Our Top 10 Christmas Songs

It’s that time of year again when the radio and music channels are playing non-stop Christmas songs! And as much as much as some people moan about them, we know everyone loves them really!

For me personally, the best Christmas songs are catchy, happy and just give you that warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling which are the criteria I used for putting together this list of my favourite Christmas songs!

1) All I Wonderful Christmas Is You – Summer Camp

A bit of an alternative one to kick off the list but anyone who knows me will know I adore Summer Camp – they are fantastic and they’ve done a couple of great Christmas covers over the years, however this has to be my favourite! It’s an acoustic mash-up of All I Want For Christmas Is You and Wonderful Christmas Time and it’s brilliant. Even if you’ve never heard of Summer Camp before, give this a listen.

2) All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I figured while we were talking about a similar song it’d be a good time to add this into the list – it’s the one Christmas song you can guarantee everybody knows all the words to, which every girl will admit to singing along to drunkenly (or not-so-drunkely) at some point in her life.

3) Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

A new one for this year but it’s looking like it could be a classic. It’s catchy and fun and makes you want to embarrassingly bad dancing in a bright Christmas jumper! People are comparing it to Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas… for reasons which are obvious when you listen to it, but undoubtedly it’s a great fun song which is nice and Christmasy!

4) My Only Wish – Britney Spears

I also figured I’d get all the super-girly pop songs out of the way first but I promise this is the last! I’m not sure this is one of the most well-known here in the UK, but it’s definitely another catchy and fun little Christmas song!

5) Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Ok let’s get go back to another classic with Step Into Christmas – this song always takes me back to Christmas parties at my junior school when this would always be played and everything just felt like Christmas.

6) Christmas Time – The Darkness

One that wasn’t played so much at my junior school…. but one that I still love is The Darkness’ Christmas Time – it’s a seriously fun little Christmas that doesn’t take itself seriously at all and it’s fantastic. If you don’t like this you clearly have no Christmas spirit!

7) Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Ok I lied, I’m throwing another slightly girly track but I think this one is necessary. Now I’m ashamed to say I didn’t actually discover this song until last year but when I did, I fell in love with it. That chorus is crazy catchy and the song itself tells a pretty cute story, as a cute Christmas song should!

8) Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Bublé

Another fantastic song which is a classic, however I chose Michael Bublé’s version because I think he does a really great job of bringing the track up to date and, of course, he has an incredible voice!

9) Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

This is another song that reminds me of being back at school – a bunch of the teachers, including my incredible physics teacher Mr Brain, used to form a band and perform in the ‘Christmas Concert’ for us every year. Mostly they played cheesy stuff and it should have been really cringy, however, you could see how much fun they were having and their covers of Merry Xmas Everybody and Breakfast at Tiffany’s always used to be fantastic!

10) Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

Another classic Christmas song which I think most people would include in their top 10 lists. I don’t really need to say much about this, just go listen to the awesomeness:

What do you think of this list? Of course there are so many more I could have included and so many more I wanted to include, so let us know your favourite Christmas songs in the comments!

Until then, check out our collection of Christmas albums.

 

ARTICLE BY: RACHEL OATES

Winner of our Halloween Competition

We had some incredible entries for our Halloween competition this year – we asked you to share your spooky Halloween costumes with us to be in with a chance to win a bundle of 13 books and t-shirts!

It was such a difficult decision to pick a winner because there were so many we loved, so we did have to pick a winner at random, however here are a few of our favourites:

‏@toxicitygirl

‏@toxicitygirl

‏@Craigybabydavis

‏@Craigybabydavis

@JS0600

@JS0600

‏@grinnerlynn

‏@grinnerlynn

‏@jumpybilly

‏@jumpybilly

@Catherine212

@Catherine212

‏@xtracutekitty

‏@xtracutekitty

‏@Harpyimages

‏@Harpyimages

And our winner from @Luckyladyhaz…

08 Jade Hazard ‏@Luckyladyhaz

Win 13 Horror Books And Films!

Halloween Competition 2014

This Halloween, here at AwesomeBooks, we’re giving you the chance to win some of the best and more terrifying horror books and films with our creepy competition!

To enter all you have to do is send us a photo of your Halloween costume – bonus points if it’s book-themed ;) – via Instagram or Twitter! It couldn’t be simpler:

  • If you’re entering via Twitter simply follow us and Tweet the photo to @AwesomeBooksUK
  • If you’re entering via Instragram, follow us and tag @AwesomeBooksUK in the photo or comments!

