August Favourites!

This month I have had quite a lot of Non-Beauty Favourites that I have been loving.

If you follow my blog on a regular basis you will know that I love Books & reading.

I would go as far as saying I prefer reading a book to watching TV, so this brings me onto my first to favourites this month which are both Book based websites.

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I love using kindle it’s a great way to take large amounts of books away with you but my true love are paperbacks.

Normally when I finish reading one I will give it to a friend or take it to a charity shop but now I’ve fallen in love with www.readitswapit.co.uk.

This is a website where you swap your unwanted books with other users. All it costs is the shipping cost for you to send your swapped book to another member.

It’s a fantastic and environmentally sound way to get new books and get rid of any unwanted reads.

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My second website & App is http://www.goodreads.com which is a website where you can track all the books you have read and get great book recommendations.

They also have a reading challenge where you can enter how many books you want to read in 2015 & it tracks your progress to let you know if you are on schedule to meet your goal or not. I entered that I wanted to read 40 books in 2015! I am currently ahead of schedule, which is good to know. The app is available for free from the app store.

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Following on in the book theme, another august favourite has been the Author Jonathan Aycliffe. I only recently heard of him but I have been enjoying his books throughout August – A great author for anyone interested in Ghost story/ Supernatural books.

I only have two beauty favourites this month. The first was the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette that was released this month I’ve already blogged about it, so I wont repeat myself but this is a fantastically versatile palette with something for everyone.

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My second Beauty Favourite is the Almond & Milk Hand Cream by Burt’s Bees. This is quite a thick greasy formulae s it wont be to everyone’s liking but I apply it first thing in the morning. I don’t tend to reapply throughout the day because it is so greasy but it leaves my hands feeling really soft and smells so good!!!

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My final favourite is another App. Ever since I was a child I have always found the noise of a vacuum cleaner really relaxing, same with a hairdryer or fan. This is because these sounds are white noise and mimic the sound of the womb.

Recently I’ve had trouble switching off at bed time and relaxing enough to fall asleep so I downloaded an app called ‘White Noise’ and you can set it on a timer so that once you fall asleep it turns itself off. These kinds of apps are usually targeted at Babies but they really work and I really recommend them for anyone struggling to sleep.

That concludes my favourites for August. What are your favourites? Let me know.

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

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June 2015 Books – Review

Hi Guys,

This is going to be a short one as I only managed to read four books in June.

I know I normally read horror or crime books but this month I felt like reading something different for a change so ended up reading three autobiographies and a romance anthology so here they are…

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Title: Fools Rush in

Author: Various

Format: Kindle

Pages: 236

Genre: Chic Lit

I have signed up for a service called BookBub (www.bookbub.com) and basically they send you daily notifications about free or cheap ebooks that are available on Amazon & ibooks. I’ve come across some really great books using this service unfortunately this book wasn’t one of them. I opted for this book because I wanted something that was lighthearted and an easy read. It was free on Kindle and so I down loaded it and now I know why it was free. It was awful. It is an anthology of romantic short stories all based around the theme of April Fools. I would say at least 90% of the stories were utter crap. They were badly written and you could easily predict the outcome. I would definitely say avoid this book – 2/5

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Title: You’re making me hate you

Author: Corey Taylor

Format: Kindle

Pages: 244

Genre: Autobiographical

Written by the lead singer of metal band Slipknot this book is heavily laced with sarcasm and just a pinch of vitriol. Corey shares with the reader all the things about people and society that piss him off (Pretty much everything) and he doesn’t hold back! This book will have you nodding your head in agreement and laughing out loud in equal measure. This is a book that everyone can relate to – not to be missed! 5/5

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Title: Bunny Tales – Behind closed doors at the playboy mansion

Author: Izabella St. James

Format: Kindle

Pages: 250

Genre: Autobiographical

I used to love watching ‘The girls next door’ a reality TV show based around the three live-in girlfriends of Hugh Hefner. I knew Holly Madison had a book coming out but it wasn’t released yet so I decided to download this book which pre-dates ‘The girls next door’ era. Izabella does not come across well in this book. She explains how she threw away a great career as a lawyer to become a girlfriend of Hefner.

