One Year Blogiversary & INTL. Giveaway

 

Guess what January 3rd was?

My Blogiversary

Guess who had no clue until I looked it up on January 3rd?

This girl.

So, I did a Twitter poll, and a few people did it, so it’s been decided that today I’ll do my blogiversary post and celebrate by…

Giving you all a tour of my bookshelves.

Prepare yourselves, we still haven’t really worked out how many shelves we need and we’re still trying to find space to put all this crap that we own so the pictures will be scary in the sense that there’s no sense of order, it’s just chaos. Pure chaos. And mess.

Also, to celebrate my blogiversary I would like to do an international giveaway for a book depository gift card worth £10. It’s not much but I wanted to do something, and I promise there’ll be more giveaways to come this year.

My Bookshelves

First up, my Ikea cube shelf, which, I’m not putting a full picture of because it’s basically blocked by random game consoles and accessories and random pairs of shoes…oh…and a drill. [Looking right at it as I type, shuddering as I realize how messy I am]

 

The Cube shelf is mostly for my YA books as they’re the ones I own the most of, but we also have had to use this shelf for board games and puzzles and videogames which is why everything’s so smooshed in it. Oh and random videos apparently. Yea, that’s right that bottom right corner picture is Star Wars IV-VI on VHS. Boom.

I try to kinda keep it by genre, generally, but this go it’s literally been like ‘if it it fits, it sits’

You’ll note a Harry Potter lego set, may I just say that was a Christmas present to myself and the husband from my sister-in-law? She knows me too well.

I…I can’t get over how messy this all is! I couldn’t even take a picture of one of the cubes cause it was blocked by so much shite. Bahaha. Okay upward and onward [well downward shelf wise]

On the plus side, these shelves are slightly neater? Maybe?

Anyway, I have a whole shelf dedicated to Cassandra Clare cause she turns out books like I eat chocolates. Also, Mortal Instruments holds a special place in my heart as it was the first YA series I really read after the Harry Potter books.

I also have some books I’ve bought for the spawn AND myself, and I’ve kept them here for now such as Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson [not pictured here]. The Worst Teachers book is hers too, spawn prefers humorous books and graphic/comic books, I love seeing her develop her own tastes. Anyway, you’ll also see I have a cube of manga, that’s right, all manga there, and it’s three rows deep of manga lol. [Why does that sound dirty?]  I’m actually surprised by how many books I’ve actually read in these four cubes, go me, but haha the rest is all like 50% read, 50% forgot I owned.

Onto the other shelf in our tiny living room!

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Fortunately, this one is public appropriate to show you the full shelf lol. You’ll notice this is mostly classics, and hey, what can I say, I do love classics, as does the husband so this is more our shelf whereas the black cubicle one is definitely like all me lol.

I also love to collect older books so the first few shelves are the ones I find in charity shops while the bottom shelf as like our B&N pretty editions lol

And now we’re off to the basement/ground level!

 

Here we have historical fiction, ‘chick lit’ and more classics. As well as one set of my HP books and my Tamora Pierce books. ❤ The bottom shelf is like all Agatha Christie behind those other mystery books.

On the right we have….wait for it, nonfiction. There are reference books for musicology studies and the general nonfiction that the hubs and I can both bond over. Except he reads boring things like Napoleon stuff while I’m like ‘hey let’s read about actors and the Romanov dynasty’ lol.

Where will we go next? To our bedroom! [Bookshelves only, pervs]

Now, the bottom right picture is actually a different shelf, it’s a small one we keep our TBR books on, and you know, whatever else needs to go on there. You’ll spy Wolf Light and Curses & Kisses on the top of that shelf, I’m so excited to read those lol. The taller shelf holds signed/special edition books and my husband’s Hemingway and philosophy books as they’re important to him ❤

I know I’ve got multiple editions of some books on there, but, these books really made an impression on me so I have more than one copy.

