The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Quick Tips for Uber Drivers from a Passenger

Hellllllo readers, hope you’re having a lovely Friday. It’s been a long week but blogging honestly has been getting me through. I think when I took by blogging break I forgot how therapeutic writing about something, anything other than how you’re feeling really freaking works.

So today I’m going to write about blogging – and I found this on the fantastic ‘Read At Midnight,’ which is looked after by the equally wonderful Aentee. It’s a beautiful blog and one you should go take a look at. 

How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging since April 2013 – SAY WHA. I can’t believe how long it’s been honestly, it’s slightly terrifying. I think which means I’ve been blogging 3 and a half years? It feels a lot longer than that but in a good way. Totally.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

Honestly, I don’t think there’s a time when I won’t be blogging or writing somewhere. I think over the past year my blog has really changed and I was really worried about it moving away from books but now I’ve taken a blogging break I think there’s definitely more I could be doing to take this down a more vibrant but definitely bookish path.

What is the best thing about blogging?

Really? That I get to share my personal opinions on books and getting to read more fantastic books than I ever could have imagined. I’ve met some pretty fantastic authors too who have always made me feel pretty wonderful.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it OK?

I can’t lie I’ve never been very social and or made a hella load of friends via this blog because it’s not the kind of person I am. I struggle enough to maintain friendships with the people I love offline. I’ve struggled at times with the blogging community and the negativity that does appear at time.

I’ve always been able to separate the two things but I’ve seen mean things said, I’ve seen things taken in a much more negative way than they should have been, I mean I was almost ‘named and shamed once’ because of something I wrote.

I think eventually I would like to contribute more and make more *friends* but for now I’m happy in my own little world.

Quick Tips for Uber Drivers from a Passenger (1)

How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

It depends. I tend to rely on this type of image that doesn’t take too long ^. I do want to start taking my own new photographs but we’ll see.

Who is your book crush?

Amber from The Chocolate Run, she is almost everything that I’m not and almost everything that I want to be. She’s insecure but she has this air of self-confidence that helps her through those wobbles. She also is so good at being on her own – I FIND IT SO BLOODY HARD. 

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Though she would intimidate the shit out of me and I would never be able to even look her in the eye, let alone ask questions, I would love to have Catherynne Valente and her beautiful mind featured on this blog. I love her books, I love her personal blog, I just love every single word that she produces.

What do you wear when you write your blog post?

PAJAMAS, or if I’m blogging on my lunch break some kind of legging/cardigan/top/necklace combo. I’m sure I probably look alright though.

Quick Tips for Uber Drivers from a Passenger (2)

How long does it take you to prepare?

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

what does that even mean?! I am a spontaneous kinda gal. We’ll see how it goes.

How do you feel about the book blogger community?

It’s fantastic – BOOK BLOGGERS are bladdy fantastic. The rest of the blogging community can get a little stressful sometimes. I know we’re all bloggers but the book bloggers are just so much nicer.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Someone that blogs to share, to create and to be a nice human. That is all you need to do

So there you go – my thoughts on the whole blogging lark. Didn’t mean to get too grumpy because ya know not my kinda scene. Have a fantastic Friday lovelies and please tag me if you decide to do the tag!!

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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Hellllllo readers, what do we think of the new fancy opening to the blog post? I’ve decided that instead of using my stereotypical ‘A review from My Little Book Blog,’ I’m going to make an image for every single review – cause ya know why not. Also interestingly I’ve actually got a couple of book box subscription reviews coming up so look forward to them – for now, LE REVIEW.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock.

Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

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Let’s try and ignore allll of the reviews that say this is a novel about Sheldon Cooper trying to Find a Wife – it kind of is, but it also isn’t.  Don Till man is a genetics professor in his late thirties who wants to find a spouse by creating a very in-depth questionnaire. See, Don leads a very fussy life and throughout the story there are allusions that Don has Aspergers. However, Rosie becomes part of his life and she completely goes across everything in Don’s list of attributes; but a beautiful friendship (kind of) blossoms.

