Blog Award Fifteen: The Liebster Award

I have been nominated for another blog award! This time it was the Liebster award by The Welsh Librarian. So, the rules:

1. Thank and link to the blogger that nominated you (DONE).

2. Write 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger that nominated you has asked you.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to complete the award. Then ask them 11 questions!

Firstly, since this will be my fifteenth award, I ‘m running out of facts to say! Therefore, sorry but I’ll give that section a miss – I can’t think of anything to say!

However, I will answer the 11 questions!

1. What are your obsessions apart from books?
Writing, music and social media.

2. List your top 5 authors.
In order…
1. Stieg Larsson
2. Mark Haddon
3. Derek Landy
4. Robert Muchamore
5. Mitch Albom

3. A book that didn’t live up to the hype.
The Divergent series.

4. A book that exceeded the hype.
Hmm… Perhaps Gone Girl

5. A book you would love to see as a film.
I think a film adaptation of Skulduggery Pleasant would be awesome.

6. Something about you that no one else knows.
I can’t think of anything!

7. Favourite holiday read.
I haven’t read many books on holiday, but maybe Before I Go To Sleep?

8. Bookbridgr, Netgalley or Edelweiss?
I didn’t know what these were until I did a quick Google search. The answer is none, but if this is about review sites, I use GoodReads.

9. Would you write a book? If so what would it be about?
I already am (well, trying to)! It will be a crime fiction novel.

10. Favourite book cover/jacket?
It will have to be a series. The designs by Tom Percival for the Skulduggery Pleasant series are brilliant. The One Hundred Year Old Man… is a close second for it’s brilliant simplicity of a design.

11. Favourite translated novel?
I have only read two: The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (my favourite), but so far I am reading The Onr Hundred Year Old Man…, which is good.

So now I’ll nominate the 11! It appears as though searching for 11 bloggers I know have less than 200 followers may be difficult for me, so I’m going to scrap that part, and nominate 8 (sorry) bloggers regardless! These are:

1. Loving Life in Wellies
2. Time to See the Stars
3. Lolly Loves
4. Oh Leona
5. To Breathe is to Write
6. Jasmin Charlotte
7. Into the Bookcase
8. Not Wed or Dead

Congratulations on being nominated! My questions for you are:

1. Tea or coffee?
2. The one item you treasure the most?
3. A book that reminds you of somewhere, or someone?
4. Do you like reading in public, or completely private?
5. Favourite song to listen to?
6. Do you own any notebooks, or write it all on computer?
7. Where’s your favourite place in the world?
8. What’s a moment in your life that you’ll happily relive?
9. What is your favourite dish?
10. Name something you did recently that surprised you (not really a question, but oh well).
11. Do you have any pets?

Thanks again to The Welsh Librarian for nominating me, and congrats to all nominated!

Liam

Thoughts on Reading Deadlines

As you may know, I like reading a lot of books. But lately, I’ve got a lot of books that I need to read by a specific date.

I have three books I need to read for A-Levels at school, and then I have books I need to read before tomorrow. Why? Because tomorrow the last book in a series I enjoy is being released.

Since this book will be the last in the series, it is likely that a lot of things will go down. Therefore, it’s probably best to read it quickly before spoilers make their way around…

Where I’m going with this is a possible discussion. Do you ever set reading deadlines? Have you ever finished a book in time for another’s release? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Won’t Look Back by Duke Dumont

DJ Duke Dumont, famous for singles such as Need U (100%) and I Got U is back with his latest single, Won’t Look Back.

The track itself sees vibes similar to the popular hit from the 90’s, Ride on Time by Black Box. On both occasions the songs feature powerful female vocals to a fast paced dance feel.

However, this song is made unique with different styles and tempos throughout. One main factor of this song is the piano riff throughout the song that is absolutely brilliant and definitely adds to the feel good vibes.

Similarly, the song has a nice change in tempo when it comes to the bridge before the best drop, with only the vocals and piano being present. It definitely gives the song a soulful spin which builds up to the beat drop.

Talking of the beat drop, at first instance it was disappointing with no drum part apparent. But I then came to realise that it was appropriate, creating a beat that stays true to the 90’s style of the song.

Overall, I have been listening to this song many times on YouTube, and know that this will be a huge success upon release. It may be possible for it to be a number one single as well.

What do you think of the song? Comment below!

