Category Archives: Books

Random | Back to School Supplies… British style?

You knew I had something like this coming, didn’t you? I just couldn’t resist, I truly had to compile this baby as soon as ‘Back to School’ hit the scene… just like it does every single year. Shall we get into the products themselves?

All stuff will be from Amazon, as it is easier for people outside the UK to get the exact products. + click the image to be redirected to the page!

I actually have a bag that is very similar to this. I use it everyday to uni and it’s really easy to throw on and go. £9.95 – BARGAIN!

It’s the freaking CUTE factor! I love this Beatles ‘Help!’ pencil case. I’m biased though… I love it (yeah, yeah, yeah)! – £9

Union Jack Ballpoint Pen, Laser Cut, Beautiful Design

Write in style and show your mates who’s boss! For 1.99, you certainly cannot go wrong!

Dr Who A6 Notebook

Exterminate bad grades with this Dalek notebook. – It’s super snazzy! – £2.99

London Underground Map Printed Pencils Set (4) -LON1263A

Choose your line and grab the tube! Awesome set of 4 pencils for £4.99!

Organisation is key, so don’t forget to buy an Academic Diary/Filofax! This London 2012 one is £6.99.

Books for Anglophiles | ‘The Name of the Star’, by Maureen Johnson

Over 100 years after the Jack the Ripper murders occurred in London, the violence and the mystery of the acts continue to consume people’s imaginations. When Rory arrives in London to attend school for a year, the first copycat Ripper murder has just occurred and Ripper Mania is beginning to take hold of the city. Coming from the New Orleans area, Rory finds herself in the center of a new world, forced to make new friends, quickly adjust to a new school and new culture, and thrust into the center of the new Ripper murders. Johnson has written an intriguing, thrilling mystery that presents fascinating characters, a hundred year old mystery with an intriguing twist, and makes the reader wish they were in the middle of London with the characters. While the focus is on the Jack the Ripper murders, the novel does not disclose extremely gruesome details, but does describe the murders, both current and historical, in some detail. This gripping novel will appeal to history buffs as well as fans of horror and mystery fiction. Reviewer: Danielle Williams

Know Your Stuff | The Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship

Please bear in mind that the following post is only a take on the Shakesperian authorship. It does not imply that I stand by it or not. If you want to know my stand on the matter, feel free to ask me. Please do leave your comments below!

The Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship proposes that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604), wrote the plays and poems traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. While a large majority of scholars reject all alternative candidates for authorship, with the editors of one scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s works writing in the introduction that such theories’ only redeeming feature is “unintended humour,” there is popular interest in various authorship theories. Since the 1920s, Oxford has been the most popular anti-Stratfordian candidate.

The convergence of documentary evidence of the type used by academics for authorial attribution—title pages, testimony by other contemporary poets and historians, and official records—sufficiently establishes Shakespeare’s authorship for the overwhelming majority of Shakespeare scholars and literary historians, and no evidence links Oxford to Shakespeare’s works. Oxfordians, however, reject the historical record, often proposing the conspiracy theory that it was falsified to protect the identity of the real author, often invoking the evidence against it and the dearth of evidence for any conspiracy as evidence of its success.Some Oxfordians believe that Shakespeare acted as a “front man,” receiving the plays from Oxford and pretending to have written them, but others claim that he was simply a merchant from Stratford who had nothing to do with the theatre.

The Oxfordian case is based on purported similarities between Oxford’s biography and events in Shakespeare’s narrative works; parallels of language, idiom, and thought between Oxford’s letters and the Shakespearean canon; and marked passages in Oxford’s Bible that appear in some form in Shakespeare’s plays. Oxfordians interpret the plays and poems as autobiographical and use the plays and poems to construct a hypothetical author, a method literary specialists consider arbitrary, subjective, and of no proven evidential value. Oxfordians deduce from the works that the author must have been an aristocrat of great formal learning, intimate with the Elizabethan court and widely travelled through the countries and cities mentioned in the plays. They say that this inferred profile of the author fits Oxford’s biography better than the documented biography of William Shakespeare.

Though Oxford died in 1604 before approximately 12 of the plays were written according to the generally-accepted chronology, Oxfordians say that regular publication of new, “newly augmented”, and “corrected” Shakespeare plays stopped with Oxford’s death in 1604,and they interpret certain written references to Shakespeare between 1604 and 1616 to mean that the writer was dead. In order to make the chronology fit Oxford’s lifespan, they date most of the plays earlier and say that the post-1604 plays, some of which show evidence of revision and collaboration, were completed by other playwrights for posthumous release.

