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Another Challenge! Wordsworth Classics Challenge

 Thursday, 30 December 2010

Since I was thinking that I hadn't signed up to enough official reading challenges that I would scour the blogosphere to find some suitable one and look what I came across! Over on Deranged Book Lovers they are hosting the Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge for 2011.

If you have been following my blog for a while you may have noticed that I have acquired a *lot* of Wordsworth edition classics over the past year with the intention of reading them... someday so this challenge sounds like a fab idea to knock a few books off my TBR pile (which is teetering ever closer to 200). The rules are pretty simple and there's even a contest running over the whole year which will be drawn on Dec 25th 2011 for $15 worth of Classic novels off the Book Depository!

Ze Rules
  • You can read any classic novels which are included in list of Wordsworth Classics. You don't need to read wordsworth edition, you can pick any publisher releases as long as those releases are unabridged.
  • It’s okay to re-read. You can put the book you’ve read in the past in your list as long as you’re going to read it again in 2011. Set your target and list the book you want to read along with the challenge button in your blog and fill the form. Don't forget to put the link in Mr. Linky! This way I can keep track of your progress and add you as candidate for the giveaway.
  • You don't have to review those books but if you want you can link them so I can read it ^^. I will provide a follow-up blog post for that and you can link your reviews or anything related to this challenge.
  • This is a year-long challenge (Jan 1, 2011 - Dec 23, 2011) so you can still commit to it in the middle of year 2011. All you need to do is fill the form. I will announce the giveaway winner on December 25, 2011.
You can choose how many books you want to attempt and the different levels are as such:
Set your target!
Peasant: 1-4 books
Bourgeois: 5-8 books
Knight: 9 – 12 books
Noble: more than 12 books

I will probably be aiming for the Bourgeois category but if I can sneak into being a Knight then that's fine by me. Since I'm thinking of doing a month-long feature orientated around Classics sometime in late Spring I may get a good few of my challenge reads done then. 

Some of the books I want to read
  1. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
  2. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  3. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  4. The Lost World and other Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  6. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  7. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 
  9. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  10. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
Obviously I may read more or less than that but I'd rather like to get these in particular read.
I may sign up to a couple more challenges when I find some - does anyone know of a Chunky Book challenge? Cos I have several 600+ page tomes that I could do with knocking off my TBR pile.

It's nearly New Year and I can't wait to see what awesome books I read in 2011!


Blogging Resolutions for 2011

 Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Since I saw that my blogging bestie Jess did a post yesterday about blogging resolutions and some books that she really wants to read next year I thought it would be a cracking idea for me to think about it and do a post of my own. My blogoversary is in January although technically I was only properly blogging from about the end of April so it makes sense to have a plan for my first whole year as a blogger.

Blogging Resolutions
1. Read Slower- No really, I think that this year I have read too quickly and in doing so I find that I tend to miss little nuances about books which I really ought to savour and I get through books so fast that I forget my thoughts on them by the time that I want to write a review. So next year I would like to try and take my time a bit more when reading, to not read a book in single late-night gulps so I can keep my opinions about them straight long enough for me to review them properly which brings me onto my next resolution.

2. Review More Books- I think everyone who reads my blog has thought at some point "she reads so many books but where are the reviews?" heck *I* think that sometimes. I know I haven't done reviews for even a quarter of the books I read this year which is rather crap when I'm supposed to be a book blogger, it'd be worse of course if I had loads of ARCs from publishers that I wasn't reviewing but still I should be doing more.

3. Blog More Efficiently- by that I mean take less bloody time to write out a simple post which shouldn't take several hours to finish. I seem to spend ages doing posts that I could have done so much faster if I'd not procrastinated and messed about. I need to have templates for the meme posts I do and have a decent amount of stuff scheduled ahead of time so when I have slumps like the past week or two  there will still be posts going up on the blog even if I'm not actually writing anything new. It does nothing good for my blog traffic and only ticks off my wonderfully patient followers if I go for over a week with nary a peep and no explanation for the absence.

4. Comment More- Jess mentioned this as well but I think for me it goes doubly. I really need to step up my participation on other blogs. I follow over 300 blogs (which perhaps is a number I need to cut down) and there is no way for me to look at every post that appears in my feed but the ones that I do read I don't tend to comment on unless I have a fairly strong feeling or opinion about it. I think that next year I should dedicate time every day/week to read other blogs and comment on them even if it's only a quick "great post/review" style comment.

