Top Ten Tuesday: Ten things I’m thankful for as a book blogger

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Heeeeeellllo readers, it’s time for a Thanksgiving styled post – which as a British person doesn’t quite work but it’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday post (run by the brilliant The Broke and the Bookish) so I’m going with it. The topic today is a free topic as long as it related to thanksgiving and being happy for the things that we have and I wanted to focus on something blogging related so with little delay – ten things I’m thankful for as a bookish bloggers.

1. It has opened my eyes to books I would never have considered before

In the past two of so years I have read books that  I would never have known about or bothered to ever pick up. Whether that’s the classics binge I’m currently going through or the YA books I fell in love with over the last six months,  without the bookish bloggging community and creating this blog I would never have read so many fantastic books.

2. Every day I am told about never fantastic books

This relates to the first but before my blog I never really had a TBR – I kinda just read willy nilly and read as and when I pleased. Now I’ve got a list that I can’t stop spiralling out of control and rather than being terrifed of it, I’m just bloody embracing it. Never before has my adoration of reading been so strong and that wouldn’t have happed without all of this.

3. Being taught to be proud of what I’m reading

Yearrrrrs ago we were on holiday, as a family, in the Lake District and at the cottage we were staying at they had a number of old and worn books – one being ‘Ps I love you by Ceclia Ahern.’ Mumma B told me it was trash but I read it and I thought it was perfection.

I struggled a lot with my reading likes/dislikes and since the blog I’ve learnt to embrace them – so what if some days all I want is an utterly trashy chick-lit, or I want to read a children’s book and look at all the gorgeous pictures. Blogging has allowed me not only to experience new genres and books but also be proud of what are a little like guilty pleasures.

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4. The community.

I joined the bookish blogosphere to write really and I found that actually I’ve met some truly wonderful people who make me smile on a daily basis and share with me all of their wonderful bloggish bits. When I joined I was warned a little that blogging would be lonely but two years  or so later I feel more comforted than ever and hopefully I’ve been there for many of you to. My NY resolution is to participate more and comment more but I will – I promise you gorgeous readers.

5. Absolutely awesome authors

I still can’t believe how many utterly wonderful, talented, thoughtful and compassionate authors I have met over the last two years – whether through email, commenting on the blog or twitter I have read so many fantastic books and currently it’s so sad I’ve got too many to read because the list just keeps growing.

Thank you for writing all the fantastic books and letting have a nosy read inside.

6. It made me re-realise my love of reading again

Throughout university my love of reading plummeted – studying Philosophy/Media the number books, essays, magazines, studies, theories I was reading on a daily basis reading for pleasure became a bore rather something I enjoyed. I stopped reading for almost the entirety of my third year and  then when I graduated and started to take pride in the blog again my love of reading just blew up. I now review three books a week and dread to think how much of my time I spend reading. The blog really made me revalue the importance of reading in my life.

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7. Opportunites

I say this often but the blog was really started just for somewhere to write about books – over the last six months to a year I’ve really started to push the blog to be more than that. Working with Penguin, shortlisting for Arachne Press, working with Invaluable and giving away tickets for the Stylist Live Event and meeting Caitlin Moran I’m only hoping to do more with MLBB over the next year – we’ll see.

8. Discussions

I think one of the best things about blogging is the discussions it creates – whether it’s about negative reviews or whether you did or didn’t like 50 shades it’s been such an eye opening  experience to participate in so many bookish discussions. I’ve never felt so passionate about some of my reader beliefs and many  have changed over the past two years but it’s the talk and chance to agree/disagree that I’ve liked so much.

9. Self-published authors

This links to a lot of my points but getting to work with so many self-publishes authors and help to bring their book to market has been really fun and really eye-opening. Many of the books that have really hit home for me and have made me think have been from self-published books. Unfortunately I still think they get a bad name and I hope at least a little I’ve helped to change that – one book at a time.

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10. It’s given me my ‘thing.’

Although I’ve alway been someone who strives to experience everything I’ve never had a thing – I’ve never had something I am truly proud of, but I do now. I cannot imagine not writing here and I can’t imaging not having this as my space to air all my thoughts and that makes me feel utterly wonderful. I love writing, I love sitting down and just reviewing/adding images/ replying to comments it’s perfection. Gah I’m an utter blog addict.

Tried to not get too sappy there but I am so thankful to all your wonderful likers/commenters/emailiers/authors/readers. You’re all so goddamn fantastic – have a wonderful thanksgiving!

REAPERS – Book One by the Thornton Brothers

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Hellllllo readers, been a bit of a tough week I seem to be entering a quarter life crisis; I’m twenty-two living with what feels like twenty-two people and yet see none of them, everyone I work with is mature, and married with small children or a least a goldfish or two and I’m still trying to decide whether it’s wrong to drink wine at midday on a Sunday. It’s fine if you were wondering; I have checked. Books have been a bit of a saviour at the moment and this one especially dragged me out of my comfort zone and has made me feel a lot more upbeat even if it’s in the fictional world; without further moaning onto the review.

Danger, heartache, grit, tension, brotherhood, trauma, betrayal, sacrifice, fear. Death square in the face. All in a day’s work for the REAPERS – an elite black-ops team deployed to remote, untamed conflict zones. Their mission: to assassinate covert targets, conduct rescue operations and gather intelligence.  We follow this tight band as its members evolve; some will die and be replaced by new faces, some will defect, be injured or retire, and others will change in unimaginable ways. All will be tested to their limits.

