Miscellaneous

All posts in the Miscellaneous category

April 2017 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month

Published April 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone! Every other month I alternate what I’m reading quite specifically between three things. It’s either Chrissi Cupboard Month where I try my best to get through all the books my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads lends me (and that’s a lot!). Then there’s Real Book Month where I try and read all the physical books just waiting to be devoured on my bookshelves (also a LOT!) Finally, there’s Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month where I try and catch up on all those ARC/review copies sent to me by authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Bridgr. (A LOT!) April is going to be one of the latter months and here’s what I’m looking forward to getting to this month:

Hangman by Stephan Talty

(received from Book Bridgr)

Me, Myself And Why by Jennifer Ouellette

(received from NetGalley)

When We Go Missing by Kristen Twardowski

(received from author)

The Book Of Life by Deborah Harkness

(received from Book Bridgr)

The Strangler Vine (Avery & Blake #1) by M.J. Carter

(received from NetGalley)

The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

(received from author)

Some of these books I’ve been meaning to get to for the longest time and this month it shall finally be done! Really looking forward to all of these, I think I’ve picked an interesting selection. Have you read any? What did you think? Chat to me in the comments!

February 2017 – Real Book Month

Published February 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

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It’s time for one of my favourite months – real book month! This is where I try to bring down that pesky TBR as much as I can. I try to focus on books I’m really excited about and roll my eyes that I haven’t managed to get to them before now. I normally have a list of about ten I want to read, however, because I also participate in Banned Books and Kid-Lit with my sister as well as reading the Richard and Judy book club titles, I’ve felt under too much pressure lately so am just easing that slightly. Here’s what I plan to be reading this month:

Empire Of Storms (Throne Of Glass #5) – Sarah J. Maas

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) – Stephen King

The Swan Kingdom – Zoe Marriott

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things – Jenny Lawson

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

What can I say about this list? Except they’re books I’ve been wanting to read for SO LONG. The fifth book in the Throne Of Glass series as I’m a unashamedly huge fan (as with Stephen King), the Zoe Marriott as I absolutely loved her book Shadows On the Moon and The Swan Kingdom was a gift from my sister. Chrissi also read Furiously Happy a while back and really enjoyed it and I must admit, I have been staring longingly at it on my shelves! Finally, Dark Places as I’ve recently read and enjoyed Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and really wanted to finish her back catalogue.

Personal Post – Blogging with Fibromyalgia

Published January 29, 2017 by bibliobeth

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Image from http://www.washingtonarthritisrheumors.com/medications-in-fibromyalgia/

Hi everyone, hope you’re having a lovely day! I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for a while but I’ve only just worked up the courage to do it. If you’re not into personal posts and are only here for the books, you can skip this I honestly won’t be offended. But if you’re interested…. if you’re a regular visitor to my blog you might wonder why I post so erratically – sometimes I can manage every day for a week, other times you may not hear from me for ten days? Well, unfortunately, just over six years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and hypermobility and it has changed my life completely.

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Image from https://www.mesupport.co.uk/index.php?page=fibromyalgia

How can I describe fibromyalgia? Well, there’s a few choice words I’d LIKE to use, but I’ll keep it clean. Fibro is like a beast inside your body, constantly gnawing away at you, giving you no rest or comfort day or night. But less dramatically… fibro is a chronic illness with an unknown cause (as yet, although there are a few theories). It causes pain in many different regions of the body and comes with a host of different symptoms, not all of them I have but I’m unlucky to have a good chunk of them.

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Image from https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/569142471631041189/

Some people say there’s over sixty symptoms, some over one hundred. Basically, every thing that goes wrong with my body is explained by my doctor as “my fibro,” which can be kind of frustrating. How has it changed my life? I’m not the same person I used to be. I used to be really active, energetic, going to spin classes at the gym and loved socialising with my friends pre-fibro. Now, the only kind of exercise I can cope with is walking (20 mins tops), I can’t stand for long periods of time, I’m constantly beyond the usual level of tired and I’m in pain every. single. day. And social life – are you kidding me? I’m currently managing to work full-time as a biomedical scientist and I’m finding it really really tough. Many people with fibro either can’t work at all or can only work part-time. God knows how I’m doing it!

