January 2015 – plans, resolutions, books and more…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January, the month to start fresh, create resolutions, and fill yourself with hopes for the coming year ahead!

Typically, I am not one for new years resolutions, as I try to stop bad habits throughout the year, whilst attempting to pick-up some good habits instead! However, I do have a few hopes and ‘resolutions’ for this year and they are book related so they belong here.

Now that I have bought what I wanted in the sales, and got some lovely books at Christmas…and having binged on a large amount of bargain books during the later part of 2014.I know you can hear it already…book buying ban. I realised that reading at the rate I do and the amount of unread books I have sitting on my selves it will literally take YEARS to read them all. So I have decided to go for a full on ban. No more temptations by entering a book shop. No more looking at Amazon’s ‘kindle daily deal’ getting tempted by a cheap ebook. Cold turkey. My reward? Well my reward will be finally entering the worlds between the covers of the books I own. Saving my money for a future I am beginning to imagine. And no longer feeling that pang of guilt when I look at my empty bank balance…

The only book acquisitions that will occur this year will be those which are given as gifts. If a book comes out which may cause me to slip I will wait until it becomes available in the library and borrow it for free. Or alternatively borrow from a friend!

In January I plan to read a few of my latest acquisitions, these include:

 The Archived By Victoria Schwab which I am currently reading and greatly enjoying.

 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs – I have been wanting to read this novel for a very long time and am so thankful I received this for Christmas, really looking forward to jumping into it!

And a book that I received for Christmas in 2013:

 Last of the Gaderene By Mark Gatiss – I started this novel last year and am looking forward to getting back into it again.

These are the three books I am definitely going to read and review this month. I will hopefully be putting up reviews of the many books I read last year throughout this year, inter-dispersed throughout the reviews of books I read in 2015.

Well that is enough waffle from me just now! Time for hot chocolate and The Archived!

Blethering Books xx

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What is to come?

So I have been absent for a while, and my last post did not give much away. However, here is what should be appearing in the next couple of weeks!

Reviews:

       

       

       

Other:

I will be doing an update on my TBR challenges, also I will update you on my book buying ban….which is going better than I thought it would! I am quite impressed with myself!

I hope you look forward to these posts, and that you forgive me for my absence, but sometimes uni has to be a priority (unfortunately).

Blethering Books 🙂

Book Buying Ban

A slightly late Happy New Year!!!

So I have never really ‘do’ New Years Resolutions much now. However, this year there is one New Years Resolution I am making – I am not going to buy any books for a year!

This is going to be a challenge. A real challenge. But it is something I need to do. Many book bloggers buy a lot of books. Many book bloggers have TBR piles that could last them for years. I am one of these people.

As you will have seen I have decided to attempt two TBR pile challenges. I am hoping that this will allow me to focus and get through some of the books that I already own. Books are there to be read. If you are buying books faster than you can read them, what is the point? Yes, I have got to that stage. My shelves are lined with beautiful books, but I don’t know the beauty that lies between the covers.

When I am tempted to buy a book I am going to read this list of reasons NOT to buy the book(s).

  • I don’t NEED the book, I have plenty to read at home.
  • I can’t afford to buy the book(s).
  • There are more important things my money needs to be spent on.
  • There is no justification to buy new books.
  • I am running out of space in my flat!

So what are your tips to help me achieve this goal? Are you doing a book buying ban for part of this year?

Let me know!

Another 2014 TBR Pile Challenge

So looking around, I have decided to take part in another challenge. Why? Well there is different rules to this challenge, and I feel doing both will help me focus on working my way through more of my TBR pile.

So to find out more about this challenge – hosted by Bookish – please click on the image above to see. The rules are more flexible which means I will be able to add more of my TBR pile to this challenge.

The level that I am aiming for is sweet summer fling = 31 to 40 TBR books.

I have identified 14 TBR books in my previous post:

1. Pretties By Scott Westerfeld

2. The Sense of an Ending By Julian Barnes

3. Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin

4. White Oleander By Janet Fitch

5. Shadowmancer By G. P. Taylor

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter By Kim Edwards

7. The Sunflower Forest By Torey Hayden

8. I Did Tell, I Did By Cassie Harte

9. The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke

10. Ink Death By Cornelia Funke

11. Class By Jane Beaton

12. Raspberries on the Yangtze By Karen Wallace

13. The Informant Officer By Mark Mills

14. To Die For By Carol Lee

And here are 26 more books:

15. Paper Towns By John Green

16. Human Remains By Elizabeth Haynes

17. Sharp Objects By Gillian Flynn

18. Dark Places By Gillian Flynn

19. Finding Emma By Steena Holmes

20. Emma’s Secret By Steena Holmes

21. Northhanger Abbey By Jane Austen

22. I Never Promised You A Rose Garden By Joanne Greenberg

23. Cursed By Benedict Jacka

24. Fated By Benedict Jacka

25. Scarred By Julia Hoban

26. Finding Violet Park By Jenny Valentine

27. Grave Minder By Melissa Marr

28. Under the Never Sky By Veronica Rossi

29. Through the Ever Night By Veronica Rossi

30. Dibs in Search of Self By Virginia M. Axline

31. Go Ask Alice By Anonymous

32. Wormwood By G. P. Taylor

33. The Raging Quiet By Sherryl Jordan

34. Clockwork Angle By Cassandra Clare

35. Clockwork Prince By Cassandra Clare

36. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend By Mathew Green

37. The Sacrificial Man By Ruth Dugdall

38. A Novel Death By Judi Culbertson

39. Pushing the Limits By Katie McGarry

40. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared By Jonas Jonasson

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

Please Click on the image above to find out more about this challenge!

