Friday, 7 August 2015

Warm Vellum Bookshop

I am now a we, and we are now booksellers. Check us out over at to see our bespoke books and new blog - the same but different.

A new blog post will be up soon on the new site detailing what we are doing and why we are doing it, but for now go and visit us and keep reading!

Sunday, 28 June 2015


Warm Vellum Books has been AWOL of late....but it is for a good reason. There has barely been time to read, let alone write about reading.

Within a fortnight we will have a shiny new website with exciting new bits and bobs and.......weekly blogging (really!).

For now, keep reading everyone. I know I will be - #readingthroughtheheatwave

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Is the film ever better than the book? - Part 2: Children's Books

The problem with book adaptations

The picture above illustrates one of the main problems with book to film adaptations -  that key plot points and character details are deemed unimportant by the film-makers but of utmost importance by the readers. The is often much more upsetting when it comes to children's books because we, as readers, have so much more ownership of a book that was part of our childhood - as Harry Potter was to mine.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Is the film ever better than the book? - Part 1: First Person Narratives

Book vs. Film

I am prone to making sweeping statements in life concerning my bookish loyalty, such as:

"Oh my God the book is always so much better than the film."
"Do film makers have any original ideas at all?"
"You haven't read the book!?!"
"I don't like to be told how to think and feel - I prefer to use my own imagination."

And I will continue to use them on a regular basis so people know I am more well read than them and generally better at life than them - obviously. Despite the smug joy of almost always having read the book first, for the most part it is always true - how could the intricacies of the book ever be properly translated? Particularly in books written in the first person. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Literary Tidbits: George Orwell - Part 1

George Orwell by cartoonist Ralph Steadman

'Literary Tidbits' is going to be a regular feature I think. Its a nice way to binge on an author and revisit your favourite moments of their work. George Orwell will have the prestige of being our first literary hero - mainly because Animal Farm was on BBC 2 last night.

You only have to dip your toe into Pinterest to find a George Orwell quote, from real life rather than one of his books more often than not. The man was not only a beautifully descriptive writer, but also an old fashioned socialist - firmly on the side of the working man and loudly opposed to totalitarianism and political games (just in case you couldn't tell from reading one chapter of 1984).

Friday, 3 April 2015

A quick rambling un-review: "Pretty Monster" by Kelly Link

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link

I often shy away from short story books as I find them frustrating. I think it is the feeling of losing characters too soon, just as I get to know them. Sometimes they are worth the extra effort your brain has to make when reading them - and you do get a lot of narrative for you money with a good book of short stories.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Un-Review: "Mort" by Terry Pratchett and yet more Pratchett love.

Death and Terry Pratchett

There have been times when I have thought 'Do I mention Terry Pratchett and Discworld too much on the blog?', and 'Maybe I should review a book written by someone other than Pratchett of Neil Gaiman?' - Then I laugh at my own silliness and decide which one to re-read.

Monday, 9 March 2015

What We Learnt From Daydreaming About Books

Our New Logo - Books And Stuff
Exciting things are on the way, for us and me. Wait and see, bookish plans have we!

For now, I have been thinking about books and what they can make us feel. This bout of introspection has been brought on partly due to the plans I have been making (or thinking about making) and partly due to my obsession with Twitter and Pinterest. In between reading actual books in my actual life, I love thinking about what my #bookadayuk answers will be on Twitter each day, and poring over hundreds of Pinterest images like a magpie hoarding trinkets.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

On Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies
I watched the final episode of the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall last night, a few days after the initial flurry of internet activity following the events that we all knew would bookend the short series. The final moments of the final episode have stayed with me, and I woke up still feeling slightly disturbed and emotional by the way everything played out. At the same time I feel desperate for more - surely the author, Hilary Mantel, can release the final book 'The Mirror and the Light' a little early for us?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

My Current 'To Read' Pile

My Literal 'to read' Pile
"It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read" - Lemony Snicket

I have a never-ending/ever increasing TBR pile, as mentioned here, and a equally silly Amazon wish list that I splurge on now and again (understatement). I thought a list here would be fitting as I am having trouble choosing, more so now than ever as so many new books are appearing that I am desperate to read. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Literary Field Trip - Top 10 places to visit as a book lover, Part 2.

