My Christmas Reading Bucket List (2015)

As an author, it’s always important to read many good books. For me, that’s been hard as I always leave it after reading the first chapter or in the middle of the novel. But this year, I’ve decided to change my ways and trying to read as many as I can. Some, I might read again (ones that are highlighted in bold) and there’ll be new books to look at too. Here are my top books to read this Christmas:

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Shakespeare Curse by J.L. Carrell

Jane – the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Geek Girl: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale

Girl Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg

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My Summer Reading Bucket List (2015) (*Last and Final Update*)

Update: Finished reading my fourth novel; just written the review. To read, see below:

https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/back-to-black-facing-mid-life-crisis-and-beginning-life-all-over-again-in-a-whole-new-light/

As an author, it’s always important to read many good books. For me, that’s been hard as I always leave it after reading the first chapter or in the middle of the novel. But this year, I’ve decided to change my ways and trying to read as many as I can. Some, I might read again (ones that are highlighted in bold) and there’ll be new books to look at too. Here are my top books to read this summer:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Girl Online by Zoe Snugg

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Jane – the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

The Meeting That No One Knew About – My Top Ten Elvis and Beatles Songs

Elvis Presley and The Beatles – two of the greatest musicians of all time. One’s a solo American singer, while the other was a British band, who composed and wrote their own songs. But what if they actually met in person? That’s really what happened.

Fifty years ago, on 27 August 1965, two of the world’s iconic musical stars, met for the first and only time. It was a big event in Music History, where The Beatles had a night off from their current U.S Tour. Elvis were the band’s inspiration for their music and I bet meeting the King of Rock and Roll was quite an honour. However, we never had a full, proper record of the meeting as Elvis decided to not to let any of the media enter his Beverly Hills mansion. But all was not lost.

Days after the 50th Anniversary, the English Radio station BBC Radio 2 hosted an event throughout the whole Bank Holiday Monday (31st August 2015). The programme was sharing Britain’s choice of their favourite Top Fifty Elvis and Beatles songs of all time, followed by a special programme called When Elvis Met the Beatles, to commemorate the occasion.

I listened to the programme on the day of it’s broadcast and I loved it; I even sang along to all the Elvis and Beatles songs (although The Beatles are my favourite; sorry Elvis fans). I really recommend having a listen to it, if you can.

To read the 2011 BBC News article about the event, click the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15126945

To listen to When Elvis Met the Beatles online, click the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06671z4

So, in honour of the meeting, I, myself will share my top five favourite Elvis and Beatles songs. For The Beatles, I have updated my list of favourite, since I’ve already published another post of my favourite Beatles songs.

Link to previous Beatles songs post: https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/twist-shout-dream-and-sing-my-top-ten-beatles-songs/

So, without further ado, I give my top five favourite Elvis and Beatles songs. 🙂

Top Five Elvis Songs

5. Return to Sender

4. Can’t Help Falling in Love

3. Suspicious Minds

2. (You’re the) Devil in Disguise

1. Jailhouse Rock

Top Five Beatles Songs

5. Help

4. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

3. With A Little Help From My Friends

2. Hello, Goodbye

1. She Loves You

And now, it’s over to you; who is your favourite artists – Elvis or The Beatles. What’s your favourite song by them?

I hope you enjoyed reading this special post; and don’t forget to enjoy rock and roll and pop, in it’s own creative and musical way. 😉

Back to Black, Facing Mid-Life Crisis and Beginning Life All Over Again (In a Whole New Light)

Book Title: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

 

Author: Helen Fielding

 

Date of Publication: 2013

 

Genre: Comedy Novel

Can you imagine being a widow, a fifty-something-year-old single mother, have an ex f**kwit boyfriend as your children’s godfather, and a back up babysitter (excuse my French); having sex with a toy boy who you’ve seen for a few weeks, a mother trying to hook you up with a horny pensioner and feeling humiliated by your children’s P.E teacher? Well, that’s the life of our favourite British character – Bridget Jones – sixteen years after the events of Edge of Reason.

