Recent Posts

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books titles which are questions

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books titles which are questions

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I normally struggle with topics about book titles because my mind just goes blank, but this week’s topic has been surprisingly easy! I do have one author in particular to thank for that, so 

Guide to Bookish Acronyms

Guide to Bookish Acronyms

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted my Guide to Bookish Vocabulary, so I thought it was about time I wrote my Guide to Bookish Acronyms! My video on this topic went up on my Booktube channel earlier in the week, but I 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Reasons I love reading

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Reasons I love reading

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m glad this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a chilled out topic, because my brain is exhausted from my first week of training at my new job! I’m sorry if I post less regularly for a couple of weeks, but I’ll try to be here for Top Ten Tuesday each week, no matter what.

This week, I’m sharing ten reasons why I love reading.

…because it involves active concentration

I don’t enjoy watching TV or films because they involve passive consumption. You sit, you watch, you turn your brain off for a couple of hours and just enjoy what you’re seeing. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to happen. When I watch TV or films, my brain wanders off by itself and I find myself feeling fidgety, distracted and impatient. By the end of the show I’ve either gone and grabbed something else to do while it plays in the background, or I realise I’ve hardly absorbed anything I’ve seen because my brain has been on its travels.

When it comes to reading, however, I catch myself doing and can stop myself. If my brain is thinking about other things I look away from the book and stare into space for a few minutes until I’ve followed the thought through to its conclusion, then I give myself a little mental shake and return to reading. I take in a lot more when I’m reading, so it feels satisfying, entertaining and it’s a worthwhile time investment.

…because it will never end

Yes, each individual book I read comes to an end, but reading isn’t a hobby you can ever finish because there are too many books in the world for anyone to rad them all in one lifetime (not even taking into account the books written in other languages which I wouldn’t be able to pick up).

I don’t like video games much because most of them are over when you complete them. Yes, you can play them again, but it’s not as engaging or fun second time around. That’ll never be a problem with books, because even if I read all of the books I own then I can just head to a library!

…because it’s fun for all the family

I read books out loud to my partner, and we both read books all the time to our Baby Bumbles. It’s great to have an interest like reading which you can share with family members of all generations.

…because it makes me feel smart

I know that reading doesn’t inherently make you smarter, but when I discover that I’ve read a classic book which is on one of those ‘Books You Must Read Before You Die’ lists, I feel a little burst of pride.

…because it’s a great way to make friends

The bookish community is a wonderful place. Since starting my Booktube channel I’ve made so many great bookish friends (to add to the collection of folks I’d gathered through this blog and over on Twitter). I’m yet to meet any of my bookish friends in real life, but I HAVE made some real life friends who are bookish, and I treasure them greatly.

…because it’s a great way to connect with colleagues

This works well for me because I used to work in a library, so bonding with my colleagues involved gushing over books all the live long day and it made me some lifelong friends. However, I’ve only been working for my new company for a week and I’ve already had conversations with two different people about the books we’re currently reading. This is a win-win, because I get book recommendations and feel more comfortable in a new environment!

…because it allows you to explore different lands (both real and imaginary!)

I’m not somebody who has travelled across the globe. In fact, I’ve only been to Ibiza on an all-inclusive holiday with my mum when I was 12. I’ve never even been to Scotland! So reading gives me a taste of a different cultures and locations across the world, and is helping me to decide which of those locations I would like to visit when I’m older.

You also get to explore imaginary, awe-inspiring and thought-provoking worlds which have literally been crafted from scratch in someone’s MIND. That is so amazing!

…because it helps you understand other people’s viewpoints

There are some life experiences which I will never have. By reading books from the viewpoint of people who have experienced those things, it will give me a greater sense of understanding of their feelings and their struggles, and increase my sense of empathy.

I think reading is one of the reasons why I’m always patient with customers, and forgiving if they’re in a bad mood and they decide to take it out on me. You never know what someone has going on in their personal lives, so it’s always best to practice forgiveness and try to brush things off instead of taking them personally.

…because it makes for amazing home decor

You don’t have to own physical books to be a reader. You don’t have to have an extensive library, and you’re just as legitimate of a reader if you only own eBooks or audiobooks.

That being said, my personal library is my pride and joy. Acquiring a new gorgeous special edition fills my heart with such happiness, and I love seeing them up on the shelves decorating my living room. I even ended up impressing my midwives with my home library when they arrived for my homebirth!

