Apple Pencil Review (non-artist)

For Christmas, I received an Apple Pencil, and as someone who is not an artist, I wanted to give it a little review. For those who don’t know, the Apple Pencil is basically a special stylus used only with the iPad Pro and can help digital artists and is also useful for other things.


Personally, I use it for editing my photos (as I do a lot of photography and therefore do a lot of photo editing) and for writing and I have to say that this is way better than a standard stylus you can buy for a low amount of money on somewhere online. It works with apps such as Notability to recognise the pencil (as it connects via Bluetooth) and to use it as if it were a pen on paper. It really does feel like you’re writing on paper with this which is fantastic for taking handwritten notes or annotating things and highlighting things. This means the Apple Pencil is fantastic for students who use an iPad Pro as their computer and for notetaking.

People may ask why you’d use the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro over a notebook, and to that, I say because you have much more access to different things, you could screenshot something from a textbook or the internet and annotate it, highlight it and write notes alongside it. It makes notetaking better and you have every single thing for all your subjects in one place.


The Apple Pencil itself kind of has this sort of palm recognition thing with the iPad so once the iPad recognises that you’re using the pencil, it won’t mess up if it feels your palm on the screen (especially great if you’re left-handed like me) and it’s great for notes, photo editing and for artists. A variety of people can use it for different reasons. I do however think the way to charge it is very odd and potentially dangerous as you take off the pen cap and plug it into the lightning port on the iPad. Or you can use the adapter for it so you can charge it with a cable instead of using your iPads battery to charge it. I find that plugging it into your iPad could be potentially dangerous as if someone or something knocks it, you could break your Pencil.

Overall, I do enjoy the Apple Pencil as it has a wide variety of uses, but it is very expensive, at £99, it is definitely an item you want to make sure you’re getting plenty of use out of to make it worth the money, but if you’re an artist, photographer who edits on the iPad Pro or a student who wants to use their iPad for notes for school, then I highly recommend it, but if you don’t think you’d use it much or you don’t have a specific use for it, I’d give it a pass.


Book Review – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

34187776Book: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This is a book that was on my list of top 10 books to read this year and I decided I had to get round to it as quickly as possible. The book sticks with part of the film where the Beast gives Belle the library and he seems to be becoming happier. It’s about Belle finding a book she’s never seen in the library before and she’s able to go into it. She does, as it provides a sort of escape into a new world, it gives her a break from her life in the castle. It helps her discover who her friends really are and it makes her realise how much she cares for Mrs Potts, Chip and even the Beast himself. It also opens up her determination as she wants to understand this new world she’s discovered but also opens an inquisitive side to her as she discovers things that aren’t quite right with this new world and the whole story can get very tense in some places. Belle seems much more open to discussing her past with those who live in the castle and that moment where she does talk about her life before the castle is a really sweet moment. Going away from Belle and more onto the Beast, we see more of a transformation of the Beast. There are more humorous moments with him and we see how much he truly cares for Belle and that he cares more for Belle than he lets everyone see. In all, the book is really well written and interesting and is a wonderful addition to the story of Beauty and the Beast.


Top 10 books I want to read in 2018

Like most book lovers, my tbr is huge, and there are always some books we want to read more than others on our tbr piles. So here are my top 10 books I want to read this year! Most of these I own but some I don’t yet but will do. This is in no particular order…

1. Still Me – Jojo Moyes

2. Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly

3. Victoria: A Life – A.N Wilson

4. Leia, Princess of Alderaan – Claudia Gray

5. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco

6. Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance – Oliver Bowden (a reread because I want to finish the series)

7. Fallen – Lauren Kate (as I want to read the whole series)

8. Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII – David Starkey

9. Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper – Paul Woods & Gavin Baddeley

10. Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tails – Justin Richards

Those are my top 10 although I want to read so many more books than that. As you can tell I like history and I’m weirdly fascinated by Jack the Ripper (and love Victoria & the Tudors) and there are 2 series in particular that I do really want to complete. What books do you really want to read this year? Please let me know!


Possible blog changes

So during my time on this blog I have attempted and tried to post at least once a week and for the most part I’ve been quite successful with that, but with the new year there may be some changes.

I’ll hopefully be doing open uni for photography soon (if I haven’t started already, as I’m writing this in late December) so I’m gonna be spending a lot of time on that and not every book I read will be something I want to review. I was trying to review every book I read but sometimes that just isn’t possible. I don’t particularly like reviewing non-fiction or classics, so I won’t be doing that and sometimes I just won’t be able to read that much anyway.

What I do want to do however is still try to post once a week, but it may not always be possible but I will try to post as close to once a week as I can. I have a few reviews of tech stuff I want to do soon, and I will most likely try to do some book hauls or bookish related tags or things along those lines and maybe even branch out to posting things that aren’t just tech or books. It’ll just take time for me to think of things and write and post but I guess that’ll be okay. I want to enjoy the content I’m posting and I probably won’t enjoy it as much if I’m forcing myself to come out with certain things just to try to stick to a particular schedule. It’s a place to write my thoughts and feelings on things and share experiences of things I enjoy.

