A Belated Response to July’s #bookadayuk

So! Like last month’s #bookadayuk hosted by The Borough Press, the folks at Doubleday Books have continued the event and done the month of July!

Here’s all of the 31 responses for this month!

1. A book that made you laugh out loud.

The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy is hilarious!

2. Favourite SF/Fantasy novel for World UFO Day!

I don’t have many sci-fi books but I’m going to say “I, Robot” – presuming that I like it when I read it! (N.B. After reading a sample chapter, I’m afraid I’m not interested in reading it!)

3. Favourite novel in translation.

Favourite translation: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is nicely translated from Swedish to English.

4. All-time favourite American novel for 4th July Independence Day.

Best American novel: Surprisingly I only have a few, but it’s John Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines”

5. Most delicious novel about food.

I don’t really read many books about food, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like it!

6. Which book will you put down today to watch the Wimbledon tennis final?

I won’t be watching the Wimbledon final so I’ll continue to read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

7. Most chocolatey novel – it’s National Chocolate Day!

Typical answer, but surely the most chocolatey book is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? Great childhood book! #bookadayuk

8. Favourite Great War novel.

I read Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo as part of English at school and thought it was an interesting read…

9. Most irritating character in a novel.

Hmm… Peter from Divergent. No spoilers, but just didn’t like him…

10. Novel with most memorable picnic for Teddy Bear Picnic Day!

Can’t think of one! Sorry!

11. The book that made you cry.

Is it bad that I don’t cry when reading books?

12. Novel that best conjured a place for you.

It’s a tie! Both the Sherlock Holmes series and “The Shock of the Fall” by Nathan Filer conjured a place!

13. Best title for a novel.

Tough question! It has to be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The title in itself IS curious!

14. For Bastille Day, your favourite novel about or set in France.

Is it bad that I don’t have any novels about France?

15. The last book you bought.

Not a fiction book, but the last book I bought was the Rockschool Grade 8 book! I did my Grade 7 exam last week!

16. Favourite book to take to the beach.

I’ve only ever read beside the sea once, and that was “Before I Go to Sleep” by S J Watson.

17. Novel which surprised you the most.

Is it “surprising” in a good way? I didn’t like Allegiant (Divergent 3), which surprised me as everyone else does!

18. Favourite crime novel of all-time — it’s the Harrogate Crime Festival!

Favourite crime novel has to be The Millenium Series by Stieg Larsson. Intriguing characters and great plots!

19. Most memorable plot twist (no spoilers please).

Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant 2) had a shocking plot twist that was cleverly pulled off.

20. Your Desert Island novel

Probably The Curious Incident…

21. The novel you expected to hate, but turned out you loved.

I think I’ve rarely experienced this phenomenon!

22. The novel you most like to give to friends.

I don’t give books to friends as such, but I’ve been recommending Neil Gaiman’s Stardust to a lot of people lately…

23. Favourite novel with exotic background.

Not a complete favourite, but Life of Pi is a good book for its exotic background.

24. A book that reminds you of your English teacher.

I’ve had different English teachers over the years, and there’s too many books to list!

25. Book that is your guilty pleasure.

This doesn’t really work with me… No guilty pleasures for me!

26. The novel you wish you’d written.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Just brilliant – I’m envious of Haddon’s abilities!

27. For National Parents’ Day — the best/worst parents in fiction.

The best parents are Charlie Bucket’s parents. True definition of family! Then Matilda’s parents are the worst!

28. Favourite animal character.

Arthur the Aardvark. Though I watched the TV shows, not read the book.

29. Favourite likeable villain.

Gosh… It may have to be Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes…

30. The book I plan to read thanks to #bookadayuk.

A lot of Twitter chats are recommending 1984 by George Orwell. I’ll probably give that a read…

31. The book that reminds you of someone special.

But, but… There’s so many!

So that’s another month of Book a Day! Another publishing company has taken it up for the month, so you can see my responses for that at the end of August!

Liam

What makes a song “catchy”?

Today’s post comes from a week of trying to get Frozen songs out of my head (yes, I watched it. No, I didn’t completely like it).

So, this got me thinking… What makes a song catchy (hence the title)? In particular, what can make a song fun catchy or annoyingly catchy?

Already, the chorus is a key factor. Something simplistic would be easy to remember and recite. I mean, Let it Go is simple enough…

Other than that, I guess a strong melody is the other factor. Pharrell Williams’ Happy is insanely catchy, with a strong bass melody at it’s core. Whilst Frozen has add-on melodies given by strings…

What do you think? What makes a song catchy? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: Too Much Time!

So this week saw me finish Year 12 of school. For those who don’t know, this means I have one more year left before I venture into the world of university applications…

It is because of this that I have a nice 6-week break. However, I’m not sure how to get everything done!

Of course I have school work, which is the main priority. However, I also need to finish Gone Girl so I can lend it to someone, and I also need to write my book. Both demand my attention and I don’t know where to start!

