I am the ultimate bookworm. I’ll admit it here and now. I love books as much as I love chocolate waffles, and nine times out of ten, you’ll find that I’ve been reading not only the one book, but that I’ve in fact got two books on the go at the same time. Which yeah, used to have its moments of being awfully confusing – but I’ve now learnt that if I read two difference genres, there’s no more mixing up the storylines. The point is however, books are my thing.

My obsession with reading started from a young age. My mother used to read to my younger brother and I constantly. When I was about four, it was Enid Blyton that cradled us to sleep. Of course I wasn’t quite up to that reading level yet, but I would beg for it to be read to me.

When I got a little older, I inherited the full length series of Trixie Beldon and would gladly spend the whole of Sunday’s reading perhaps one or two of the books in one day. I was becoming a fast reader by the age of ten.

After Trixie, there was Nancy Drew. Then ‘The Babysitters Club’, Andy Griffiths and Morris Gleitzmann. I remember my Dad and I started a Tuesday traditions whenever it was school holidays which included making an early morning dash to the video shop to make sure we scored all the new releases by 9am, before heading across the road to the library where I was able to scout the shelves for whatever took my fancy. I started reading so many authors it was becoming hard to keep track of who I liked best. But that was never something I complained about.

I started tackling the classics when I turned fourteen, mostly because it was part of the curriculum in grade eight at the time, but somewhat because I enjoyed gaining a little peak into the history that made these classics just that – a classic. In fact, I remember reading Anne Frank and realising that history was a genre that I had never explored. And from there I read a great few books based on true fact. Chinese Cinderella, Hitler’s Daughter, Memoirs of a Geisha Girl – It all opened my eyes a little to the world I was so blissfully unaware had rather large cracks. The knowledge was empowering, and I was starting to understand humanity probably a little more than any fourteen-year-old should.

Throughout the rest of my schooling, I read everything on the curriculum book list (well, all except one – but we’ll get to that). Not because I was a goodie-two-shoes or trying to be an overachiever, but purely because I hated the idea of picking only one or two books from the list worrying that I might just miss out on a good story.

Almost six years later, I’m still reading. I average a new book each week much thanks to the Book Swap at my Mr.’s Cafe (which if I’m honest, I treat more as a ‘Book Take‘ rather than a ‘Swap‘ – but I always put them back when I’m done I swear!). Sometimes I’ll even spend a whole day sitting there reading, because coffee and books just go together and it’s nice just to do both without having to venture anywhere for the next Vanilla Latte when you’re too deep into the story to move a muscle.

Recently (and by recently, I mean the beginning of 2015), I stumbled across a book list unlike any I’ve seen before. You might have heard about it – It’s called ‘Bringing Up Burns Book List’ and is made entirely out of instructions that lead you to pick your own books for the list itself. 2015 was the first year they published the list, and now due to popular demand, it looks like this unique book list is going to become and annual thing.

Nevertheless, from the moment I stumbled upon the list I new it was something worth doing. It forced me to branch out with my reading, and choose things that I wouldn’t have normally ventured out to try. And I loved that about it. So I added the ‘Bring Up Burns Book List 2015‘ to the Bucket List. And finished it with only hours to spare before the New Year begun.

Here’s my list:

  1. A book you own but never read: The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
  2. A book that was made into a movie: The Wave by Todd Strasser
  3. A book you pick solely because of the cover: Something Wicked by Sherry Ashworth
  4. A book your friend loves: Lesbian for a Year by Brooke Hemphill
  5. A book published this year: The Five Year Plan by Emma Lea
  6. A book by an author you’ve never read before: Eyes by Joseph Glass
  7. A book by an author you love: Evil Mind by Chris Carter
  8. A book at the bottom of your ‘to be read’ pile: Skin Deep by Emma Lea
  9. A book with a colour in the title: The Mystery of the Ruby Glasses by Lindsey Cripps
  10. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Falling For Rachel by Nora Roberts
  11. A book you started but never finished: Strictly Business by Emma Lea
  12. A book with a lion, a witch or a wardrobe: Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
  13. A book with a female heroine: Spiking the Girl by Gabrielle Lord
  14. A book set in the summer: Summer Fling by Emma Lea
  15. A book of poems: Getting Stitches by Rudy Francisco
  16. A book you learnt about because of this challenge: The Vanishing Season by Jodi-Lynn Anderson
  17. A book that will make you smarter: Discipline and Punish by Michael Folcaute
  18. A book with a blue cover: Whisky Beach by Nora Roberts
  19. A book you were supposed to read in school: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  20. A book ‘Everyone’ has read: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Tim Carroll
  21. A book with a great first line: Walk of Shame by Emma Lea
  22. A book with pictures: Banksy in New York by Ray Mock
  23. A book from the library: Dark Lady by Richard Patterson
  24. A book you loved (read it again): Red Cardigan by J.C Burke
  25. A book older than 10 years old: The Conspiracy Club by Jonothan Kellerman
  26. A book based on a true story: The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

So there you have it. You’ll notice a lot of Nora Roberts and Emma Lea, and I feel like I should explain a little as to why I let the same authors battle it out in most of the list positions.

The first book I read by Nora Roberts was Whisky Beach, and I loved it. It was a book that had romance and mystery in equal parts and had me hooked right from the start. It was also a book in a pile of many at my Mr.’s grandmothers house which he has been looking after while she’s being cared for up north. As he is getting ready to sell the house, the books too are looking at a new home in a second hand shop and I just felt awful to let them go without reading them first. As you have probably guessed, many of the books were by Nora Roberts – seemingly a favourite of hers. And ergo, plenty of Nora Roberts squeezed into the list.

The second author to dominate the list was Emma Lea, and she’s actually a friend of mine. Her name is, of course as many great authors create, an alias. But she has accomplished a great deal since the start of 2015 now having published more than eight books and novels. I am a part of her ‘Street Team’, which means I read and review the books before they are released. And since she has been so busy writing, I have been just as equally busy reading. Emma Lea is one to watch – so if you haven’t already, look her up. Because she will be the next Nora Roberts.

To Kill a Mockingbird was the one book I never read in school like I should have. Back then I found it altogether much too hard to get into, and to be honest, not much has changed now. I did however manage to finish it this time. And while my opinion still manages to oppose the whole idea of it being a classic, I can grant some understanding in it’s popularity being something more related to the time and era it was published.

But by far, my favourite discovery was Evil Mind by Chris Carter. I started out with Trixie Beldon, so it was always going to be a crime novel that stole my heart, and oh how Evil Mind did. This year, I will be reading a whole lot more of Chris Carter that’s for sure.

If there is one thing you do this year, make it a rainy day spent in the close captures of a book. I don’t think there’s anything else quite like it.

#25: Read ‘Bringing Up Burns: 26 Books’ Booklist – Check!

d x



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