REAPERS is an epic set in a sprawling dark fantasy universe of tragic characters, complex villains, and shocking story turns.

BOOK ONE is a novel-length collection of the first seven staves (which were originally released as independent episodic chapters in serial format).

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I guess the first thing to state in this review is these wonderful authors have been writing for a little while and this book made from seven staves was released as chapters independently before now being collaborated together and sent out into the big scary commercial world of books. The book as the blurb suggests follows the daily work of the reapers who are a cream of the crop black ops who are sent out to do all the things you could ever expect; missions, rescue operations etc etc all written with a superior knowledge I couldn’t quite believe was entirely fictional.

Into the nitty gritty I suppose; I thought this was fantastic, a mix between fantasy and hardcore blistering action. I say this often but I find fantasy difficult to stomach – I don’t like fairies or dragons and the like. But here, it is a much more subtle part of the story – for me I didn’t feel like the plot was built on the idea of fantasy but was used to transport to the reader to a new and exciting land which I thought was wonderful.

The writing is stunning; I normally go through and find a paragraph later in the book but I thought the first sentence really screamed at me this is going to be bloody epic and it was.

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‘A sprawling desert camp sweltered under a sun of molten gold. The settlement’s crude and rambling architecture was fashioned from the bones and husks of great sea beasts blessedly rendered extinct by some untold ancient catastrophe that impossibly evaporated an entire sea and left its primordial life to wither and cook for incalculable aeons upon the cracked and naked floor.’

It doesn’t get quite more exciting than that does it? The writing is smooth and moves with such pace; the main characters are built with style and understanding. Their personalities intermesh wonderfully and there is a real feel of comradeship; here I would normally really go into the character profiles but it’s better to read and get them know them based on the way they interact than me briskly trying to throw them all in here although I must admit a soft spot for Tusk. In terms of content this book is full on and it moves seamlessly through action, memorable emotional moments and then sudden stunning descriptive segments it is wonderfully woven together.

This isn’t my style of book or genre and yet I know when the next instalment comes out I will be the first to be getting a hold of and reading on because there is so much I still need answered. Here I felt that although the characters are well loved by the authors there is literally no way of finding out what is happening next; I was continually on the edge of my seat not sure whether the next character to be killed/stabbed/kidnapped/bombed would be favourite and I thought that was brilliant because I was just so enraptured.

In terms of negatives there are couple of tiny editing issues and there are so long sentences and passages that could be broken down but that’s a small quibble. I adored this book and everything in it. Bloody well done.

Linnnnnks

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten authors I would like to get together to write a pretty epic book

Helllllllo readers, it’s Tuesday which means it’s a Top Ten Tuesday kind of day. Today’s was seriously tough and I’ve spent the last week kind of worrying about it which is daft but that’s who I am. To make it a little easier I clicked through to my list of reviews and seeing all the authors there kind of made it a hell of a lot easier. As always comments, queries, questions let me know in the comments.

 John Green and Rainbow Rowell

I imagine this will be on so many lists for this weeks topic but if these two created a book it would be not only be beautifully written but I think it would be so sweetly and wonderfully created it would become a worldly bookish treasure basically.

Giovanna Fletcher and Cecelia Ahern

I recon this would be just magical if these two got together; think how beautiful and intriguingly sweet it would be – magical, light and fluffy but the writing being such a quality piece. Perfection.

J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis

Let’s take a minute now to remember the brilliance of C.S Lewis…..*sighs*. But seriously if these two could of collaborated then it would have been magical and meaningful and beautifully written. These two are the only fantasy writers who have honestly captured my imagination. It would be just beautiful.

Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins

ALLLLL THE TWISTS AND ALL THE TURNS. Give them to me. Now. Tar.

Tess Gerritsen and Karen Long

Both of these authors are utterly brilliant writers with slightly sadistic minds. I fear that if they ever created a book together then I would be to scared to sleep for maybe weeks months. Not cool but would be so brilliant.

J.K. Rowling & Suzanne Collins

Think how utterly nuts the bookish  blogosphere would go if this actually happened. It would just be incredible and the story I cannot believe would be anything less than a masterpiece. It could be like HP all over again. *sighs*

George R.R Martin and J.R.R Tolkien

This is an utterly selfish one. I haven’t read Lord of the Rings, I haven’t read Game of Thrones and now I feel like I’m too far behind to really get into either. If they could create a new series then I could join in with all the fun. *sobs*

Morgan Matson & S.M Stevens

Still so in love with the book Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour and I think if Morgan Matson and S.M Stevens who wrote books that focused on musical theatre paired up it would just be such a brilliant combination. Both used mixed media, adding lyrics and illustrations and I think it would just be lovely.

Kingsley Amis & Charles Bukowski

If these two could have written a book together I tell you sparks would have flown big time. It would be a hysterical piece of literature.

Stella Newman & Sophie Ranald

For my last pairing it’s just two of my most favourite of authors. These two would make me cry, laugh, smile and fall in love with them all over again. It would be beaut.

Quite a tough top ten Tuesday; I did go through and look at a number of lists and it seems I wasn’t the only one. Struggled through but very happy with my little list as always let me know what you would add, would trash or what you think of the list. Cheers lovelies.