Tag Archives: books

Miss Dotty’s Weekly Journal- Books and Travel

Weekly JournalHello! Today I wanted to share a few highlights from this past week.



Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- see my thoughts here.

The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow

The World According to Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow


Quiet by Susan Cain

Beneath the Neon Sky (Ellie Quin) by Alex Scarrow

(Note- I was first introduced to Alex Scarrow via his book Last Light which is one of my all time favourite books and then I eventually read his Time Riders series for YA and now he has released Ellie Quin. They are very readable hence managing nearly three in three days!)


Number 1 Royal Crescent

Well this week has been half term and it has been lovely. Last Friday I did something very unusual and left school soon after the children. Eek! It felt very naughty but necessary as Mr Dotty and I were travelling down to Bath that evening for a mini break away. We spent a few days in Bath, a few days in Bristol and then a day or so in the Forest of Dean. As always we wished it could be longer but we managed to fit in a lot each day and I would love to know how many miles we walked!

Bath and Bristol Collage

As well as lots of mooching around exploring the respective destinations we also visited the Fashion Museum in Bath which had a wonderful exhibition of Georgian clothing and Number 1 Royal Crescent which had been closed for refurbishment the last time we went. As a History undergraduate I absolutely adored both places and could quite easily have spent much longer devouring the information shared about the periods on display.  Our stay in Bristol was made even better by the gorgeous hotel we stayed in. Once we settled we then did the usual exploration and focused on the Aquarium and At Bristol which we both loved. The Mr is a science geek so he was in his element and I wished I could take my class there as they would love it! An embarrassing moment came in the Planetarium show where, despite the really interesting talk and show, I may have fallen asleep and had to be nudged by Mr Dotty to wake up. Oops! We also visited the ss Great Britain which was a really impressive exhibit and I would recommend to anyone visiting Bristol. The final part of our holiday was spent with Mr Dotty’s nan in her house in the Forest of Dean.


It is a beautiful part of the country and we used the time to catch up, reminisce over family, read and I managed to catch up on some blog reading. We stayed a bit longer than planned due to Mr Dotty’s nan having a fall but have finally arrived back home and to reality! It was a thoroughly fantastic time away from work and to just have time to think, reflect and make decisions.  And also spend quality time with Mr D. And buy books. And buy lovely polka dot scarf. And a notebook. And eat nice food. So yes a fantastic week and I could definitely get used to hotel living!

How was your week? Did you read any good books or visit anywhere new? Please share in the comments below!

Kelly Dotty


Miss Peregrine and Vintage Photos

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs had been on my wishlist for a while after I had seen it mentioned on numerous occasions online but it wasn’t a book I knew much about. So when on Saturday I found myself in a bookshop with birthday vouchers to spend (woohoo!) I was pleasantly surprised to see this book standing up on the table and waving at me. Well maybe it didn’t quite get up and wave but let’s just say after a little mooch around the shop the book and a lovely notebook were nestled in my handbag.

Miss Peregrine front cover

Even though I had packed my suitcase with about ten books I decided to start it that night and about an hour ago I finished it. It wasn’t totally what I was expecting (I was expecting more horror) but it was still a great read and I can’t wait to read the follow on novel.

Miss Peregrine back cover

A bit of the back cover blurb to entice you!

What I really liked about the book was the inclusion of real photographs to add to the story being told. At the end of the book an interview with Ransom Riggs is included in which he talks about the origins of the book. When talking about collecting vintage photographs he says “It was just a casual hobby, nothing serious, but I noticed that among the photos I found, the strangest and most intriguing ones were always of children.” The book certainly made me wonder at the history of the many photographs he included within the pages of Miss Peregrine.

At the end of the book there is also a sneak peek at the first chapter of the next book. I have realised I never read these as I always like to have the whole story ready in my hands to enjoy. Does anyone else do this or am I the only one? Have you read Miss Peregrine? What did you think? I would love to read your comments below!


An A to Z of Books


I first saw this A to Z of books on Planet Millie and after you have finished here I recommend you go and read her great post. You can start tracking back to other people who have blogged about the A to Z list and, if you are as geeky as me and love to read about what people are reading, you will find some good reads! To whoever started the A to Z I have to say thank you so much as it was really fun to fill in. If it was you let me know and I will add in a link to you!

