bookish events

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Annual Bloggers Bash Awards – A Surprise Nomination!

Published April 7, 2018 by bibliobeth

I love to celebrate and support bloggers in any way I can so when I saw that voting had opened for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards founded by author Sacha Black, I hot-footed it over to the website to vote for my favourites. The categories are: Best Overall Blogger, Funniest Blogger, Most Inspirational Blogger, Most Informative (Original Content) Blogger, Best Book Review Blog, Services To Bloggers, Hidden Gem, Newcomer Blogger and Best Pal.

So I started casting my votes (whilst very much wishing I could cast two or three votes in some categories!) and I got a huge surprise when I saw my own little blog name nominated for the Most Informative (Original Content) Blogger! To whoever nominated me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, it was just the pick me up that I needed. I’m up against some absolutely amazing blogs so in no way expect to win but just to be nominated is a huge honour and makes everything I do feel completely worthwhile.

I’m not going to ask you to vote for me, although if you want to please feel free and I would be delighted! Please however, show your support for all the wonderful book blogs nominated and cast your vote for your favourite. Book blogging is one of my favourite things to do but it is a lot harder work than I ever would have anticipated so I appreciate every single blogger who takes time out of their busy lives to write and publish a post.

Congratulations to all the book blogs mentioned and also to the book blogs that haven’t been nominated, you’re all awesome. Voting ends at midnight on April 30th and the winners will be announced on May 19th at the party in Chiswick, London. Good luck everyone!

VOTE HERE:

https://sachablack.co.uk/2018/04/06/voting-is-now-open-for-the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-bloggersbash/

 

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Bluestocking Bookshop Tours – A Review

Published February 1, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special post on my blog. I’m here to today to talk about the Bluestocking Bookshop Tours, organised by the lovely Lauren, “a classically trained librarian with an extroverted twist.” I was lucky enough to be part of one of her “Special Saturday” tours, we met at 11:00 and the tour lasted for about two and a half hours, visiting five bookshops along the way and having a wonderful time.

Lauren says on her website www.bluestockingbooks.co.uk that:

“there is no shushing here, we are more liable to lead in the laughter.”

Let me assure you, this is definitely the case. Lauren was warm and friendly, very interested in all her clients (where they came from, what they did for work) and most importantly of course, what they liked to read! I instantly felt comfortable with her and the rest of the group and was bowled over by the variety of bookshops we visited and the wealth of information we were given both by her and the fantastic booksellers we encountered.

Part of the joy of the Bluestocking Bookshop Tours is that you don’t really know where you’re going so I’m not going to tell you everywhere we went so as not to spoil the surprise. However, I’d like to focus on two shops in particular that really made my day special.

The first shop was in London’s amazing Cecil Court (note to reader: if you haven’t been here before, you really must!).

Tim Bryars, owner of Bryars & Bryars bookshop

The owner, Tim Bryars has a particular interest in maps and collectable, antiquarian books and this really comes across when you enter his shop. It had the most wonderful smell of old books and some of the treasures he was kind enough to show us were truly gorgeous and very precious, especially the books/pamphlets that had dedications or messages in them that you’re never going to find anywhere else. He also showed us one of his favourite items, the first London Underground map, published in 1933 and on sale for a cool £2500.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this – the words ring so true!

These are some of the antiquarian books that Tim has in his shop, including a tome written in Greek from the 1500’s.

After another few amazing bookshops we headed to our last stop for the day, Maison Assouline which I couldn’t resist but tell you about as both the interior of it and the collection they hold absolutely astounded me. The company was created to be a “luxury brand on culture….to supply everything for a contemporary library.” This includes scented candles, bags that look like books to the casual observer, beautiful prints and the most gorgeous (and largest!) books that I have ever seen, the most expensive topping the scale at about £3000. It’s a bit specialist in subject, tending to focus on fashion, design, art architecture and travel but the books are so stunning I think any book lover would be impressed, no matter where your interests tend to lie.