Don and Rosie are fantastic characters – Don’s constant flow of thought processes, and a need to keep his life constant is a continually contrasted with Rosie’s slightly outlandish and unbalanced way of life. Don’s need for example to eat the same thing each night (to minimise waste and time) the time he gets refused from a club despite it being a very expensive, waterproof model and generally messing things up in social situations is delightfully wonderful to read and equally interesting.

The storyline revolves around Don’s wife project (which 250000% does not include Rosie,) and Rosie’s father project which revolves around her need to find her biological father and deal with the stress of her relationship with her adopted father. Throughout both learn a lot about the other and how the other interacts and lives. A particularly special moment is when they travel together to New York; their two personalities together in a new place creates a beautiful section of storytelling.

In terms of genre this is really a romantic comedy and I think if you are fan of either the romantic or comedy style genre you will enjoy this. The writing throughout the book is really clever, the pace moves quickly and will pace but still manages to squeeze in numerous story-lines and supporting characters. The author has created really brilliant contrasts between each of the character’s ways of speaking which really adds to the dialogue of the book. I also loved how the author included a number of social gaffes, but Don is incredibly resilient and almost practical in them. He understands his strengths, his memory, his ability to being smart and dedicated; for example…

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Overall this was a really lovely tale, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t comment to throughly on the use of Aspergus because I just don’t have enough knowledge and I know there has been a little upset about how it’s portrayed. Overall I thought this was a fantastic book full of love romance and comedy and I can’t wait to read the second.

LINNNNNNKKKKS

Amazon

Goodreads

Author Website 

Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by P.F. Citizen One

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Hello readers, hope you’re well and having a fantastic Wednesday. I’ve got a hella load of news to share with you this week and I’m excited to get to it, but today I’ve also got a really brilliant interview with a new author friend of mine. I know there have been a lot of these recently – it’s a new thing I’m trying out and if it doesn’t work we’ll go back to the before but for now I’ll let the author introduce this wonderful set of short stories.

A series of short, true life stories, which are the product of the travels and observations of one man. The stories are a miscellaneous collection of the funny and sad, of tragedy, love and friendship. And they are all, in a way, unexpected.  

Unexpected takes you on a journey from a Brazilian working on the oil rigs of Venezuela, who gets the shock of his life, to the uplifting story of a Chinese beggar living on the streets, entertaining passers-by with his songs and surviving through the mercy and kindness of others.  

There is a story for each of us in this book. Each one is subtly different and each carries either a message of hope for lost, or of caution for the unwary.
Unexpected is just that. Just as life is and just as the course of our lives run, at times unexpectedly.

Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by [Citizen One, P.F.]

 If you had to describe your book as a whole in three sentences (they can be long sentences) what would they be? 

Unexpected is a collection of true life short stories my travels around the world and the people I have met. The book features seven thought-provoking, humorous and engaging stories that end with the most unlikely twist.

What was the inspiration for the selection of short stories? Why did you decide this instead of one continuous novel?

I have learned a lot about life from listening and being kind to people, as well as from stories others have shared with me. I actively listen, and often feel like I’ve heard these stories many times before, until I realize that each story is unexpected and instructive. These experiences have inspired me to write.

I wanted to write the type of stories that I would enjoy reading: true life stories. Short stories. At first, you feel like you’ve heard these stories many times before, until you read the ending. This is true life—unexpected.

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Can you tell us more about one story?

In one of the stories, The Wedding Contract, a man who was forced to sign a pre-nuptial agreement simply because his wife was wealthy and he was considered poor. As time went on, fortunes changed and the man became far wealthier than his wife. His wife and friends dreaded the worst from him because of his new financial position but what he did next was shocking.

Finally where can my readers keep up with you and your writing? 

You can keep up with me through my website or my Facebook page:

Website

Facebook page: Unexpected by Citizen ONE

Amazon link

So there we go, a fantastic set of exciting and interest stories all with a different twist or turn to keep you intrigued. Thank you so much to this fantastic author for letting me share a little more about his book and have a fantastic middle of week break readers!

Top Ten of the most vile bad guys (or gals) in books

Hellllllo readers , it’s Tuesday so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesdaaaay and today we’re talking about BAD GUYS.  I, like any good reader, know that every story needs a bad guy even if it’s a very tame one. Today, however, I’m going to bring out the super bad guys – enjoy.

