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Lee Mac. Crochet artist. Crochet portraits = Obsession. I am surgically attached to my Ipod and crochet hook.
Bookworm. Pop culture addict. M&ms are as important as oxygen. Einstein hit the nail on the head with "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

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The Book Thief
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Gough Whitlam
A Short History of Nearly Everything
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
One Summer: America, 1927
Gone with the Wind
Who I Am
Small Bamboo: How my family's journey on a leaky boat led to our wonderful life in Australia
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Sushi for Beginners
Rachel's Holiday


Mazeguy Smilies

Wednesday 11th November, 2015
Stacks O' Books!!!!!

Lee xox

Monday 27th April, 2015
1/3 of the way there!

I am 1/3 of the way through the challenge guys
17 BOOKS READ THUS FAR! That is already 4 more than I read for the entirety of 2014! #WINNINGATLIFE!!
I've decided to let you know of my latest literary conquests on this blog instead of updating via - because I kinda misjudged my dates and all my recent reads were due back at the library! So there's very little reason to do a video with SQUAT to show you
Okie dokie, on to my recent reads !!
So I have read another FOUR books since my last youtube update ! And they were...

'In Search of the Woman Warrior: Four Mythical Archetypes for Modern Women' by Richard J Lane & Jay Wurts.
After seeing a five minute snippet of a telly programme profiling strong female lead characters and seeing a glimpse of Wonder Woman and Xena: Warrior Princess, this title jumped off the library shelf and smacked me right in the face.
This was a really weird read for me...
I think the main aim of this book was to highlight the many attributes, heroics, perceptions and changes that characterise what makes a strong woman warrior. The writers take us from ancient times, right through to modern day and introduces the reader to powerful, mythological women, such as Athena, right through to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. They then attempt to break down the umbrella term of 'woman warrior' into 4 archetypes that they feel represent the different shades and hues that make a woman a true warrior. There is even a cosmo-style quiz at the back of the book that tells you which sort of woman warrior you are! Ouu how fun! ( Not really... although it did peg me as a strong, no-nonsense, stubborn bugger, who is a bit of a cynical cow when it comes to the world, which actually is pretty on the money but shhh, let's not admit that to anyone..)
I say this was a weird read for me, and it is because instead of coming away with a well-formed idea on what makes a great woman warrior and how women have empowered themselves over the centuries, I came away wanting to get my hands on:
a) Ancient Greek mythology
b) Roman mythology, and
c) Arthurian tales
the stories briefly covered from these time periods were so ENGAGING!!!
So as far as igniting my interest in strong female warriors goes = 3 out of 10. However, as far as igniting my interest in a whole STACK of different characters and stories goes, 73 out of 10. Therefore, I am stoked I read it for that reason, however, if you are after a read that will empower your ovaries, I'd skip it

'Cress' by Marissa Meyer.
I had been waiting patiently (refreshing my library account every day , whilst screaming, UGGHH HURRY UP!!!!) for this book to go through the seven other folks in the request queue at the library and then FINALLY it was mine to read !! I was super excited, because the last two books, really captured my imagination and although the characters dialogue bordered on the ridiculously simple and I didn't actually like any of the characters, I was hooked on the story and wanted to know what happened next really badly !!
Don't cha just hate it when a book you've been excited for disappoints?!
Yup. This tanked for me. If you have read this, you will know what I mean by one word, 'desert'. Oh my freaking god... IT NEVER ENDED !!!
Unlike the previous books, this one dragged on for way too long. The fast paced aggghh-just-one-more-page-JUST-ONE-MORE-PAGE frantic speed I reached during the first two books was not happening with Cress. I actually found myself pondering about what I was going to have for dinner instead of concentrating on what I was reading numerous times, which is never good ! I also found it a bit of a chore to finish, which is also not a great sign. I will still read 'Winter', the final book in the series when it comes out later this year, but I have definitely lowered my expectations on that one, based on this one

