normal people

Book Review: Normal People

23rd January 2021

5/5 If you’ve ever read a book review by yours truly before, you’ll know it’s rare I award five stars. They are reserved for special works of art – and Sally Rooney’s Normal People is exactly that. In fact, Normal People is a masterpiece. I first heard of the book when it was broadcast as […]

Read article

Book Review: Atonement

21st December 2020

4.5/5 About five years ago in my youth youth, I put a film called Atonement on one Sunday afternoon. From the beginning, I was hooked. I then found out it was a book. Five years later, one pandemic-stricken summer, I bought the book and kept it next to my bed until I was free to […]

Read article
wizard of oz

Book Review: The Wizard of Oz

16th December 2020

4.5/5 Kindness. Wisdom. Courage. Those are the three things that L. Frank Baum’s most famous children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, is about. Those three things and, of course, the ever-important lesson that home really is where the heart is. At the ripe age of 20, I eventually dug into Baum’s children’s classic, 120 years […]

Read article
double agent

Book Review: Double Agent by Tom Bradby

22nd September 2020

4/5 Books written today are usually lacklustre and fail to hit the mark. But Tom Bradby’s (yes – that’s Tom Bradby from ITV News at Ten) latest novel, Double Agent, is far from lacklustre and absolutely hits the mark. Double Agent picks up where its sister novel Secret Service left off: MI6 agent Kate Henderson […]

Read article

The Beano Comic: Still Good Today?

28th September 2019

Do you enjoy being entertained? Do you like funny jokes? Do you like learning top secret pranks? Well if you do, then The Beano comic is for you. In my opinion, The Beano is Britain’s best comic and is home to comic legends the Bash Street Kids. They have super skills…and maximum chaos! Bu please, […]

Read article

Book Review: The Woman in the Window

29th August 2019

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn is a thriller book that consistently shocks you throughout. Finn creates an agoraphobic character named Anna Fox, who will not go outdoors due to past trauma. In the novel, we discover Anna’s background and what has caused her to have such a terrible fear of the […]

Read article

Book Review: Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero

21st August 2019

4.5/5 Published in 2010, Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero is a great young adult book. Best for those over the age of 13, it is part of a pentalogy of fantasy novels written by Riordan. At the beginning of The Lost Hero, Jason doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school […]

Read article

World Book Day 2019

7th March 2019

World Book Day is always one of the best days in the calendar for children in particular. It’s a day that celebrates literature and creativity, encouraging children to embrace their own creative abilities and to really think hard about books and stories and characters. So, of course, we thought we’d share our top five literary […]

Read article
Stack of books on the dark wood background. toning. selective focus on the middle book

Book Review: Things a Bright Girl Can Do

27th February 2019

1914. The world stands on the edge of change. But women still have no vote. Evelyn is rich and clever, but she isn’t allowed to go to university. Life is set out for her, but Evelyn wants freedom and choice, even if it means paying the highest price alongside her fellow Suggragettes. Meanwhile, May campaigns […]

Read article

Four wizards who wasted magical abilities

13th October 2018

At some point, we’ve all wished we had magical powers. Well, the following individuals on this list were granted that dream and, as far as we’re concerned, squandered it. Consider the following magicians, wizards or sorcerers who majorly wasted their abilities. Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) The Fellowship of the Ring’s resident wizard, Gandalf is, […]

Read article

BEEP REWIND: Roald Dahl’s Top Five Characters

14th September 2018

As September marks the birth month of one of children’s literature’s most influential authors, thousands of parents and their sons and daughters will be celebrating Roald Dahl Day. Each year, Dahl’s birthday is celebrated with a ‘wonderful array of events’ according to the official website, including a party at the Roald Dahl Museum in Great […]

Read article

4 people we hated more than the villain

27th June 2018

There are some truly reprehensible villains out there. In both fiction and reality. Sometimes though, the bloke posited as our ultimate bad guy isn’t half as bad as the slimeball in the background. Here are our picks for the characters who, honestly, were worse than the official antagonist. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter) If you’ve ever […]

Read article

Fire and Fury Heads to TV

21st January 2018

The bestselling novel Fire and Fury, centred around America’s worst president to date, will reportedly become a TV show soon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the author Michael Wolff has sold television rights for a seven-figure sum. Trump has condemned the book, which depicts chaos in the White House and a president unfit for duty. […]

Read article

Venomverse: Comic review

11th January 2018

Weird, I’ve never reviewed a comic before. Let’s give a shot, starting with the latest from Marvel Comics, Venomverse. As we already know, when it comes to comic books, there are thousands of alternate universes. From Spider-Man being Gwen Stacey in one, to Spider-man (and everyone else) being zombies. It’s a way to form countless […]