Our group was lucky enough to be given a tour of the private room upstairs which not only housed some beautiful books but some gorgeous objects too and I have to say, we were all a bit lost for words at how stunning the setting was.

Mmmmmm…..massive books by a fireplace. I must be in bookworm heaven!

Our guide also told us some very interesting stories about some of the objects in the room, particularly a legend about these two vases from Sicily. I won’t spoil it for anyone who goes but it involves murder and some very “green fingers.” Say no more!

I had such a fantastic time on the Bluestocking Bookshop tour and I would recommend it to anyone who might be interested. It’s an absolute bargain at £10 per person and you get to visit such a variety of bookshops with insider knowledge that you wouldn’t normally get on an ordinary tour that I really believe it’s worth every penny. The beauty of these tours is that Lauren gives you about 15-20 minutes inside each bookshop to browse, explore and buy books at your own pace and I managed to find several very tempting things.

There are three separate tours currently available on Lauren’s website, these are Magic, Medicine and Esoteria, Shoreditch Creative and Comics: Journey into Adventure. These tours normally start at 2PM and finish at 430PM, visit 4-6 bookshops, involves perhaps 30-40 minutes of walking and sightseeing and will always start and end near an underground station, purely for convenience.

I’d like to thank Lauren so much for inviting me on one of her tours and heartily recommend that if you’re in London, near London or planning to visit London in the near future, you go ahead and book one of her tours. She’s a fantastic tour guide and it was a delightfully bookish experience perfect for any bibliophile!

Visit Lauren on her website HERE.

Mount TBR Challenge 2018

Published January 9, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good New Year so far? In my Bookish Goals/Resolutions for 2018 I mentioned that I had seen the Mount TBR Reading Challenge on Jo’s Book Blog. Well, I’ve decided to go for it and participate in this challenge! This challenge is in it’s seventh year and was designed by My Reader’s Block (check out the sign up post and full rules HERE).

The reason I’d like to participate is that I have four full bookshelves of mostly unread books just begging to be read and I would really like to get on top of them/reduce the numbers slightly this year! I’ll just go through some of the basic rules here so that you can have an idea of what the challenge entails if you’re interested:

There are a number of levels or mountains to conquer that you can choose to fit in with the number of books that you’d like to read. For example:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

Now, I don’t know if this is just crazy talk and I might live to regret this but I’m going to go for Mount Everest – 100 books from my TBR. Aaaagh!

The Rules (from My Reader’s Block site):

*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you’re on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.  All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2018.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 1st, 2018.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2018. No library books. If you’re looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then there may be challenges out there that do that. This one does not.

*Rereads may count only in the following circumstances: If you did not own the book when you read it long ago and far away [based on your age, you can decide what that might mean] and you bought the book pre-January 1, 2018 intending to reread it now that it’s your very own.  [To clarify–the intention is to reduce the stack of books that you have bought for yourself or received as presents {birthday, Christmas, “just because,” etc.}. Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.]

*You may count any “currently reading” book that you begin prior to January 1–provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around.  I will trust you all on that.

*You may count “Did Not Finish” books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, etc. OR remove it from your e-resources]. For example, my personal rule (unless it’s a very short book) is to give a book at least 100 pages. If I decide I just can’t finish it and won’t ever, then off the mountain it goes and I count it as a victory–the stack is smaller!

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance (as incentive to really get those books taken care of) or to tally them as you climb.

*There will be quarterly check-ins and prize drawings!

I’m really looking forward to reducing my TBR and reading some of the books that I’ve had on my shelves for the longest time. Hoping to conquer that pesky Mount Everest so….

Bookish Resolutions And Goals For 2018

Published January 8, 2018 by bibliobeth

Image from: http://msbookish.com/2015-goals-bookish-goals-for-the-new-year/

Hello everyone and welcome to a post that I don’t normally do but for some reason, I thought it might be nice to do for 2018. I don’t normally like to make too many rules and regulations for my blog but due to the sheer volume of the books that I own, the back-list of reviews I still have to write etc. I thought it might be time to set some things down, just to give me some sort of direction for the year ahead. I’ve written down TEN major resolutions and then I’ve slotted in another FIVE general ones (just because once I started I found it quite difficult to stop…oops!) So, here we go!