I’ve got Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Kingdom of Souls, Fairyloot editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow, The Beautiful, The Merciful Crow, and Serpent and Dove on the first shelf. There’s also the Goldsboro editions of The Gods of Jade and Shadow and Aurora Rising. Pan’s Labyrinth is a signed Forbidden Planet edition, and that’s the Waterstones exclusive edition of The Deathless Girls. The rest of the books are regular editions but they’re all signed and most are personalized to me, they’re the authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet!

Second and third shelf are mostly Waterstones or even Barnes and Noble special editions, and more signed by the author/signed bookplate books. There’s also a Faecrate edition of The Red Labyrinth because I really thought that book was awesome and underrated. Finally the bottom shelf, I want to point out my Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Blood Heir, man, I thought that book was pretty great.

There we go, I have shown you all my horribly messy bookshelves, and consider these all ‘before’ photos as we are going to be getting wall/floating shelves for the mess that is the living room.

One Year

I’ve met so many amazing people, and read so many equally amazing books, that I can’t imagine my life without some part of the bookish community. I’ve joined street teams, I’ve found friends, met lovely people in publishing, authors, and book reviewers who have influenced my bookshelves.

I could go on and on about what I’ve done, but I already did a year in review, I read a lot, over 240+ books, put up over 174 book review posts, participated in readathons, blog tours, and Book Ending events, and really all that I can think to write about is how happy it’s all made me and how much fun I’ve had. This is all thanks to the people I’ve encountered and without them, there wouldn’t be this post.

Wouldn’t be here without you either.

Sending love and wishing you all the best, let’s see what another year will do on this blog. [Still updating my Patreon stuff, and will be bringing back Comparing Notes, just for starters]

Now onto the important stuff!

Giveaway Information

Giveaway is for a 10 gift card for book depository, it is open internationally, to be entered for it just comment on my blog OR F/RT the tweet about it. That’s it! [If you comment on here but don’t want to be entered in the giveaway for any reason, just state that you’d like to be exempt]

 

 

Christmas [Eve] Traditions

 

 

Hey all, so if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I apologize, this may be a bit of a boring post for you but I would love to hear about your favorite holidays and how you celebrate them in the comments.

This is about Traditions, and I would love to hear your traditions, no matter the time of year you pick to share

In my family, honestly, Christmas Eve tends to be the ‘bigger’ day for us, sure we have the presents on Christmas, but the rest of the day is mostly just sleeping and then eating.

Christmas eve is the evening where, we all open one gift, we play board games/videogames, listen to music, all gather around the table and talk once the kids are asleep while listening to some questionably cheesy Christmas music.

Every year I tend to get the spawn a specific present for her to open on Xmas Eve and that’s usually a pair of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. Something I can read to her, but as she gets older, I’ll probably look at fewer picture books, but, either way, it’s my way of sharing things I love with my child. Reading, and Xmas. So, this is pretty important to me. This year since we’ll be travelling so close to Christmas, I think we’ll just bring along a favorite book, and her Star Wars Xmas pjs [that’s right, I’m a kickass mom].

The tradition of giving her a book was because of my love of reading, as it’s not a tradition my family had, but that’s one thing about growing up, it’s starting your own family, found or otherwise, and having your own traditions. Maybe that’s Cards Against Humanity with a bottle of rum and your people who support you most, maybe it’s a time of quiet reflection for you, but traditions are important and as bookish people we tend to have some, well, bookish themes thrown in every now and then.

I also love being gifted books, but, haha, luckily my family and friends know which books I like so I don’t have to worry about that awkward moment when someone tries to gift me a book completely off my interest radar.

Reading with spawn is one way I can really enjoy this holiday, and I love re-reading my own Christmas favorite books, just something about the hope and goodness that can be associated with Christmas that always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But the rest of the month is usually dedicated to Murder Mysteries, can’t get too fuzzy.

So this post isn’t to go into great detail, it’s just me sharing a bit of myself with you all and hoping you’ll do the same if you feel comfortable.

[Happy Holidays]

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

It’s that time of year again! Many people are looking at gifts, not everyone, but, if you are looking, here we go, I’m gonna try to help out!

**This is by no means sponsored and no one gave me free things or money to write up this list, so, I’m going to just toss out some ideas, no links and no prices or anything.**

 

1.