My List:

1. Pretties By Scott Westerfeld (2005)

2. The Sense of an Ending By Julian Barnes (2011)

3. Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin (2005)

4. White Oleander By Janet Fitch (1999)

5. Shadowmancer By G. P. Taylor (2003)

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter By Kim Edwards (2005)

7. The Sunflower Forest By Torey Hayden (1984)

8. I Did Tell, I Did By Cassie Harte (2009)

9. The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke (2000)

10. Ink Death By Cornelia Funke (2007)

11. Class By Jane Beaton (2008)

12. Raspberries on the Yangtze By Karen Wallace (2000)

Alternatives:

1. The Informant Officer By Mark Mills (2009)

2. To Die For By Carol Lee (2004)

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

Well, I went to the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time, and I am so glad I did. So I thought I would write a wee bit about it, and hope it will inspire others to inquire about going next year. Also I would love to hear from any one who went this year, or has been previously, and what your thoughts were. Would you go back? Who did you see? What did you like? What did you not like? Anything you would like to share. Please leave a comment 🙂

I was very interested this year when I noticed several mental health related talks as I am a psychology student with an overriding interest in mental health. So after narrowing down to four events I booked my tickets and excitedly waited for the dates to come round. The events I booked were:

  • John Killick – Positive Approaches to Dementia
  • Blueprint Debate – Mental Health
  • Susan Greenfield – Do we need imagination in order to remember?
  • Darian Leader – Is this the bipolar age?

There were a lot of events I would have loved to have went to but at £8 per student ticket it was a bit pricy to go to all the events I wanted to, never mind several were already sold out when I ordered my tickets! So tip one – if there is something you really want to see, order the ticket as soon as they are available.

I really enjoyed the events I went to because they allowed me to think from different view points, and each event has a book that the speaker has written that goes with the talk. This means if you really enjoy the talk you will want to buy the book to find out more! However one thing that I found was that the talks did not necessarily look at what was advertised. For example,  Susan Greenfields talk entitled ‘Do we need imagination in order to remember?’ didn’t really focus on imagination, which for me was slightly disappointing. The Blueprint Debate on mental health didn’t feel like a debate to me which was disappointing. I like to hear two very opposing sides and learn the credits of each point of view. This felt more like ‘we agree on most things’ and now the issue is ‘where do we go from here?’. This is an interesting question and is an important question. However, I thoroughly enjoyed all events and found the chair people, especially Ruth Wishart, were excellent.

The festival is held in Charlotte Square and has a garden in the middle where you can relax and read. There is coffee, there is two book shops, selling the books featured in the festival along with others. There is signings and a general feeling of book appreciation.

I loved it.

For children there are many events, and it was so nice to see children who love books running around. I was chatting to several people, everyone feels like they are part of a community due to their shared interest in books. However, not having children I do not know much about the Children’s shows at the festival but check out the official website to find out more. I would suggest this as a fabulous day out for all ages during the summer. Something to put in your diary and investigate for next years summer holidays!

My advice:

  • Get a copy of the program when it comes out, or look at the program online and make not of all the events you are interested in, including their times, dates, and prices.
  • Narrow down what you want to see and try and get a few events on the same day, if you are traveling to Edinburgh. You may also want to look at what is on at the Fringe festival and find some other events to go to.
  • Make sure you book tickets as soon as they are available – many events sell out quickly and you cannot guarantee to get returns on the day of the event (as my boyfriend found out when the woman in front of him got the last ticket for an event)
  • Take some lunch with you if you are on your budget. There is drinking taps, so bring a water bottle with you.
  • If you are on a budget and want some books signed, buy the books before you go, even read them so you can ask some good questions! If you don’t manage to get a book before, buy it in the shop at the festival before the event if there is a signing, as often they will sell out during the signing.
  • Take note of what authors are signing on the days you are going, even if you aren’t going to their events, as you can still get your book signed!
  • There is many good book shops in Edinburgh so visiting some of these may save some money compared to the festival book shop – all books are at their R.R.P.
  • IMPORTANT: They are very strict about getting to the event before it starts, if you are even one minute late you will not get in. People begin queuing approximately 30mins before the event starts, so if you are wanting a ‘good’ seat get there quickly. Although most seats are ‘good’.
  • There is provisions for those with needs, such as reserved seating for those with mobility issues. Some events have a sign language interpreter. So have a look on the official website about information about this.

