Thursday, 21 January 2016

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit // Book Review

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit was one of the best books I have ever read. Now let me attempt to tell you why. The Great Gatsby by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Bloody Chamber by the legendary Angela Carter are two of my favourite books to date - largely because of the impeccable writing style that flows through both. Anna and the Swallow Man was one such book. I feel like I'm giving compliments without explaining or justifying them like I normally do, and I probably am. But my God, the writing. I haven't read anything so beautiful in a long time.

I haven't read a wartime story since childhood, so this is not a book I would read if I hadn't won it - I used to read a lot of Michael Morpurgo and I distinctly remember How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, but in the recent past books like The Book Thief just haven't seemed up my street. I am glad I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, because it definitely was up my street. It broke my heart, but in a good way. I didn't understand the ending, and I didn't care. It was beautiful, extraordinary even, and I recommend it to anyone who likes fiction. Or non-fiction. So basically, everybody.

It follows Anna and 'the Swallow Man' as they walk. Just walk. Just a heads up - you don't know where they're walking and you don't know why, but that's not the point. The one mystery you may wonder about is who the Swallow Man is. He never reveals his name to Anna, but you get the impression that he is very important to the war. I for one, would love to know who he is based on, if anybody. Sadly, unless there is a sequel (please, God, let there be a sequel), I may never find out. Even then I may never find out! Gavriel Savit, why do you do this to me?!

I loved this book, a lot. Rating: 4.75 stars/5.

*Although this was sent to me in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, all opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.*

Are you an author or publisher looking for book bloggers to review your book(s)? Look no further! My book reviews page tells you everything you need to know.

Moving Into 2016 // Goals For The Year

Hey ladies and gents! Due to the nature of my job, I haven't been able to post as much as I would like over the Christmas/new year period (and then, of course, my free time is spent with my family and boyfriend, or on book reviews that I'm obligated to write) - and that's okay, because I'm straight back now that things have quieted down a little. In case you missed it, I did find time to write a short 2016 goals post over at, and thought I would do something of the same kind here on To Blog Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure.

  1. In 2015, I joined #TheGirlGang (post about that here), and so far it has had a big influence on me. I made time to take part in the Twitter chats, which are invaluable to me, and as a result of that I now have three pen pals in the forms of @beingleahbrogan, @whtlrblggdnxt and @whitnxy. My last first letter is going out today, ooh! My first goal is to write as regularly as possible to all three.
  2. My second goal is to meet up with some other #TheGirlGang members. I'm in luck there, because there is some talk of me going to a certain lunch with some other East Midlands bloggers in February!
  3. Big goal - I would like to finally succeed in finding myself an apprenticeship. I've been searching for over a year, so fingers crossed it happens for me soon. 
  4. I want to make regular posts on my blog. In the past I have posted as and when I felt like it, but although that approach is more relaxed, I want to start making more of an effort with my blog, advertising it a lot more and whatnot.
  5. Another big goal - I want to pass my driving test in the next few months. I am getting minimal driving lessons at the moment as my instructor is in such demand and there have been a few miscommunications, but it always helps to stay positive about big things like that.
  6. By the time I'm 20 (January 2017) I want to move out of my dad & his fiancee's new place. I'm happy they're happy, but it's really time I moved on. I'm not sure it will happen as soon as I want it to, but it can't hurt to give myself a time frame and work towards it - it'll only mean I'm more prepared when it finally does happen.
  7. I used to love learning Italian and I don't quite understand why I stopped using the Duolingo app. This is another thing I need to get back into, as I would like to know a substantial amount of Italian before I head over there.
  8. In 2015, I read 23 books, missing my goal by a total of 2. This year I want to really step it up and read 26 in 2016, whilst continuing to write reviews for authors and publishing houses. I'm going to aim for 10 reviews, but hopefully I will exceed that.
  9. For those of you who don't know, I used to make silly vlogs with my friend Paige, so I am no stranger to the likes of YouTube. Although I love to blog and write reviews on Goodreads and whatnot, I've always liked the idea of getting back in front of the camera and heading on over to booktube. (Watch this space!)
  10. Obviously, I want to spend more time with my friends, my mum and my boyfriend. As I don't live with any of these three groups of people, they are the ones I really need to make more time for.
  11. In 2015 I joined the Of Tomes Publishing street team (which means I show my followers cool extracts and new covers on their behalf - kind of like free advertising). I am happy to be associated with them as I respect and admire the founder - Benjamin - a great deal. I bought my first Of Tomes paperback this year and I hope to continue to support them as they grow!
  12. I aim never to have less than £100 in usable money. (i.e. Meaghan, don't spend everything in your current account!).
What are your 2016 goals?