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Now if you/your reader has a kindle with a booklight or mostly listen to audiobooks, this is probably not going to be the winning idea. BUT even me with my beloved Kindle Fire, still need a booklight.

This works great for my older kindle, and for my regular books and there are so many kinds of book lights available.

 

2.

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Speaking of Audiobook peeps, there are a few ideas for them of course, but I’ve started off with something smaller, headphones. Idk about your reader/you, but I am notorious for going through headphones, mostly because I lose them, but still, maybe someone is in need of an upgrade or needs spares, or something. Another option that has a nice large price range as well so yay for that, especially if you’re poor like meeeeee.

 

3.

 

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I love my kindles, and I love having a case or two to switch out for both of them. [The Kindle Keyboard is ancient but I will not abandon her while she liiiiives] So! Maybe you/your reader might appreciate a nice new look to their eReader! There’s plenty of options all over the net for these, and once again, you can find a lot of options for a good-sized price range.

 

4.

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This could be a hit or miss, depends on the person’s love of candles. Personally, I love candles, and I had only really stuck to ones in chain shops before, but the great thing is being able to buy from small businesses in this one if you have the chance to! So many scents and it’s so much fun to look at all the different ones they have for the plethora of fandoms!

 

5.

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Another favorite of mine!! Why? Because this is not just something you go buy/order, you can make these, they can be paper, wood, metal…have beads or glitter or prints. SO MANY OPTIONS and yes this is limited to the physical book readers, but, my mini made me a bookmark and I do love it. And just skim past this one if you need something more for the eReader/Audio reader.

 

6.

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So, audiobooks can be a bit pricey, but, there’s always the option of buying some credits for audible or something else, or, if you’re old-school, you can buy some on CD. In my case, I did, but only because my Niece drives an older car so I got her a Stephen King audiobook on CD to listen to on her way to and from class.

 

7.

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Ebooks are always a great option especially if you/your reader is primarily/solely an eReader person. You can usually find some really good deals on eBooks as well, at some point. I personally may have bought one or two for myself off Black Friday deals, but you’re not limited to sales that happen on Black Friday.

 

8.

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Physical Books! It’s not the quantity but the quality that matters, and there’s always room in a book lovers life for ONE more book. [As we keep telling ourselves as we fill our shelves and rooms with them] This is another thing with a super-wide budget too, and in my case I got lucky, my sister and I like buying secondhand, and since she’s grown to have a taste for Sophie Kinsella books, through my charity shop hunts I’ve been able to get her about five books for Christmas for about 3.50

 

9.

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Another for physical readers, and I’m sorry this list is so physical book reading heavy, please forgive me guys lol. But! Book Sleeves are handy, I love to use them for the trains as I keep my books in my bag and they always somehow get some dent or bent cover, no matter how carefully I put them in. Drives me nuts, may drive you/your reader nuts as well and this could solve their problem lol.

 

10.

 

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So I know I already mentioned bookish candles, but, instead of going on with this list forever, I thought I would just say, aside from bookish candles there are a lot of bookish goodies you can get you/your reader. Mugs, for those who like hot beverages, notebooks/journals for those who like to be organized and take notes, pins and badges for the collector, and so much more. You can get bookish totes, pillowcases, tarot cards, EVERYTHING IS OUT THERE. But it’s not the price of the gift that counts, it is the thought, a handmade bookmark made from the heart is just as valuable as, say, a kindle.

 

Store Ideas

Here are some Small Businesses that may pique your interest

Tsundoku Chronicles Shop

Literary Galaxy Shop

Raging Bear Publishing Shop

Lauren James, Author’s Shop

Epik Page Shop

Amelia’s Kitchen Candles Shop

Icey Designs Shop [Author of We Hunt the Flame]

Books Breathe Magic Shop

Belle’s Book Sleeves Shop

There we have it! Your Book/Bookish Gift Idea list

An Anniversary in Books

 

 

So you’ve all heard me gush about my husband plenty of times, well, this is just another one of those times, but again, it will also involve books.

On Saturday was our two year wedding anniversary, and this time we didn’t exchange books but we did start out with books and always constantly gift each other books when we do have the chance haha.

