Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Amusements 4

Sh*t Book Reviewers Say:

It has to be said that most of these phrases are used more by srs bsns book reviews in srs bsns newspapers than by book bloggers. But there are a few that are awfully tempting to use sometimes, and may have snuck their way into a few reviews, such as: 'Gripping', 'Riveting', 'But I just didn't care about the characters' 'The characters come to life' and 'The pages practically turn themselves'!

The nominations for the Top 100 Best-Ever UKYA novels have been counted and you can now vote for your top ten. I voted for seven - I excluded most-likely-winners and books that were the first in the series and where I felt like I needed to read more of the story to fairly judge them. My selections:

Della Says: OMG! - Keris Stainton
Diary of a Chav - Grace Dent (side note, I'm addicted to Grace Dent's restaurant reviews in the Evening Standard Magazine. I'll probably never go to any of the restaurants she reviews because, well, my budget really only allows for Nando's and Pizza Express with a voucher code but I love her sense of humour. This review had me laughing out loud!)
Diary of a Crush - Sarra Manning (obvs)
Girls Under Pressure - Jacqueline Wilson (went against my usual 'not voting for most likely winners' rule because I loved this in my early teens and read it over and over!)
Slam - Nick Hornby (thought I had reviewed this, but bizarrely, I hadn't! It's a refreshing twist on teen pregnancy drama from the male point of view)
Tiffany Aching series - Terry Pratchett (haven't reviewed any of these but I love it!)
Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman (I read this nearly nine months ago and I'm still recovering)

After all that hard work selecting and voting, how about some utterly bizarre fluff. Book covers matched with bikinis (via Gala). I've actually thought several times about doing a cross-blog project where I show what I'm wearing on my fashion/make-up blog and what I'm reading here. But I don't think I'd have the patience to match it that well...

Spread the Word have just published the listings for their Autumn 2012 programme of writing workshops and other events. This time round they've included a workshop about graphic novels and one about writing for television, as well as the usual range of workshops on different themes for poetry, prose fiction and drama. If you're a writer living in London or able to travel and haven't been to a Spread the Word workshop before, don't hesitate to book a place if one appeals to you. I have been to so many of their workshops that I have now lost count, both as a paying participant and as a volunteer and I think they're really low-priced for what you get out of each one, especially for the full-day workshops!

Finally, the most exciting reviews I've read this week! Cicely's review of Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan is both enthusiastic and thoughtful. I'd never heard of that book before but now it's on my wishlist for sure. I'm not sure how I'll get on with Dying to Know You, by Aidan Chambers, but Clover's review has convinced me to give it a try. I loved the sound of Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, in Evie's review - 'fresh ideas, clever plot developments, and fascinating dragons'? Yes please!

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