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Image from https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/477522366716874975/

One of the hardest things about fibro is when it affects my reading/blogging. I’ve got a humungous back log of reviews from literally over a year ago and when I’m feeling particularly bad, there’s no way I can sit down with my laptop and do a post. My brain and body just won’t let me. I am trying to make positive steps though – like my mini reviews, to catch up on that backlog which is working really well so far!

I’ve always been introverted, that’s for sure but I was just gaining a bit of confidence in myself before fibro hit which is a shame. Now I question everything – my work, friends, blog posts etc. Fibro really affects the way I speak and sometimes I really struggle for words or get them in the wrong order which makes me a bit scared and then I panic when I talk to people and feel the old “fibro fog,” descending which of course makes it worse!

I really am trying to stay positive about the whole thing and when it’s been six years… you kind of get used to it believe it or not! I just wanted to explain to any readers, publishers, authors others who are curious why I might be a bit slow at getting your reviews up or your books read. I am truly sorry and am trying my best, I absolutely love what I do and if I’ve agreed to read your book, trust me I WILL read it. (Failing that, if it’s been a year, maybe you should give me a little poke and remind me as my memory nowadays kind of sucks!) 😛

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for reading/listening to my bunch of nonsense, it feels better just to get it out there. Thank you once again to everyone who comes to visit and reads my reviews, I honestly appreciate each and every one of you and long may it continue!! If you have any questions (or are a fellow sufferer yourself) I am happy to answer them, available in the usual places – here in the comments section, on Twitter @bibliobeth1, on Instagram and on Facebook. Take care everyone!

Beth xxxx

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Image from https://nl.pinterest.com/explore/depression-tattoo/

Aw…bibliobeth turns 4!

Published January 5, 2017 by bibliobeth

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I cannot believe I’ve now been blogging for FOUR years! I want to thank every single person who reads my posts whether you’re a regular visitor or come now and then, I honestly appreciate your support. Who knew anybody would be interested in what I’ve got to say?!

Unfortunately, my last year in blogging hasn’t been as great as the year before. I have a chronic illness (something I’m thinking about talking about in a personal post at some point but am a bit wary of doing this!) and this year it’s really affected the way and the amount I blog. This is really annoying as I love blogging so much and I get cross when something prevents me from doing it.

However, I AM planning on doing some awesome bloggish things this year and just hope to really enjoy it and not put too much pressure on myself.

To celebrate my four year blogoversary I’d like to host a giveaway. FOUR books of your choice from Amazon or The Book Depository (exceptions are textbooks and ridiculously priced books). I will keep it open until the end of January so you have lots of time to enter and once I’ve chosen a winner at random, I’ll contact you and you can let me know your address for receiving your lovely goodies! Please make sure if you are under 18 you have permission to email me your address which will only be used for the purpose of this giveaway. Please enter below and good luck everyone!

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Banned Books – The Titles For 2017 Revealed!

Published January 3, 2017 by bibliobeth

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m pleased to say my sister Chrissi Reads and I are going to be continuing our banned books series in 2017 and these are the titles we have chosen:

JANUARY – Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out – Susan Kuklin

FEBRUARY – The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time – Mark Haddon

MARCH – Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

APRIL –  Habibi – Craig Thompson

MAY – Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan – Jeanette Winter

JUNE – Saga, Volume Two (Chapters 7-12) – Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

JULY – The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

AUGUST – Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

SEPTEMBER – Scary Stories – Alvin Schwartz

OCTOBER – ttyl – Lauren Myracle

NOVEMBER – The Color Of Earth – Kim Dong Hwa

DECEMBER – The Agony Of Alice – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

As always, we will be publishing our post on the last Monday of every month so if you want to read along with us, feel free!