You see…

Dun dun dun, my husband proposed to me by putting a ring at the back of ‘The Little Prince’ he knew it’s one of my favorite books and decided it was the perfect thing to use in proposing to me, on my birthday.

We then later went out to my local comic con, where I used my birthday money to have Billy Piper sign my Dr Who book, and for nearly every holiday afterwards we’ve gifted each other books.

It’s not because we love books more than other people, or that we’re a better couple because we enjoy books, it’s just because we use books to connect. Everyone connects differently and we all have books, movies, songs, something that when we love it a lot we want to share it with the people we love.

Sure we share music with each other, and movies too, but those are things we regularly partake in together, so having something like books where we both have a very set and different style, it’s really fun. I get to know more about my husband and be surprised by my husband with each book I get him or find out he wants/has read at some point.

And I think he feels the same.

We started with books, and I hope that we’ll continue to share in them together. Blogging has also connected me to other people through books, and it’s another way for me to share and love books, and it’s fantastic.

I think there’s nothing better than being able to share things you love, and to have people in my life that I can send a book to, that I can talk about books with, in my home and outside of it, well it makes me really lucky.

Is there someone you connect with, with books or anything else?

I hope to hear from you all in the comments.

Reader Voracious: Bookish Readers Choice 2019

 

Heyyyy so, nominations are open. Kal is amazing and has gotten down so many awesome categories and let’s face it…these nominations are pretty much needed.

Why?

Well, I love GR, seriously, I think it’s something I use daily and really enjoy using it but there were som failings, to say the least, with the voting for the Readers Choice Awards. I’m pretty sure all the books were super hyped and popular already, all well known authors practically, and a bit disappointing especially with the YA choices. There were so many amazing and diverse books to come out this year and they kinda seemed to have been ignored, I don’t want to sound preach-y but why were there pretty much just white writers for the nominations?

Yes, those books were good, no denying it, but, so were the others I read such as ‘Kingdom of Souls,’ ‘Girls of Storm and Shadow,’ ‘Descendant of the Crane,’ you following me here?

I just wanted to see more books, so, Kal has been the hero we all needed and allowed us to have more of a say in our reader choice awards.

 

Remember, these are open until November 30, and you have a chance to put the books down that you want, not just choose from a list. And you can fill out all of it or just the parts you feel like, it’s up to you but you’re actually given choices and it’s awesome.

So, go look at this really helpful and informative post if you’re wanting to do this and go forth and have your voice heard!

I went crazy with it myself lol.

No We Don’t Do It For The Free Books

 

Hey guys, here to spill some tea on this sunny and freakin’ freezing Friday morning.

So, no one has complained about this, it’s not like people have been throwing this accusation in my face, but it’s something I feel like talking about today because we do know people say this:

‘Book blogging means free books’

Yes. It does. But, when people say you do it for the free books, accuse us of being cheap, and so much more, it makes me super annoyed to the point where I feel like I’m in an anime.

 

So now let me roll out my rant.

There is no specific cost to being a book blogger, yes some spend more than others, yes some of use free wordpress, some of us have our own domains and self host, there’s so much variation but we tend to have one thing in common.

We love books.

Oh and another thing we have in common.

We are dedicated.

Book blogging is time consuming. There’s no lack of posts explaining just how time consuming it is either. We don’t just write posts, we think of content we revamp our sites, we do social media to some extent, and not only that but we read books, obviously.

Oh the eARCs/ARCs are free, but we also give our time for free.

Yea, I was very excited to start getting free books, I won’t lie, NetGalley is like a dangerous place for me to go because of that, but, do you know what else? I still buy books. And even if I didn’t, I write these posts and promote these books with everything I have. Sure, some of us are not as well known as others but we’re all here trying our best, FOR FREE to promote.

And it’s not the publishers and authors that accuse [not all the time or most of the time anyway lol] us of doing this for the free books, it’s people who don’t realize the effort we put in.

I’m sitting here, my house in disarray and you know what? It’s gonna stay that way because I’ve made commitments and yes sometimes we take a while to get to some of the books, and yes we will write negative reviews, but we always try.

