Brief blogs for busy bees

Tag: weekly feature

Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads

I feel as though it’s tempting fate to say this, but the weather in England has been uncharacteristically bright for the past few weeks. It’s still cold, yes, but there’s been a surprising lack of rain: although April is supposed to bring showers, it’s instead […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous bookish things I’ve done

Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous bookish things I’ve done

I found it really hard to think of ten things to put on this week’s list, because I haven’t done anything that outrageous in the name of books. I just about managed to scrabble a list together… Then I completely forgot to write it up […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that make me pick up a book

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that make me pick up a book

It’s been hard to narrow this list down to just ten, because there are so many different reasons I choose to read a book. I’ve had a lot of fun trying to pick which are my top ten reasons, though – I hope you enjoy this list as much as I liked making it!

10) View potential

Okay, so this is a totally self-absorbed reason, but sometimes I do choose to read a book based off of how successful I think a review post about it could be. I’d be surprised if other bloggers didn’t feel the same – isn’t that one of the reasons that we sign up for blog tours and read and review books by majorly hyped authors?

9) Proof design

This reason is quite shallow – almost as shallow as judging a book by its cover (which is coming later on in this list, don’t you worry!) – but if a book has an intriguing proof design I’m far more likely to remember people talking about it when it’s eventually released. Some of my favourite proof designs that I’ve received include The Last by Hanna Jameson (which features a mobile phone covered in emergency alerts, introducing the story) and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (blue sprayed edges <3). When I’m thinking of books which I’ve reviewed to recommend, they stick at the forefront of my mind because of their memorable designs.

8) Intriguing titles

I’m a huge fan of book titles that make books sound like they’re going to be about something completely different. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell… All of these are books that I might not have picked up if they hadn’t had such interesting titles, but surprisingly enough they aren’t informative books about fruit, trees or the various aromas of living rooms across the world.

7) Price

I love a bargain. If there’s a book I’m not too sure about reading and it’s on sale on Kindle or I find it in a charity shop, I suddenly can’t resist throwing it in my basket (even if I haven’t gotten around to reading most of the books I own for this exact reason!).

6) Enthusiastic bloggers

If a blogger I like recommends an author or book, I’m more likely to trust their opinion than I am that of a professional reviewer. I recently bought my first ever Abi Elphinstone book just because of how highly she’s recommended by Aimee over on Twitter, and it’s impossible to resist reading Melinda Salisbury or Maz Evans if you go anywhere near Steph’s blog. I’m also willing to try anything that’s loved by Amy at Golden Books Girl – we have almost identical reading tastes, so if she rates a book highly I’m sure it’s going to knock my socks off!

5) Length

I’ve had to put length in the middle of this post, because it’s not the most important thing I consider when picking up a book but it really does bias me against certain releases. I’m terrified of huge books – A Game of Thrones, The Priory of the Orange Tree and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy are some off of the top of my head – and if a book is too long then I’m sure to avoid reading it. However, I don’t automatically turn towards shorter releases (unless I’m trying to catch up on my Goodreads challenge #sneaky).

4) Author

As soon as I love a book by an author, they become an autobuy author. This is one of the reasons that I love reading debut authors so much: Sara Barnard, Lisa Williamson, Melinda Salisbury, Kathleen Glasgow, Marieke Nijkamp, Laura Steven… The list is practically endless, but they’re all authors who blew me away with their debuts and whose releases I eagerly anticipate.

3) Hype

Hype is a contradictory one. As soon as a book is hyped I buy it instantly – Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – but it takes me YEARS to actually get around to reading them because I’m so certain that they aren’t going to live up to my expectations. It’s definitely one of the primary reasons that I buy books, but it’s the furthest down the list when it comes to actually making me read the book.

2) Cover

The only thing that’s surprising about me putting covers as a reason I pick up books is that it’s not the highest thing on my list. I am so biased towards beautiful books. If I pick up a book with a boring cover and I love it I find myself getting so surprised, and if a gorgeous book disappoints me it feels like the end of the world!