1.)  Put less pressure on myself to blog every day.

I came a little way to doing this last year when I was ill. I did get to the stage where I just thought: “Oh *%$* it!” but there was still that residual guilt when I didn’t get a post done every day. 😦

2.) Gradually reduce review back-list by continuing to do mini-pin it reviews.

I came a long way doing this last year – to date I’ve done 16 mini-pin it reviews which means sixty-four books that were originally on my review back-list are GONE! Definitely will continue this.

3.) Use notebook to make notes on titles “currently reading” so when I come to review them, things are fresher in my memory.

I recently bought a lovely notebook from Faye at Daydreaming Designs and used it to compile this list and a few other things already this year in the attempt to make me a little more organised!

4.) Be honest with myself if I’m unable to take on a review title especially those requested by authors directly that are not really my cup of tea.

When I first started blogging, I used to love that authors requested me to read their books and used to accept EVERYTHING. Then I realised how stupid this was and that I couldn’t possibly do this and read the things I WANTED to read as well. I have got better at refusing review requests but need to stop feeling bad about it too.

5.) Be better about commenting on other bloggers reviews.

Again something I have got a little better with last year but I still perhaps don’t comment as much as I should. Sometimes I think I’ve got nothing else to say except “Great review!” but even if I just say that it’s letting the blogger know I enjoyed their post.

6.) Attend more bookish events/author talks.

I love doing this and unfortunately chronic illness slows me down in this A LOT. I work in London and there is the potential to attend events after work however if I do that and get home late I’m likely to knacker myself for work the next morning. However, once in a while wouldn’t hurt!

7.) Continue with “Shelfie by Shelfie” meme and hopefully encourage others to participate.

I’ve really enjoyed developing my little meme last year, something I thought I could never do. I have a lot of shelves so there are many, many more shelfies to come and hopefully I can inspire someone else to join in too.

8.) Experiment with making reviews a little “fresher” i.e. use of images relevant to post.

I love bloggers that use images/GIF’s which highlight their content and break up the text a little bit. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this myself but we’ll see how it goes…

9.) Read some of those books I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

For example, A Song Of Fire And Ice by George R.R. Martin, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty and Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters. Some of these books have been on my shelves/Kindle for FAR too long!

10.) Start doing some buddy reads/join an online bookclub.

I’ve never done a buddy read before and it looks like such fun! I already have tentative plans with the lovely Janel from Keeper Of Pages to read The Fireman by Joe Hill this year so I’m really hoping that takes off. Just saying it right here, right now, if I mention a book and you’re open to a buddy read with me – let’s do it!

OTHER CHALLENGES:

  • Increase NetGalley ratio to a more acceptable level. – you don’t want to know my ratio…it’s shameful.
  • Participate in Mount TBR challenge. – I saw this on Jo’s Book Blog and it looks like a lot of fun!
  • Continue to enjoy Banned Books and Kid-Lit with Chrissi. – this should be easy, I’ve done this every year since I started blogging.
  • Read and review Richard And Judy book club picks. – also something I’ve done every year since I started blogging.
  • Read and review Daunt Books from annual subscription each month. – my wonderful boyfriend got me a Daunt Books Annual Subscription for Christmas so I get one new paperback each month. I’m determined to read and review them each month they come in. Let’s see how I do.

So everyone….

Image from: https://www.appbrain.com/app/wish-me-luck/com.Starlab.WML

 

Aw…bibliobeth turns 5!