So without further ado here is my A to Z of books!

Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

There are a few authors I have read several books from but the ones that spring to mind are Stephen King, Roald Dahl, Sue Grafton and M.C. Beaton.

Best Sequel Ever:

I don’t know if this is truly the best sequel I have ever read but again it is the first that springs into mind and that is the rest of the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

Currently Reading:

I have a few books on the go at the moment which are a mix of some teaching books, children’s books, The Library Book which is a collection by a variety of authors and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Water, diet coke or wine.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I use both but tend to buy and read physical books a lot more as my bookcases will attest.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Um…nope can’t think of anyone at the moment but when I do I will update this section!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Wuthering Heights! I tried it years and years ago and hated it so put it back on the shelves for a few more years and then picked it up again and really liked it. It taught me never to write off a book completely as you never know when it will suit a different time in your life.

Hidden Gem Book:

Last Light by Alex Scarrow. I don’t tend to find many other people who have read it but I really loved it and still recommend it a lot to others.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

1) Getting a library card.

2) Earning money so I could buy my own books.

3) Finding other bibliophiles on the internet!

Just Finished:

The Hollow by Agatha Christie.

Kind of Books You Won’t Read:

I am not a huge fan of romance sagas but generally I like to try a wide variety of books.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

This is probably The Stand by Stephen King.

Major book hangover because of:

Probably a few!

Number of Bookcases You Own:

6 bookcases (one double stacked with books), a variety of boxes with books stored in and piles dotted around my desk and the rest of the house. Plus my recommended box at school.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Some of my journaling books like The Awe-Manac and the SARK books.

Preferred Place To Read:

Anywhere really but at home the bed is most popular at the moment because our sofa is so uncomfortable.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

Keeping a list of quotes is something I always mean to do but never do! Must do!

Reading Regret:

I haven’t read more classics but luckily I have the power to change that!

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

Hunger Games

The Dark Tower

Agatha Raisin

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

I hate these questions because it changes all the time! I would have to say at the moment Last Light by Alex Scarrow, Flood by Stephen Baxter and The Stand by Stephen King. And yes I have spotted the theme there!

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

dystopian novels.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Anything by a favourite author!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Reading lots of books at the same time and then leaving one or two to languish on my desk for ages.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

Your latest book purchase:

The Library Book by Various.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. A book for teachers but it had me awake until the early hours finishing it!

Love Books? World Book Day Plea!



My day job is teaching awesome children and sharing my passion for books. On Thursday it is World Book Day and I am leading a whole school assembly. I have a very quick plea! As part of my assembly I would like to share pictures of people reading books in different places, the stranger the better! You do not have to show your face if you do not want to! If you think you will be able to help please feel free to email me on missdottyuk AT gmail DOT com or tweet me on @PolkaDotty_Me. 

Thanks if you are able to help me and the kids out!

Miss Dotty

Link Love

Link Love

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here is one of those random selections of links I have loved recently, I hope you find something you like!

Over at Lucacept there is a short video showing a flashmob full of knitting love.

Rainbow Cupcake in a Jar over at The Cupcake Blog– yum! Also these cute owls getting married cupcakes!

A new e-classics app for the iPad courtesy of The British Library via BBC News (I still love real books as my shelves will testify but e-books have their uses!)

Pie Corbett posted a link about some Art and Storytelling Case Studies from The National Gallery

Anglesey Abbey- A Wartime Effort

I am proud to say I am a fully paid up National Trust member and love exploring new (and familiar places). Anglesey Abbey is just down the road and like Wimpole I love just going for a wander around the gardens. This weekend Anglesey had a second world war theme with people in 1940s clothes, demonstrations and artefacts to look at. It was a glorious, bright and sunny day and I had a lovely time just wandering around and chatting to people. Sadly I missed the Lindy Hop demonstration which would have been great to see! Below are a selection of pictures from my day, I have added them all to my Flickr account and will add a link when they are done uploading.

One of my new 101 Things To Do in 1001 Days will be to visit new National Trust places so which ones around the country do you recommend? Please share!



An old address book. I am a sucker for old notebooks.

I love this, wartime music with a modern touch!


Imagine journaling at this desk. Lovely!

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