Literary Field Trip
This is part 2 of the only list you will ever need when embarking on a real or metaphorical literary trip. I hasten to add, this is all in no particular order. It would depend on your mood and frame of mind on the day I think. Find part 1 here.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Literary Field Trip - Top 10 places to visit as a book lover, Part 1.

Literary Field Trip to anywhere

I got the inspiration for this blog post/obvious definitive genius list of stuff, when I recalled a visit to Llandudno, in North Wales, a few years ago. We wandered from our hotel by the sea up to the Orme for an explore, and at first glance everything appeared normal - oldy worldy lampposts and benches, ice cream sellers, pretty miniature gardens, pristine sea view - all great. And then....why is there a, slightly too small, wooden table and chairs with immovable teapots on it in a wooded clearing? Why is is not marked or signposted? We walk on, but then....thrones, why are there two thrones (see picture) and a weather beaten Cheshire Cat? The Alice and Wonderland reference was obvious immediately, even if I had not read the book (I obviously had), we all suck up these cultural references somehow without even realising it. Genuinely there was no information written anywhere to explain the presence of these things, and all of them were placed oddly far apart in different clearings, and all drab and decrepit from the sea air. It was extremely weird, and we passed no other people as we walked.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Audiobook Un-Review: Red Dwarf: Better Than Life

Red Dwarf: Better Than Life
Its amazing how a good audiobook has the power to block out real life. I listened to 'Better Than Life' over two days at work and I genuinely cannot remember a single image or conversion at all from those days. These two days are awash with Red Dwarf. It was almost like the audiobook was better than my actual life - how ironic.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Top 5 Books to Read on a Cold Day, Preferably Under a Duvet

As I get comfortable on the sofa with my cuppa, following a freezing bike ride home from the work, my mind immediately wanders to warm, comfortable places and the books I have read in them. Thus, my attempt at a (not at all definitive) list of lovely reads to warm the soul.

Book Love On A Cold Day

1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The acclaimed fantasy author's newest offering for adult readers, 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' tells the semi-autobiographical story of a man looking back on his childhood, and remembering the dark creatures who once tried to claim his life. 

The reminiscent nature of the book, and the beautiful writing, makes for an emotional, poignant story, whilst still maintaining an eerie, fantastical quality from the unreality of the encroaching evil. 

A book that covers both the bases of fantasy escapism and touching, poignant fairytale is hard to find when written well, and is a joy to read when safe indoors under a duvet. Somehow the book evokes the warm and comforting feeling of childhood, and the helpless naivety of it, which is beautiful to read. 

Read this book if: you look back on your childhood with rose tinted glasses/you need a bit of escapism/you like fantasy to be routed in reality/you have trouble finishing a book.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Un-Review: "Hogfather" by Terry Pratchett, plus further Pratchett love.

Ho Ho Ho
I read 'Hogfather' by Terry Pratchett over Christmas, and not for the first time. I tend to read the book in the run up to Christmas, as the festive excitement is just bubbling inside but the trudge of work is constantly threatening to stifle it. I find that a good dose of Discworld goes a long way in curing most ailments, and if you can just choose the right Discworld novel to read at that perfect sweet spot, everything will make sense.

'Hogfather' concerns the death (sort of) of The Hogfather on Hogswatch Eve at the hands of  the psychopath assassin Mr Teatime, and the trials of Death himself and his granddaughter Susan as they attempt to rescue Hogswatch, and as such, the World. It is as amazing and mad as it sounds, and much much funnier and warmer than you would expect. Death himself posing as the The Hogfather in a department store grotto is a highlight!