British Books Challenge 2016 – The Round Up

Published January 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

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2016 was my fourth year of participating in the British Books Challenge. I love doing this every year and think it’s important to support our authors here in the UK, old and new. Here’s what I’ve managed to review this year in British Books!

Frost Hollow Hall – Emma Carroll

The Horse Dancer – Jojo Moyes

We Were Just Driving Around – Jon McGregor

Bella Broomstick – Lou Kuenzler

The Chamois – Daphne du Maurier

Silent Saturday – Helen Grant

The Demons Of Ghent – Helen Grant

Urban Legends – Helen Grant

The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross

Under The Pylon – Graham Joyce

The Versions Of Us – Laura Barnett

The Quality Of Silence – Rosamund Lupton

In A Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

Duet – Kate Mosse

Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden

The Coral Strand – Ravinder Randhawa

Defender Of The Realm (Defender Of The Realm #1) – Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler

Strange Girls And Ordinary Women – Morgan McCarthy

The Samaritan (Carter Blake #2) – Mason Cross

Moving – Jenny Eclair

Enough Of This Shit Already – Tony Black

The Boy In The Dress – David Walliams

Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier

Create Your Own Spy Mission – Andrew and Chris Judge

Charm For A Friend With A Lump – Helen Simpson

A Year Of Marvellous Ways – Sarah Winman

Noble Conflict – Malorie Blackman

The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

The Inventory: Iron Fist (The Inventory #1) – Andy Briggs

Alfie Bloom And The Secrets Of Hexbridge Castle (Alfie Bloom #1) – Gabrielle Kent

Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief (Alfie Bloom #2) – Gabrielle Kent

Notes From The House Spirits – Lucy Wood

Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller

How I Finally Lost My Heart – Doris Lessing

The Bones Of You – Debbie Howells

According To Yes – Dawn French

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

Random Acts Of Unkindness – Jacqueline Ward

The Adventure Of The Speckled Band – Arthur Conan Doyle

Maggot Moon – Sally Gardner

Sweet Caress – William Boyd

The Girls – Lisa Jewell

The Oasis Of Time – Carolyn Waugh

Author Requests – Off Key by Mark Robertson, Piano From A 4th Storey Window by Jenny Morton Potts and The Death Of Danny Daggers by Haydn Wilks

The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy – Rachel Joyce

A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding – Jackie Copleton

Garlic And Gauloises – Hemmie Martin

Looking For JJ (Jennifer Jones #1) – Anne Cassidy

If It Keeps On Raining – Jon McGregor

Reasons To Stay Alive – Matt Haig

Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense Of The Twentieth Century – John Higgs

The Lordly Ones – Daphne du Maurier

Roseblood – Paul Doherty

The Last Act Of Love – Cathy Rentzenbrink

Tiger Moth – Graham Joyce

The Widow – Fiona Barton

The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

The Puppet Master – Abigail Osborne

Under My Skin – James Dawson

Red Letter Day – Kate Mosse

Missing, Presumed – Susie Steiner

Getting It Wrong – Ramsey Campbell

Disclaimer – Renée Knight

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfeild

Among Others – Jo Walton

Chinese Whispers – Ben Chu

The Last Leaves Falling – Fox Benwell

Hogmanay Homicide – Edward Marston

 The Loving Husband – Christobel Kent

The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair

So if I’ve calculated correctly, that makes it 72 books for the British Books Challenge this year. It isn’t as much as last year but I’ve still made the target of 12 books a year which I’m very happy with, especially as I haven’t had a great blogging year with a lot of illness. 😦

Highlights from this year include Disclaimer by Renee Knight which I will treasure as not only is it a fantastic book but I also managed to meet the lady herself at Crime At The Court (hosted by Goldsboro Books, London) with my blogger buddy Cleopatra Loves Books. She’s lovely and so very talented and I will probably read anything she ever writes! The Last Act Of Love was also a hugely important and emotional book for me and I loved reviewing it with my sister, Chrissi Reads in our little “Talking About” feature which we do on occasion. Other honourable mentions go to Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig, Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, the Forbidden Spaces Trilogy by Helen Grant and the fabulous Emma Carroll who wrote the beautiful Frost Hollow Hall. I could go on and on. I’m certainly looking forward to reading some more “best of British” books in 2017! Look out for my sign up post coming soon.