'Skim' by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator).
This was my first graphic novel! Woo! However I wish I'd picked something else! Dratballs !
This was the story of 'Skim' aka. Kim, a 16 year old experiencing high school and all the crap that goes along with it and the trials and tribs of being a teen, in the early '90s. The tale covers a familiar string of issues, such as suicide, depression, first sexual experiences, cliques and peer pressure, and tells it in comic strip form.
Although I didn't develop any real connection to the characters, the scenarios, or the topics being covered, I did come away with a deep appreciation for the writers and artists who go down the 'graphic novel route'. It is a BRILLIANT way to put your story across. The illustrations in 'Skim' were great and the dialogue was spot on for the time period, but the comic style of presentation was what kept me turning the pages . I forgot how fun the reading of comic-book style presentation or 'storyboard' presentation can be !
Although this particular story would be enjoyed a lot more by someone going through their teens, it has certainly made me want to delve further into the graphic novel genre asap !

'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' by Douglas Adams.
Book number two in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series! Yay!! No.. no yayness here
The first book was quirky, funny, strange and cool. This second book was just plain weird. I know that you're not meant to take Hitchhiker's remotely seriously, but at LEAST in book one, I could follow the plot and have an understanding of the main objective. Book 2 darts all over the place in a really jerky, confusing way! The only thing it had going for it was it's cast of zany lovable characters, who remain interesting and funny, thankgod! However, on reflection I STILL have no flipping idea what happened or what insights I was supposed to have gained from this second book in the series
I think I'm going to take a break from the galaxy for a little while before heading on into book 3! Hopefully it has some answers in store for me!!

So all in all, a bit of a mixed bag!! Here's to variety!
Currently I am reading...

Which is fantastically heart-breaking but is a real page turner. Thankfrig, because IT is due back @ the library tomorrow!!! AGGHH!! I gotta stop borrowing books whilst i'm still trying to get through 6 others!!!
If you are taking part in the reading challenge or ANY reading challenges I hope it is going well for ya!!!
Lee xox

Saturday 11th April, 2015
My Favourite Booktubers!

I LOVE BOOKTUBE!! It is definitely 95% responsible for rekindling my love of reading and has introduced me to some FANTASTIC people and some books that I would never have otherwise exposed myself to!! Forever grateful!!
For anyone not familiar with the whole 'Booktube' phenomenon, basically, it's a community of youtubers who REALLY LOVE READING and upload videos of what they are currently reading, what they plan to read, or (my personal fave) TAG videos! In which they tag each other to complete a themed video, usually using books to answer the set questions. If you are a reader, and you're stuck in a reading funk, or you're nosy like me and enjoy hearing about people talk about the books they give the thumbs up or down to, or you are after some recommendations on what to read next, I highly suggest typing in 'booktube' into Youtube and checking out a few videos !!
I follow a bucketload of youtubers, but I wanted to shine a light on a few of my absolute FAVES, which you should DEFINITELY check out !!

WhittyNovels is a riot and I love her videos TO BITS! BITS PEOPLE !! The video embedded here is her latest book-related vid, but honestly, do yourself a MASSIVE favour and go and check out her channel because she's utterly hilarious and such a gorgeous bubbly gal !
Even though she reads a lot of YA (Young Adult) and I tend not to, I find her enthusiasm and love of characters completely contagious and she really does make me wanna cast off my reservations and delve into that genre asap !

Madi Irenee is an aspiring human rights lawyer from New Zealand who is CUTER THAN A BUTTON and is a FANTASTIC book reviewer ! She is one of those talented wordsters who is so articulate that I wish to goodness I could speak as eloquently and as precisely as she does! She is such a pleasure to watch, as she always offers FABULOUS insights into the books she reads
She is certainly partial to the classics, which is brilliant in my opinion because along with biographies, they are certainly my genre of choice! Madi has inspired me to brave the world of 'the bodess-rippers' (as my Dad calls them) aka. Jane Austin, Bronte Sisters, type period works and it was off the back of her shining endorsement of 'Jane Eyre' that I rushed out and bought the first copy I saw I am yet to read it, however it will tick off my 'read a classic romance' challenge once I get to it ! Love her! Go watch her!!