The Prizes
A selection of 13 Horror books and films of your choice from our Horror Collection.


Terms and Conditions
1. You must be following @AwesomeBooksUK on Twitter or Instagram to be eligible to win
2. Your tweet must tag @AwesomeBooksUK to be eligible to win or your Instagram photo must tag @AwesomeBooksUK in the photo or comments
3. The competition will run from Tuesday 28th October until midnight on Monday 3rd November
4. After 04/10/14 one winner will be selected at random from all entries. The winner will be contacted first and then posted publicly.
5. Prizes: 13 Horror Books and Films from the products listed at: http://www.awesomebooks.com/dvds-The-Horror-Collection/. Only used and bargain bin books, or used DVDs are permitted. New books are not included in the prize. Prize is non-transferable and no substitutions or cash equivalents are permitted.
6. By entering you agree that, if selected as a winner, your name can be used on the Awesome Books blog and social media platforms for publicity purposes, and to send us a photo of your prize when it arrives for use on our blog.
7. Only one entry allowed per person.
8. Photographs must be your own. Only enter with photographs you have permission to use. Only enter photographs of people with their expressed permission.

Awesome Horror Films

Horror films can be a bit of a divider for people – you either love them or hate them. Personally, I love them! They’re dark, exciting and full of suspense. I might be a little bit of a horror film snob, but I’m not really a fan of mindless-gore; I much prefer something that really gets in your head. Psychological thrillers, anything with a real back-story and well explained plot, films that focus around mental illness, old asylums, the paranormal, creepy children or even serial killers with a real motive are my sort of thing.

Because we love horror films so much here at AwesomeBooks, we’ve decided to bring you the best of our horror collection with our list of the top 5 scariest horror films.

The Blair Witch Project Blair Witch Project

It’s a classic that everyone needs to see. It was one of the first films that popularised the use of handheld cameras in horror films (think of more recent ones such as Cloverfield) making it feel even more real and unsettling – you see what the characters see and literally have no idea what’s going on outside the frame.

Final Destination 

The Final DestinationIf you want to be put off aeroplanes, motorways, rollercoasters and just about every other mode of transport / room / object you might come across in day-to-day life then this is the series for you. The Final Destination series follows several groups of individuals reminding them that you can never escape death.

The Village

If you like films with a twist you’ll like The Village. A small village in 19th Century America, is terrorized by unknown beasts from the forests that surround them; the edges of Shutter Island
the forest are patrolled every night to keep the villagers safe. However, things start to change when one man decides to enter the forest…

Shutter Island 

Shutter Island messed with your head. It’s as simple as that. US Marshall, Teddy Daniels, is sent to investigate an escaped patient from Ashecliffe Hospital – an asylum for the criminally insane. However, as he uncovers more and more secrets you’re left questioning what almost Drag Me To Hell
everything you’ve seen. Like I said, it seriously messes with your head but is absolutely incredible.

Drag Me To Hell 

If you’re looking for a film that’s going to make you jump and squirm and just be pretty creepy and disturbing then this is the film for you. The plot is simple enough, Christine refuses to give a bank loan to a old gypsy woman who, as a result gets mad, puts a curse on her and threatens to send her to hell – only after being terrorized by demons for 3 days. This is your typical horror film, except there’s nothing typical about it.

You can check out the rest of our AwesomeHorror collection, including both books and films, on AwesomeBooks

The Horror Collection

Top 8 Creepiest Fairy Tales

With Halloween approaching (and I hope you’re all getting your creepy costumes ready!) this week I’ve been thinking about some of the scariest stories out there. I was thinking about blogging about some of the legends of horror like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Edgar Allen Poe… but then I got thinking about some of the creepiest tales out there which perhaps, especially at Halloween, aren’t quite given the credit they deserve.

I am of course, talking about fairy tales! And no, I don’t mean your Disney girl meets prince and lives happily ever after fairy tales. I’m talking the original, gruesome tales with real villains, the stories which didn’t always have a happy ending!

So here we have my countdown of the Top 8 creepiest fairy tales you don’t want to tell your children this Halloween.

8) Snow WhiteSnow White
So the original isn’t too different from the tale we all know and love. Snow White’s evil step-mother gets jealous, Snow White runs away and meets the dwarves and ends up being poisoned by the apple and falling into a deep sleep. Her prince comes along and saves her… not so bad, right?

