Monday, 29 April 2013

Book Jars!

Book Jars are totally going to be the new thing for readers with a significantly large to-be-read pile, which, admittedly, is probably everyone reading this. 

What is a book jar?

Basically, a book jar is pretty much when you find a jar, write/print all of your unread book titles onto some paper, cut the paper into slips with the titles on them and then put them into the jar.

Why have a Book Jar? What is the point?!

Like I said above this is probably going to come in most useful for those of us that have an embarrassingly huge to-be-read pile among our collection of books. So, the point of a book jar: when you inevitably get to a point of reading where you are unsure which book you would like to read next, you can just open your book jar, pull out a book and you read the book you picked from the jar!

What do I need to make a Book Jar?

To make a Book Jar, the only things you need is an empty jar, lots of paper (more paper for the more books you need to write down), either a pen or a printer to write or print the book titles onto the paper and some scissors. That's all you need to make your Book Jar!

How do I make a Book Jar?

Making a Book Jar is super easy, here's some pictures depicting the process I went through to make mine!

First off you'll need an empty jar.
I just used this empty used up Nutella jar.

You'll probably want to get the label ripped off the jar. 
You can do this at any point, before or after you have all the book titles ready to go in the jar, it's not a huge deal. 

I decided to type up and print out the book titles as opposed to writing them because I genuinely don't think my hand could have coped with writing them all down!

I cut up all of the book titles into little individual slips that would go into the jar. I also decided to mark all of my review books with a green sharpie, just so I'd have a pre-warning of whether it is or isn't a review book when I pull a book from the jar.

I folded each of the individual slips in half twice and then put them all into the jar for choosing at a later date!

And that's it! I understand that my Book Jar looks pretty plain and dull, but you can decorate the outside of the jar however you like to make it more pretty and fun! 

I'd just like to add that this idea is not my own. I got this idea from a video that was made by Sarah on her YouTube channel "MOTHEREFFINGBOOKS" (!

Also, keep in mind that if you don't fancy the idea of making a Book Jar for all of the unread books in your collection, you can do this for other things like maybe you want to read specific books during the Summer holidays but don't know what order to read them in, you could use this idea to help you choose!

I hope you enjoy this idea as much as I did and remember if you end up making a Book Jar of your own, let me know in the comments below! Tell me how you decorated it, what are you using it for? So that's it for this post, thought I would just share this awesome idea with everyone, I think this is going to really catch on!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Professor Gargoyle & The Slither Sisters - Charles Gilman

Professor Gargoyle (with holographic changing cover)

The Slither Sisters (with holographic changing cover)

Publication Details

Release Dates
Professor Gargoyle - September 25th 2012
The Slither Sisters - January 15th 2013

Page/Chapter Numbers
Professor Gargoyle - 168 pages, 18 chapters
The Slither Sisters - 172 pages, 19 chapters

Both books have been published by Quirk Books

Age Group - Middle Grade/Children's

(Please note that both of these books were sent to me from Quirk Books for free in return for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my final opinions or ratings for these books. Everything mentioned in this review is entirely of my own opinion and has not been influenced whatsoever)

Professor Gargoyle Synopsis

Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers. Students are disappearing. The school library is a labyrinth of secret corridors. And the science teacher is acting very, very peculiar. Robert Arthur knew that seventh grade was going to be weird, but this is ridiculous!

With the help of some unlikely new friends, Robert discovers there's more to Lovecraft Middle School than meets the eye. Can he uncover the secrets of the school before it's too late?


(I will not be talking about anything specific in this review. I will be discussing both books in a single review and will review overall aspects of the books; writing, characters etc. This review will be spoiler free)

Let's start this review on a positive note - I loved these books. Both of these books were fun, exciting, unique, action packed and even funny here and there. The writing in these books is simplistic as the series is aimed predominantly towards younger readers, however it is not so simplistic that it becomes frustrating to read after a while. The writing is descriptive and runs smoothly throughout the entirety of the books. When necessary, the writing becomes fast paced and managed to create a vivid image of characters and creatures in my head which allowed me to enjoy these books so much more. Overall, the writing is extremely suitable for younger readers but also allows for an exciting and fun time for readers of all ages.

The main character in these books is a little boy named Robert Arthur. Robert is starting at a new school - Lovecraft Middle school - and so he has no friends, doesn't know his way around the school and is confused and lost about what he should be doing and how he should be acting in his first year at middle school. I highly enjoyed reading about Robert, I thought he was a relatable character for most younger people that will be reading these books as he defines, in a way, the typical young boy that is worried about starting a new school, making new friends and the like. Robert was a strong, brave, caring and protective character that never failed to stand up for his friends in times of need, and I feel like this could be inspirational to younger readers. 

The actual plots of these books are fantastic. Lovecraft Middle school is no ordinary school, it's one with monsters as teachers and mutated creatures in its walls. Everything in these stories is incredibly creative and imaginative and combined with Gilman's writing, I found myself highly enjoying the school and its creatures and mysteries. Considering these books are less than 200 pages each, Gilman manages to squeeze in so much adventure and creativity that it makes for an extremely fun and addictive journey for the reader and one that is shockingly difficult to step away from as soon as you begin the books. 

Overall I feel like these books were fantastically executed and were both a fresh breath of air and creativity in regards to what books are circulating recently. These stories are unique, imaginative, exciting, fun and action packed - everything you could want in a book and more! Something else I felt was extremely well done about these books is that the books could be read out of order and they would still be as enjoyable as ever - if you do decide to read these books out of order the only real problem you may have is losing out on character development and also, The Slither Sisters may have a number of references to Professor Gargoyle which may be difficult to understand if you read the books out of order. 

Like I said above, I absolutely loved these books and I absolutely cannot wait to continue this series with the next book, Teacher's Pest! I highly recommend that you pick up this series as soon as you can - these are quick, fun and thrilling reads you don't want to miss out on!

Professor Gargoyle - 5 out of 5 stars
The Slither Sisters - 5 out of 5 stars

(3rd book in the Lovecraft Middle School series - Teacher's Pest - coming May 7th 2013!)

Watch my video review of Professor Gargoyle and The Slither Sisters!