So, what’s the story? Bridget Jones is facing a mid-life, tragic crisis. SPOILER ALERT (YOU’VE BEEN WARNED) It’s been four years since the unexpected death of Mark Darcy and Bridget is struggling to maintain her life, looking after her two children, William (or “Billy”, as he’s known), aged seven and Mabel, aged four. She’s given up on romance, planning to put her family first. When she hands the children over to the nanny, Chloe, Bridget sorrows over Mark. However, her life is about to change when Bridget’s friends, Tom, Jude and new friend, Talitha propose ideas for Bridget to get laid; by doing so, she will never no longer be a “Born Again Virgin”. From there, Bridget goes to a diet clinic, goes into mishaps, and bumping into P.E. Teacher Mr Wallaker; attempting to write a screenplay, joining Twitter, and through there, meeting and dating a boy – twenty to thirty years her junior. What mishaps will Bridget get into next and will she ever be happy again?

If you are a frequent follower, you will know that I’m a huge fan of the Bridget Jones films and compare her life to mine. But my biggest shame is that I have never, ever read any of the books (I wonder if Helen Fielding will tell off for this). So, I decided to go backwards and start reading Mad About the Boy. Properly naughty of me, but I’ve seen the two films – I may go back to the books and compare them between the films.

1020-bks-Lyall-sub-videoSixteenByNine600

Oh, how times have changed…

And, I adored reading Mad About the Boy. I place this in my Top 20 Best Books I’ve Ever Read (even though I’ve haven’t made a list of my own – yet). Helen Fielding’s latest novel is, in my opinion, a masterpiece in it’s own right. Never, for one second, I got bored and wanted to place it back on the shelf; it was just specular, like a jewel in a crown.

I really like the storyline; there were times when I laughed out loud, wolf-whistled and growled, as if I was reading a screenplay or I was playing a relative of Bridget’s, reading her diary while uncovering her positions in her attic. It was pretty clever, entertaining and charming. The humour was so easy to follow; I couldn’t stop laughing for a minute or two. I can honestly say that Helen Fielding is the Queen of British Literature. I applaud her, with all the strength that my hands can clap; a job well done.

I love Bridget in the novel; I admired her character, and enthusiasm to adapt her screenplay, her efforts to help her children and be a good girlfriend for Roxster. And her mistakes are more hilarious than ever – especially when Bridget has to deal problems with head lice, spreading around her children, friends and Roxster.

Also, I was really touched by Bridget’s struggles including her obsession with the loss of Mark and her battle through depression. I nearly cried, throughout these chapters: from her failure as a single mother to her fear of ever being loved again. These are the feelings we all go through – whether we are divorced, widowed, single, old or young.

There were also really touching moments about Bridget and her children, when they were talking about Mark. In one chapter, Billy, and Mabel made Father’s Day cards at school and wanted to address them to him. So when Bridget showed them pictures of Mark, she agreed to put them, on top of his grave. I was almost in tears, feeling the loss of these three – mother and her children – who still deeply miss their father/husband. I’m no mother, but I know what it’s like to lose someone close to your heart and Helen Fielding describes these situations very well. :’)

In conclusion, I highly, desperately recommend reading Mad About the Boy. It is a marvel; better than a magazine, or The Princess Diaries. It is a fascinating read (especially if you are a Bridget Jones fan) and you won’t be disappointed. Have you get the chance, buy it, or order it from the library and read it today! Or tomorrow, if it’s late in the day for you. It’ll be the best read of your half-lives. 🙂

Monday Travel Songs – Italia-rific!

Welcome to Monday Travel Songs, where I post and share geographic songs from all over the world. In this week’s post, we’ll be travelling to Italy, where we’ll celebrating their national anthem, in style. 🙂

Week Number Three –  Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians or Mameli’s Hymn) by Goffredo Mameli and Michele Novaro: 

About the Song

The Italian National Anthem was composed in 1847 – the lyrics were first to see the light of day, in Genoa when a twenty-year-old student and patriot, Goffredo Mameli wrote them during a war against Austria; the reason for this was because Italy wanted independence.
Two months later, Michele Novaro composed the music.
Strangely enough, the Anthem was first created as a Hymn during the Risorgimento Period; it quickly became popular, spreading across the country. This popularity still continues to this day.
Why Did I Choose This Song?

