Today I am taking part in a project called #takeyourbookoutdoors that is being hosted by @bookishbronte on Instagram. I have been following her account for over a year now and I love it, so when she put on her story that she was looking for some help on a project I was only too happy to help! The idea of the project is to encourage readers to tale their books outdoors and read in different places. In order to do that she decided to reach out and has asked us all to create a post about our favourite places to read outside and review our favourite summer read. This is all in the attempt to create resources that other people in the book community can turn to to find different places to read and new books to pick up. I think this is a great idea, so let’s just get into it!
My favourite places to read:
I of course love to curl up in my bed with my fairy lights and candles to read a good book as I think most of us bookworms do, but there are plenty of other places that I love to read as well! The first one being my local Starbucks. I love Starbucks and I find it is a pleasant and welcoming place to sit down and read a book for a few hours. It also has the added bonus of food and drink whenever you want it without even having to leave your seat. At my local Starbucks there is a corner that is hardly ever occupied as it is by the door that I often like to commandeer. It is quiet and out of the way and no one else likes to sit there because of the constant cold drought that gets blown in. I personally don’t mind the drought though, so that all works in my favour.
If I am feeling adventurous I sometimes wander down to the lake in my town. It is quite a walk that takes just under and hour, but I like going down there because it feels like a bit of an adventure. There are often a lot of people down at the lake because there are a lot of different attractions down there, but despite that it is still beyond easy to find somewhere out of the way to read. There are so many little paths and forest just off the side of the lake, lots of little alcoves to hide in and places that you can pick your way to the shore of the lake that are usually hidden from view unless you know what your looking for. Years of exploring have allowed me to build up a little list of secret places to read there and I really love that. The lake it also a convenient place to read because of it’s popularity; there are plenty of places to eat and things to do should you get tired of reading (as if!)
The next place I love to take my book and read in is of course Waterstones! Waterstones in one of the biggest book sellers in the UK and I go down there as often as I can so that I can look at all of the new books and run my hands over the shelves. On the 1st floor of my local Waterstones there are some seats surrounded my books and this is where I personally like to sit. There is also a cafe downstairs, which you are invited to read in, but I find this a bit busy for my liking. I feel that a book shop is the perfect place to sit down with a book though because you are surrounded by books and people who share your passion. Book shops are such cosy and welcoming environments although they are often very damaging to my bank account! There are quite a few other places around my city center that are also nice to read (outside on the low walls surrounding flower beds, cafes and the benches inside). I don’t tend to do this often though because it can get very busy and I’m not a massive fan of busy places.
My final place that I love to read outside in is quite literally in the middle of no where. I like to wander a lot and this means I often find some places that are quite secluded and are a little strange. On one of these wandering sprees I ventured quite far and I found myself by a river in the middle of a field. Next to this river is a lovely bench and that is where I like to sit and read. The weather does have to be nice in order to go here of course (which can be tricky when you live in rainy England), but when it is nice enough I love to go and sit in the sun and read. I love being outside, but I am often put off venturing out because I am not a fan of other people, but I have been going to this bench for over a year now and I have yet to see another soul within about a 10 minute walk of it, which I think is just great. No one to interrupt you while your reading!
Favourite summer read: Book review
Now that I have told you all about the places I like to read, allow me to tell you all about my favourite summer read: ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell. When this book first came out everyone went crazy for it and I was most definitely one of those people! This was the first book I picked up after I joined the book community and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I loved this book so much that I actually re-read it straight away and then again last summer. I think I will probably pick it up again this year because I just adored that book. It has been a while since I have read it, so this review is going to be a bit more casual than my normal book reviews, but it is going to be spoiler free, so you don’t have to have read the book to continue reading:
I think the main thing I really loved about ‘Fangirl’ was Cath. I loved Cath as a character because I could really relate to her. Cath is quite a bit older than me as she is starting her first year of university at the beginning of the book and I am only 15, but at the time of reading it I was choosing my options, which I would then take on to do my GCSE’s in, which was still a scary and daunting thing. I was going into a different section of my school and there was an awful lot of pressure to get things right and make a decision, so I felt like I could relate despite the age gap. The other thing I love about Cath is that she is a Fangirl. She writes fanfiction, stays up and reads, doesn’t like going to parties all that much and just generally prefers to keep to herself and I honestly felt like someone has written a book about me because that is exactly what I am like. I may not write fanfiction, but I have this blog and I think that counts.
“But there’s nothing more profound than creating something out of nothing.”
The other characters in this book were just as amazing to. I loved the sister relationship between Cath and Wren, the father-daughter relationship and the struggles she faces with her mum’s absence. ‘Fangirl’ really does cover all sorts of relationships from a lot of different angles and I really loved seeing that. Levi was amazing as well and I just adored the characters. They were all so well written and so realistic. I feel like the could have been real people that Rainbow Rowell just wrote a story about because they felt so real.
The final thing I really loved about this book was the mental health representation. Cath struggles with anxiety throughout the entire book, but it is dealt with in a very different way than you usually see in YA. I don’t think the mental illness was ever actually named, but we still see Cath struggling with it. I think what I really loved about it though was the way the other characters reacted to it. Most if not all of them were supportive of Cath and even though some of them tried to push Cath to do some more things and step outside of her comfort zone they knew when they’d pushed too far and back off. I just think that the topic was dealt with really well and I felt like the author really normalized the illness and showed it as something that wasn’t wrong and weird. It was just a thing and that was it.
I of course gave Fangirl a 5/5 stars!
To finish off this post I wanted to share a few other books/series that I personally feel would be great to read in the summer. Of course everyone is different and you may or may not agree with me, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share some books I don’t get to talk about very often.
- The Girl at Midnight Trilogy by Melissa Grey
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Literally any books that Rick Riordan has written (I’m not going to list them because we would be here forever)
- Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini
- The Normal Trilogy by Holly Bourne
Here are just a few suggestions of books I personally feel would be good to read in the summer. They are all either fantasy or contemporary, which I feel are perfect for the summer. I do prefer to read more ‘hard hitting’ contemporary’s rather than light and fluffy ones. I am not really a romance person and prefer my books to have a moral or to be tackling an important topic like mental health, feminism, black rights etc.
I hope you enjoyed reading about all of my favourite places to read outside and my favourite summer read. If you want to join in and be a part of #takeyourbookoutdoors, then you can create a blog post like this explaining your favourite summer read and places to read it and post it on your blog or you can simply take a picture of you reading in your favourite place and post it to Instagram using the #takeyourbookoutdoors. I will be posting a photo to Instagram with that hashtag, so you can head over to my Instagram (@weeklybookcraft) and check it out if you want. Other than that I hope you are all having a lovely week! Tell me all about your favourite summer read and places to read it in the comments – i’d love to know!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out