She paints herself as a money hungry gold digger. A spoilt brat who was after all she could get from Hef. She also seems extremely bitter about the success of Holly, Bridget & Kendra and their TV series. I’m sure she wanted to come across as an intelligent, independent young woman but unfortunately she fails. It wasn’t a bad read but St. James did not do her self any favours writing this book. 3/5

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Title: Down the Rabbit hole

Author: Holly Madison

Format: Kindle

Pages: 332

Genre: Autobiographical

I bought this on the day of release and couldn’t put it down. Unlike Izabella’s book, this is well written and Holly comes across as Intelligent, sincere and honest (although maybe a little easily lead). Holly discusses life behind the gates of the most famous mansion in LA. What really happened in Hugh Hefner’s bedroom is also laid out in great detail. She is candid about her life as Hugh’s No.1 girlfriend and is outspoken about the verbal abuse that she suffered at the hands of the worlds biggest playboy.

She doesn’t come across as a gold digger and she doesn’t moan about how she wasn’t bought this or that (I’m looking at you Miss St. James). She also talks about life after playboy and her relationships with the other two girlfriends. I really enjoyed this book; it was full of lots of juicy details – 5/5

So those were the four books that I read in June. Have you read any of these books? What books did you read throughout June?

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

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April & May’s Books – Reviewed!

Hi there, I thought I would write a review of the books that I have read throughout April & May (there is quite a few) as I have really enjoyed getting back into the habit of reading. Some books I loved and some were little disappointing  so I thought I’d give you my thoughts on them:

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Title: Finger Licking Dead

Author: Riley Adams

Format: Paperback

Pages: 257

Genre: Murder Mystery

This book is part of the Memphis BBQ mystery series. I really enjoyed the book, it was a great who done it? with lots of twists to keep you guessing through out. The only down side was that as it was based in the South of the USA there were a few references to local traditions and food that I didn’t understand and so I did need to Google one or two things but other than that this is a great murder mystery book and I will definitely read more in the series! 4/5

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Title: Working Stiff

Author: Rachel Caine

Format: Paperback

Pages: 473

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

I have read a few books by Rachel Caine (The Morganville vampire series) so when I saw this in a discount bookshop I picked it up. Front the start I could not put this book down! It centres around a new employee at a funeral home who stumbles across the fact that the owner is reanimating bodies with a wonder drug. The employee herself is killed and reanimated and she fights to bring down the pharmaceutical company who is producing the drug. The book is well written and is full of suspense, there are more books in this series which I will definitely be purchasing!! 5/5

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Title: The Haunting of Hill House

Author: Shirley Jackson

Format: Hardback

Pages: 233

Genre: Ghost story

I bought this book as part of the limited edition Penguin Horror releases. It has been hailed as a classic so I was so excited to start it. I was bitterly disappointed!

The build up of the story was slow and monotonous. I kept expecting for it to pick up and become even slightly scary unfortunately it didn’t and the ending was extremely disappointing too. A real let down 2/5

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Title: Bellman & Black

Author: Diane Setterfield

Format: Paperback

Pages: 388

Category: Supernatural/ Victorian ghost story

This was a very strange book for me. The Book was fleshed out with well written character back story and it really felt like you were going on a journey through William Bellman’s life and I really loved that about the book. I loved the details about all aspects of a Victorian funeral and it’s finery and purpose but I was really disappointed with the ending. For me the books journey was fantastic but it’s conclusion not so much! Such a shame. 3/5

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Title: Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet

Author: M.C Beaton

Format: Paperback

Pages: 237

Category: Murder Mystery

This is the second book from the Agatha Raisin Series. I saw a pile of these books at an antique store (of all places) and picked them up for a fairly decent price and I’m glad I did because I really have enjoyed the first two books.