5. Be Less Afraid of approaching authors/publishers- I'm one of those people who hate ringing people up on landlines and is really not that good with talking to strangers in a professional capacity. To that end I get really nervous about the idea of emailing publishers about being put on mailing lists for review copies and authors about interviews or whatever. I know from following many of them on Twitter or via their blogs that YA authors in particular are the loveliest bunch of people who are really friendly and love to get to know the people who read and blog about their books. Compared to some authors who couldn't give the time of day to reply to a email from a fan, the YA authors I know of make a concerted effort to answer questions and interact with readers as far as they can.
My problem is that I am still slightly in awe of them and feel somewhat unworthy of approaching the "Mythical Author Beings" to tell them how much I loved their book. So next year I want to try and man up a bit and actually email the authors I read to ask questions about their books or to ask for a blog interview/guest post etc. The same goes for publishers and review copies although I think that will be to a lesser extent since I'm sometimes too much of a moody reader to be completely reliable about reading a book by a certain date and that's not fair if I have an obligation to a publisher to review it by a deadline.

I will do another post soonish about some of the books that I really must read in 2011 because that will take me a bit of research through my TBR list and I need some time for that.

So what are your blogging resolutions for 2011? What books are you *dying* to read next year?
Leave a comment or link to your own resolutions post


In My Mailbox #33 The One after Christmas!!

 Sunday, 26 December 2010

Happy Boxing Day! I hope everyone has recovered from Christmas Dinner and that they had some ah-mazing presents! This vlog today is showing a selection of what I got from my awesome family and friends.

As you should know by now In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Books & Stuff I received for Christmas!
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Checkmate by Malorie Blackman
Entangled by Cat Clarke
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison - Thanks Jess!! *hugs*
Doctor Who Annual 2011
Beauty & the Beast DVD
Atlantis: The Lost Empire DVD
Atlantis: Milo's Return DVD
Prince of Persia DVD
Torchwood DVD box set (Not shown cos my sister has yoinked it)
Stargate Atlantis Season 2 DVD box set
Gorgeously Pretty 2011 diary
Awesome I heart Nerds t-shirt

Plus since I ordered *ahem* 12 books with my Amazon vouchers (and one book off Book Depo) the next few IMM vlogs should be awesome!! :D

So that's some of what I got for Christmas - What was in your Christmas sack?


Merry Christmas!!

 Saturday, 25 December 2010

To everyone who celebrates Christmas, and even those who don't I hope everyone is having a Fab Holidays and I will hopefully be getting back to a normal blogging routine soonish *crosses fingers*

Tomorrow I'll try and get an IMM post up because I've had a few books for Christmas and some dvds so I'll show them to y'all :D

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas Day!


Book Review - Still Sucks to be Me

 Tuesday, 21 December 2010

I really ought to have done this ages ago but my review writing skillz (if I ever had any) deserted me for a while. To make things slightly easier on myself I decided to review this book via vlog so apologies for my bedraggled appearance.

Title: Still Sucks to be Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Date: 11/12/2010 PM
Source: Bought
Description: With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn't any less complicated! (Description Taken from Goodreads)

My Review
**Warning Spoilers for the first book are kind of inevitable because I need to explain some things so the second book makes sense**

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Also if you're interested there is a competition currently running on Roots in Myth for a *signed* copy of Still Sucks to be Me! It's only open until Midnight Wednesday 22nd of December so enter NOW! The link takes you to the post where all you need to do to enter is follow the blog and comment on the post! It's also INTERNATIONAL *yay!!!*

That's all for now folks I shall hopefully be back soon with another review to liven up this somewhat-neglected place *looks around mournfully*
Ciao for now!


In My Mailbox #32

 Sunday, 19 December 2010

Heck I am *so* sorry folks for the lack of posting this week! I've spent my weekend up in the Lake District having an early Christmas with my boyf's relatives which was awesomely hilarious (I am *badass* at Scrabble :P) I will try my best to actually get some reviews up during this week so December isn't wholly devoid of useful posts.

Sometime soon probably after Christmas but before New Year I will outline my bloggish plans for 2011 mainly involving actually reviewing more than a quarter of what I read as seems to be my current method of operation which really won't do.

But anyway I'm digressing, as always In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and  inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

No Vlog today because I only got home a little while ago but I can provide a picture.