Published January 5, 2018 by bibliobeth

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Hello everyone and welcome to a very special post – the celebration of my FIFTH blogoversary! Yes, that’s right, I said fifth. I honestly can’t believe I’ve been blogging for that many years, it has just flown by and I want to thank everyone who has supported me, whether you’re a regular visitor, pop by from time to time or this is your first visit, I couldn’t do it without you. I’ve made so many wonderful friends through blogging and because this year is the big FIVE I want to do three things: first of all, thank my wonderful sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads who started her blog just before mine, encouraged me to do my own, helped me during the whole wobbly setting up process, always picks me up if I get down about posts/statistics/followers/quality of my posts (the list goes on!) and is forever inspiring me with new ideas for her own blog to keep things fresh.

Thank you sis, you’re a legend and I love you.

Second of all – I know I’m not the biggest or most popular blog on the block and even though I suffer from anxiety, I’ve learned so much over these past five years. I’ve learned that you don’t have to be the best! As long as you are completely true to yourself in your content and love what you do, (which I most definitely am), I think that comes across and people will come and read your posts. That’s good enough for me – I don’t have to have thousands of followers or dozens of comments, I really love the blogging experience and count myself very lucky to be part of such a wonderful community. Thank you so much to everyone who has dropped me a like, a comment or a share, you really don’t realise how much it means to me. Thank you also to all the publishers who have sent me a review copy in exchange for an honest review, I’m honoured to work with each and every one of you.

Things have not been easy for me this year. In fact, I’ve had the toughest year of my life with my ongoing health dramas (chronic illness SUCKS!) and other personal problems for the last six months of the year that has really taken a toll on both my physical and emotional well-being. However, considering what I’ve been through, I’m really pleased with what I’ve done this year blogging wise and I’m so happy that I’m continuing to get posts out there and meet targets much better than I thought it would have done.

So thirdly and finally, because it’s a special year, I’d like to offer one lucky winner a chance to win FIVE books of your choice from either Amazon or The Book Depository (the only exceptions are textbooks and ridiculously priced books but this will be discussed with the winner). 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 and not stored. Please enter below and good luck everyone!

Please note: this giveaway IS international as long as Amazon/Book Depository delivers to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YA Shot 2016 – why you NEED to go!

Published October 16, 2016 by bibliobeth

ya-shot-logo-web

Hi everyone, I’m here today to talk about a fantastic young adult literature festival in partnership with Hillingdon Borough Libraries and Waterstones Uxbridge that happens over just one day in Uxbridge (end of Metropolitan and Piccadilly Line just outside of London). Do you love young adult fiction? Are you free next Saturday 22nd October? Then you should definitely check out the YA Shot webpage HERE and see what delights they’re offering. I was lucky enough to attend YA Shot last year with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads and we hosted a workshop called “Introduction To Blogging.” We were terribly nervous, especially as I’m not big on public speaking but we both ended up having a whale of a time and are so glad we did it.

For now, here are ten reasons why you should give YA Shot a try! (author links take you direct to the YA Shot webpage):

1.) It’s the brainchild of super-duper author and all round lovely person Alexia Casale whose novels The Bone Dragon and House of Windows you simply have to check out for their spellbinding content and beautiful, lyrical prose.

2.) Panel events? YA Shot has them in abundance! For example, Terms of Endearment: feminism and the portrayal of romance in YA – Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Rachel McIntyre, Holly Smale chaired by Holly Bourne sounds completely unmissable.

3.) Tough topics: To Have and Have Not: exploring poverty, privilege and class through YA – Michael Byrne, Patrice Lawrence, Steve Tasane, chaired by Polly Ho Yen, a talk which I’m sure will explore gritty issues and spark a great debate both during and afterwards.

4.) Feeling a bit emotional? The YA Shot team have got it covered with: The Hurt Locker: love, loss and coping – Sarah Alexander, Jenny Downham chaired by Clare Furniss.

5.) For the historical fiction lovers out there (like myself!) this looks incredibly tempting: Out of the Past: the age of the Tudors & Stuarts in YA with Jonathan WeilJane Hardstaff, Ally Sherrick, chaired by Andrew Prentice.

