- What even is Bookstagram? How do you even take pretty book photos? My books are beautiful but my photos turn out ugly! I rarely include photos of my books because I don’t know how to take them and don’t want to embarrass myself.
- Is it possible to post regularly? I post like everyday for a while and then disappear off the face of the blogging world for months. Some people seem to manage to strike a balance, but I am not yet, maybe not ever that great.
- I haven’t read a book in months, yes you read that correctly, months! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t read a new month in the past 2-3 months. I’ve reread a couple of books but I haven’t picked up a new book for ages!
- I don’t like writing reviews. You’d think that book reviews would be the bread and butter of a book blog but in general I’m not really a fan of writing book reviews, perhaps because I struggle with summing up my feelings on a book.
- I don’t have a blogging BFF. I have lots of lovely friends I’ve made through blogging however I don’t have a specific best blogging buddy, which is something I certainly feel like a lot of bloggers have and I sadly lack.
- I’ve only ever been to one blogging event so I don’t ever do much real life blogging, instead I’m a pile of blankets and pyjamas clutching a mug of tea and a chocolate biscuit, behind a computer screen.
- Sometimes I struggle to get involved in the community, whether that’s commenting on other blogs, joining in twitter chats or taking part in blogging events. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered, don’t feel like it or simply forget.
- After over 2 years of blogging, I still don’t think I fully understand book blogging and all the trends, slang and skills that come with it. Some days I reckon I’m just as clueless as I was on my first day blogging.
- My blog has always looked the same and I’ve never put much thought into the aesthetics of it. I’ve always thought that my blog needed to easy to navigate and functional rather than aesthetically pleasing.
- I can’t even think of a final point for this top ten list! This goes to show how often I struggle for original ideas and clever things to write about on this blog. Ideas are hard man!
Earlier today I took part in a murder mystery and had a great time. But it got me thinking about which fictional characters I’d invite to a murder mystery party. So here are my top ten!
1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Let’s be real, Hermione is always my first choice, no matter what we’re doing. From cleaning toilets, to afternoon tea to parties and murder mysteries, I’d love the opportunity to hang out with the brilliant witch that is Hermione Granger.
2. Lois Lane (Lois Lane: Fallout)
This girl is great at solving mysteries as proven by this novel about her so would be a great addition to any murder mystery party. She’s great conversation and would probably be the first to figure out who the murderer is.
3. Simon Lewis (The Mortal Instruments)
I feel like the geek within Simon would love to dress up and attempt to solve a mystery. I think he’d really get into character with an accent and all sorts of odd mannerisms.
4. Breanna Miller (Walk the Edge)
This girl is literally a genius and can crack any puzzle of given enough time and space. She’d certainly give Lois a run for her money and I fear I’d be left behind in the dust during this murder mystery party.
5. Jonas (The Giver)
His natural curiosity and intelligence would make him a great detective and I think he could get into the whole party atmosphere with dressing up and a three course meal.
6. Cath Avery (Fangirl)
As an avid lover of fanfic and dressing up and all things fictional, I think a murder mystery would be right up her street. She’d probably spend ages writing fanfiction about the characters beforehand and just love the whole idea.
7. Thomas (The Maze Runner)
His thinking outside the box and determination to solve the puzzle would both be handy traits in a murder mystery party. I’m not sure how keen he’d be on dressing up or small talk but he’d definitely enjoy the mystery part.
8. Annabeth (Percy Jackson)
As a daughter of Athena she’d do be up for a good puzzle to solve and an opportunity to outsmart the rest of the party. I think the fun loving side of her would also enjoy playing a character for the night.
9. Bianca (The DUFF)
This girl is so much fun and that would apply to every situation including a murder mystery party. She’d love the opportunity to dress up and be someone else for a night, even if it is just for a laugh.
10. Isaac (The Fault in Our Stars)
He is once again just good fun and his lack of eye sight wouldn’t stop him from joining in with everything he could, even if they’d have to get a special booklet printed in Braille for him.
So, what do you think? Which of my guests would solve the mystery first?
Who would you invite to a murder mystery party?
I thought I’d share with you guys the email I wrote to the wonderful Rachael Allen, author of The Revenge Playbook, a fabulous feminist book. This letter expressed my feelings about the book and should hopefully convince you to pick it up too.
People tend to think that powerful and moving novels have to be serious and sombre in tone, full of long words and contain meaningful quotes that nobody is willing to admit they didn’t understand. Your book, The Revenge Playbook proved those people wrong. It made me laugh and it made me cry but above all it made me think.