Nils Bjurman (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Nils Bjurman is a sexual sadist who manipulates and plays with the beloved Lisbeth only allowing access to her funds when she performs sexual acts. There is a terrifying rape scene and although Lisbeth does get her own back he is a utterly loathsome villain.

Napoleon (Animal Farm)

Napoeon is a proper bully isn’t he – not only does he oust the leader Snowball but he becomes the tyrannical dictator of Animal Farm. He begins to order the deaths of certain animals and ruins the tranquility that once ruled. What a nightmare.

We Know What New Book You Should Read This Faaaaaalll

We Know What New Book You Should Read This Fall

Okay, okay, excuse the use of the word fall but Buzzfeed think they can guess what book I should read so I thought I would try it out. I barely know what book I should read next especially if I was trying to make it seasonal so we’ll see. What do Buzzfeed think I should read next? 

WHere would you most enjoy spending fall?

OPTIONS: 

Seattle

Berlin

Poland

Sri Lanka

On a road trip across America 

New Jersey


I would definitely pick the road trip to America with a hella massive group of friends. I really, really, reallllly want to go to America and I think a road trip would be the best way to see as much as possible. 

WHat is your ideal fall activity?

Options: 

Playing Backgammon

Bonding with your family

Inheriting a house

Getting your life together

Meeting an old friend

Starting a new relationship

Being a part of a love triangle

Fighting for your freedom

Fighting for your survival


God that’s a lot of choice there! I think maybe sorting my life out? There’s a lot of things I need to sort out at the moment and maybe reading about other people trying to get their life together will make me feel better! 

Pick a number

208

304

352

320

368

272


whaaaaaa Buzzfeed? HOW IS THIS GOING TO HELP. Right, I’m going with 368 for no reason at all 

PICK some orchard apples


I picked this one? I don’t know why but I did.

Have some pumpkin pie


I picked this image for this question – once again no idea why.

andddddd the answer is…..

You got: “The Wangs vs. the World” by Jade Chang

Jade Chang’s debut novel “The Wangs vs. the World” follows Taiwanese-born American businessman Charles Wang, who must unite his children to start fresh in China after losing his fortune to the 2008 recession. The Wangs set off on a road trip across the country, all the way struggling to deal with their new financial situation — and each other. Highly entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny, “The Wangs vs. the World” shows the often surprising ways hardship can bring a dysfunctional family closer together as well as what it means to be an immigrant in America today. Publication date: Oct. 4

^ So, there we go. That’s the book for me to read this fall – you can take the quiz here! Otherwise I’m off to add this to my Amazon basket.

Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well! Another day another review. I’ve been really enjoying this slightly more relaxed schedule. It’s felt a lot more helpful for encouraging creativity and I’ve adored reading lots more books from lots more genre’s and I have a lovely YA book for you today.

“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”

Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.

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The first thing to mention is I was sent this book really nicely by the author. The story follows the life of Tegan Lockwook who is a very talented and also beautiful young girl who helps with the family business – Lockwood Holiday. Tegan is not only a talented painter but she also loves to compose and write songs and due to this she is accepted into a college in New York. Through her families financial struggles Tegan must stay with them, and put her dreams on hold. However, one summer her life is about to change forever, when American pop star Mason Keane comes to the estate, everything might be turned entirely on its head.

This is a very fun summer romance and to be honest with you I really enjoyed it. It  has a romance, it has a number of really likable an well fleshed out characters and it doesn’t follow the typical girl changes bad boy. I loved the fact that Mason is really presented as a ‘good guy.’ Mason does have struggles, he’s not perfect but the author really makes this clear at the beginning. I also adored tha the author wrote all of the songs in the book – it’s a lovely addition.

Delving into a problem I do tend to have with YA fiction, the character development throughout the book was JUST FANTASTIC. Tegan and Mason are constantly changing as individuals from the very beginning to the very end, learning not only about each other but learning about their own personalities too and the relationship DOESN’T HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT. I adored the fact that they built a friendship which leads to love – I won’t spoil the plot because that’s unfair but I really thought that this was a beautifully built relationship.