The books are based around Agatha Raisin a PR executive in London who decides to trade the rat race lifestyle for the peace and quiet of the Cotswolds’. She may have been expecting the quiet life but her neighbors have other plans. Before long Agatha finds herself at the center of a grizzly murder mystery and sets our to solve the mystery before her life is the next one taken. Both charming and amusing this book was well written and I couldn’t help but love Miss Raisins feisty spirit. I have the next few books to read so I look forward to those! 4.5/5

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Title: No one gets out alive

Author: Adam Nevill

Format: Paperback

Paged 628

Category: Horror/ Supernatural

I was recommended this book by the staff at Waterstones so I picked it up and ended up loving this book.

The action started from the first page and continued relentlessly until the very end.

Based around a young woman who seeks out accommodation in a building offering low rent, she soon discovers that if something seems too good to be true it probably is. What ensues is pure unadulterated horror! There was one point in the book where I had to stop reading as I found it really disturbing. Once sat in daylight, I was able to resume and loved it!I could not recommend this book highly enough, absolutely fantastic!  5/5

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Title: House of small shadows

Author: Adam Nevill

Format: Paperback

Page: 371

Category: Horror

Another book by Adam Nevill (I think I may have found my new favourite author) this book is less disturbing and more creepy. If taxidermy and puppets are the things of your nightmares you may not want to read this book. Some great twists throughout and really well written! It reminded me of the gritty horror or James Herbert. I will be ordering more of Adams books come pay day!! 4/5

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Title: Call of the Weird

Author: Louis Theroux

Format: Kindle

Paged 306

Category: Non-Fiction

This book is the follow on from Louis’ documentary series about subcultures. The book sees Louis revisiting some of his more memorable guests such as the White supremacist girl band (no really), the dooms day preppers, and ex porn stars. This book Offers a great insight into American subcultures woven into Louis’ no nonsense narrative.

This is a must for anyone who enjoyed Louis’ documentary series. 4/5

So those are the books that I reading during April/May 2015! Have you guys read any of these books? What books have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments.

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl

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2014 – A Year in Books!

Hi Ladies

As you may know I love reading books. I also love keeping a reading journal so that at the end of every year I can look back and see how many books I read & the genres of books I enjoyed most.

I wanted to share with you guys my 2014 list to give you a little insight into the genres I like and what I thought of the books.

In 2014 I read 29 books, which may not seem a lot to some of you but may seem plenty to others. So here they are:

 

Murder Spree – Damon & Rowan Wilson.

This was my first book of 2014, and I appear to have gone through a phase of reading about true crime. I used to work in a forensic Lab and that really sparked my interest in true crime books and what drives a person to commit crime. This was a good book.

Predator – John McShane

This is another true crime book.

House of Fear – Various Authors

I am a huge fan of the Horror genre and this is a great compilation of haunted housem stories.

Evil Beyond Belief – Nathan Yates

True crime.

Beyond Evil – Nathan Yates

True Crime.

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Mortuary Confidential – Kenneth McKenzie

I know so far this list is looking pretty morbid but I read this book and the next one because when I die I want to give my body to medical science and I’m intrigued by what happens to our bodies when we no longer need them.

Stiff – Mary Roach

This is another book by a mortician.

To Kill a Warlock – H.P. Mallory

This is a light-hearted story centered on a witch and her experiences with the paranormal.

Night stalker – John McShane

True Crime.

 The Facebook killer pt2 – M. L Stewart

This is a really good thriller and is available on kindle relatively cheaply. The first installment was free and I instantly had to download the next two because it was so good.

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Are you there vodka? It’s Chelsea – Chelsea Handler

This is a autobiography by the American Comedian and was a nice light hearted read and I really enjoyed it. Chelsea has such a dry sense of humour that it had me giggling in places and I couldn’t put it down.

 

The Facebook Killer pt3 – M. L Stewart

This is the final part of this thriller series.

