Book Prizes

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 17.26.00So, I keep seeing shortlists for book prizes….

Book prizes often actually put me off books. With one very well known prize, if there is a book on their shortlist that I was previously interested in, it just being on the list will make me remove it from my TBR. I haven’t just started doing this completely randomly, there is a reason. With some of these big prizes I have read many of the previous winning or shortlisted books and I haven’t liked any of them. It’s similar to liking or not liking particular genres really. I know I don’t tend to like YA in the same way I know I don’t tend to like such and such prize winners, so I avoid both.

It seems the big name prizes are often very political. If a book is about an “important” topic it ends up on a prize shortlist, regardless of how good or bad it actually is. From my point of view the quality of the book should be the sole determining factor for prizes. Anyone can pick an “important” topic and write something about it. Not everyone can write a good book. A good book, can be about anything, any topic, it being about a less “important” topic doesn’t make it “unworthy”.Read More »

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Do you DNF books?

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 11.13.46So, I find it really difficult to not finish a book. Why? I’m not really sure. I think it’s mostly because I keep hoping that it will get better and I don’t want to miss out.

With ARCs there is an added factor, the publisher is expecting a review, and I don’t want to let them down. I also want to get future ARCs. I am totally fine writing bad reviews for ARCs, which last month in particular shows, but I feel like I have to at least write a review. I know some people still write reviews if they DNF a book but I think it is better to be able to do a full review, which to me means finishing the book. What if the ending is amazing and changes how you feel about the whole book?Read More »

I want to be an author. You?

Dr. Francis Crick's Nobel Prize Medal on Heritage AuctionsSo, I want to be an author. Why you ask? Because I have a ridiculously romanticised view of what it would be like, that’s why!

Of course if I wrote a book it would instantly be a New York Times bestseller and I would end up winning a Nobel Prize for literature right? “That’s ridiculous” you say? “You’re crazy” you say?…….Nah

I have read lots of articles about authors earning terrible money but still when I think of being an author that’s not what I think of. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I am competitive. There is nothing wrong with being competitive, competition leads to advancement, not just personally but societally as well, but it is something people often judge you for.Read More »

Does it count as reading if it’s a graphic novel?

15195When someone tells me they are reading a book, I imagine a 200+ page novel with writing taking up the whole page on every page. You?

Often with BookTube I will be watching a video and someone will say they  have read 15 books that month and I  will think “wow, that’s loads”, usually though it turns out that they have “read” a lot of graphic novels, and I’m disappointed.

From my point of view, a graphic novel is essentially a longer/bigger version of a comic. Most people would say they “read” a comic however, so is it fair to say the same with a graphic novel? Or is it fair in some contexts but not others? Fair in the general population but not on BookTube for example?Read More »

Reading Book Reviews

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Lately  I have been reading a lot more book reviews and I have found a lot of them really frustrating! I wrote a post recently about writing reviews but that concentrated on what other people like rather than what I like, so that is the purpose of this post!

In my other post I said I wasn’t sure if people want all opinion in the actual review or some more recap of the story as well. However, it seems quite a lot of people don’t give an opinion at all in their reviews, they just go over the plot. Yes that can be helpful but is it really right to call that a review? Sometimes there is a bit more of a discussion of the themes of the book rather than just the story but often the reviewer still doesn’t really give an opinion. Saying a book “explores an important topic” isn’t the same as saying “it was well written, I particularly liked…” I don’t need the entire plot from reviewers, that’s what the book is for, I read book reviews because I want to know the opinion of the reviewer, so why aren’t reviewers actually giving opinions? I want to know what they think!

Read More »

Are TBR Lists Good or Bad?

book-piles

So, I don’t have a TBR list as such, I have a bunch of books on my shelf and Kindle that I want to read at some point, as well as a very long Amazon wish list, but I don’t plan my reading ahead of time. I am a mood reader, so a TBR list just wouldn’t work for me. The only thing I do stick to is reading my subscription service book right after I finish whatever book I am reading when it arrives.

I do however really enjoy watching TBR videos on BookTube, and I love it when people use an actual TBR jar, basically because I think they look cute. While watching these videos however it has become apparent that a lot of people find having a TBR list really stressful. So why do they do it?Read More »

New Look!!!

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So, those of you that have been here before will (hopefully) notice that, as of today, my blog looks completely different!

Yes I have changed the “theme”, as in the visual style, (not what the blog is actually about), but I have done a bunch of other things too!

In terms of the look, whenever I read other blogs I always felt like they looked way cooler than mine so have wanted to change things up for a while. When I first started my blog, I had limited time and picked a theme that I thought was pretty-ish, but very basic/simple looking. Today I have changed that! I have in fact repeatedly changed the look throughout the day. First I went for a nice bright look but my fiancé said it looked old fashioned, so I played around some more and have come up with this. It’s not perfect, there are a couple of visual things I would still like to change and will try to figure out how at some point, though I’m not entirely sure it is possible to do everything I want. Read More »

Writing Book Reviews

So, before I started my blog I thought writing reviews was really easy, it’s not.

Firstly it is hard to know what people want and would find helpful in reviews. Sometimes the blurb on Amazon etc isn’t that detailed, and in those cases I have found reading reviews that explain a bit more of the story helpful. A lot of BookTubers say they prefer to go into books blind though. So, what should you do? Include a story recap or not? I tend not to unless the blurb is really limited. Looking at other blogs though a lot of people include long plot descriptions so I don’t know if I am doing this blog thing properly or not!

In terms of other review components, it still doesn’t get any easier!Read More »

Book Review – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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Title- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author- Junot Diaz
Published- 2009
Genre- Literary fiction
Length- 335 pages
Rating- 3/5

Synopsis (Goodreads)- Things have never been easy for Oscar. A ghetto nerd living with his Dominican-American family in New Jersey, he’s disastrously overweight, keeps falling hopelessly in love and dreams of becoming the next Tolkien. Meanwhile his punk sister Lola wants to run away, and his resolute mother Beli can’t seem to let either of them go.

Moving across generations and continents, from Beli’s tragic past in the Dominican Republic to struggles and dreams in suburban America, this is the wondrous story of Oscar, his family and their search for love and belonging.

Review- This is another book that is difficult to rate.

Firstly, I think the title, cover, and synopsis are pretty misleading.Read More »

Dust Jackets

dust-jacket

So, I love hardcovers but what are you supposed to do with the dust jackets when you are actually reading them?

For the shelf it’s simple, jacket on. When reading though, jacket or naked? Most books are pretty plain when they are naked so I like the jackets, but when I am slouching around reading there is the potential for the jacket edges to get scuffed, which I obviously don’t want.Read More »