The Revenge Playbook is one of the most powerful books anyone (but especially a teenager) could read. It teaches that beauty, bravery and friendship don’t always look the same.
The same courage and strength can manifest itself in many different ways. When we picture a strong woman, there is no one type of girl that should come to mind. Every girl is capable of being brave in her own way. She may not think she is changing the world but she is refusing to let the world change her. She is standing up for what she believes in and fighting injustice on every level.
You haven’t written a story about heroes and champions but you’ve written about ordinary girls like me. Girls with hopes, with flaws and with their own individuality.
Thank you for not shying away from the tricky and frankly, at times, uncomfortable topics. Your book tackles losing your virginity or choosing not to, religion, rape and the attitudes that surround it as well as football culture in the US. You don’t pull any punches and you don’t hide the ugly truth. You tell us as it is and challenge us to respond.
So the main reason I’m writing to you is to thank you and let you know that even if I’m the only person who has been inspired by your book (I’m sure that’s not the case!) I’m so grateful that you wrote it and really impacted me. I’m keen to pass this on to all my friends as it teaches some of the most important lessons you can learn with the best teaching assistant- laughter!
Your bravery and writing talent has started conversations, opened door and made me think twice about the world I live in.
Lots of love,
I thought I’d write a post to update you guys about what I’ve been up to and why I seem to have completely abandoned my blog.
I’ve just had the longest summer of my life after the biggest set of exams I’m ever going to have. The exams were really stressful and I definitely needed the long summer to recover. I didn’t just laze around for the 10 weeks though. I visited two different countries, with one being a mission trip with my church. I spent time with my family and my friends and generally had lots of fun and a summer I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Now, I’ve been plunged back into the busy world of school, this time doing A-levels, which is both a blessing and a curse. This year I’m choosing to study French, Spanish, Russian and English language and I can’t wait. I’m so excited to study subjects I love in more depth and thrilled I no longer have to study maths and science. During this year, I’m not only going to be doing my school work but some volunteering and other great activities. I’m looking forward to what this year will bring but I know that I’ll probably be busier than ever so I won’t have as much time for reading or blogging.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and it has been a difficult decision. A part of me still loves blogging so I’ve decided not to stop blogging altogether but I have accepted that I won’t be able to blog as regularly as I have in the past.
I haven’t blogged in about 2 months straight and if I’m being honest I haven’t actually missed it that much so I think a break was good. Since I’m now trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging once again, I’ll probably start slowly and mainly post posts I’ve been wanting to write for ages.
I’m sorry if you guys feel like I have completely abandoned my blog but I promise I’ll get back to it, it just might take some time.
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. You guys are genuinely one of the reasons I couldn’t bear to give up blogging.
Today I’m featuring the ever so lovely Michelle from Bookaholic Banter, who is sharing with us her reading journey from beginning to now.
When It All Started…
My reading journey started when I was very young. From a very young age of two or three I remember my Father and Mother reading me books. I can distinctly remember the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. When that movie came out I just HAD to see it! I didn’t care if I was too old for it or not. It was cute, and brought back memories. I think for the main part my huge love of reading comes from my Father. I can remember him sitting in his recliner with his feet up, a cup of coffee, and a book. His closet was fully of rows and rows of books. Why he never got a bookshelf I don’t know.
My First Trip To The Library…
My Mother started taking me to story time at the library when I was 4 or 5 years old. (This started my forever love of libraries. ) I can remember sitting on the floor listening to the librarian read a book. It was wonderful! Then all the kids would take some books home to be read by the parents. Probably by the age of 6 or 7 I had my own library card and was taking out books 10 at a time on my own. I would tear through books. I coudn’t get enough of stories. The library was-and still is-such a magical place to me.
Venturing Into The Book World On My Own….
By the time I reached 8 or 9 years old is when I truly discovered the wonderful world of chapter books. I was reading The Babysitters Club and couldn’t get enough. I can remember my Father taking me to the book store in the mall on occasions and letting me pick out new books in the series. One of my friends introduced me to Nancy Drew and I couldn’t get enough! I became a very frequent visitor of the library. I lived in a very small town where everything was very easy to walk to. After school I would walk to the library. I would sit at a table for hours doing my homework and reading. Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? I LOVED those too! Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series and Judy Blume’s Fudge series were other books I loved at this age. I read these types of books for the next 4 or 5 years. I was there until the library closed. I never left there without a checking out a few books. My library card was-and still is-the most prized card in my wallet. It’s like gold to me.