BazPierce - Okay, I don't even know where to start with this guy.... This sums it up !!!
Honest, sarcastic, witty, dry - oh my god he's BRILLIANT !
Sadly, it looks as though he's taken quite a hiatus from making videos, but I can, and have been, rewatching his videos when I am in need of almost pissing myself with laughter. A word of warning - if you are not a fan of swearing than I suggest you probably stay clear. (But honestly, he's fricken hilarious)

BOOKSandBabble - I was so so so HAPPY when I stumbled upon this channel! I actually went searching for book reviews on 'Gone With The Wind' just after I finished it, to see if others went through the same emotions that I did whist reading it and I stumbled upon Leanne's review! Leanne, is my favourite reviewer, hands down she reads a wide array of books, all sorts of genres, from all different time periods and she is by far the most articulate and coherent speaker and reviewer I have come across in the booktube community. She has been responsible for expanding my reading choices and like Madi, has also been responsible for my sudden urges to go and splash cash at the nearest bookstore! On NUMEROUS OCCASIONS!! ! I always REALLY look forward to Leanne's videos because I know there will always be a fascinating read that I will want to get my grabbers on being featured!

The Gwendolyn Reading Method - I'm still a newbie to this channel but Gwendolyn is AWESOME!! I always feel bouncy after visiting her channel, because she's always so upbeat and excited to share her bookish finds, or what she's reading or has read and it's I swear it's a total natural buzz stopping by her channel ! Gwendolyn is another booktuber who has exposed me to books and genres I would otherwise never have given a chance, and honestly, I could totally just stare and visually examine those bookshelves behind her for hours on end SO PRETTY!

So those peeps are a few of my absolute FAVOURITE booktubers! If you have any that you love, be sure to let me know! I'm always up for finding new channels to stalk, I mean browse !
I hope you get a kick out of these guys!
Lee xox

Thursday 2nd April, 2015
Popsugar Reading Challenge #4!

WhittyNovels Youtube Channel

Lee xox

Wednesday 18th March, 2015
Hitch-hiking Through Em!!!!

Move over Belle, I got this reading thing down man !
10 books/challenges ticked off! 42 to go!
As stated in my Youtube video above, I have really enjoyed these past 3 books !
I guess there really isn't too much more I can add that I didn't blab on about, so now i'm about to burn through the universe with Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers!! !!
Catch you on the flip side of reading this triology !!

Wednesday 25th February, 2015
Days and pages are flying!!!

I have an appointment with my optometrist at the end of March. I say this because I believe I will be hit up for a new pair of specs. With a much chunkier prescription. Why? Because my eyeballs have been putting in the same amount of work reading, as one's legs put in running a marathon.
My future...

But I digress! On to my sweet sweet Popsugar update!!
Since my last update I have read 3 more books! Making that 7 in total Bitchin'!!!

As I mentioned at the end of my last youtube vid, my 5th read was 'So Anyway..' by John Cleese. I have been a massive fan of this man since I was a kid. So when he brought out this autobiography, it was added to my to-read list immediately. Complete no-brainer
As a biography addict, I it when the author goes into detail about their childhood and I was so happy to see that a BIG part of this book was devoted to describing John's early years. As an only child myself, I found it greatly entertaining and insightful when John touched on that particular aspect of growing up and how it effected his personality and relationships. I also enjoyed reading about his schooling journey and how he got into performing and writing comedy whilst attending law school. I think among my fave revelations from reading about John's life in his own words pertains to just how much writing he and Graham Chapman did! My god! Prolific doesn't begin to describe it ! I of course knew that he and Connie Booth were responsible for 'Fawlty Towers', which holds a special place in my heart. But my god, the sheer amount of writing they did for Monty Python, Peter Seller's, David Frost, the two Ronnies, the list goes on!
So cool to read about the people he was mixing with and writing for! What a time to be alive !!
I also really enjoyed reading about some of the pranks his friends played on him Graham Chapman with his little notes left around the house for John's dinner guests and Marty Feldman (I think, but I could be mixed up) discovering and introducing John to the DULLEST people on a spanish beach. Laugh out loud moments!
If you are a John Cleese fan, I strongly encourage you to pick this one up!