Read article

Harry Potter and the Predictive Computer

14th December 2017

Harry Potter has brought joy to millions of people around the world. Now it’s doing it again, but for some weird reasons. Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash is a new story created by a predictive keyboard. The story is ridiculous and hilarious. It was created by […]

Read article

Anne Frank Diary Illustrated

12th October 2017

One of the most read books in the world has been made into a comic-book format, visualising what the young girl must have gone through all those years ago. The diary, which Anne Frank nicknamed Kitty, has been given a splash of colour by the creators of Oscar-nominated animation Waltz with Bashir, with an animated […]

Read article

The Best Banned Books

4th October 2017

You know, the thought of books being banned due to their content, for the creative vision of an author to be banned in certain countries, must be a hard pill to swallow. If you’re in school you may have seen displays showing the books that certain people may not want you reading. But these aren’t […]

Read article

Hillary Clinton Memoirs Become Best Seller

21st September 2017

Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened, detailing the events that led to her loss in the 2016 presidential election, has sold 300,000 copies according to the publisher Simon & Schuster. The sales included 167,000 hardback copies as well as e and audio books. This makes for the biggest opening week of a non-fiction hardcover in five years. […]

Read article

Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Works Destroyed

31st August 2017

Don’t worry, it’s literally what he wanted. Terry Pratchett died in early 2015, taking with him a mind that conjured and moulded some of the greatest fiction ever created. From his early works like The Colour of Magic to his final book The Shepard’s Crown. While the full extent of the Discworld series will never […]

Read article

How to Read (Or Avoid Reading) A Boring Book

20th July 2017

Whether you’re writing an academic essay, doing research for an article or just trying to better your understanding of a subject, you will at some point in your life have to read a ‘boring book’. If your subject area is science, politics, or just anything that is detailed and complicated, it is near impossible to […]

Read article

Star Wars Book to Set Up Battlefront 2

18th April 2017

At the Star Wars Celebration last week, it was revealed that a new book, called Inferno Squad, will reveal and set up the characters and plot for Battlefront II. The book itself will take place after Rogue One, after the Rebels successfully humiliated the Empire by stealing the Death Star plans. The publisher’s description read: […]

Read article

Is Diversity Killing Comic Sales?

11th April 2017

Marvel’s vice president of sales has comment on the declining sales of comic books, blaming the studio’s efforts at diversifying their character roster. In recent years Marvel has expanded its wealth of diverse characters. They made Iceman gay, Thor is now a woman, and they made the new Spider-Man mixed race. But maybe that’s the […]

Read article

Book Review: The Suffragettes

11th March 2017

Any woman who wants to educate herself on the suffragette movement should read this book. Any woman who wants to pay some sort of homage to those who fought for her vote in this country should read this book. Any person – irrespective of gender – who wants to learn about a part of British […]

Read article


7th March 2017

“Libraries symbolise a commitment to learning, community and equality that can no longer be taken for granted.” That is a quote from comedian and actor David Mitchell, which I recently came across while reading an article he wrote for The Guardian on the new London Garden Bridge. It got me thinking about how much time […]

Read article

Book Review: The Enneagram

2nd March 2017

For anyone with a slight interest in personality and/or psychology, you may have heard of the enneagram. If not, there is no required prior knowledge as Simon Parke’s The Enneagram: A Private Session with the World’s Greatest Psychologist will explain it all to you. Basically, the enneagram is a 1500-year-old symbol developed by Sufi and […]

Read article

Shop Review: Barter Books

25th February 2017

Barter Books in Alnwick became an international book shop sensation when it discovered the infamous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ propaganda poster from WWII. It is one of the largest second-hand book shops in Britain, home to 350,000 books and located in a derelict railway station. The interior of the shop is beautiful – a […]

Read article

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

6th February 2017

Like most young people who read The Great Gatsby, I did so rather reluctantly ahead of starting the novel in English Literature this week. However, what I can tell you is that I turned every page after the first with an intrigue and love uncommon for a sixth form student buried under four essays and revision. […]

Read article

20 Writing Prompts

12th December 2016

If you’re struggling with writer’s block or just want to do something creative but can’t get started, a great way to spark your imagination is to make use of what we call “writing prompts”. A writing prompt can be a sentence or even a word that begins a story. Here are twenty prompts to help […]

Read article

Happy Birthday Roald!

