Review: Naked Heat Palette by Urban Decay

IMG_7113[1]This is definitely going to be a new and very different kind of blog post from me today! Whilst books are always going to form the vast majority of my reviews and will always be my greatest passion, there are various other things which I love to use and write about. Fairly recently I wrote one of my first travel pieces (post here) and loved doing it, so today I thought I’d branch out even further and talk to you about something completely different; make up.

In the interests of honesty I will say that I am by no means the biggest follower of beauty trends and I am definitely not the most skilled at applying my make up. Having said that, whilst I do think that specific beauty bloggers are incredibly talented and great to read/watch when you want the best advice, I personally think it can be just as nice to find someone who is perhaps a bit more relatable in their approach and closer to my own skill sets. As such, I hope that you enjoy this post for what it is – someone who likes makeup talking about a new favourite product.

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Review: Sanctuary by William Faulkner

IMG_7058[1]I’m sure it’s glaringly obvious by now that I am a huge lover of classic fiction, particularly that of the Victorian era. Whilst I try to keep my reading quite varied, picking novels from across different periods, I always seem to slip somewhat when it comes to more modern classics. Maybe it’s the closer proximity to our own time that makes me less likely to pick it up, or the fact that they don’t seem to inspire quite as much nostalgia.  Either way, I do want to read more modern classics, which was what led me to pick up my first William Faulkner book, Sanctuary.

Written in the 1930’s by this American author, the novel tells the somewhat broad story of Temple Drake, a young college girl of good social standing who is abducted and later abused. Set during the Prohibition, the novel introduces criminal characters such as Pop-Eye, bootleggers such as Lee Goodwin and brothel owners like Miss Reba, all the while examining themes of justice, crime and violence.

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Review: Histories by Sam Guglani

IMG_6989[1]Everyone once in a while a book comes along where the contents match the cover design perfectly. Histories by Sam Guglani is one such book. As soon as it landed on my doorstep I was left speechless by the sheer beauty of the book. Theoretically it should be a bit morbid, with the cover depicting what looks to be an x-ray of a chest. Yet it has this etherealness to it, a quality matched by the strange appearance of a crescent moon, which gives the cover a stunning and intriguing appearance. As soon as I started reading the book I could see that these qualities were going to be matched by the actual prose and subject matter.

Histories is best explained as a series of short interlinking stories which work together to form one coherent novel. With a hospital as its main backdrop, this novel follows the comings and goings which take place over one week, looking at the ‘histories’ and stories of those who lives are somehow touched by the existence of this building. These stories work together to create a poignant account of how lives can collide and interlink, all bound together by this hospital. It’s an emotional, raw and very honest portrayal which will make you think twice about our fellow human beings.

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Review: Buster by Will Barrow

IMG_7008[1]As many of you may already know, this month it’s Non-Fiction November. Started on BookTube, Non-Fiction November is pretty self explanatory; it aims to increase the amount of non-fiction books which readers would normally consume, getting people excited to read the vast array of work which is out there. If you don’t read any non-fiction, then you could participate by reading one such book. If you read five a month, then you could try to read six. There are no rules, just a desire to see people read more than they would normally do. I don’t think I read an incredible amount of non-fiction as opposed to fiction, but that being said I do read some every now and then. Recent examples include A History of Heavy Metal, The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar and The Book of Forgotten Authors.

Whilst I’m not setting myself any strict goals, I would like to try to participate in some way, so I thought what better way to start the month than with a particular favourite kind of non-fiction of mine; canine military memoir. I know that sounds pretty niche, but it’s amazing how many of these books are actually out there. As a lover of history and an absolute adorer of dogs, I love learning about the incredible work they do alongside their human handlers, risking their lives to protect those around them. These kinds of books are often bittersweet; tinged with the unavoidable sadness and loss of war yet also incredibly inspiring, proving once more the amazing abilities dogs possess. Buster: the Dog Who Saved a Thousand Lives, is a perfect example of this, with the book following Springer Spaniel Buster and his handler, RAF Police Flight Sergeant Will Barrow, as they try to fight back against the deadly threat of the Taliban.

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Review: The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier

IMG_6983[1]I feel like the works of Daphne Du Maurier has experienced somewhat of a revival over the last few years. You can delve into many of the great BookTube channels online and find her mentioned in countless TBR’s and book recommendations. Personally, I completely understand and fully embrace this. I read my first Du Maurier book, Rebecca, many years ago now, back when I had just started my A levels. I’d never really seen any hype for the author back then and was understandably amazed by how brilliant the book was. Since then I’ve gone on to read Jamaica Inn and The House on the Strand and really enjoyed both, but I still felt like I was missing out on a crucial aspect of her works, specifically her short story collections. After seeing the collection The Birds and Other Stories doing the rounds on BookTube, and with the thick of Autumn now here, I found myself craving that eerie and distinctive Du Maurier writing.

The Birds and Other Stories is actually quite a short collection, with my edition coming in at less than 250 pages. Likewise, this collection only actually contains six stories, so I figured this was probably a good way to ease myself in, especially considering I have limited experience with short stories and a low success rate. Obviously the title story here is pretty iconic, with Hitchcock creating a film adaptation, but I’d never really heard of any of the others, so was extremely unsure what I would think.

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Review: The Confession by Jo Spain

IMG_6974[1]I’ve been on a bit of a binge this month when it comes to dark, suspense filled books, especially where crime is concerned. All of this is of course a necessary result of the arrival of Halloween and autumn. Yet, whilst I’ve enjoyed many of these books, there’s been once such category which has still left me craving more; psychological thrillers and dramas. I enjoy nothing more than a twisted tale which really examines the mindset and triggers which can lead to someone committing dreadful acts. The more character driven it is, the better, but sadly I find a fast plot often overshadows something as crucial as this. I recently read Without a Word  by Kate McQuaile, a book which I personally felt suffered from this . As such, I’ve been on the hunt for something a bit more awe-inspiring.

To go back to the topic of crime, I recently read the latest installment of Jo Spain’s Inspector Tom Reynolds series, Sleeping Beauties. I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite never having read the previous two books in the series. Yet there was more to come; at the end of Sleeping Beauties I was given an insight into another new book by Jo Spain, The Confession.  From this tiny little extract I was immediately hooked, caught up in the violence and intrigue which this first chapter produced. When I recount the main crux of the novel, I think you will understand why:

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