At the age of 12 or 13 years old, I started getting a little tired of these books and wanted something a little more older. I wanted to read about teenagers and romace. I started exploring the teen paperback bookshelves in the library ( at this time I don’t think they were called YA) and started picking up books first, if the cover piqued my interest, second, reading the synopsis on the back and choosing my books this way. If they sounded interesting, I took them out. At this age is when I discovered Judy Blume’s Just As Long As We’re Together. It was one of my favorites. I remember reading Blubber and really connecting with that story. I was a pudgy kid full of freckles and glasses. I was teased a lot at this age.
I watched a lot of scary movies with my father and I wanted to read something scary. This is when I finally discovered the beloved R. L. Stine. The first R.L.Stine’s Fear Street book I read had me absolutely hooked! I read every single one that my local library had available. I needed MORE! This is when my allowance for doing chores came in handy….back to the bookstore in the mall for more books!( Every penny I earned at this age was spent on books- I don’t remember ever buying anything else at this age.) I was so excited! I couldn’t believe how many books there were in this series for me to discover! I bought up every single one I could. I also loved R.L.Stine’s Babysitter series. That series really creeped me out. I got to the point where I had to wait for new books in the series to come out because I read them all. I was so anxious and couldn’t wait for more. This was when I discovered a sign in the bookstore that recommended other books for lovers of the Fear Street Series. This was when I discovered my other true love Christopher Pike. Bury Me Deep was my all-time favorite. That book really freaked me out! I still think about it to this day. Let’s just say this girl will NEVER be trying deep-sea diving for as long as she lives. The Last Vampire was also huge for me. Books were HUGE for me at this age. I can remember spending most of my weekends curled up in bed on a Saturday or Sunday and tearing through 2-3 books in a day. I just couldn’t get enough of these two authors. I loved these books for the scare they gave me but I couldn’t help noticing the romance, and kissing in these books as well. …
So Started My Journey Into Romance and Adult Books
At the age of 15 0r 16 I started looking for books with romance at the library. One day I noticed a book from my beloved Judy Blume called Forever. It sounded very interesting and I checked it out. I can remember being schocked by the in-detail sex scenes in this book. At this age I had never read anything this detailed. I was very curious as to how many more books like this were out there. After I read this book I can remember perusing the library for other books like it. This was about the time I started venturing into the adult book section. I headed over to the romance books. Some of the covers told it all. Those were the ones I would pick up. I can’t believe that the librarians actually let me take out some of the smutty stuff I took out at this age. About this time is when I met a new friend in school. She saw the type of books that I was reading and recommended Jackie Collins to me. She let me borrow one to read. Wow! The sex and language in those books! I was hooked. This was a stage in my life where I was living a little rebellious. These books made me feel mature and like a grown up. Ha! Teenaged girls! I also read a lot of Danielle Steele at this time.
The Reading Lull…
I lost a few years of reading until about the age of 19 or 20. I was busy with hanging out with friends, high school homework, and working. It was around this time that I met the love of my life. I got married, had my daughter, and life finally slowed down a bit. I started reading everything under the sun. At this time I was only reading adult books. I read a lot of Jennifer Crusie, Carly Phillips, James Patterson, Stephen King, and my all-time favorite- Janet Evanovich. I joined some Book Clubs such as Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and others. They had those deals where you bought two or three books at a regular price and got 5 or 6 free. I can’t remember the exact numbers. Either way, this was when I finally started to build my own library. I bought bookshelves and joined as many book-buying clubs as I could. I bought a Book Lover’s Diary and started keeping track of how many books I read a year. I started shopping at a used bookstore and also at the library when they had book sale days. These were the ways I gained a majority of my personal library. I read as many books as I possibly could around working, being a mother, and a wife.
From 30 to now…
At 30, I finally discovered the wonderful thing called Goodreads. I started filling my shelves with my TBR. I slowed down on the monthly book clubs because it was just getting too expensive. I would skip my monthly purchases and instead just add books that sounded interesting to my TBR on Goodreads and get them out from the library. I would only buy books from my favorite authors, that I knew I would want to own. A year later I created my website Bookaholic Banter. I created it to be a place that book lovers could gather for anything bookish. Up to this point it has mostly been reviews, a couple author interviews, book tours, and guest blogs. I am hoping to offer a lot more in the coming years. Any random book I read, I would write a review for on my website. I started an instagram and would post pictures of what I was reading. Little did I know at this time that there were other people ( referred to as bookstagrammers ) doing the same thing. When I finally discovered this I made a secondary Instagram account dedicated to books. I started posting book photos on a daily basis.