13th September 2016

100 years have passed since the children’s writer Roald Dahl was born, and with classics like The Twits, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie in the Chocolate Factory still fresh in the minds of many readers, we thought we’d list some of his best works: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: having been made into two […]

Read article

Everyday Sexism Review

2nd September 2016

Everyday Sexism was the debut novel of Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and journalist. Described as the ‘more politicised sister’ of Caitlin Moran’s notorious How To Be A Woman, it is one of the most successful pieces of feminist literature since the turn of the century. The project that was also the […]

Read article

JK on Harry Potter – “I Think We’re Done”

3rd August 2016

Multi-millionaire author J.K. Rowling has finally said “I think we’re done,” when it comes to Harry Potter. The last Harry Potter film was released in 2011, but even afterwards, his story has continued, with numerous fan theories, and even bait from J.K. herself. But alas, all great stories must come to an end (something horror […]

Read article

Top Books to Take Away on Holiday

13th July 2016

If you’re going away on holiday this summer, chances are that you’re going to be spending a lot of your time sunbathing by the beach and trying to get a tan. While it’s going to be extremely relaxing, and probably just what you need, it’s likely that you might get a little bit bored of […]

Read article

Book Review: Wuthering Heights

27th June 2016

In December 1847, under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, Wuthering Heights was published and a gift of literature was given to the world. Emily Brontë’s wild Gothic novel about a ferocious love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw has stood the test of time and is still widely read today. After being adopted by Cathy’s father at a young […]

Read article

Book review: Alone in Berlin

20th March 2016

With more than sixty years between being written and being published in English, Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin certainly has a story to it. This novel, set in Berlin towards the end of the Nazi era, follows the family, friends and acquaintances of a working-class couple, Otto and Anna Quangel, whose son is killed fighting […]

Read article

Book Review: Hotel Babylon

6th March 2016

Few books have managed to combine humour and real-life scandal like the first of Imogen Edwards-Jones’s bestseller Babylon novels does. The book follows the twenty-four-hour exploits of a receptionist at a five-star London hotel on a double shift, from early morning to early morning. Hour by hour, the plot takes in death, drugs and drinking, […]

Read article

Book Review: The Wasp Factory

19th February 2016

There is no doubt that Iain Banks’s ‘The Wasp Factory’ is one of the most controversial novels of our time, following the unconventional life of Frank, an isolated 16-year old who appears to be suffering from some form of psychological disorder. On simply reading the blurb, it becomes clear from the offset that the themes […]

Read article

Book Review: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

19th February 2016

Few novels have ever delved as deeply into the treatment of mental health issues as Ken Kesey did in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Narrated by the half-Native American Chief Bromden, whom everyone presumes is deaf and mute, this psychotropic novel takes place in a psychiatric institution somewhere in Oregon. Most of the hospital is […]

Read article

Classic Review: Jane Eyre

18th February 2016

Regarded as one of literature’s best novels, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre still lives up to its reputation today. The story begins with Jane as a young child in Gateshead living with her evil Aunt Reed. A book is thrown at her by Jack Reed and so young Miss Eyre fights fire with fire and is punished by being locked in the […]

Read article

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

16th February 2016

One of my favourite books of all time is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. The book follows Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old boy with the psychological disorder Asperger’s Syndrome, as he tries to work out who killed Wellington, his next door neighbour’s dog. However, as Chris starts […]

Read article

Sven Hassel: A Retrospect

24th October 2015

Sven Hassel, who died aged 95 in 2012, was one of Britain’s biggest-selling war authors, penning fourteen novels which sold over 53 million copies worldwide, 15 million of which were in the UK alone. Hassel’s novels tell a story of a number of soldiers (the author, who served as a Danish auxiliary in the Wehrmacht, being […]

Read article

Book Review: The Bloody Chamber

2nd October 2015

The Gothic genre has become immensely popular during the 21st century, so much so that it is now a module for many A Level and University courses in English Literature. Classic texts, such as ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Macbeth’, are widely studied. However, more radical, risqué texts have also come out of the woodwork. In particular, […]

Read article

Book Review: A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

20th September 2015

2,100 miles of strenuous hiking through the American wilderness, in the company of the sort of man who “might have friends named Julio and Mr Big”. Sound like fun? In this strange-enough-to-be-fiction account, Bryson shares the details of his abortive attempt to trek the Appalachian Trail with his old high-school friend Stephen Katz. Battling the […]

Read article

Harry Potter Lives On!

15th September 2015

For those Potterheads that don’t already know, it’s three weeks today until the illustrated versions of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are to be released. “Are you serious?!” we hear you ask. No, we’re Severus (sorry). The book will be illustrated by Jim Kay, who is apparently still working on it now. The […]

Read article

Book Review: The Beach by Alex Garland

13th September 2015

What do you get if you take two dozen listless young adults, put them on a remote Thai island with the ability to sustain themselves and give them free access to a nearby drug farm? Why, The Beach, of course. A perfect exercise in ‘why isolated breakaway societies don’t work’, Alex Garland’s 1996 debut novel […]

Read article