Liam

Thoughts on Studying Books | Weekly Update

Apart from all the V Festival hype that happened last weekend (read here), I’ve also been busy with other things. In particular, I have had to start reading books for school which we’ll later go on to study as part of the A-Level course.

So today, I thought I would talk about my thoughts on studying books. Can books still be enjoyed when we analyse them in further detail?

There have been times where other schools I know have studied books such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Enduring Love – both books being ones I really enjoyed reading and would really enjoy studying.

Nonetheless, the books I have studied for academic reasons can be interesting and enjoyable when it comes to analysing them. Analysing a book allows us to get a deeper understanding, and an insight that at first may have been overlooked…

However, at the same time, I feel as though there isn’t a right answer when it comes to analysing texts. Sure, there is a clear reading that is generic. But from that we can only assume that this sentence means this, or that this character is a symbol for this…

I think analysing a book in education allows for different interpretations, which is great. But at the same time, we have to remember that when analysing, there is often no correct answer…

What do you think about studying books? Comment below!

Liam

Silent Discos | The Saturday Article

Liam O’Dell, blogger at The Life of a Thinker, has recently returned from V Festival and has found a new music craze that he predicts will become a future success – silent discos.

Liam has mentioned this on one of his recent blog posts, but says he would like to stress how good the concept of a silent disco is.

The idea of a silent disco is that music is played through headphones instead of speakers, which means only headphone users can get involved.

The blogger, who also drums in his spare time, said: “Silent discos are more inclusive than music played through speakers.”

“Those who prefer music through quieter methods, or who may not be able to hear the music of loud speakers, will definitely enjoy the silent disco concept.”

At the moment, Liam feels more silent discos should be created. With not many silent disco events existing around the country.

The blogger hopes more silent discos will appear soon, and it will become a new trend in the music industry.

Liam

4 Things I Learnt from V Festival

My post on Tuesday (sorry for the irregular posting by the way!) was about me going to V Festival! You can read that here. But today, here are three tips that I learnt whilst at V Festival!

1. People will camp in any space they can find.

I know this isn’t really something you can learn exactly, but it’s something to know. Even the tiniest of gaps can create a place for a tent to be pitched! So be hopeful when it looks cramped – there are spaces!

2. Walking boots are a lifesaver.

My walking boots were comfy like trainers, and were able to cope with the mud and grass terrain at V Festival. If they are the correct size, they are more comfortable and easier than Wellington boots. They are as comfortable as your trainers too, but of course they stop your snazzy pair of trainers from getting ruined…

3. Expect high food prices (probably best to bring your own food).

Don’t get me wrong, the food is delicious (such as a bacon and beefburger, or some beef noodles), but it can be pricey! Therefore, a tip might be to bring snacks you know and love for free!

4. Be wary of projectiles (invest in a poncho).

A poncho would be great for when it rains. But as well as that, it protects you, your clothes and your phone from being covered in an unknown substance flying out of a beer can.

There have unfortunately been times for me where audience members have thrown bottles (with some liquid still inside them) around the crowd, and I’ve been on the receiving end – sadly…

Therefore, a poncho will protect you!

So those are just a few things I learnt. Are you going to any festivals, or perhaps you have some tips yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Liam

Thoughts on V Festival

Nearing the end of Summer, festivals appear to end the hot months on a high. In particular, V Festival occurred last weekend, and I was in attendance.

It required us to get up early on Friday so we could grab room for tent pitching. If there’s one thing I learnt this weekend (expect this in a future festival tips blog post!) campers will fit into any space they can find!

Once inside, it was a long walk from the car park to the entrance, then to the “Blue” campsite (which, according to past visitors, boasted “decent” showers and toilets – which was true). We pitched and re-pitched, before exploring the arena.

Once inside, the stalls consisted mostly of mobile phone charging points (of course), clothing, food and – quite weirdly – oxygen bars. I was confused by them… Surely they must cause health issues?

Anyway, I bought a programme on Friday, and after a few tough decisions, I had a clear programme. More on that on the next page, but before that, I thought I’d talk about how awesome Silent Discos are!

For those who don’t know, a Silent Disco is where, unlike a normal performance played through speakers or organically, it is played through headphones. The idea here is that only those who have headphones will know what other people are dancing to. To others, they’ll just look silly.

It’s great fun as there was two DJs playing different songs at the same time. So, you’d either be singing along with the majority, or on your own. Also, I know this happens with other concert styles, but when people sing along with you it is just awesome. There needs to be more silent discos in the UK!