I’ve always heard that prioritising helps, but in this case both matter to me! The problem I now have is a decision about what tasks to do first, and also how I plan to go about this 6-week break…

Nonetheless, it should be fun to have a break from schoolwork.

Oh, and in other news, I passed my Grade 7 Drums with Merit! Huzzah! Next stop Grade 8 – the last one!

Do you have a holiday soon? Let me know where you’re off to (if anywhere) in the comments!

Liam

Bug Bears: Drumming

So, I thought I’d do another one of these as I haven’t done Bug Bears for a while. This time, I thought I’d have a moan about some problems when drumming…

1. Missing a drum or cymbal.

There’s a lot of times when I drum where I perform solos. They’re great for being creative, and for being just plain fun! However, it sucks when you try and do a rim shot (a beat which involves hitting the side of a drum) or hit the crash cymbal at the end of the solo, and miss…

2. Letting go of sticks.

One aspect of drumming is that different styles require different grips on the drumsticks. This becomes a problem when your playing drum and bass (with a low grip), and the drum stick goes flying across the room…

It’s why I fear that scenario when I’m doing my Grade exams, as I can’t stop the piece to retrieve my sticks!

3. Split or snapped sticks

Pretty much self-explanatory… It’s so annoying, and it’s like odd socks, you have to mix and match a pair! Also, split drumsticks (with a pistachio like split at the top) affects the pitch of the stick. A stick with a split would have a higher or lower pitch than the other one. Gah!

4. The temperamental hi-hat.

One part of my drum kit is the hi-hat (the funny diamond shaped cymbal to the left of a normal kit set up). This cymbal operates with a pedal (push the pedal down to close and take your foot of the pedal to leave it open). The problem with my hi-hat is that if you push down on the pedal too much, you have to reset the whole hi-hat… Bit annoying…

That’s it! Those are most of the annoying things when it comes to drumming! I hope you enjoyed this post!

Liam

Writing Contexts

For me, it can be anywhere so long as I have a notebook to hand.

We all have our own favourite places to write. When it comes to those places, they could be as informal or formal as the writer wishes. Some have writing desks, others just go by the bare essentials.

For an informal writer, the notebook allows them to go mobile. It allows for the borderline cliché “café writing” and writing on transport. But for those who write outside of the home environment – why do you?

Some places clearly evoke inspiration for an unknown reason. Numerous writing retreats allow for excellent views whilst the opportunity to get writing done. So does the view itself play a part?

But what about transport? I think for this there is a reason. This sense of exploration as we gaze out of the train window, rural images and towns flashing by… It’s this sense of exploration that may appeal to the mind of a writer.

Where do you write, and why do you think it inspires you? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Problems

By the title, I mean as a buyer of music, I’m currently finding a lot of good music that I love, but there’s something which prevents me from adding it to my music library.

To give you some examples, here are some songs that fit into this problem, and I’ll try and give some reasons why…

1. Summer by Calvin Harris

This song’s melody is amazing, but I think it’s the verses that put me off this song…

2. Nobody to Love by Sigma

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good drum and bass song, but there are some parts of this song that ever so slightly ruin this song for me. The vocal pause (uh-huh-huh) doesn’t fit well with the song. Although the melody is great, having some vocals in the verses would make it a little less repetitive…

3. I Will Never Let You Down by Rita Ora

Catchy synth melodies and excellent vocals make this song great to listen to, but there’s just something that’s preventing me from buying it, and I don’t know what it is!

4. Budapest by George Ezra

This song’s chorus is great, but I feel as though it is too laid-back with little development.

5. Waves by Mr Probz (Robin Schulz Remix)

The repetitive melody throughout the song is what makes it so great. But I think it’s the repetition of the lyrics that puts me off buying it. Also, the song is similar to the work of Chris Malinchak – and I’m not really a fan.

Are you similar, or is it just me? Do you have a song that you like, but something’s preventing you from liking it completely? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: The Two Stages

At the moment, I am sorting things. Not right now of course, but this week, I was sorting things…

This week allowed me to get more stuff done, as usual. But this time I realised what tasks were at which of the two stages: Completed or Outstanding.

Earlier this week I put more onto the completed pile, but now there is more outstanding things to do. One of the things that is the main resident in this pile is my university application…

With journalism still being mind-boggling to comprehend in terms of a career path, I’m slowly trying to come up with a plan of action. But now that there are deadlines in place, there’s still a lot for me to do (I think the next stage is the mighty “Personal Statement” – yikes!).

But at the same time, I have tasks outstanding, but I don’t know what there is to do next (or even where to start!). For example, my book is like this at the moment, but getting there…

Nonetheless, for someone that loves being busy (good busy, I mean), it looks like it’s going to be a couple of productive months ahead! Yes!

How has your week been? Comment below!

Liam