1) New releases on Borrowbox

I only started using Borrowbox last year, but it is ADDICTIVE. Every week I check the new releases in the young adult and children’s genres and I find myself inundated with brand new titles, some of which I haven’t even heard of! It’s awful, because it means I’ve stopped prioritising all of the NetGalley books which I have to review, but I’ve also found some absolute gems so I’m going to continue doing it (until I run out of new releases, which will literally never happen).

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday post! What’s the one thing that makes you instantly grab a book off of the shelf?

Alyce

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Rapid Reviews #1

Rapid Reviews #1

It’s been practically impossible for me to blog recently, as my glasses are broken and my laptop screen just isn’t clear when I’m wearing my contact lenses. However, it hasn’t slowed down my reading, which is why it’s time for my first ever Rapid Reviews […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite albums

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite albums

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is an audio freebie, so I thought it was the perfect excuse to talk about some of my all-time favourite LPs. I’ve been playing with this list for a few weeks, and I’ve already had to take some of my […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

I’ll be honest, every time I write a TBR post I struggle to stick to it. I’ve got so many books that I’m hoping to read during spring, and I’m bound to get hold of more that I end up prioritising, so don’t blame me if I don’t get all ten of these done! But these books are the ones I’ve been planning on reading for the longest time, so hopefully I’ll get through them all. 

10) Wildcard by Marie Lu

The only reason Wildcard is so low down on my list is because I’m borrowing it from the library and it’s only available in audiobook. I’ve never listened to an audiobook ever before and I’m struggling to see how I’m going to be able to fit it into my day, but I’m enjoying Warcross so much and only have a few chapters left. I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait to get hold of a physical copy, so an audiobook adventure awaits!

9) The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree is huge. Like, 800 pages huge. I bought it the week it came out because I had a Waterstones voucher that was burning a hole in my pocket, but I struggle to read hardback books at the best of times – reading this book will probably give me serious wrist issues!

8) Home Girl by Alex Wheatle

I discovered Alex Wheatle when Crongton Knights was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and I absolutely loved it. As soon as Home Girl popped up on NetGalley I knew I had to request it, and I was overjoyed when my request was accepted. Wheatle’s books are quite short, so I’m hoping it won’t take me too long to get through this one.

7) How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

I waited for years before picking up Girl in Pieces, and I regret wasting so much time. I’m not going to sleep on Kathleen Glasgow’s second novel, How to Make Friends With the Dark, which is being released at the beginning of April.

6) Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

I’m chuffed to share that I’m taking part in the Fallen Angel blog tour towards the end of April (thanks Little, Brown!) so Fallen Angel is the one book on this list that I am 100% definitely going to read in spring. I’ve never read a Chris Brookmyre novel before, but I’m looking forward to trying this standalone.

5) A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven

I feel a little bit apprehensive about picking up A Girl Called Shameless, because The Exact Opposite of Okay was flawless and I don’t want the sequel to fail to live up to my expectations. I’m looking forward to hanging out with Izzy O’Neill again, though – by the end of Laura Steven’s debut she felt like a friend rather than a character.

4) Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

Honestly, based off of how much I loved Wing Jones I should have read Only Love Can Break Your Heart already, but I keep forgetting that it exists. It hasn’t received as much hype as Webber’s debut, but it’s been shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and I’m going to attempt to read every book on the list again this year, which is also why…

3) A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

…is on my spring TBR. I’d seen a lot of people talking about this book throughout 2018, but I didn’t know what it was about. However, since seeing it described as Gatsby-esque it’s been bumped right up my TBR.

2) Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

Last Bus to Everland was on my most anticipated 2019 releases list, so I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was when it popped up on NetGalley. I really enjoyed Sophie Cameron’s debut, despite the fact that I was reading it the week I gave birth so my memory of it is a little bit hazy, so I’m looking forward to reading her work while in less pain! 

1) Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

I’ve had a copy of Serious Moonlight for a couple of months already, but I’m trying to wait until closer to release date before picking it up because I know I’m going to be writing a super spoilery review of it. When I finished Starry Eyes I wanted to shout my love for Lennon and Zorie from the rooftops, and I’m probably going to feel exactly the same about Birdie and Daniel based off of what I’ve already heard about them.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! Are any of these books also on your spring TBR?

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Standalones  that NEED a sequel

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalones that NEED a sequel

I’m forever getting to the end of a standalone and craving a sequel, so it feels like this week’s topic was made with me in mind. It’s been difficult to pick just ten books, because I can remember thinking this about so many of the […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d switch places with

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d switch places with

Hiya! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post. It feels like I’m writing one of these every other day at the moment – time is passing so quickly this year, and I can’t believe it’s already March. This week’s topic is the ten characters that […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Places I want to visit

Top Ten Tuesday: Places I want to visit

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be all about the places in books that you want to visit, but I was having a hard time coming up with a list of books that featured the places that I want to visit.

Instead, I’ve decided to talk about the ten places that I want to visit most in the entire world (some linked to bookish reasons, some just because!).

10) Marrakech

There’s something about the beautiful architecture of Marrakech that has always captivated me, and I would love to see it in real life. The busy market squares are particularly famous, and although I’ve heard that they are similar across Morocco I’ve also been told that none really hold a candle to the atmosphere in Marrakech.

9) South Africa

Having grown up being absolutely obsessed with Wild at Heart, it’s not a surprise that one of my dream holiday locations is South Africa. Going on safari and seeing giraffes, lions and elephants in the wild would be an unforgettable experience.

8) Hawaii

My boyfriend travelled to Hawaii in October 2017 for his mum’s wedding, and the pictures that he took while he was there are unbelievably beautiful. There are even black sand beaches, which was something I’d never even heard of before he went!

7) Japan

There’s one reason particular reason I want to visit Japan – to visit the Pokémon store in Tokyo. I have loved Pokémon since I was very little and have seen so many pictures and videos of other people’s trips to the store, and I think I’d absolutely love it there.

6) Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

I absolutely love walking, regularly walking a minimum of 10km each and every day. Arthur’s Seat is the end of a two hour walk, the main peak of a group of hills in Scotland, and I’ve heard so much about the awe-inspiring view that I would love to see it for myself one day. I’m also pretty sure it’s where Steffi and Rhys walk to in Sara Barnard’s A Quiet Kind of Thunder (but it’s been a couple of years since I read it, so don’t quote me on that!) and it’s also definitely mentioned in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

5) New Zealand

AJ, who used to contribute the Travel Thursday posts over on Everything Alyce, is from New Zealand, and he’s one of my oldest friends even though I’ve never met him in real life. I’d love to get to visit New Zealand and meet him one day, and see the bountiful amounts of sheep that he promises me cover the hills.

4) Pacific Coast Highway, California

The Pacific Coast Highway is meant to be one of the most gorgeous drives you’ll ever experience, which is why it’s so commonly featured in movies and TV shows. I’d love to be able to see the view of the ocean from this road.

3) German Christmas markets

I almost went on a trip to the Christmas markets in Germany while I was in school, but I wasn’t the most socially comfortable person so I decided to stay at home instead. My best friend visited there with her boyfriend last year, though, and took some gorgeous pictures that made me really want to go myself! Hopefully I’ll be able to get there some day.

2) Australian outback

I’ve always wanted to see a red sand desert, and the creatures of Australia absolutely fascinate me so it would be awesome to see kangaroos out in the wild in their natural habitat.

1) Paris

The setting of so many of my favourite books – particularly Anna and the French Kiss! – Paris is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to visit for so many reasons. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe… And, of course, Shakespeare and Company, which was the top of my bookstores I want to visit list!

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday. Have you ever visited any of these locations, or are they on your travel bucket list too?

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Underappreciated books I love

Top Ten Tuesday: Underappreciated books I love

It’s been two years since I last wrote a post about all of the underappreciated books I love, but it’s still one of the most fun lists I’ve ever made so I’m glad that I get to write a follow up. The topic for this […]