That is, of course, until you hear the Queen’s punishment which was being made to dance whilst wearing red-hot iron shoes until she falls down dead. Strange and gruesome, but I’m still not convinced it was exactly a punishment fitting of the crime…

7) Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty’s one of those stories which, once you hear the original, you’ll be surprised they ever made a kids film of it. And to be honest, for me this is one of the scarier ones because besides all the magic and people trying to kill other people, lets just say it deals with a lot of issues which are still scarily relevant today…
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6 AwesomeFacts about Classic Literature

We’re a big fan of the classics here at AwesomeBooks! Everything from Dracula to the Catcher in the Rye and the old favourites like Dickens and Austen!

Here are some of our favourite unusual facts about Classic Literature and their authors!

  • Which author can only writing facing north?
  • What did Shelly really name Frankenstein’s monster?
  • And what was the first book ever written on a typewriter?

AwesomeBooks is on Instagram!

I’ll be honest, I love Instagram! Personally it’s the social network I probably use the most. Yeah I send the occasional Tweet or use Facebook Chat to keep in touch with friends from uni but for me, Instagram is the social network I love the most – I can spend hours scrolling through other people’s photos (mainly of pugs and small puppies) and post many, many pictures of my own!

That’s why I was very excited to start an AwesomeBooks Instagram account!

We’re going to have book-ish pictures…

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#books #literature #quotes #bookquotes #awesomebooks

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…updates and mini-reviews on books we’re reading…

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Just finished this fantastic book! #crime #thriller #fairytales #books #reading #awesomebooks

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…loads of behind the scenes photos and much more!

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Ever wondered how many books we have here?? This is just one floor of our warehouse! #books #awesomebooks #behindthescenes

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And it’s going to be ALL THE FUN!

So go follow us on Instagram now!

September Author of the Month: Peter James

Now I should probably say before I even start writing this post, that when it comes to Peter James I’m a little bit biased – he is easily one of my favourite authors! About 3 years ago I picked up one of his books, Perfect People, on Kindle on a whim, I loved it and a couple of months later my sister leant me a second book by him and from then on I’ve been hooked.

Peter JamesMost of Peter James’ work can be classified as crime or thriller, although there are also plenty of examples of horror and science fiction elements in his work. These elements, combined with his obvious attention to detail and thorough research, make for compelling and believable plots which grips you from the very first page.

Potentially some of his most well known books are his Roy Grace series which follows the Brighton-based Detective Superintendent as he solves major crime, after major crime with intuitive and innovative thinking and a real passion for getting the bad guys! Throughout the series, which is currently 11 books long, James writes the characters, as they grow and their relationships change, in such a believable way that you can’t help caring about them and wanting the best for them. It’s not every day you find a thriller author who makes you just as interested in character development as in the rest of the plot.

Another thing to note about Peter James’ work is their setting. Having been born in Brighton, Sussex, James tends to use this lively coastal town as the setting for the majority of his work. Again, here’s where I get biased again… because having lived there myself the other year I know what a fantastic place it is! I fell in love with Brighton from the moment I first moved there and through reading Peter James’ books it’s clear to see his passion and love for the local area and it’s history too! Plus, it’s always fun when he mentions specific areas and streets – in one Roy Grace book, a car chase occurred along the street I used to live on and I got so excited I instagrammed it to show all my family… I’m so cool!

Ok, like I said… I’m a little bit biased! But hey, I get to pick Author of the Month, why not make it someone who’s work I’m a little bit in love with?!

Anyway… back in reality, whether you’re looking for an introduction into the world of crime and thrillers, or you’re well-read in that area, Peter James is guaranteed to have written something to suit everyone. His books are exciting and enthralling, he knows how to write a likeable yet complex character and, most importantly, he knows how to tell a seriously good story!

For our full range of Peter James book, check out AwesomeBooks.com

ARTICLE BY: RACHEL OATES

Signed Copy of Sir Nigel – Arthur Conan Doyle

Here at AwesomeBooks we have a huge range of sources where we get our second-hand books from! Each book we recieve goes through quality control and is then checked and scanned into our system. Often we buy in bulk so we have no idea what we’ll be receiving, and every so often we find something pretty special…

Last week our dedicated team found what appeared to be a signed 1st Edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel Sir Nigel.

Sir Nigel

Sir Nigel is set during the Hundred Years War and follows Nigel Loring – a knight of King Edward III. Although set during the 14th Century it was originally published in 1906.

Sir Nigel

Our AwesomeTeam is still working to verify the authenticity of the signature but it’s looking pretty promising at the minute! If this does turn out to be genuine this could be the only know signed-copy of Sir Nigel out there – we’re all very excited in the office!

Sir Nigel

Article by: Rachel Oates