• Ciannon

My pick: Top 3 half-term reads

If I knew that my last student holiday would be the last time I could lay in bed reading until my eyes crossed and generally doing jack-all, I would have treasured it a lot more.


Having been enticed into the working world by the seductive whispers of a salary, I can no longer do that.

-Warning: this seductive voice is a master manipulator, be on your guard always-

Starting June this year I became a trainee teacher- an English one at that! This coming Friday marks the start of my first half-term break and I have been anticipating this bad boy since the second week in September... Do not get me wrong, I love my job. I love reading through my kids' work and seeing words I have used in class woven- almost always in the correct context... sometimes- into their sentences.

I love my job, but it keeps trying to ruin the relationship sleep and I have been building for the past 22 years. Next week is all about continuing our love affair and, you guessed it, reading!

In my final year of Uni, I purchased and read more books than I had space for in my small room. Approximately five of those books were related to my degree, the other 50+ my not so guilty pleasure.

With the rush of planning lessons, having to comb my hair on a daily basis (no hats allowed in work I am afraid), I have not had the time I would like to read the books I have been aching to read this year.

The list below is how I will spend the 6 days I have off from work. I'll also be planning a scheme of work, marking mock GCSE questions, marking books and going to the gym, but let me stop before I ruin the romantic illusion of books, Egyptian Cotton sheets and vanilla wall plugs.

1.The Fires of Calderon (The Balance Keepers #1)

After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Lindsay Cummings is a twenty-something-year-old wonder to me. Her debut The Murder Complex is ideal for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

2.Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant #7)

Magic is a disease. Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Infected by a rare strain of magic, they are unwittingly endangering their own lives and the lives of the people around them. Terrified and confused, their only hope lies with the Sanctuary. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever.

Derek Landy is a 'laugh out loud' kind of author. My younger brother had been trying to make me read this series for years, but it took a free copy of book 1 handed to me at a teachers' conference (go for the freebies) to get me reading this.

I wish I started earlier.

3. Persuasion

Eight years before the story begins, Anne Elliot is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret.

When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

I have read this book more times than I care to mention but come on, it's Austen. This book is featured on the list so I remember that patience is a virtue and Bath is a place I aparently must visit.

Two more days and I can remember what it feels like to simply be.

What books will you be reading over the half-term?

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© Ciannon Smart 2019