Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Confessions

Photo by anna gutermuth

Yeah, it's Wednesday. Again. But it's not 'yet again'! Quite impressive I think, considering that this is my tenth Top Ten Tuesday post! Top Ten Tuesday was created and is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Bookish Confessions

1. I consistently forget to renew books on time and get fined. I am slowly getting better at renewing them on time, but the problem is excabated by the fact that...

2. Some library books stay on my shelves/floor for months before I finish reading them. I have developed a strategy to deal with this: I am now only allowed to have one fiction book from the library at once. However, I have multiple non-fiction books on the go from the library and I'm working through them very slowly. But I think that's reasonable. I can't be expected to devour an entire textbook about marketing in one go, can I?

3. I keep dropping bookmarks in the bath!

4. When I volunteered as book specialist at a charity shop, I would let books that I liked linger longer on the shelves, whilst others went into the recycling bag. However, I also did the same thing with books by celebrity authors I don't like - in the hope that someone who might have bought their book new and thus contributed to their fortune would instead pick it up for 99p secondhand. Maybe this one is a bit weird.

5. When it was quiet in the shop I would flick through books that looked terrible based on the cover/blurb/author and read a few paragraphs to confirm my suspicions. I also got through a few little trivia books and joke books in the quiet moments. More notably, I read the whole of Nobody's Family Is Going to Change in the shop, over the space of a few months.

6. I jump at the opportunity to lend books to friends - because it means more space on my shelves/floor, even temporarily.

7. I often look at what other people are reading on the train, and judge them. If they have an e-reader I read over their shoulder. Usually it's a Hunger Games or a Harry Potter, which meet with my approval. Sometimes it's 50 Shades, which does not. Also I find it amusing if they are reading something that matches their appearance. Person in suit reading legal thriller, etc. The other day I saw a hipster reading A Clockwork Orange. I almost laughed out loud.

8. Sometimes I splash soup on books. Therefore I do not eat soup whilst reading a book I bought new. Secondhand books or battered old library books are fair game.

9. I love pretty covers. '90s book covers, especially for teenage fiction, were terrible. I find cartoonish covers on older-teen fiction really offputting, as I did when I was a actual teenager. In my mind it makes the book look immature. It's fine for books intended for under 15s, but any older than that and I think a more adult-looking cover is the way to go.

10. Sometimes while reading I'll skip ahead to see what happens and then go back to read what I've missed. I hate this habit and I am trying to force myself not to do it any more.

Anybody share my bad habits and/or quirks?

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!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I've Read During The Lifespan Of My Blog

Photo by Dee'lite

This is my ninth Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday was created and is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I really like this week's theme - what a great excuse to remind myself of some of the wonderful books I've read since I started blogging. This list is in chronological order as I found it easiest just to go through my posts and pick out my favourites.

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read During The Lifespan Of My Blog 

1. All My Friends Are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman

All Tom's friends are superheroes. In fact, there are 249 superheroes in Toronto, including his wife, The Perfectionist, and her ex-boyfriend, Hypno, who hypnotised her on their wedding day so that she could no longer see, hear, or feel Tom. Now they are both on a flight to Vancouver, where The Perfectionist plans to start a new life, believing that Tom left her. He only has until the plane touches down to convince her that he's there and save their relationship. It's adorable, clever, lovely and funny, and you should read it. I really need to rewrite my review though, it was only my sixth on this blog and I think I've gotten a lot better since then.

2. Notes from the Teenage Underground, by Simmone Howell
Chock full of cool cultural references, Notes is about a trio of teenage girls, primarily the sidelined Gem, that embark upon a project each summer. This year their theme is 'Underground' - which leads them into all kinds of trouble. I spotted this book on a library shelf, and intrigued by the title, I took it home. I'd never heard of Simmone before but after this, I devoured her second book, Everything Beautiful.

3. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, by Gabrielle Zevin
Naomi Porter falls down the steps outside of her school and when she wakes up in hospital, she has forgotten the last four years. She no longer remembers her boyfriend, her parents' break-up, her sister, why her best friend is her best friend, or why she cared about any of the things that sixteen-year-old Naomi supposedly cared about. This is a whirlwind of a book - believable but surprising.

4. Nobody's Family Is Going To Change, by Louise Fitzhugh
Just going to quote my full-length review: "Emancipation 'Emma' Sheridan (what a fabulous name) is passionately in love with the idea of being a lawyer, like her father, but he doesn't approve of women lawyers. Emma's mother tells her that she needs to lose weight and grow up to be beautiful so that she can marry a lawyer. Emma watches court programmes on television, reads law textbooks, and fantasises about being older, taller, and winning cases against her father. Whilst wearing a large, dramatic hat."

5. The Boyfriend List, by E. Lockhart
Just read my review. The Boyfriend List is one of the best teen/YA novels that I have ever read and if I start banging on about it again we'll be here all day.

6.  If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Beautifully written story about Mia, who has to decide whether she wants to live or die after her parents are killed in a road accident. I cried multiple times.

7. Valiant, by Holly Black
Val runs away from home when she catches her boyfriend going to bed with her mother and finds herself living in New York City with street kids that take faerie drugs. Dark, atmospheric, and generally amazing.

8. Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson
Wonderful children's fantasy adventure featuring bright orphan Maia and her governess Miss Minton, who is essentially me, except that I don't think I could stand being a governess.

9. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
My only regret is that I didn't read The Hunger Games before I'd heard all the hype.

10. Adorkable, by Sarra Manning
Hate, love, love, hate, Haribo, dogs on skateboards, feminism, and fashion blogging. Oh, just read the review!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...