Books Acquired this Week
Inside Book Publishing by Giles Clark - it's for an online course I'm doing about book publishing.
Who's Afraid of Jane Austen? by Henry Hitchings - a cracking book about talking about books you haven't read (i.e. the classics which will make you seem more intellectual)
Words by Ginny L. Yttrup - an ARC won from LibraryThing's ER program

I did also buy a few book but those are to be Christmas presents for the darling Boyf.

A rather interesting collection this week although I was hoping that a parcel from the Lovely Jessica would be arriving but methinks that the postal service is playing silly buggers because there has been no sign of it :(

Hopefully will get some semblance of normality back to the blog soon but with Christmas right on our doorstep (When did this happen?!?) it may not be until after the 25th unless I get a load of reviews written and scheduled *wishful thinking much?*

Hope Everyone is having a wonderful Sunday and that it's gorgeously snowy like it is here!


It's Monday What are you Reading (24)

 Monday, 13 December 2010

Hey y'all I almost forgot to write this ahead of time which would have been terribly daft of me, although technically it is Monday morning (midnight precisely in fact). Bah anyways I'm getting off-topic.

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @Book Journey

Books Read Last Week
Ok so I went a little crazy with my re-reads and over 2 nights devoured the first 4 Vampire Academy books. *oops*
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Still Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley (Will hopefully do a review this week)
Sweetheart by Sarah Zarr (May do a review if I can get my thoughts straight)

Book Reviewed Last Week
Finally got it posted! - Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Currently Reading
Nada but after this post is done I will be starting Persuasion by Jane Austen out of my compendium
It's gonna be my 200th book of the Year dontch'all know?

Books I Plan to read this week
Not really sure what else since I didn't read any of my "planned" books last week. I may plump for some historical fiction books (my Non-YA ones though) since it's Winter and that's when they're most appropriate methinks. If I feel like being really weather-suitable I can always read The Siege by Helen Dunmore which is set during the 1942 siege of Leningrad where things got *pretty* chilly.

Well that's what I'm reading this Monday, What are You reading?


In My Mailbox #31

 Sunday, 12 December 2010

Howdy all! Hope everyone is having a fantabbidoody Sunday and whatnot! Sorry for lack of IMM last week I literally had no chance to buy books and I did actually try to make a vlog explaining this but Youtube ate it :(
This week however I have a rather excellent haul which I'm rather chuffed with so check it out!

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Ze Vlog

Books Acquired this week
Lirael by Garth Nix
Take me There by Susane Colasanti
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Sweethearts by Sarah Zarr
Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
Plan B by Jenny O'Connell

Thank you also to Ellie of Musings of a Bookshop Girl for my awesome christmas card! Oh and if you don't know she's running a contest at the moment for a copy of Dreaming Anastasia! Go enter Here!!

That's what I got in My Mailbox this week, what's in Yours?


Book Review - Last Sacrifice

 Friday, 10 December 2010

I know this should have been done earlier this week but things have been a tad hectic and I have been in a bit of a reviewing funk so it's taken be longer to write this than it should have.
I've also been re-reading the earlier VA books this week in insane gulps (I'm talking two books a night over the last two days). *sigh* why do I do these stupid things to myself? :P


Title: Last Sacrifice
Author: Richelle Mead
Date: 18/11/2010 AM
Source: Received for Review from Penguin UK THANK YOU!!
Description: The 6th and final book in the Vampire Academy series! Rose is on trial for the murder of Tatiana and Lissa is now a prime candidate for the throne. But who really murdered the Queen and who is going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice?

My Review:
Words currently fail me to accurately describe how awesome this book was. Since devouring Spirit Bound back in April I've been dying to find out what happened next because lord knows that if Rose and Dimitri didn't have some kind of reconciliation I was gonna chuck one heck of a strop. I'm sorry to Team Adrian folks but considering how much effort and passion has been put into the Rose&Dimitri love story I reckon Adrian's chances of coming out on top were slim.

Over the entire series Rose has been such a fabulous heroine and it's been a joy to be in her head as it were. She's so loyal to Lissa and her other friends that she would do anything to protect them from harm. Also I would give anything to have her mad fighting skills because being *that* kick-ass would be amazing. Her snarky sense of humour and bizarrely her sound sense of duty make her a person that I would love to know (if she was real *sad face*) although I would never like to make her angry :P

Dimitri *gazes off into the distance wistfully* is there really anything else to say past that? Out of all the male characters I've read about he is up there with the best - passionate, loyal, lethal, funny and with an accent to die for Dimitri Belikov is capable of melting *any* female's heart. The intensity with which he says everything (especially to Rose) sends shivers across your body and you can't help but imagine him saying such things to you. (or is that just me?) Either way whether he's a hunk of Russian gorgeousness.