…because there’s nothing I’d rather do with my time

When I have a bit of downtime, I automatically want to read. There’s nothing I would rather do in the world. I read while I’m walking, I read while I brush my teeth, I read before bed… I’ve even read at a concert in the past because I was that addicted to the book I was reading on the journey to the venue.

I don’t know who I would be without reading, and I think that’s one of the reasons I love reading so much. It’s a huge part of me, and I’m pretty happy with who I am at the moment. If reading has contributed to that, I owe it a lot, and that’s enough of a reason for me to love it.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! What’s the biggest reason you love reading?

Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you again next week,

Alyce

X

BLOG TOUR: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

BLOG TOUR: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to The Write Reads for organising this blog tour. Instructions for Dancing is Nicola Yoon’s third novel, and her first release in five years. Because it’s been such a long time since The Sun 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: 2021 Anticipated Releases (July-Dec)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: 2021 Anticipated Releases (July-Dec)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. As I mentioned during my January to June anticipated releases list at the start of the year, I won’t be featuring any of the books I mentioned in my most anticipated 2021 releases video 

Guide to Bookish Vocabulary

Guide to Bookish Vocabulary

I decided to film a Guide to Bookish Vocabulary for my Booktube channel (which you can view here if you’re interested in seeing it) but I decided to cross-post the list to my blog to make it easier for people to refer to more regularly if they need to.

My intention with this guide is to make things easier for new people joining the book community, or for members of the bookish community from across the globe who don’t have English as their first language. Some of the terms used can be very confusing, and it took me a while to come to terms with them when I first joined the book community and started book blogging. If I can make even one person’s experience a little bit easier, I’m happy to do it!

Make sure to check back within the next couple of weeks, because I’m also going to be posting a Guide to Bookish Acronyms (so you can learn your COB from your COBAB and your SJTR from your STD!).

Without further ado, here’s an alphabetical glossary to the most frequently used terms and acronyms in the book community.

1/1. This refers to the 1st edition, 1st printing of a book. You can find this by checking in the front of your book, where there should either be a number on a line by itself, or a line of numbers which increases by alternating between the start of the row and the end. Whichever number is the lowest in the line indicates which printing your edition is.

ARC (also known as proof or galley). ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. This are the early copies of books which are sent out to authors, publicists, booksellers and members of the bookish community to read, review and promote the book prior to release. These are similar to Manuscripts (or MS), but manuscripts come much earlier in the timeline and are a far more unfinished edition of the book.

B&N. Barnes & Noble, an American chain of bookstores.

BAM. Books-A-Million, another chain of American bookstores.

BD. Book Depository, an online bookstore which offers free shipping worldwide.

Book Box. A book box is a subscription box. They often come with a book and goodies related to bookish fandoms, or they may include stationery items. There are some boxes that don’t come with books, but they’ll be inspired by the books instead, allowing you to have a special collector’s edition box of goodies to open up when you read your book.

Bookstagram. Bookish stuff on Instagram.

BookTok. Bookish stuff on TikTok.

BookTube. Bookish stuff on YouTube. You can check out my BookTube channel here!

Booktwt. Bookish stuff on Twitter.

BOTM. Book of the Month, which is an American book only subscription service. You pay to get a book sent through to your door every month, choosing between the five titles Book of the Month offer you, but you can also get add-ons if you’re tempted by more than one title.

B/T/S. Buy/Trade/Sell. A way of telling people what you want to buy, what you’re interested in trading or what you’re selling.

Buddy Read. This is when you get a buddy and you read a book with them! You can do this as a big group or with just one other person. You can read a set amount of chapters a day, read it in the same timespan, or arrange a more relaxed version where you just both read the book in your own time and talk about it at the end.

CR. This is what you are Currently Reading.

DISO or ISO. Desperately In Search Of or In Search Of. These are things on your wishlist that you really really want to get hold of.

DNF. Did Not Finish. A book that is so bad that you’ve got to put it down and you will not finish it.

Droogs. These are Jay Kristoff fans. I’m not sure if there are any other authors whose fandoms have names, but if there are any other fan groups with special names which have confused you in the past, please leave them down in the comments! This one just baffled me when I first saw people saying that they were a Droog because I had no idea what it meant. I don’t even know if it has a proper meaning other than fans of Jay Kristoff.

Edelweiss (or EW). Edelweiss is a website where you can request digital ARCs (also known as eARCs). I’ve never used it myself, so I’m not sure whether it is just available to American reviewers, but American publishers predominantly use this site.