Any other advice? Let me know in the comments section. What I might do – if I remember – is put a combined list of advice, both mine and any of your advice, nearer the event time next year. Think that could be a plan.

I loved the festival, and will definitely be going back next year!

Bit Behind on Everything

Bit behind on lots of things just now, but just finished ‘Witch Light’ By Susan Fletcher, and will be writing my review for this soon. I also plan to get some reading done over the weekend as I am off work. So think I will pick up a Young Adult novel which should be quick and easy to get through as Witch Light was quite a heavy novel.

I also managed to get a Amazon.co.uk voucher by completing surveys, which allowed me to purchase some more Kindle books in their summer sale! Makes me very happy! So even though I have been on a book buying ban, I was allowed to buy books if I had a voucher! (My way of easing the pain of the ban lol!)

I have just been a bit of a failure of a blogger recently, but life happens every so often! And hopefully this coming week will see several new posts for you viewing pleasure! 🙂

Book Buying Ban

I have decided to go on a book buying ban. I know many of us in the book blogging world have done this at some point? I have decided that I have far too many unread books on my shelf to justify buying any more. So I know I don’t get many comments on here but I thought that maybe people could start commenting with their tips and tricks at succeeding at a book buying ban, including what broke the book buying ban.

As a collective we can start a book buying ban hits and tips guide.

One idea that came to mind is that for every 10 books I read I can buy 1. Yes that is very dramatic, but I have over 80 tree books needing read, never mind the kindle books I have!

So I have decided to go cold turkey, no new books until I have read all that have not been read. Dramatic? Yes. Sensible? Yes. Achievable? Not so sure.

I have written a list of the first books I am going to read. And try to stick to this list and be more structured with my reading. Will this help? Well lets call it an experiment, and we can try and see.

I have noticed others have started using a ‘book jar’ idea (can someone let me know who started this so I can give credit where credit is due?) Here people are putting the titles of books they have to read that are on their shelves, ones that they keep putting off from reading. They will pull one (or more) titles out of the jar, and that is a book they have to read that week or month. This is a good idea to start working through some of the books that have been gathering dust on the shelves but doesn’t stop us from buying more books.

Here is my list of books to read first:

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest By Ken Kesey
  2. Someone Else’s Life By Katie Dale
  3. Mila 2.0 By Debra Driza
  4. Witch Light By Susan Fletcher
  5. Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn
  6. The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
  7. Concealed By Sang Krohma
  8. Ink Spell By Cornelia Funke
  9. Sister By Rosamund Lupton
  10. Adorkable By Sarra Manning

This list includes the last of my Netgalley books to read, well nearly. I feel that getting on top of books I have received to review is a priority. I know some people give away some ARC copies when they don’t have time to read all that they have received.

To create the above list I tried to pick a variety of genres to keep things mixed up so I don’t get fed up, which I typically do if I stick to the same genre. After I have read these books I will create another list which include the books I am in the mood to read then.

Something that is helping me is having by books that need read on display. It’s like a moth to the flame, them all sitting there screaming “read me!” This is what has made me realise that books are there to be read, not hoarded in the hope you will get round to them.

This is a challenge that I can see going into next year. It is a challenge that will take a great deal of self control. But it is something that has to be done. It is a step away from consumerism, and a step into many worlds that have been in my house without being explored.

I know I can do this. I have a system with DVD’s/Blue-Rays in which I have watched all the ones I own, only buying a few at a time and not buying any more unless they have been watched.

Part of this challenge is going to be avoiding the bargains on Amazon, especially the Kindle bargains. The other thing is The Works, it is like a candy shop is to a child to me. Supermarket book deals….again must avoid! Watching book hauls….this is something I am not going to avoid! But if I see a book that sounds up my street, it goes on a list, a list in which I can only buy off if I finish reading all the books I currently own! UNLESS I get book vouchers, or get asked what I would like as a present. This means that I can get my hands on a few books, maybe to complete series, or a book that I really really want, during this time but know that it isn’t going to be many. It means that there is a chance to get a hold of a book that I am pining for but without potentially breaking my ban, which if I do will just result it breaking it badly and buying a ton of books!

So guys! I am asking you to please help me with any hints and tips you can think off?

Appologies this is a bit jumbled but I just have to get my thoughts out there. I want to see what advice you have.

🙂

Review Books to be Read

Review books I need to get read! (have read the ones that are ticked

The Asylum – 14th March 2013

Accidents Happen – 25th June 2013
Bloodspell – 1st June 2011
Thin Space – 10th September 2013
Concealed – 15th October 2011
Mila 2.0 – 28th March 2013
Last Chance for Justice – 1st May 2013
Chocolate-Covered Baloney – 13th November 2012
The Sea of Tranquility – 4th June 2013
My Dead Friend Sarah – 21st April 2012
This is How I Save my Life – 8th January 2013
If You Find Me – 26th Mach 2013
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares – 5th October 2012
Send – 1st August 2012
Rape Girl – 15th August 2012
A Cold and Lonely Place – 5th February 2013
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter 7th February 2013

A shimmer of Angels – 29th January 2013