6.) Love the idea of “in conversation” author events? How about: It’s a Wonderful Life: exploring bullying and loss through magical realism with Mike Revell and Nikki Sheehan?

7.) Fancy being a writer yourself? How about an exclusive, small workshop (first come, first served) with a best-selling author where they can teach you all the tricks of the trade?: History is horrible (but great for writing fiction!) with Rhian Ivory.

8.) Do you have a favourite blogger/vlogger? Or maybe you’re just starting out? Come along to: The blogging system: all the things they don’t tell you with Vivienne Dacosta (Serendipity Reviews) and Laura Heath (SisterSpooky), also Blogging/Vlogging: the technical low-down with Stevie Finegan(SableCaught) and Virginie (Chouettblog).

9.) Don’t miss: Managing your reading and choosing what to review with Cora(TeaPartyPrincess) and Luna (Luna’s Little Library). (Hmm…maybe I need to go to this).

10.) There will be book signing sessions. Need I say more?

There are so many more wonderful author events and blogger/vlogger workshops than I’ve had space for in this post and I strongly urge you to visit the website to check out everything that’s going on. It’s a jam packed day that I’m certain will be a roaring success but you need to buy tickets if you want to go! Maybe I’ll see you there? Come and say hello if you see me, I’m sure to be lurking in some capacity!

Bookish Delights – Ninja Book Swap

Published September 22, 2016 by bibliobeth

autumn-swap

Has everyone heard about the Ninja Book Swap? No? Well, you’re in the perfect place! Sign up for their Autumn Ninja Book Swap has just opened (and remains open until midnight on Saturday October 2nd so you have plenty of time to fill in a really quick and easy form, receive a lovely box of bookish delights from a book ninja picked for you and send your own special package.

Interested? Tell you more?:

Okay, so here are the rules. On a date specified by lovely organiser Bex, you will receive an email giving you a partner. It will let you know their likes and dislikes with a link to their wishlist of books and your mission is to prepare a beautiful parcel based on what you think they would like. This should contain one book from your partner’s wishlist (but you can put more than one in if you like) a small gift and a card saying hello, introducing yourself with your name and Twitter/other social media contact details so that they can thank you for all the bookish goodness.

Bex will let you know the deadline as to when you must post your parcel by and once you send it off make sure you get proof of postage and email the Ninja Book Swap Team with a copy of this to prove that you have sent the package. You can choose to send internationally or locally, just please be aware that it is obviously going to cost a bit more if you choose to send overseas. After the deadline and after you’ve sent your parcel all you have to do is wait eagerly for Mr Postman to deliver your own box of delights from the partner chosen for you. Please also email Bex when you receive your parcel and make sure to thank your ninja on social media!

Make sense? Sign you up?:

First of all, say hello to Bex on Twitter @NinjaBookSwap so she’s aware of you (due to some naughty people taking advantage of the swap). She won’t bite- promise!

http://theninjabookswap.blogspot.co.uk/

Why do I love Ninja Book Swap so?:

I was first introduced to Ninja Book Swap by my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads after I expressed some jealousy at seeing her beautiful surprise packages. I’ve been involved in a couple of swaps now, one regular swap and a special themed spot which is done from time to time. On my first swap, I got the most beautiful bookish gifts – little bookmarks, banned books socks, a little keyring saying “I’d Rather Be Reading,” (so true!) and two fantastic John Lindqvist books which had been on my wishlist for an age but I’d never got round to buying for myself.

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My Instagram post from my very first Ninja Book Swap – amazing goodies!

The themed swap had a Persephone Books theme – this is a specialist bookshop in London which stocks neglected fiction and non-fiction from mostly women writers. Their back catalogue is truly incredible and it was very exciting trying to decide a potential wishlist for my ninja of Persephone books I most wanted. See also my short feature on Persephone Books HERE.

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My Instagram post from my Persephone Book Ninja

Have I enticed you yet? Why not sign up? Might see you soon….as your NINJA! 😛