At 96 pages, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" by R.L. Stevenson was a lovely quick read, however it was quite challenging!
Not the story, but the language! My chunky thesauraus was certainly my best friend during this one! The story of course is an enduring classic and has been parodied to within and inch of it's life, but the premise of the story is just so compelling that after reading it, you really can see how it has stood the test of time. Dealing with the light and dark side of human nature, the story really does put you smack bang in the middle of the moral dilemma facing Dr. Jekyl and makes you question how you would cope in such a situation. The last chapter really causes you to pause and ponder human nature and the dark and light sides of your own character, which to me is a sign of a great story. Teamed with impressive (all be it slightly complex) writing, I loved reading this story as it was orginally written. Because to be honest, my only real knowledge of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde comes from Warner Brothers cartoons

First published in 1889 (126 years ago!) "3 Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome, hand on heart is probably the funniest book I have read to date. I swear to god, I was bursting out laughing with every sentence for the first 40 pages (and through to the end!). This has resulted in me pledging to re-read it as soon as I can and it has resulted in me now proudly rating it among my favourite books. With it's mix of imagery, history, travel, adventure, anecdotes, and frank observational witty humour, this classic ticked all the boxes
The gorgeous passage of imagery conjured up by JKJ (I feel I love the guy enough to just use initials!) when he describes our three seeing three older fisherman further up the river is one of my absolute fave parts It's certainly a credit to a writer who can paint a mental picture that you want to transport yourself into in a Mary-Poppins-esque type fashion. Which let's face it, we wish ALL books would do!
Not only did it have me longing to take a winding trip through the pretty countryside of England upon it's waterways, it made me want to do it in the company of these 3 guys! And Montmorency of course!!
Oh my god they were freaking hilarious and I swear I would fit right in with them!!
I am now slightly desperate to get my hands on every work by JKJ, because I LOVED this book and I fell in love with his humour instantly! So ecstatic to have found this book and now I have a total go-to read if I ever need an instant pick me up!!

Wednesday 4th February, 2015
4 weeks down, 4 books down!!!

3 cheers for staying on track!! Hip hip!! !!
The end of January signals 4 weeks of the reading challenge gone! This week, the first of the glorious month of Feb signals week five.

I chose 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee for this challenge! I know i'm probably one of 9 people who haven't read this book, but now there are only 8! What an IMPORTANT book! Now I see today that Harper Lee has given the go ahead to publish the first draft of the story after the manuscript was discovered in a safety deposit box!!! so my timing could not have been better!
As I say in the vlog, everything that could be written about this classic, has been written. The fact that this was Harper Lee's only published work, to me only speaks volumes MORE as to how special this enduring novel is. The character of Scout Finch is so inspiring, I fell in love with her more as every page was turned !! Honest, frank, strong, lively, impulsive, curious, oh my word she is a wonderful soul
The timing of this book of course coincided with the civil rights movement in America and highlights issues such as that of racial/class injustice in such a raw and honest way. Again, as I say in the vlog, it really is one of those books that you wish every single person on the planet would read! The fact that it is told through the eyes of Scout, gives you the direct, black and white view on such issues and allows questions surrounding such strong issues to be asked via the naive voice of a child who's ideas about the world are yet to be fully formed. I finished the book thinking "If ONLY the world had billions more folks like Mr. Atticus Finch!"

For challenge number 3, I read 'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer! This is book #2 in The Lunar Chronicles series! OH MY GOSH THE CONCEPT FOR THESE BOOKS!! I CAN'T HANDLE!!! SO CRAZY GREAT!!!
In Cinder (the first book in the series) and in Scarlet, Meyer has loosely based her characters on Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. She has created a new world for them set in the future. She has thrown in the wonders of space travel, cyborgs, hybrid beings and some funky supernatural powers to create one hell of a literary ride !
I am suffering anxious sweats waiting to get my hands on the next book in the series!! I am in awe of how suspenseful the writing is!! Meyer successfully keeps your attention peaked! Which I would think would be so hard to pull off as a writer! I love the way that you always seem to be running with the characters! Whether they are hunting down facts, answers, people, beings, enemies or places, I feel almost pooped at the end of a page because my little eyes are struggling to keep up!! In a good way!!!
I may cause rifts here, but Scarlet and Wolf are DEFINITELY more interesting than Cinder and Thorne...however I do have a soft spot for Thorne !
REALLY looking forward to seeing where things go in 'Cress'!!!