Books for Anglophiles | ‘Growing Pains’, by Billie Piper

Growing PainsThis is an astonishingly candid insight into the world of Billie Piper. Famous since the age of 15 – first as the face of Smash Hits, then as a pop singer with  three No.1 hits in less than three years – Billie Piper has won over the critics and the British public for a second time by re-inventing herself as an actress in BBC productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Canterbury Tales and, of course, Doctor Who.

And that’s just the professional Billie. In this book, for the first time, she talks honestly about her whirwind romance and marriage to Chris Evans, about her battles with anorexia and the dark side of teen fame. Moving, funny and honest, this is a page-turning read by one of the nation’s favourite stars.

Books for Anglophiles | British Chick Lit!

I’m not a fan of this genre, if I am totally honest with you, but I know there are a lot of you out there who do, so I thought I’d post something on the matter. Even though it doesn’t really feel like Summer today, I expect sunny, warmer days to come rather soon. Let’s crack on, shall we?

  • Sophie Kinsella’s books: Sophie Kinsella is a name recognised worldwide thanks to her ‘Shopaholic’ series, including the extremely popular ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ (book #1).

  • Helen Fielding’s ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ + ‘The Edge of Reason’: I’ve only read the first one, but it is deliciously funny and perfect if you want a light, earnest and funny read whilst the kids are out playing.

  • Cecelia Ahern’s books, which include ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Love, Rosie’.

  • Jill Mansell’s books, including ‘Miranda’s Big Mistake’ and ‘Rumor Has It’.

I hope you enjoy your TBR (to be read) books! x

Books for Anglophiles | ‘Between You and Me’, by Lorraine Kelly

Scottish journalist and television host Lorraine Kelly has been great company for years: a sunny, vivacious, and lovable presence in British homes. Now it’s possible to get to know her even better as, for the first time, she opens up about her eventful life and tells her story in her own words. From her working-class childhood growing up in one of the toughest areas of Glasgow, to her early career in journalism during which she covered heartbreaking tragedies such as Dunblane and Lockerbie, and her gradual emergence as the undisputed Queen of Morning TV, Lorraine reveals a life like no other with characteristic warmth and charm. Entertaining, funny, and a little bit mischievous, her anecdotes are garnered from a lifetime of meeting, greeting, and interrogating the famous and infamous. Full of gossip, glamour, and Lorraine’s inimitable good sense, all read by the author, this is a book to settle on the sofa with.

Books for Anglophiles | ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’, by Jamie Oliver

Celebrating Britain’s very best food

Jamie grew up in one of the first true British “gastropubs”, which his Mum and Dad still run today. For him, the heart and soul of real British cooking is food that puts a smile on your face. And that’s what he wants to share in the new book: the essence of British food, done properly.

Over the years, British food culture has embraced flavours and influences from all the people who came and made Great Britain their home. The food reflects an open-minded culture as well as the country’s beauty. There are over 100 of Jamie’s favourite recipes: some are indisputable classics, some are his versions of the classics, some should be classics but just haven’t been made famous yet and others he’s made up from the great bounty of British produce.

Wherever you’re from, if you love food this book will offer you a little taste of happiness.

Books for Anglophiles | ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, sometimes referred to as The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock and Company in April 1891.

The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian’s beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil’s, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry’s world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a work of classic gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme.

Books for Anglophiles | The Fry Chronicles, by Stephen Fry

Thirteen years ago, Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge bestseller. In those thirteen years since, Stephen Fry has moved into a completely new stratosphere, both as a public figure, and a private man. Now he is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director and presenter. In January 2010, he was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. Much loved by the public and his peers, Stephen Fry is one of the most influential cultural forces in the country. This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you and, above all, surprise you.

Books for Anglophiles | The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to be British, by Sarah Lyall

Sarah Lyall moved to London in the mid-1990s and soon became known for amusing and sharp dispatches on her adopted country. Confronted by the eccentricities of these island people (the English husband who never turned on the lights, the legislators who behaved like drunken frat boys, the hedgehog lovers), she set about trying to figure out the British. Part anthropological field study and part memoir, The Anglo Files has already received great acclaim and recognition for the astuteness, humor, and sensitivity with which the author wields her pen.