Although I don’t choose National Anthems, I think this song is a wonderful example of celebrating a country and the Italian National Anthem is a really example of this. Another reason for choosing this song is that I’m quarter of Italian and I want to celebrate my Italian roots. 🙂

Now, it’s over to you. What’s your favourite from Italy and why? What part of the world would you like for me to go next Monday? Please let me know in the comments below. 😊

1 Decision Can Change Your Blog Forever!

Dream Big, Dream Often

photo 1I enjoy social media.  Twitter is my new favorite after breaking up with Facebook after a long-term relationship! (lol)  The reason I find social media so powerful is I am able to talk with people who visit my page on a more personal level.  They are able to get snippets of my life that I do not share on Dream Big; AND vice versa!

It allows for a deeper connection which is why we all blog, right?!  It stands to reason that you want people reading and returning to your page, correct?!  Then go to Twitter and Facebook right now and register a page for your blog, then link those pages to your blog page.  That one simple decision can bring you hundreds more views and visits each month!

Here is a link to my social media pages:

CLICK HERE FOR DREAM BIG’S SOCIAL MEDIA

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Please Accept Me For Who I Am: How Should You Tell Your Blind Date/s That You Have Autism

“You’ve said on your profile that you’re autistic?” That’s one question one I got asked when I started online dating. And before you ask; yes, I did write on my profile that I have Autism – and I don’t regret it.

When I started online dating, I decided to be open and honest about myself because I wanted to make new friends, as well as finding a possible future lover.

According to Dating Sites Reviews. com, 91 million people worldwide use dating apps and 7 in 10 of these users are between 16 and 34 years old. So when you think of how many users go online, how many of them tell the truth? You don’t know. However, you’ll know if they’re interested in you and message you privately. That’s what happened with me, involving a couple of users – half of them stopped contacting, weeks after we exchanged; the rest are still in conversation with me.

And, I don’t feel bad about myself because there’ll be plenty fish in the sea. When I got in and lost contact with my first guy, I did feel disappointed and confused. In time, I began to realise that not contacting me back is their loss; they never confessed that they didn’t want to contact me anyone, but I guess that’s boy talk for, “I’m done with you”. However, they may contact again, but I cannot guarantee that it’ll happen.

Before that stage happened, everything was building up; we got to know each other like what we study, work and lives. Most of their lives were extremely interesting; each person reminded me of an interesting character in a William Shakespeare play, a Jane Austin novel or one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock series. I couldn’t believe that there were so many fascinating lives in the world. And this, the concept of online dating, has taught me something – it’s fun (in the words of my closet friends,”it’s like exploring a sweet shop”) and educational. There, you can learn, through others, about different cultures that are happening all over the world and what happens in their lives, like the subjects they study at University for example.

But when it came to the Autistic part, I knew I had to speak the truth. I had many questions from them – “what’s it’s like being Autistic” and “how does it affect you?” When I was younger, I felt uncomfortable talking about it but since I became one of the 91 million online dating users, my confidence grew and grew. And what I replied to them was the truth. Not the truth that I just gabble on and on, without stopping to look. But the truth that I take to write and re-write, taken straight from my heart. And with that, I leave them to judge their opinion. So far, I’ve had positive, confused and some, out of tone responses. None of them have been negative (thank goodness). However, I don’t know what I’m going to receive next time. It may be good; it may not. As long as I’m comfortable speaking about Autism, that’s all it matters to me.

Can online dating improve your life? Possibly. Can it teach you something? Absolutely! That’s why I highly recommend it. Time maybe changing, but in a way that you may not expect it to be.

If you are considering online dating, then don’t be afraid to start today; it could change your life. Whither you are Autistic or not, it could be an excellent way to start new turns in your relationships and friendships. It certainly did for me. However, it may take a while before you might find the right people – possibly years (which is similar to finding love, off the screen). But don’t lose hope; love can happen to everyone – we all deserve it. But remember when you sign up and thinking of what information to write on your profile – Just be Yourself! Don’t get carried away or lie your way around situations; that’s not the answer to make new friends or a future love.

Also, don’t be afraid to share your hobbies and your daily life. You may meet fantastic people, who may share the same activities as you! You could be very lucky this way, as sharing them can make a relationship and/or friendships stronger.

As for me, I’ll continue to seek new friendships and possible lovers, until I reach success – it may take a while, but I’m not giving up that easily. 😉