There are graphics, twitter chat threads, bookstagram reviews, goodreads and amazon review write ups, and I sometimes get in over my head, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m also lucky enough to be in the position to buy a physical/final copy of eARC/ARC books I really enjoy. And since book blogging I definitely buy more books in my case, and I do book subscription boxes sometimes, and guess what, you don’t need to do any of that to bookblog, and if you ‘just’ review free books, that’s just as important and valid.

We do it for a love of reading, a love of books, to support authors, and if we get some free books for it, that’s no one’s place to judge.

Probably the people that need to read this won’t, but still, I’m here for my fellow book bloggers and saying, read that free book, review to your heart’s content, and keep being awesome.

Book Ending Autumn – 13 Days of Halloween

Thanks to Sam and Clo for putting together such a fun and awesome even as BookEnding and I am so happy to be participating in BE Autumn!!

Day 2 of my day of hosting is a tip of my hat to the ol’ 13 Days of Halloween on ABC Family.

Now you’re welcome to pick strictly 13 Movies you think fit the festivity of Halloween/All Hallow’s Eve/Samhain/Day of the Dead. But I’m going to be giving a mix of movies and books.

 

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Movie
Hocus Pocus

There was no way this wasn’t making the list lol.

 

 

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Book & Movie

Dracula

Dracula is a fave book of mine, and the classic book may not be for everyone but we’re lucky enough to have sooo many different movie adaptations.

For today I’m going to go with my old fave

The 1992 film with Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman, I love it for all its cult-loveableness! I also enjoy the older versions and newer versions, and yes, even Dracula 2000.

 

 

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Book & Movie

The Halloween Tree

I loved the movie and watch it every year, a couple of years ago my husband bought me the book, and I loved it too, so now, I just immerse myself in the goodness of Ray Bradbury, in his book and the film, which, he narrates!

 

 

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Movie

Army of Darkness

Thanks to a friend who also wrote an awesome book which I reviewed and then interviewed her…but you know, I digress, I also watched Army of Darkness and kinda pretty much fell in love with the movie. It cracks me up and it’s perfect for this spooky season.

 

 

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Book & Movie

Frankenstein

So, another classic horror movie I love but the movie …well it’s actually Young Frankenstein. I LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH and I watch it every year. And the book was definitely worth a read…or three for me.

 

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Book & Movie

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

So, this isn’t a book on its own but it’s in Irving’s collection of essays and stories titled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. I grew up watching the Disney cartoon version of this, but, of course, I love the Tim Burton version too!

 

 

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Movie

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Lololol like my spooky loving ass wasn’t putting this movie on here, this whole list was almost a homage to Burton.

 

 

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Movie

The Addams Family

This family is just ‘goals’ to me lol, and I love the original movie so much…there are so many movies I want to write but I’m trying to be more bookish, let’s see how this goes lol.

 

 

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Book

Hallowe’en Party

Christie is the queen of mystery so most of her books are a good choice to read for this festive season if you ask me, but, I think this one is especially appropriate! And it does have a bit of a small difference in it with its victim that sets it apart from the rest of her books!

 

 

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Book

The Best of Richard Matheson

This man was a brilliant scary story-teller, he wrote for Twilight Zone and also is known for writing I Am Legend. This collection of short stories was so much fun to read and definitely perfect for 13 Days of Halloween.

 

 

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Movie

Beetlejuice

I know, I’m sorry, totally predictable but it’s tradition.

 

 

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Book & Movie

The Witches

This book by Roald Dahl was a favorite growing up, and I may have been disillusioned by the author himself, but I am still glad I read it as a child…before I knew lol. Also, the film was super entertaining to watch as a kid.

 

 

 

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Book & Movie

Interview With The Vampire

Another where I love both the book and its movie adaptation! I mean it’s no cinematic masterpiece but it’s still something I enjoy watching ❤

 

 

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Movie

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

I love this movie, judge away lol, mini and I watch it when we carve pumpkins and after we trick or treat on Halloween.

 

Once more please feel free to use my graphics, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have on your 13 Days of Halloween lists!