I have been reading lots of book reviews lately, and learning as I go along trying to find a formula to writing a fantastic book review.
What makes a book review great?
What makes you want to go out and find that book to read?
These are the questions I found myself asking, and I’m sure there are many of you asking the same. So I have compiled another 7 Hints and Tips post to help us all become better book reviewers and writers.
These are the 7 tips that I have come up with, along with some hints on what to include in the book review.
- As you read the book, make notes as you go along – Write down your thoughts on the authors writing style, add quotes to your lists, that you think would be relevant to your review.
- Include the authors name and the book title in the first paragraph – Make sure to mention these so the reader will know exactly who wrote the book.
- Describe the book – What is the book about? What genre does the book fit into? What is the main idea of the book and plot structure? Don’t forget to include the theme, settings and the book cover.
- Add a paragraph on what made you like the book – Is it a story that kept you entertained? Guessing? How real/believable are the characters? Who is your favourite?
- Mention any dislikes – Didn’t like the way the story headed, frustrating ending, slow start, didn’t like the main character.
- Summarise your thoughts – What type of reader would you recommend the book to? Is it a book you would read again one day?
- Give the book a rating – eg. 3 out of 5 stars
I would love to hear your own thoughts on whether you decide to read a book based on a book review alone.
We love to go for walks on Sunday morning’s so it’s a perfect opportunity for me to learn better photography skills. I am an absolute beginner in this area, but cannot wait to learn more to help with my blogging photos. It seems to me nowadays that for most blog posts to stand out they have to have captivating photographs. Being a new blogger everything is a learning curve for me and photography is one of my main areas I would like to work on.
This old house boat down at Malpas in Truro has always caught my eye so I thought it would be a perfect project to learn more camera skills. I have been reading and discovering lots of photography hints and tips along the way and have compiled a list for you.
So here are some basic tips for improving your photos:
- Make sure the camera is in the correct mode, e.g landscape, screen shot or shutter priority.
- Lighting is very important. Don’t shoot people pictures with the sun behind them.
- Understand white balance. This I’m learning more about all the time, it just means that you adjust the balance to get colours in photos as accurate as possible.
- The Rule of Thirds: Imagine a grid of 9 squares over your photo, well place the main elements of your photo on one of the lines or intersections. The eye will naturally be drawn to one of those points on the photo, making it interesting and improving the composition.
- Angles: Find different angles that are intriguing to you, i.e photos of buildings from the bottom up. This gives your photos different perspectives and fascinating elements.
- Photo Selections: Be selective in which photos you want to use.
- Apps/programmes: While I am learning and experimenting, I am using apps to help with the editing process. i.e cropping, colour-correct, and exposure. The quality of the photos are very much improved
These are my basic learning photography skills, I would love to hear about your hints and tips for capturing great photos, and where you find the best locations to take pictures.
This is my collection of cooking book wins, from various Twitter competitions over the past 18 months. I have a huge sweet tooth and the recipes in these books are to die for. My favourite book out of the three is Freeze written by Justine Pattison. It’s one of the most useful books I own! It contains not only recipes but ways to make the most out of your freezer. Some of the top tips inside include different reasons to freeze. A couple of the reasons are you have less waste, which in turn saves you money and you have the flexibility to store various meals without extra supermarket trips, costing again less money!
I use my freezer like its going out of fashion! I freeze bread and only take out what I need, so it’s kept fresh and soft. On Sundays my husband and I do big batch cooking and make enormous cottage pies and lasagne’s to freeze for the coming week as we are both very busy with work. Sometimes when we have been out of the house for 12 hours or more its hard to get the motivation to start cooking a meal, so our freezer batches come in quite handy in these situations!
Here is another top tip I recommend! If like me your freezer is not the biggest, and after a couple of tubs of ice-cream you have hardly any room whatsoever for anything moderately bigger than a chicken. Take all the outside cardboard packaging off all the food products and cut out the cooking instructions to place on the front of the fridge with magnet. Instantly you have room for that steak and ale pie that you slaved over by making the pastry by hand! Who needs all that extra cardboard on a box of ice-lollies? when you can slide them individually into gaps in the freezer drawers amongst the bag of frozen peas and turkey dinosaurs! So not only will you be saving money by using your freezer economically, but you will also be creating a wonderful colourful collage of bits of cardboard cooking times on your fridge-freezer!
In January I won a Twitter competition with Border Biscuits (@BorderBiscuits). They were doing a campaign called #GingerJanuary on Twitter where many people were posting various pictures of all things ginger! I was one of their lucky winners of biscuits and this gorgeous bag. Being a fellow ginger/redhead myself I was over the moon and I’m so proud to be a ginger! This bag means a lot to me and I’ll be proud to carry it. Thanks very much Border Biscuits!
Today’s post is a little different in that it doesn’t consist of books or competition wins! I am having a little dry spell in the wins department at the moment, but hopefully it will be back soon!
It’s the first day of our weeks holiday, so decorating has now commenced! A few weeks back we decided that our hallway could do with a new lick of paint, it’s a new build and we have had it for just over four years and have never got round to painting any of it! It came to us all new, shiny and freshly painted so we thought back then why change it! Although it was a bland shade of magnolia!
Anyway after all the moving in, with sofas, beds, tables and even a piano the poor walls have taken a scuffing and are now in desperately need of some paint! Being our first home we haven’t had much experience in painting and decorating, so we thought we would go and get a few tester pots of some colours we want to try, and find out what we needed to buy. We came home with six different tester pots and painted a little square of each colour on the wall in the hallway. Out of the six various shades of creams and beige s we only liked one, its called soft pebble. One of the testers looked green on the wall, and another looked yellow!
Once we decided on the colour a couple of weekends ago we popped off to our local Homebase, which unfortunately is closing down, to find a bargain or two on some paint to match our tester pots. We got a great deal on the colour we wanted (soft pebble) as it was buy one get one free and a further 20% off due to the closing down sale. I always like a good bargain!
We got lots of masking tape and duster sheets to protect the carpet, and with my husband and his roller and me with a paint brush we started! Nearly nine hours later I am covered with paint splashes from toes to hair and we are bickering like crazy! The stupid paint tester patches are showing through the new coat of paint and will be bugging me for years to come as I know they are lurking under the lovely coat of soft pebble! And guess what? as our lovely house is a town house and consists of three storeys we still have the top floor to go tomorrow!