UNBOXING: Ninja Book Box

Last month I finally decided to buy a Ninja Book Box. I decided to treat myself. If you’ve not heard of it, Ninja Book Box is a subscription service (or one off, like I did) where you recieve a mystery book and some related treats. 

Why did I choose this one?

Well, there are a lot of different book subscriptions out there. This one is  for a new book from an independent publisher. It cost £29.99 for a one off box.

The theme for this months box also interested me, it is: ‘Magical Lands’

Why buy a book box?

Treat yourself or a fellow bibliophile. I loved the idea of someone picking out a book for me, something I wouldn’t have thought to read or didn’t know existed. It’s a fun way of finding new books and authors. And not only do you get a book but little gifts related to the book too.

Anyway, you can find all the info you want on their website: http://www.ninjabookbox.com/about. But here is my unboxing.


I was so excited when I got my hands on this box that I tore open the packaging, it was all neatly wrapped in tissue paper and with bubble wrap. So:

 What’s in the box?

I had this (above) little welcome note explaining about the contents of the box and then (as you can see in the photo below) an envelope which I still haven’t opened. A recipe card for nutmeg hot chocolate which I have to try and an invite to discuss the book on the forum.

The treats in the box were (as shown below) a lovely quote on embossed card which I have to find a frame for, well suiting the magical theme and so true! A ‘magical library’ candle which reminds me of incense and New Age shops, can’t wait to try that. It’s also glittery. And dragon fruit seeds, I’ve never tried dragon fruit myself but the timing is great as I’m always wanting to grow things in the spring.

I was confused about the next items but I’m sure once I’ve read the book it will all make sense. A little pouch with a tiny glasses charm and a dragon, I love dragons. 

Oh, and here is the book:

I didn’t expect a children’s book. This is a signed edition! That was also a surprise. And it’s glow in the dark! At first I was sceptic but read five chapters in one go I was sucked in straight away. It’s a charming story about a little girl who is discovering magic, her grandfather has entrusted her to look after his books and left her some rather mundane objects which are not normal at all. I will be reviewing the book on here once I’ve finished reading it. 

What did I think about the box?

It cost £29.99 and it is worth the price. It is obvious that so much thought and effort has gone into this box and it was so exciting and delightful unwrapping all the little treats, each little gift in the box is related to the book. They were things I’d seen online (the candle) or things I’d love (seeds, dragon charm) but never would decide to buy for myself. This is a great treat to get yourself, it’s a proper gift because you don’t know what is going to be in the box but you know that it’s going to be amazing. 
I’m so happy with my Ninja Book Box!

Review of: The Blackhouse by Peter May

Title: The Blackhouse

Author: Peter May

Hardback, library book

I started reading this book expecting it to be a crime novel, something different for me to read to challenge myself. But although there is a murder that needs to be solved, more attention is given to Finn Macleod’s past. Finn Macleod does investigate the murder but at the same time his past is unfolded as he meets his old friends and enemies. It’s a slow story that although disappointed me (as I expected something different) did intrigue me and I continued to the end. I loved the way the author presented the emotions and feelings of the characters, the tiny details of the past. How themes of loss, regrets and nostalgia are touched upon in a profound if subtle way. I enjoyed the setting and discovering Finn’s story. 

However, the end and the resolution did not meet my expectations, I felt that there were not many clues to the resolution in the story and I’m not sure whether it is believable or not because of that. Maybe things should be hinted at more so we can think something’s going on, so that when the solution is presented you don’t wonder at it. Unless I missed something?
 After such a long drawn out story it did seem to end abruptly, all the information given quickly and I did not like the pacing at the close of the book. 
I expected a fast pace conclusion, I feel that it was just a quick end to a long tale.

I did enjoy this story and I would recommend it, I’m just not sure about the end and would be interested to know what others make of it?


Mental Health Week

So I hear it’s mental health week, if it’s one thing that we don’t seem to take care of enough it’s our mental health. We know how to ease or prevent a cold-or the myths and theories anyway. And we know what to do when we have minor illnesses. We see a doctor for our physical problems but how many will actually go and speak to someone if they have anxiety or depression?

When it comes to our mental health we stumble along blindly. It always amazes me how many people suffer with mental health issues, maybe we need to teach people and start with children, how to look after their mental health? Not just how to look out for symptoms of the serious stuff, but how to deal with stress (yes, finally they are accepting teens get stressed!) and general life upsets. I remember being a child, I had anxiety then too I just didn’t know what it was!

Talking about anxiety, here’s a good book that helped me when I was struggling with panic attacks in my teens:
Overcoming Anxiety, 2nd Edition: A Books on Prescription Title (Overcoming Books) by [Kennerley, Helen]

The best thing for mental health is exercise, for me it’s yoga and when I remember mindfulness meditation. You can find free videos on youtube and a lovely free course is often running on futurelearn:

If you’re reading this and you have mental health problems here’s me sending positive caring thoughts you’re way:
Image result for animals funny hugging
And remember you are not alone (can’t say that without thinking of that advert, ‘you’re not alone, we’re a loan!’ That’s ruined that phrase for me). Find some support, online if you can’t talk to someone face to face just yet. Don’t bottle it up write it down.

You are stronger than you think and if you’re feeling bad right now remember that it will pass. It’s always worse than you think. I promise.

short stories horror

New book

Watching ‘Once Upon A Time’ has given me a new appreciation for fairy tales. This book is an anthology of fairy tales but not the sweet Disney ones. This is a horror anthology.
The first story is called ‘Find my name’ by Ramsey Campbell it’s a delightfully eerie tale set in the modern world.
I don’t know if many read short stories but if you lack time or energy to read short stories they are the perfect antidote.
Now I want to read more by Ramsey Campbell….

It’s been a while

It’s been some time since I posted on here. I’ve been waiting on a book from the library continuing my challenge of reading out of my comfort zone. It’s been a hard time for me lately so reading and writing has been difficult. I’ve been reading ‘The Book of Life’ by Deborah Harkness book three of The All Soul’s Trilogy and it’s helped me to escape for a bit. I’ve been thinking about starting a new book but can’t decide which one. I can’t buy new ones I’m bring strict with myself for a change. I need some comfort reading and I’m wondering if other people have a book they turn to when they need a uplifting read?