I have loved so much how wonderfully complex this series has been, compared to other vampire series of late it has so much more detail about the world and the way it works and the characters all are so layered and have their own motivations which can sometimes really surprise you. Richelle's writing is fabulous and it pulls you along at such a break-neck speed that the pages just fly by. I know I finished it all too quickly - but then I do read at ridiculously fast pace.

With regards to Tatiana's killer I had no concrete suspicions about who it might be since I'm not usually the speculating type and I probably missed a lot of the clues that other, more observant folk picked up on. The Revelation was actually a bit of a shock to me and I thought it rather sad really because I didn't think they had it in them to murder someone like that. The events that followed were equally shocking and my heart was racing for the last few chapters as things got *reeeally* worrying for a bit.

I'm really happy with how the series ended and I'm rather intrigued about where things will go in the spin-off series. I have my suspicions about who the main character will be although I don't know how they'll compare with Rose (I get rather set in my ways when it comes to narrators and DW companions :P). Who knows maybe it'll be someone completely unexpected, I can't wait to find out!

So yea if you've not already read this series then what the heck are you waiting for?!? With all six books now out you won't have to suffer the agonising waits in between publication dates, you could even marathon the whole series which knowing me will happen next year when I get Dimitri Withdrawals ;)

Richelle Mead I take my proverbial hat off to you for creating one of the best Paranormal series I've ever read and re-read. Staying up until 3am is totally worth it when you're reading a Vampire Academy novel.

My Rating: 5 out 5 Stars!!

I can't believe it's all over! *sniffs* I foresee many re-reads in my future because I'm not gonna tire of Rose and Co. for a *looong* while yet.
I'm still trying to get hold of a copy of the US version of Last Sacrifice because I need it to match my other copies but the Book Depo is being awkward and they keep flying out of stock for some reason :P
When I do get that copy my UK version will be going towards the prize pack for my Blogaversary/300 followers contest (whichever I reach first) so stay tuned for that!!

Now I must go find something to ease my beslubbering headache, toodles!


YA Historical Fiction Challenge!

 Monday, 6 December 2010

Ok folks I'm jumping on the bandwagon! I have a good chunk of YA Historical fiction (and adult HF come to that) sat on my TBR pile so this challenge will be a fab way to whittle those books off the ma-hussive pile.
It's being hosted by YA Bliss and there are a few rules for the challenge

Choose your level:
~Level 1 = 5 YA HF books in 2011
~Level 2 = 10 YA HF books in 2011
~Level 3 = 15 YA HF books in 2011

-All HF books must be YA or MG
-Books *don't* have to be 2011 releases
-Anyone can join
-You can join at any time, the challenge runs from 1st Jan until 31st Dec 2011

Some of the books I will read for this challenge
Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Ivy by Julie Hearn
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Although I currently only have 8 YA HF books on the TBR pile I shall aim for Level 3 since I'm sure to buy more books in 2011 that can be used for this challenge :P 

So who else is taking part? Does anyone have any suggestions for challenges I should join in 2011?
Let me know!!


It's Monday What are you Reading (23)

Dude sorry this is a little late, I didn't get chance to write it last night because I thought my laptop was broke but bizarrely it's fine now :S Sorry for the lack of IMM yesterday I bought nothing all week! Oh boy though watch out for this sunday it's gonna be a corker! :P

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @Book Journey

Books I read Last Week
Sticky Fingers by Nikki Burnham (Surprisingly good read)
Terrier by Tamora Pierce (Yes it's another re-read :P)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (I'll get a review up eventually)
Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty (I love Jessica Darling but this one was much weaker than the first three)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (My Name is *not* Will Grayson but I fecking LOVE Tiny Cooper!!)
Numbers by Rachel Ward (Fab Brit realism/supernaturalesque/gah can't classify it novel)

Currently Reading Nothing

Books I plan on reading this week
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - the creepy snowy fog makes me think it's a good time to read this :)

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - ditto

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce - snow... wolves... creepy much?

That's the shortlist but knowing me I will probably get through more than just those three (or so I hope) since I'm now at home although I'm supposed to be looking for a job :S
Apologies for this being my first post in December so far, last week was just so insanely busy and I spent yesterday rearranging my entire room. If y'all are interested to see my new bookcase setup I can do a vlog sometime :)

But anyway What are You reading this frosty Monday?


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