!

via Daily Prompt: Lecture

Parisian life… through vlogs?

BlogADay #4

I’ve come across a number of Youtubers recently who are doing daily & weekly vlogs about their lives in Paris. It is a really odd thing, watching people narrate their lives on youtube. The amount of time and effort it must take is impressive, as is the courage to post such videos to a public audience. There is something very voyeuristic about watching these and at the same time, it is very clear that the image these people want to project is quite a curated one. This is not a criticism, no one posts anything without the desire to be viewed a certain way. It is an interesting subcommunity on Youtube as many of the vloggers seem to collaborate and interact. If you feel like an insight into the world of vlogs as well as a very particular & interesting view of living in Paris check out these channels:

Andrea Heckler – a video I watched she says she has been doing this for nearly 5 years and it shows. An American girl living in Paris who works full time and is a writer in addition to her Youtube channel, I wish I had her energy!

NonStopParis – an English girl in Paris. One of the better vloggers and seems to do a lot of collaborations with other vloggers which offers a lot of different perspectives. She shares a nice view of the life of an expat in Paris.

NotEvenFrench – Vlog from a New Zealand girl living in Paris, actually gives quite a lot of practical information if you are tempted to move to Paris!

Patricia B – in fairness one of the few living in Paris who speaks French and vlogs about family life there with her family. She has a second channel as well.

Jay Swanson – posts a daily vlog and has for over 500 days. Incredible commitment and a huge backlog of videos if you start watching now.

Au revoir!




Down the rabbit hole with Mnemonics

BlogADay #3

I spent far longer than I possibly should have today looking up mnemonics and examples of mnemonics. It was so much fun and I found some wonderful ones today. To be honest this has been one of my favourite challenges as I haven’t used these since school. So what follows here is a short list of my 5 favourites found today. (Disclaimer: I invented absolutely none of these and the link to where you can find the original is linked to each).


To remember the value of pi: May I have a large container of coffee?
(The number of letters in each word equals the numerals in pi = 3.1415927)

I love this one because I could never ever remember this at school… if only I could send this back in time to my younger self!


To learn the spelling of the word GeographyGeorge Edwards’s Old Grandma Rode A Pig Home Yesterday.


This one is slightly out of date but I like how it gets straight to the point

The order of planets in average distance from the Sun:
(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine Planets.


There are plenty in this article from Buzzfeed but my favourite is;

The difference between stalagmites and stalactites (aka mineral formations in caves):

“I always remember it as stalaGmites are on the Ground, and stalaCtites are on the Ceiling!” —elizabethjanes

Another variation: “My professor told the class a joke to remember the difference. Stalagmite because you ‘MITE’ trip over them and stalactite because you should hold on ‘TITE.’” —panther718


Car journey pre-check
Make sure you’re prepared before you set out. Remember this simple mnemonic.

P – E – T – R – O – L

Petrol, Electrolyte, Tyres, Radiator, Oil, Lights

(Electrolyte refers to distilled water in the battery.)

via Daily Prompt: Mnemonic

Ok that is my nerdy list, please let me know in the comments any good mnemonics you might know 🙂


Simplify your bookshelves!

BlogADay #2

Simplify your bookshelves!

This January & February I have been on a de-cluttering spree. It has really brought home to me how much all of the excess stuff has hidden things that I really love from sight. Additionally I was really surprised about the amount of guilt I let go of while de-cluttering, for example, I let go of many gifts that I do not use (and in some cases never used but kept because of the thought behind them or love for the person who gave them). But here I want to speak about simplifying my bookshelves.

Firstly to provide some context; I have moved 4 times in the last 4 years and yet I have amassed an incredible number of books both in my current home and in storage at my parents home. I will likely be moving in the next few months as well. Each time I moved the largest and heaviest boxes were of books and notes from my studies. It is time to let go of some of these. I have set myself the challenge to cut the number of books I own in half. If you want to join me in this then I outline some steps below:

  1. Look at your to be read pile. Are you actually going to read all of these or are they for your fantasy reading self? Your fantasy reading self is the one who buys classics even though you prefer fantasy or diet books when really you just want to read about travel and adventure. The fantasy self buys books to look good on their shelves… don’t be this person and let these books find a home where they will be read and loved.
  2. Textbooks, schoolbooks, language books etc that you used for study but no longer need.
  3. Books that were ok the first time around but you probably won’t ever reread.
  4. Doubles of the same book – pick one.
  5. Books that you received as presents but you kept to avoid insulting the person who gave them to you.

Those are simple steps to get started and I suggest that when you have amassed this pile of books you set up a seller account on Amazon and Abe and make some money to support your book buying this year because let’s face it more books will probably come into your home in the future. This is a process, largely without an endpoint.

Overall please don’t get rid of books you love, just the ones that no longer spark joy when you open them or will never be reread. Believe me as you go through this process you will find some treasures that you probably completely forgot you had. This does tend to distract and for this I have no answer, I only wish you happy reading!