One year after that I stumbled across the wonderful world of booktubers. The first booktuber I discovered was Kassidy Voinche. I watched every single one of her videos and fangirled right along with her. I then started discovering more and more booktubers and subscribing to all their channels. I was thrilled to tears to discover this amazing community and to find that there were so many people out there who get as excited as I do about books! Booktube helped me in so many ways. It gave me a TON of new books to read! It helped me discover the world of YA and I have been completely hooked ever since! I admit, I now read more YA than I do adult novels. I still read adult fiction but I just enjoy the YA books so much more! It’s an indulgence. Booktube also helped me discover the wonderful world of readathons! I almost cried when I found out this existed. Seriously!
I recently got immersed in the twitter book family as well…then I discovered the wonderful thing called reading sprints! It is so much fun to meet and talk to to the book community. The book community is truly a family. Discovering all this was like a dream come true! The book community has made my life so special. It has truly made me happy in every single way!Ok….this post is turning into Why I Love The Book Community, instead of My Reading Journey. I promise this is all leading somewhere…
Ok, so when I discovered booktube and saw that all these booktubers were getting books in exchange for an honest review, I was so jealous! I wanted that! I was a little shy to start my own booktube channel-which I still hope to do one day soon- so I just stuck with bookstagram and posted my website name. I started immersing myself in the book world and talking to authors & publishers, and other bloggers. I started doing my research on how I could get in on reading books in return for a review. The first book I read was from an author I became friends with on Facebook. I honestly can’t tell you how everything came about…it just kind of happened with perseverance and writing reviews on my website and then sharing links to those reviews on social media. Now, I am getting books left and right for review. I receive daily emails to review an author’s book. I discovered online book tours and started signing up for those. I got a little carried away and it is becoming my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love discovering all these new authors and getting to read and review books, but I am not getting to read books that I want to read, from my own tbr. I had a huge pile of books out from the library and I renewed them all twice and still didn’t get a chance to read a single one. I had to return them all without reading them. That was tragic! I wan’t to get back to reading and reviewing what I want to read. I am going to start being more picky about blog tours and books offered for review so I can do more reading for myself. Also, I need more time to work on making my website better and working on my own book this November for NanoWriMo. Sorry for all the blabbing on and on. I got kind of carried away. Sometimes I start to get in the zone when I start writing and just start spewing words from my mouth. That is pretty much my current reading journey! If you got this far, thanks for sticking around and reading what I have to say. Maybe in another 5-10 years I will write an updated reading journey on my website. Love you all!
Thanks so much to Emily for allowing me to be a guest on her blog this week. I had so much fun! I hope to banter about books with you all soon! Much love!
Today I am featuring the lovely Fay at Bibliophile Soprano. It’s a little bit late but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful, so without further ado, here’s her playlist for the Reckoners Series.
If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you might have noticed my love for Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series. It’s really one of the best fantasy series I’ve read and it became special to me because I JUST LOVE THE STORY SO MUCH.
Steelheart is where I got introduced to the world where Epics rule, Firefight is my favorite, thanks to David and Megan (BECAUSE FEELS!), and last book, Calamity, is where my mind was blown by all the revelations and plot twists.
REALLY. THIS SERIES. I LOVE IT.
I sang bookish songs for the three books, and I have an overall song for the entirety of the series. Today, I’m going to share my playlist with you!
I wasn’t able to sing Heroes as the overall song, but the rest are uploaded on my SoundCloud. (If you click the links, they’ll redirect to the SoundCloud file!)
“You shoot me down, but I won’t fall..”
I thought of Titanium because it’s somehow related to steel (Steelheart’s power) and somehow, it’s about Steelheart’s invincibility.
“If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?”
ALL THE FEELS FOR FIREFIGHT BECAUSE OF DAVID AND MEGAN!!!
Firefight is where the fangirl in me swooned over David, Megan, and their forbidden love.
“I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough. I’m giving you all my love, I’m still looking up.”
I felt that this song was David’s fighting spirit. He’s fighting for the world, and fighting for love. That really touched my heart, so I picked this song.
Heroes for the Reckoners Series
“Everyday people do everyday things but I can’t be one of them. I know you hear me now, we are a different kind, we can do anything.”
This song represented the Reckoners (a.k.a. THE SQUAD!!!) for me because they were the ones who did everything to make the world peaceful again. They were the seemingly ordinary people who became special because of their courage and heart.
There you go! I hope you liked my playlist and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!