Book number three was 'Slaughterhouse 5' by Kurt Vonnegut. Upon finishing this one, my first thought was 'this needs a re-read'! The rhythm and style that this book was written in is VERY different to anything I have read before and therefore it took me a while to get into the groove, but once I settled in, I could certainly understand why it is written the way it was. I believe it certainly adds to the overall feel and message of the story. Often dubbed as an 'anti-war' book, the mediums of time travel, flashbacks and instant transportation into various times within Billy's life gave me real insight into the power of perspective and a mind struggling to fight against floods of memories, feelings, pain, loss, meaning and connections. Although very dark and very raw in places, it helped explain the sight, sound, smell, touch and footprint of war to someone who has never experienced it. Stories like these are vital windows into the brutatlity of war and it's destructive power over the minds of those who experience it first hand.
I took away a lot from this book and one of the best excerpts was as follows...

So as you can see, January was a VERY mixed bag!!!
I have kicked February and week 5 off with 'So Anyway..' by John Cleese, I know I know, I can't stay away from biographies for 5 seconds, but this one EASILY fits into the 'a funny book' challenge so it's alllllllll good man!!!
I am already a quarter of the way through and therefore should polish it off this week !
My biggest challenge then becomes, WHAT TO READ NEXT!??!!!

Thursday 15th January, 2015
52 Books in 2015!!! Bring it ON!!!

This lil' animation is topsy-turvy! The little dude should be chasing the BOOK, because that is what I plan to be doing more of in 2015 !
I was on the lookout for a reading challenge for 2015 that would:
a) have a goal of reading 52 books
b) pose a list of books that would challenge me to read more diversely (I usually drift towards biographies and classics), and
c) have a cool title. Yup. I really am that shallow. !
So whilst drooling and scrolling through my latest batch of pins on Pinterest, I was pretty darn elated to happen upon the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE !!
(Totallee cool name right ?!)
I am already stoked to announce that I am totallee off and running READING and have already nailed my first challenge #WINNER!

Wow. Suffering a severe case of shiny face right there
'James Dean' by George Perry! So much for 'reading more diversely' eh?! Technically, this is a biography, but biographies are based on true 'stories' yeah?!? *sigh* I'm hopeless.
Alright i'm totallee cheating with this one, but I have been on such a Jimmy D kick lately that I had to read this!
As a result, I am now slightly obsessed
My goodness he was an amazing person! He faced such tragedy in his early life AND of course in his sudden death, but my word did he squeeze a lot of life out of his 24 years.
Twenty-four years... man it still makes my stomach drop to the floor...
The book provides a great insight into the light and dark shades of Jimmy's character and highlighted aspects of his life and his nature that really brought home what a complex and yet utterly relatable guy he was. Despite his tendency to be quite an introverted, surly and by some accounts outright rude kinda dude, there are stories of truly heart-warming gestures and a vulnerability about him that those close to him said shone through in his onscreen performances
For a teeny bit more Jimmy gushing, check out my first Popsugar-related Youtube vid!

Yup! I have almost finished 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee and I have thoroughly enjoyed it I shall save my thoughts till I have finished, but can we all just take a moment to appreciate just how insanely AWESOME SCOUT IS!!! WHAT A LIL FIRECRACKER! LOVE HER !
If you are participating in the Popsugar reading challenge or any reading challenge this year, I would love to hear of your progress and what kind of books you are reading ! Be sure to leave me a tag or leave a link to your youtube book reviews!
Now back to knocking over challenge number 2!!