Tuesday, 13 November 2018

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Let's Talk Bookish Swag

Let's Talk Bookish Swag

One of the really awesome things that has come of being a book blogger for nine years and a children's bookseller for six is that I get sent swag, made to help promote and create buzz around books being published. Over the years, I have acquired quite a larges collection of bookish swag, and thought today I'd discuss the various kinds of swag, and my opinions of them!

Tote Bags

Five tote bags, two black, one navy, one red and one natural

Who doesn't love a tote bag?! I have to say, tote bags are probably my favourite. They're just so handy and useful! And I have so many! Here are just a few I have, but I have loads. I have a bag full of tote bags. Most of them come to me through being a bookseller, but I get a few as a book blogger. I do love them!
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Monday, 12 November 2018

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Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Broken Things by Lauren OliverNetGalleyBroken Things by Lauren Oliver (eProof) - It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
From Goodreads.

Trigger Warning: This book features animal cruelty, discussion of violent murder, discussion of bad experiences in foster care, implies - though doesn't outright show or say - child abuse.
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Friday, 9 November 2018

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Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah HarknessA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Bought) - Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...
From Goodreads.
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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

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On YA Books, the Teen Audience, and Reading YA as an Adult

On YA Books, the Teenager Audience, and Reading YA as an Adult

Trigger Warning: In this post, I mention my sexual assault.

Today I want to discuss a few things inspired by a blog post by Vicky of Vicky Who Reads, The May Ways YA Books & The Community Isolate Teens. It's a really important post that I feel anyone who reads YA as an adult, or who works in the publishing industry, or writes "for" teens* should read. For the most part, Vicky talks about how teenagers - who YA is aimed at - do not have a lot of money to spend on books, so when it comes to what books are published, based on what sells, it's the adult YA readers who have control of that, because it's adult YA readers who have the money to spend. And what sells tends to be YA with older YA characters, or characters who act like adults with a YA story. This means that Vicky, and other teens, while they enjoy these books, they don't feel they necessarily reflect teen experiences or represent teens. It also means that there are fewer books for those teen readers who are around 13, because most YA tends to feature older teens, and they're not so interesting for younger teens. Vicky herself spent about two years not reading because she didn't feel there were any YA books that about younger teens. It's a really interesting and thought-provoking post, and I really recommend reading it, especially before continuing reading this post.
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Monday, 5 November 2018

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Four New-to-Me Blogs I Love

Four New-to-Me Blogs I Love

When it comes to other blogs, there aren't that many that I read regularly. I will pretty much read every single post Cait of Paper Fury posts, and have done for a number of years now, but otherwise, I don't really read that many. As I explained in my post How Do You Keep Organised as a Book Blogger?, working various different shift patterns on different days each week makes it difficult to be organised. Around my shifts, I have to find time to read (but I'm also not a fast reader), to write my posts, on top of everyday life stuff, and it's hard. I'm trying to be more organised, and it's working some, but as it is, I still struggle to reply to and return comments I receive. With having to fit all that in, it's difficult to find time to read other blogs, too.

So with that in mind, when I do find the time to read other blogs, they've got to be blogs I really enjoy. However, over the last few weeks, I've been really fortunate enough to stumble over a few blogs that are right up my street, and ones I now visit when I get the chance. Despite loving these blogs, I have to say I am a huge lurker. Though I may find the time here and there to read these blogs, I don't necessarily have the time to comment on all the posts I want to. So I thought I would share some love by spotlighting them on my own blog! So here are the new to me blogs that I'm loving.
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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

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On Negative Reviews & Book Blogger Integrity

On Negative Reviews & Book Blogger Integrity

Today, I want to talk about negative reviews and book blogger integrity. It's a conversation that I'm sure has happened many times before, but I don't think I've ever stated what my thoughts on negative reviews are on my blog, and as it's something that came up - briefly and quietly - not that long ago, it's something I've been thinking about.

Firstly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a book blogger disliking a book they've read. Even if it's a book that was sent to them by a publisher or author, or something they got through NetGalley or Edelweiss+. Just because you've been sent a book doesn't mean you have to like it. And let's be real, what we enjoy and what we don't is so subjective, we're just not going to enjoy everything. Sometimes, book bloggers may get sent unsolicited books that they may not have accepted were they asked beforehand if they would like a copy. I know there are some book bloggers who feel they should read all books they are sent, even unsolicited ARCs they don't like the sound of. You don't have to, but if you choose to, it's fine if you don't like the book. Sometimes, book bloggers will request/accept ARCs of books they think they will enjoy, and then find out they're actually not enjoying it when they're reading it. This is ok, too. As long as we all know we don't have to accept every book we're offered, and we don't have to enjoy the books we do get sent, we're fine.
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