FC. FaeCrate, a book box subscription service.

FL. Fairyloot, another subscription box.

FM. Fabled Merch, another book box.

GB. Goldsboro Books, a UK-based bookstore. Goldsboro run GSFF, which is the Goldsboro Sci-Fi/Fantasy book subscription scheme. You can sign up and receive a new sci-fi/fantasy release with an exclusive design monthly.

IC. Illumicrate, another book box, and the parent company of both Cureadosity (a children’s picture book subscription box service) and Afterlight (an adult romance subscription box which is coming soon).

NetGalley (or NG). This is a site similar to Edelweiss where you can get advanced copies of books digitally sent to you. NetGalley have region specific sites for USA, UK, France, Germany and Japan, so you will be able to request different titles depending on what region you’re in.

NYT. New York Times. You’ll see this referred to every week because there’s the New York Times Bestseller List, and author’s often celebrate their books debuting on the list.

OC. OwlCrate, another book box subscription service.

PW. Publishers Weekly, a magazine where you can learn all about new books being acquired, new deals being announced, and new authors that will be ones to watch.

Readalong. A readalong is when you read a book with other people to a set schedule and you’re all reading the same book, so it’s a bit like a book club! An example of this which is running at the moment is Bookish Buddies’ EmberintheAshalong. Everyone participating should read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir in May, A Torch Against the Night in June, A Reaper at the Gates in July and A Sky Beyond the Storm in August.

Readathon. A readathon, however, is when you’re all reading to fulfill the same set of prompts but you’re not necessarily reading the same books to fulfill those prompts. For example, Sean and I have recently announced that we are running KetchupAThon. We’re not expecting everybody to read the same books to collect their sauce badges, but we are hoping that people will at least read some books to fulfill their prompts.

Reading sprints. These are normally live streams. The host will chat for five or ten minutes, and then they’ll start a timer and say “okay everyone, we’re all going to read for 15 minutes”. At the end of that 15 minutes you have a bit of a break, chat about how much you read during that sprint, and then start the timer and begin reading again.

Read With Me. Read With Me videos are normally prerecorded. They feature somebody sitting and reading, in real time. In the background there may be ambient noise, rain, gentle music, or complete silence. The host will sit and read for a set amount of time and it gives you the excuse, while watching their video, to put all obligations to one side so you can sit and read with them!

TBR. This is your To Be Read list, which includes are books that you own, or are interested in reading, which you haven’t read yet.

TLB. The Librarian Box, another book box subscription service. There are quite a lot of other book boxes but I don’t see their names shortened as often, which is why I’ve only featured certain ones in this guide.

Unicorn. This is something on your wishlist which is super duper rare. These include limited printings of specific books, a release with a printing error which gets recalled, manuscripts, and ARCs. It all depends on the supply and demand as to which books become unicorns.

WL. This stands for wishlist, and is any book that you want, really! Whether it’s one you’re desperately in search of or one that you’re only slightly interested in, any book which you don’t own but you’re interested in eventually getting is on your wishlist.

WS. Waterstones, a UK chain of bookstores who often do exclusive editions.

And that’s it for this first version of my Guide to Bookish Terms! Is there anything which I’ve missed that you are still confused about? Please leave it down in the comments, and I’ll get back to you with an explanation as quickly as I’m able to.

Thank you for reading, and I hope that this guide has helped you to feel more at home in the bookish community. See you again soon!

Alyce

X

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish wishes

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish wishes

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is such a fun one! It was hard to think of ten bookish wishes, so I’ve got a wide variety of them. They’re in no particular order, but feel free to let 

REVIEW: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

REVIEW: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, for accepting my request to read and review The Prison Healer via NetGalley. The Prison Healer is a predictable yet gripping YA fantasy novel. This book follows Kiva, the titular 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Summer TBR

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

It’s been three months since I posted my Spring TBR, and I’ve only managed to read two books out of the ten featured there. I am still intending to read the other eight books soon, but I won’t be mentioning any of them again in this post or it would get very repetitive! I also won’t be mentioning the eight books I shouted out in my mid-year freak out book tag video on Saturday, so make sure to check that out if I don’t mention your new favourite book down below.

