Luna’s Picks 2014: The Books Are Now Reviewed!

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My good friend Luna at Luna’s Little Library recommended some awesome books for me. Each month of 2014 she gave me a selection of choices out of her collection of books. I picked one and then I left it to readers to decide my next read. Here are the books that I reviewed over the year.

January

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February

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 March

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 April

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May

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May brought me the first book that I didn’t agree with Luna with. That is Riot. Please check out my review if you’re interested in why I didn’t enjoy it as much. You’ll find a link there to Luna’s review so you can read a differing opinion.

June

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 July

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August

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 September

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October

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November

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December

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As you can see, I had an amazing year with the books Luna recommended! I have found some authors that I will certainly looking out for in the future. Luna’s Picks will return again, but not this year as both Luna and I are incredibly busy! Thanks once again to Luna for providing this wonderful feature for me!

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British Books Challenge 2014: The round up!

The British Book Challenge was set up to show support for British Authors. By signing up I promised to read at least 12 books by British Authors. That’s equal to one book a month.

It’s safe to say that I exceeded this challenge this year.

Geekhood: Close Encounters of The Girl Kind

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How did I get it?:
I bought it for Luna’s Picks!

Synopsis:

If you haven’t worked it out yet, girls don’t do this. They don’t come to the Hovel. They don’t like goblins and dragons. They don’t paint miniatures. They don’t play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don’t talk to Geeks like me especially if they’re pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you’re a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you… For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover … run for the hills … buy a new model elf… Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it’s time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl’s heart and shake off his Geekhood for good…
Thoughts:

I’d heard a lot about Geekhood, so it was definitely on my radar before Luna picked it as part of her choices for me to read this month. Geekhood was the book that readers of my blog decided I should read. I thought Geekhood carried a strong, positive message about finding out it is best to be yourself, no matter who you are.

Archie is the 14-year-old narrator of this story. He believes he’s a geek and he finds this a problem. He has an inner monologue (IM) which is constantly talking to him, putting him down and just generally not accepting of who Archie is. Archie comes into contact with a girl. He believes this is a massive problem because he is a geek. He builds it up into a much bigger problem then it actually is. Archie tries to change who he is using his psychic self (PS). Archie soon realises that he’s causing more trouble than its worth and that it is actually better to be yourself no matter who you are.

Although this wasn’t one of my favourite reads of the year, I think it’s a decent read and I like the positive message it portrays. The book includes lots of well written humour, which mainly comes from Archie’s inner monologue and the inevitable banter between friends. This book came across as a modern day Adrian Mole to me. I think it can be enjoyed by males and females and geeks and ‘popular’ kids alike.

Would it recommend it?:
Yes!

Stacking The Shelves #67- A crazy big haul after my long weekend away

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page!

With thanks to Headline books (via Book Bridgr):

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I’ve heard good things about Precious Things by Colette McBeth, so I look forward to reading that (hopefully) soon.

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I am SO excited about this book. I received it this Thursday, but by the time this post goes live, I may have already read it.

Storytellers Inc haul:

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Storytellers Inc is an amazing bookshop. I had a great weekend last weekend, exploring their shop. As you can see… I just had to buy some books! 😉 I’m particularly looking forward to More Than This by Patrick Ness, If You Can Find Me by Emily Murdoch and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson.  But really, I can’t wait to read them all. It’s just when I find the time to. Hmmm..

Borrowed/given to me from Luna:

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I have a feeling that I’m going to be very busy with these books. This week’s haul definitely makes up for a quiet one last week!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know! Feel free to leave your link to your hauls in the comments below and I’ll stop by at some point!

Hay Festival 2013

Click on the image to learn more about Hay Festival!

Click on the image to learn more about Hay Festival!

I’m just back from Hay Festival! I had such a good time that I decided to do a little blog post about it. Hay Festival is a Literature and Arts festival which runs every year. It brings together writers, film-makers, historians, novelists, philosophers, poets and at night comedians and musicians. Hay is described as “a magical book town in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park.” It was absolutely beautiful and I was in my element surrounded by books, authors and like-minded people. This year was my ‘taster’ session so I didn’t spend long there, but I hope to rectify that next year!

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I went to Hay with my sister Bibliobeth. Our journey did not start so well, with our coach being hit by something on the motorway, which left its exhaust hanging off and left us waiting to see if it was safe to continue onto Newport. Luckily it was and on we went.

Can you spy Newport?

Can you spy Newport?

After a very long journey we arrived at our accommodation for the night. Which was lovely… even if the weather wasn’t so lovely.

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We were greeted with warm cheese and potato pie and biscuits. Lovely!

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The festival was brilliant. We had booked two talks which were 3 of the Waterstones 11 debut novelists chaired by Chris White who is on the panel at Waterstones to pick the 11 promising debuts of the year. We decided to go to this talk because we’re reading and reviewing the Waterstones 11 debut novels. The second talk was a Geektastic talk from Holly Smale and Andy Robb.

I really enjoyed the Waterstones 11 debut novels talk. The authors were Gavin Extence (The Universe Versus Alex Woods- review HERE), Kevin Maher (The Fields- review HERE) and Taiye Selasi (Ghana Must Go, see Bibliobeth’s review HERE). It was interesting to hear about how they came up with the ideas, their writing methods, how they got published and lots more besides. All of the authors were extremely likeable and their personalities really shone through. I definitely saw a bit of Alex Woods in Gavin Extence.

Next up was the Geek Fest as I like to call it. Holly Smale (Geek Girl, review HERE) and Andy Robb (Geekhood series) discussed their books and what the definition of geek actually is. This talk was particularly interactive with the audience which was great. Holly and Andy were really lovely. I certainly would have picked up Geek Girl if I hadn’t have already read it. There were more questions to the authors and some friendly debate about the likability of The Big Bang Theory. I thought Holly said some inspiring statements about being who you are and becoming comfortable in your own skin, liking what you like regardless of what other people think of you or label you as. It earned her a round of applause which was very well deserved!

After a wander around the festival (including a lot of time spent in the festival’s bookshop) we went into Hay to explore the bookshops. There are LOADS which are all packed with books, books and more books at very cheap/reasonable prices. We, of course, picked up some books and then made our way home.

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I can’t wait to arrange to spend more time at Hay next year. It was so much fun!