Saturday:

OK, so now to the acts on Saturday… As this is already turning out to be a ridiculously long post, I’ll do a quick review of each act I saw:

Neon Jungle:

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The first act of Saturday was definitely one to set the party mood. Neon Jungle combine rap, grunge and great vocals from all group members to make songs you can sing along to. One memorable song from their performance was Braveheart, a track that got the audience singing along at the chorus, before raving when the beat drops.

Jess Glynne:

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A singer with a impressive vocal range, with Rather Be and Right Here being set highlights.

Aloe Blacc:

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Aloe Blacc is clearly a singer with great talent and able to grasp a variety of different styles. As well as excellent live performances of The Man and I Need a Dollar, Aloe was able to get the audience to dance and perform reggae. Overall, he was a great performer.

Chlöe Howl:

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For this performance, I was able to stand at the front. I knew most of the songs Chlöe performed, and if there were songs I didn’t know, then it would make me look forward to her debut album – her set definitely did.

Sam Smith:

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Since this clashed with Chlöe Howl, I was only able to catch Stay with Me. However, his vocal talents were brilliant, and enough to get the audience waving their arms to the beat.

Becky Hill:

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I was only able to see her performance of Overdrive, but even then, it gave the audience a glimpse of her vocal talents.

Chic feat. Nile Rodgers

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This was another performance I was unable to see in full. Nonetheless, I was surprised how many tracks I know by Chic. As well as the great performance, Nile Rodgers was a great addition to Chic’s set, who was great at interacting with the crowd.

Cee-Lo Green

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Despite Cee-Lo’s set consisting of only a few songs from his The Lady Killer album, his set definitely had a diverse range of styles, with special guests as well!

Sub Focus:

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Sub Focus is one of my favourite musicians. So when I saw his set I loved the tracks that got me dancing, as well as the fascinating set design on the stage.

The Killers:

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The headline act of Saturday was definitely a great one. With songs such as Spaceman, Human and Smile Like You Mean it being great songs from the set. Overall, the set was a brilliant end to the day, with their rendition of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy being a hilarious addition, making them a legendary band to see live.

Sunday:

This day was less stressful in terms of my schedule. It was the last day too, which led to us packing up early Sunday so we could leave late Sunday.

Fuse ODG:

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Fuse ODG’s set combined calypso style music with groovy rap to make a catchy performance for the start of the day.

Kodaline:

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There were some great songs in the first 30 minutes of their sets. However, the laid-back and relaxed songs can contradict the pop hype created by other acts at the festival.

George Ezra:

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I was only able to catch the last two songs by George Ezra, including the number one single, Budapest. From those two songs alone, it is clear that his debut album offers diversity.

Foxes:

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With Foxes having past collaborations with Rudimental, Sub Focus and Zedd, I knew that she was one to listen to. Aside from collaborations, her solo tracks such as Let Go For Tonight and Holding on to Heaven showcases her solo talent.

John Newman:

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With the help of a talented band, John Newman was great at performing his set. Tracks such as Love Me Again and his collaboration with Rudimental, Not Giving In, were the highlights of his set.

Kaiser Chiefs:

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I was only able to see the last few songs from their set, including the Ruby and I Predict a Riot. Aside from the excellent talent of the band, frontman Ricky was great at interacting with the crowd. At moments, he talked straight into the camera, and kissed the camera at the end of the performance.

Bastille:

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A great act to see live, with Bastille frontman Dan interacting with the crowd, as well as a great performance of a diverse range of chart singles we love.

Example:

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Old followers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of Example – I saw him live in February last year. He is great live as he is always able to get crowds jumping with a great range of dance anthems.

Ed Sheeran:

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Ed Sheeran’s vocal talents mixed with his skills with a loop pedal make him a great act to see live. In particular, Sing was a great song to get the crowd singing along.

Alesso:

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With Alesso being one third of the massive dance group Swedish House Mafia, it was clear that a variety of hardcore dance anthems. I only saw the first 30 minutes of his set, as well as the last few minutes. Nonetheless, his set was likely to have been a great one in full.

Alex Clare:

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Standing at the front, the performance by Alex Clare was brilliant. A diverse range of tracks were performed, and Too Close was an amazing end to a great set. I am definitely going to look at his albums after seeing his performance.

When listing all those artists out, I’m quite surprised at how many people I saw. Anyway, the festival weekend was amazing. For my first proper festival, it was a great start!

Liam