Without further ado, here are another ten books I’m hoping to read (but probably won’t)…

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Ooh, we’re starting off with an ambitious one! I’m planning to get A Court of Wings and Ruin read this month, because I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury much more than I had expected. If I enjoy the third book as much as the second, it won’t take a lot of convincing for me to get through the A Court of Frost and Starlight novella, and then I’ll be ready to read the newest Maas release.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

I hadn’t heard of All American Boys until it popped up on the newly added section on Borrowbox, but it was actually released back in 2015! All American Boys sounds like it’s going to be hard-hitting, as a boy gets brutally beaten by a police officer and his classmate sees the events play out but isn’t sure what to do for the best. I think this is going to be a powerful discussion of police brutality and the impact that bystanders can have if they decide to take action. As I already love Jason Reynolds’ writing, this is a 5 star prediction for me.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I was meant to read An Ember in the Ashes last month, as I’m trying to take part in Bookish Buddies’ EmberintheAshalong. Unfortunately I didn’t read it in time, and I’m now halfway through A Torch Against the Night‘s month and I still haven’t started the first book in the series! Catching up with this readalong is a huge priority of mine over the summer (hopefully in time to read the final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, with the rest of the participants).

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I’ve heard amazing things about Grady Hendrix’s writing, so when I saw The Final Girl Support Group on NetGalley I couldn’t resist pressing the request button. I did NOT expect my request to be approved, and I lost my shit when I saw that the publisher’s had decided to let me access an early copy. This is one I’m definitely going to get to before release date, but it’s out on the 13th of July so I don’t have long to pick it up!

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

I loved Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s debut novel, Firsts, so I’m looking forward to diving into her first adult novel. This is a thriller about two girls who attend their college reunion, and someone who is out for revenge because of their past actions. It sounds like it’s going to be perfect for fans of Friend Request and The Perfect Girlfriend – both of which I really enjoyed – so I should actually get around to reading this one over the summer.

I’ve also just discovered that Laurie Elizabeth Flynn wrote a free Wattpad prequel novella to Firsts, and I haven’t read that yet, so even though that’s not officially on this list I’ll be getting to that soon too.

My Name is Jensen by Heidi Amsinck

My Name is Jensen is released on August 5th, but Muswell Press kindly sent me an early copy for review! Getting this read before its release date is going to be my top priority, but based off of how gripping the synopsis is this book will basically read itself to me. A journalist finds the body of a homeless man on her way home from work, and she’s forced to call her ex-boyfriend – a Detective Inspector – for help. Drama, drama!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

I haven’t read Joan He’s Descendent of the Crane yet, but The Ones We’re Meant to Find was featuring in May’s OwlCrate so I’ll be reading this as part of their readalong towards the end of the month. As far as I’m aware, The Ones We’re Meant to Find is about two sisters who get separated and are trying to find their way back to each other. It’s been described as similar to We Were Liars (which I haven’t read) and Black Mirror (which I haven’t seen), so if I enjoy this book I’ll have to explore those things as well.

Such Pretty Things by Lisa Heathfield

I loved Lisa Heathfield’s Paper Butterflies, so when I discovered she’d written an adult horror novel I borrowed it from the library straight away. Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten to it, and my loan is expiring very soon! I’m hoping to borrow this one again and get it read as soon as I can, because I don’t read many horror novels but I’ve always wanted to read more of them.

Summertime Stories by Enid Blyton

I meant to read Summertime Stories last summer, as I read Winter Stories in December 2019. Sadly, I didn’t remember to pick it up until September, so I decided to leave it for another few months and I won’t let myself forget to read it this year. Enid Blyton’s short story collections combine a ton of short tales – most less than 15 pages – with some strong educational morals about manners and nature (among other things), and these are a breeze to get through very quickly.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither featured on my ‘These books will self-destruct in 12 months’ list, so I need to try to read it at some point before May 18th 2022. However, I’m currently reading Lauren Oliver’s Delirium – another dystopian which gives me similar vibes to Wither – and I’m enjoying it a lot, so it’s pushing Wither up my TBR by association. Hopefully I’ll get this one ticked off during the summer months.

I hope you enjoyed this summer TBR post. How many of the books on your spring TBR did you get to? Are you planning on picking any of these up soon yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Alyce

X

YA Book Prize 2021 shortlist reviews

YA Book Prize 2021 shortlist reviews

It’s been a few weeks since we uploaded our YA Book Prize 2021 shortlist reading vlog and discussion videos, so it’s about time I actually reviewed each of the ten shortlisted titles. I’m going to do these alphabetically, so feel free to scroll down if