I hope you guys will stick around though and I look forward to posting new content soon (I already have some more posts scheduled ready).


Book Review – The Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen (ARC)

36523097Book: The Taxonomy of Love

Author: Rachael Allen

Format: eBook

Rating: 4/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date for this book is the 9th of January 2018. This book is from the perspective of Spencer Barton, a 13-year-old boy with Tourette’s Syndrome. This book is in 6 parts plus an epilogue, so we go through the book from him aged 13 to age 19. It revolves around him meeting his new neighbour, Hope Birdsong when they were both 13 (at the beginning of the book) and their developing friendship, but Spencer struggles with the feelings he has developed for her, as well as suffering from his Tourette’s. The book also contains messages and letters from Hope (and her sister) during a very tough and traumatic time in her life, but Spencer wants to support her. At times their friendship was very confusing and the book really did have you feeling for Spencer and Hope. Hope seemed like the only person who truly understood and accepted Spencer, which is a massive thing within this novel, and Spencer just wants to fit in as he is teased because of his Tourette’s and because he knows so many things about bugs and random facts and hope accepts that and even is as ‘weird’ as he is made out to be by other people. This book isn’t just about love, but acceptance, understanding, growing up and friendship and finding a passion for something, which Spencer most definitely does. Both Spencer and Hope go through so much together (and apart) but they remain friends, even though their friendship could be a bit rocky and confusing at times like previously said. They develop as characters and as you would between 13 and 19, and Spencer overcomes so many things to do with his Tourette’s and I felt like you could really root for him and I felt so happy for him at times even though he’s fictional. It was a lovely book and had so much more involved than just love. I highly recommend this when it comes out in January.


Book Review – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (ARC)

36582334Book: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Format: eBook

Rating: 5/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date is the 11th of January 2018 and is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, who are survivors of Auschwitz. It begins in 1942 and we follow Lale who is a Jew who works as the tattooist between Auschwitz and Birkenau. It’s in a third person perspective with occasional insight into the thoughts of Lale. I absolutely loved this book and thought it was a powerful and emotional story of survival in such an awful time. I’ve always found books and information to do with the Holocaust and that era very interesting because it amazes me how people could be so cruel and how horrible it must have been to have been punished for being something you can’t help, whether that be your skin colour, ethnic background, religion or sexuality, it horrifies me that people were treated so cruelly but it is so inspiring to see how people survived such terrible events. Lale is such a wonderful, amazing man who uses his power as the tattooist to help others, he is truly an amazing man and Gita is also such a strong woman and they have such a powerful connection. I will say now that this book has themes of violence, bad language, sex, death and love, so it may not be suitable for younger readers, but still, it was such an amazing and interesting book. The dates are frequently mentioned throughout the book, which really gives an insight into how long Lale and Gita have had to deal with what has been thrown at them during their time in the camps and how amazing it is that they have survived so much. The hope of freedom, which is something a lot of us really do take for granted, is something that helps them get through the day, it gives them a reason to survive and wake up and do whatever they can in the hopes of being free. This story is such an emotional one that I found myself really pacing through this book, I found it so difficult to put down. The ending even contains an epilogue for what happened after the book to the real Lale and Gita and how he just wanted to get his story out there and how strong their love was. It was beautiful and inspiring and I hope others pick up this book when it is released next year. I highly recommend this, especially if you find this sort of thing fascinating.


Book Review – Tarkin by James Luceno

25614845Book: Tarkin

Author: James Luceno

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is basically about how Wilhuff Tarkin (known in the book as Governor Wilhuff Tarkin and Moff Tarkin) and how he became Grand Moff Tarkin, as we know him in Star Wars. It’s in a third person perspective and most of the time is focalised through Tarkin himself, as it contains an insight into his childhood/teenage years and how it shaped him into the man we know in Star Wars. It did jump from past to present quite suddenly at times which could be confusing but it was nice having that insight into his younger years. The writing was both detailed and straight to the point. It was very factual as you’d expect from a Star Wars book to do with Tarkin but I did at moments find it to drag a bit. I also couldn’t help but picture Tarkin as Peter Cushing (as he is portrayed on the cover) and just imagining that made it enjoyable as I am a fan of Peter Cushing. Both Darth Vader and Palpatine are involved in this book and it’s interesting to see how the relationship, particularly between Vader and Tarkin, develops, especially as Tarkin is somewhat intrigued by Vader and has his suspicions that Vader is indeed Anakin Skywalker (who he once fought beside). The book is pretty much a Vader and Tarkin adventure and is filled with action in places and can be quite suspenseful! Although some places, as previously said, are a tiny bit confusing and are very heavy on the descriptions. Overall, I did still enjoy this book and I do recommend it to Star Wars fans as getting to learn more about Tarkin was very interesting and it does kind of give insight into why Darth Vader actually listens to Tarkin. It was nice to see a book about the evil side without necessarily portraying it as such.