 

The Dangerous book for Demon Slayers – Angie Fox

This is kind of chick lit but with a paranormal twist (the main character is a demon slayer) I really liked it and bought others in the series.

 

World War Z – I read this book after seeing the film and it was a great take on the zombie apocalypse Genre although as tends to be the norm, it was different from the film.

 

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This House is Haunted – John Boyne.

This is a fantastic book that got me into the Victorian ghost story genre, well written and with a gripping plot, again I couldn’t put it down. A really great ghost story book.

 

The Silence of Ghosts – John Aycliffe

The previous book really got me into ghost stories so I downloaded this as soon as I finished the last one and again another great ghost story.

 

Grave Surprise – Charlaine Harris

From the author of the True Blood Novels this book is focused on a young woman who after an accident can now see and speak to the dead. It was so good I bought the next two books in the trilogy.

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The Voices – F.R Tallis

Once again this is another great ghost story. A new couple, move into a house and strange happenings begin; the part when voices come over the baby monitor is pretty creepy.

 

The Possession – Peter James

This is a fantastic take on the classic possession plot. I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.

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The Stake – Richard Laymon

  1. Love. This. Writer.

I am yet to read anything by this author that isn’t well written, captivating and scary as hell!

A group of people end up in a ghost ton and find a staked vampire but do they dare remove the stake? Read this book to find out!!

 

The Locker – Richie Tankersley Cusick

For me this was a nostalgic choice, growing up, I was engrossed by the Point Horror series of books and this was one of my favourite authors so I decided to read one of their books and I now remember why I loved that series so much!

 

How to make love like a porn star – Jenna Jameson & Neil Strauss

This is not a how to book, it’s Jenna’s autobiography. It was interesting seeing how someone is drawn into the world of porn and the highs and lows that they experience. There’s also plenty gossip in there about celebrities she has slept with over the years lol!

 

No Way Out – MJ Ware

Another ghost story book, it had a great plot.

 

The Unquiet House – Alison Littlewood

This was another Haunted house novel. I really enjoyed it.

 

Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K. Hamilton

This is a re-read; I first read this book years ago. It is a book about a necromancer who raises the dead for a living and the cases she takes on.

The series is based around a Vampire/ Werewolf love triangle. This book was out way before twilight and is definitely more adult themed. The Sex scenes are pretty steamy!

There are soooooo many books in this series, but I’ll get through them eventually.

 

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Confessions of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella

I wanted to read this book after watching the film and though it’s different from the film I really liked it and bought the next few books in the series. Sophie Kinsella is a fantastic Author!

 

I sold my Soul On ebay – Hemant Mehta

This is a book on Christian religion from the point of view of an atheist. Hemant is an atheist who goes to church services and gives feedback to the church about their services. I found this book to be soooooo boring and it was a struggle to finish it.

 

Is everyone hanging out without me? – Mindy Kalin

This is written by The woman who Plays Kelly Kapur in the American version of the office and was really funny. I had no idea that Mindy wrote for the office but it really shows throughout, both hilarious and heart warming in equal measure. Her honesty is refreshing.

 

The woman in Black – Susan Hill

As I mentioned in my previous blog I love film The Woman in Black. Recently on our trip to London my Boyfriend surprised me with a trip to the theatre to see the play. It was amazing! I had no idea that a theatre production could be so atmospheric and scary. It was really good. While there, I bought a special edition of the book and had to read it right away. A fantastic book I give it 10/10!!

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So that is my book list, as you can see I like my books with a dose of the dark side & a sprinkle of comedy.

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I would just like to mention an app I have just got for my iPhone called Bookswing, it’s basically an electronic reading journal were you can add pictures and notes, time your reading session and record what page you are on and your thoughts on the book. It only costs £1.49 from the app store and I love it!

 

Have you read any of the above books? What was your favourite book of 2014?

Any recommendations? Please comment below and let me know!

 

Love & Bubbles

 

The Secret Girly Girl

xxxxx