Ninja Book Box NOVEMBER 2016 Unboxing -“Slightly Surreal”

Published December 18, 2016 by bibliobeth

Hi everyone! This post today will show you my opening of the very first Ninja Book Box which was delivered to me in November. I first talked about The Ninja Book Box a while ago but just to remind you, it’s a quarterly book subscription service that supports independent publishers and includes a whole host of other bookish goodies, usually connected to the book for that month. For more information please go to the official site HERE where you can also sign up to receive the February box, the theme of which is A Shakespearean Mystery. Also, please check out my previous post HERE if you’re interested where I talk about The Ninja Book Box in more detail.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the unboxing!

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A box of joy! Ooh, what could be inside?

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing I noticed was how nice the box was. I know, sounds silly but just seeing the words Ninja Book Box on the side made me stupidly excited for the contents within! On opening the box, it was a huge surprise. I was expecting a couple of extra goodies for being a funder of the Kickstarter campaign for this project but the amount of goodies that I did receive was incredibly generous and thoughtful. So what was there?

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There was a lovely little bookmark (from Skinny Hues), a nifty little keyring which had a brilliant surprise on it – one one side was the words Ninja Book Box (of course!) and the second, the tag-line from my blog main page which had me thoroughly delighted! The green item? A lily pad of course and what should sit on it but a little frog charm, perfect for a bracelet if you have one, if you don’t like me, it’s just a beautiful object.

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Close up pic of the keyring and little frog charm

 

 

 

 

 

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But wait, there’s even more. A card with a street map of Cardiff (by Crafty Bacon Studios) a coaster with a star on (from J Talbot Designs) and a “Starry Skies” tea towel (from Blinkin’ Imp). Can you figure out the theme yet? I’m starting to feel thoroughly spoiled.

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I was excited to discover that the book provided with the Slightly Surreal box was Star Shot by Mary-Ann Constantine published by Seren Books (a small Welsh publisher) which looks and sounds fabulous according to the GoodReads synopsis:

“Part fable, part mystery, Star-Shot is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city.

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son. As university researchers try to map and understand the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous, Star-Shotis an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.”

Also provided was a great little interview with the author which I’m saving to read after I’ve finished the book for fear of spoilers, a review from Bex (Ninja Book Box developer extraordinaire) and her recommendations for other Cardiff based books/TV series and further books with a similar feel to Star Shot. The second book in this box was Busker by Liam Murray Bell and was an extra reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign. This also looks brilliant and is set in my home country of Scotland, an additional bonus for me!:

“Three cities, two years, one chance: from the author of the critically acclaimed debut So It Is ? shortlisted for best first book at the Scottish Book Awards 2013 ? comes the hard-hitting story of a young man determined to find his voice. Plucked from obscurity in Glasgow, Rab Dillon is about to become the next great protest singer. Seduced by promises of stardom, carrying only the guitar given to him by the girl who broke his heart, he travels down to London. There he records the debut album that will speak to the dispossessed, the disenfranchised and disheartened. One year later, he is sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton. A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic expos(r) of the music industry, the Occupy movement, homelessness, squatting ? and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”

One final little surprise, another reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign – an excellent mug which sums up everything I want from life.

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Oh yes! So to sum up my first Ninja Book Box I would use two words – ROARING SUCCESS! I loved that there was a mixture of items and that there was a connection to the book from each item. The book itself looks excellent and is one I’m really looking forward to diving into. I’m eagerly anticipating the Shakespearean Mystery Box in February and highly recommend this new book subscription box service to everyone! A huge thank you to Bex and all the companies, publishers involved in this venture for this amazing first box, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

COMING UP IN FEBRUARY: Ninja Book Box Unboxing – A Shakespearean Mystery