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This is a really tough book to review because there’s so much going on and I don’t want to spoil any of the special bits – however I loved that the plot was full of surprises. Throughout the new story there are also glimpses into the older love story (#NOSPOILERS.) There are letters from a forbidden love that takes part during WW1 and they are mixed in with the romance of the modern world. I can’t like I wish there was more into  the past love story, but that could be the historical fiction lover in me.

I think the only thing that did kind of test me was the kind of languid quite overly done descriptions. Not only did they come across a little dramatic and full of teenage angst (which is okay in small doses,) but it did make the writing a little stodgy. Through the middle of the book it does slow the pace of the book down and it does become a little slow. There are also a long of cliche’s with I’m not a big fan of (piercing eyes etc,) but I think than Dallas has written this book for the lovey-dovey one’s of us. It does have some intense descriptions, and for some readers that’a a good thing – for me a little overwhelming especially towards the end.

So, what did I think in the end. I thought that the story was really special, I thought the characters were brilliantly written, the romance was built throughout and actually happened throughout the story rather than just smushed together. I did struggle a little with the overly cliched and heavy description of the love story – it just felt a little bit over done. But if you really love a romance, with a bit of mystery, pick up a copy today.

LINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNKS

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Amazon

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Books On My Autumn Read List

HELLLLLLOOOO readers it’s another Tuesday and it’s time for another list of books that might take ten years for Lizzy to read. Ergh. These are books that are coming out in or after October so there’s a little time before you can get your mitts on them.

Also I’m tempted to start a new thing which is basically documenting my time journalling? I’m going to try a bullet journals, artistic journal, and just kinda writing stuff down. I’ll maybe let you know more in the future. For now books on my Autumn list (not fall – I’m British.)

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

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Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart.

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology.

^ This just sounds bloody fantastic. I love books like this, slightly dystopian, probably kinda creepy, probably a little romance. I’m excited for this. 

The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

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I promise I will write less on each of the descriptions just sometimes it’s difficult not to write lots. This book depicts the life of  Mileva “Mitza” Marić Einstein’s Wife. I think it could be super interesting.

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

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This feels like one of your stereotypical YA books but the reviews are just too good to miss. The book talks about the leaving of the main character’s mother and the rumours and secrets that surround this. With a pinch of romance mixed in this looks like a stunner.

Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by Chelsey Philpot

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I utterly adored Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour  and apparently this a book for you if you loved that so I’m up for it. A YA road trip to remember and to be honest, Be Good, Be Real, Be Crazy is a pretty good life motto.

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

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I’m really moving towards the romantic YA sweet story kinda books this post but I really want to have a really diverse list this week.

Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it’s the 80’s after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they’ve graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.

During their first year apart, Scott and Cath’s letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends?

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

^ Okay maybe the list isn’t going to be so diverse but this is basically girl meets boy, with a little bit of science mixed in. I think the cover is gorgeous, the reviews are good and it would be a lovely little cosy read.

Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

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Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college. And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.

When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.

^ But I bet all is not as it seems. I love books like this, there’s a little danger, a little mystery and there’s excitement. I think this would be the perfect book to banish some winter blues.

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

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I saw the film of this recently and absolutely adored it although it did scare me a little. Not scared as in it was scary just very, very tense. It was a brilliant film and I really want to see how it was created from the book.

The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl, K.E. Semmel

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Another murder mystery but this time it’s going to be solved by someone that is kinda cut off from the modern world.

The question is: can an old man who knows nothing about mobile phones, the internet or social media possibly solve a murder in the modern world, especially one that stretches far beyond the sandy beaches of Fuerteventura?

^ Pretty fricken cool no.

The Infinite by Nicholas Mainieri

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I won’t put the wholeeeee blurb here but basically read it here – and then wait with trepidation like me for the book to come out.

SEE IT HERE.

I guess, there we are, ten books that I want to read in the Autumn. Let me know if you’ve read any of them or if there’s any that I’ve left off my list. Hope you enjoyed the list and have a fantastic Tuesday.