What are you reading?

Hey bookworms.

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t made much progress in terms of reading books so I figured I would ask you all what you are up to! I want to know what you have been reading!


What are you currently reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think you will read next?

I want to know. Let us start a conversation and talk about it. I can tell you all the books I plan to read (better take a seat and grab a snack because it’s a long list) and you could tell me if you have read them or what you think of the book covers or whatever we decide to discuss about.

I’m going to get back to my current book Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos now and hopefully get a big chunk of it done. I’m excited to write a review for this one 🙂

Comment below and lets chat 🙂 Happy reading!


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Guest Post: How to Make Your Books Both Enjoyable and Educational

This is a guest post by author Fiona Ingram as part of her book blog tour.

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Teachers and parents welcome with open arms books that help kids enjoy reading, immerse them in a wonderful new world and encourage them to want to learn more about the subject or topics covered in the story. The hardest part of writing fiction that involves facts, history, mythology, geography and the details that my middle-grade adventures involve is knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

My first middle-grade book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, is set in Egypt. Although I actually went to Egypt with my mom and my two nephews (who later became the templates for my young heroes), going to a place and writing about it are very different. I think Egypt was even more daunting than I imagined because so much has been written about the country, its history, and its culture that I felt under enormous pressure to check, double check, and check again (just in case) all my facts. There are also conflicting opinions of experts so one must be careful whose opinion one chooses.

I confess I overwrote the rough drafts of the first manuscript. There was so much information that I ended up almost drowning in it. It seems a shame that hours of research goes into looking up facts that will make perhaps only a brief mention in the chapter concerned. However, there is no point in inundating readers with lots of information. After careful thought, I realized that all I should include was what the young heroes needed to know as the plot unfolded. Details should be carefully and subtly woven into the story, always being an integral part of what the heroes need to know to move along in their adventure.

So, after the excitement of Egypt, what came next? The next book in my adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone takes place in Scotland, where the heroes are in search of the Second Stone of Power. The title is The Search for the Stone of Excalibur and that should be enough of a clue for fans to see where the story is heading. I had already spent a few amazing weeks in Scotland, researching old castles. Ask me anything about castles … with or without drawbridges, moats, portcullises, battlements … you name it, I visited it.

Finally, I settled upon the fabulous, fairytale setting of Dunrobin Castle, for me
an exquisite vision, as the setting for Book Two. Interviews with experts are a real boon. Leila, our fantastic guide in Egypt, was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on the country. Contrary to what one might think, travel guides (the official ones) in any country, have a vast amount of knowledge on their subject. It came as no surprise to find that Leila had a university degree!

In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico, the young heroes must play an ancient form of a ball game, the Mesoamerican ball game, to survive. I was fortunate enough to find an expert on the subject whose advice and book were invaluable. Again, so much has been written on this topic, as well as the ancient cultures of the Maya and the Aztecs—that feature in the story—that I really had to pare down the details to just what was integral to the plot and to the young heroes’ survival. Dialogue is a great way to include details that are necessary and having characters exchange information makes the detail realistic and interesting. I try to include storytelling by characters to share information. In all my books there are old stories or legends that make an appearance and add to the mystery. Told as a story within the main story makes it interesting for young readers. This could also lead on to further activities—for example, the students might enjoy acting out scenes from the stories, or even undertake their own research to find out if and how the fictional version deviates from the known facts.

Stories within the main story are a must. This gives an added depth and introduces cultural elements that are so unusual for young readers in a modern, media-driven and technologically saturated world. Within each of my books, the young heroes are told old stories, either legends or myths or in the case of Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, the old ghost stories surrounding the castle. What a lovely experience, with delicious shivers going up and down their spines! In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, the young heroes hear some important stories about the ancient Aztec and Maya gods, and when their adventures are finally over, they tell the story of their exploits to the villagers seated around the campfire, perhaps creating their own legends in a way.

Another excellent idea for authors whose books contain facts and relevant information is to include an appendix, either a young readers’ guide (which I do) or even just a glossary of unfamiliar words. Parents can then encourage their kids to read this to enhance their enjoyment of the story, achieve a greater understanding of the environment and atmosphere of the events, and teachers can use it to inspire further research. Contrary to popular opinion, kids love to learn, be it new words or new facts and/or details. Books that inspire the desire in kids to learn more deserve a top place on every bookshelf.

You can find Fiona at –
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/
Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn
Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com
Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram


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Shared Post: BEGINNER BLOGGER: HOW I PLAN MY BLOGPOSTS + MAKING A SCHEDULE! — RABIA RAMBLES

Hey Loves! Today I’m back with another post in my Beginner Blogger series; you can read my other posts in this series here. I want to talk about scheduling and planning blogposts today. I always get questions on how I plan my posts and on my blog schedule so I thought it’d be easier to […]

via BEGINNER BLOGGER: HOW I PLAN MY BLOGPOSTS + MAKING A SCHEDULE! — RABIA RAMBLES

Hey there Bookworms!

Check out this really great article by Rabia Rambles about planning out your blog posts. And check out her other Beginner Blogger posts! They are all very useful and have helped me with my post planning.

Still moving to a new apartment, well in the process of it, but will keep you updated.

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Guest Post: Michael Clark

Awhile back, I put a feeler out on Twitter to see if anyone wanted to do guest posts for each other about being a blogger. Michael Clark saw the blogger signal high up in the sky and met me on the roof of a large building on a dark and stormy night to interview each other.

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We came up with 10 questions and answered them on each other’s blogs. His blog is http://MichaelClarkWrites.blogspot.com and he will be writing up a post with my answers sometime in the next couple of days! You can also find Michael on Twitter at @Michaelbigchees. I will let you bookworms know when it is posted. But for now, I will deliver his answers on my blog post so get ready to learn a bit about Michael!

ERIK: What is your top read of 2018 so far? 

MICHAEL: My top read of 2018 so far has been the Robot Geneticist series by J.S. Moran, he is a true genius.

ERIK: Most anticipated book release of 2018?

MICHAEL: My most anticipated release is the continued black ocean series also by Moran.

ERIK: How many books are in your TBR Pile?

MICHAEL: I have more books in TBR than there are sand grains in Georgia.

ERIK: Who is your favorite author? 

MICHAEL: My favorite author is either myself, Walter Mosley or Moran.

ERIK: How did you start blogging?

MICHAEL: I started blogging after spending 4 months waiting for an editor to get submitted to A magazine, and I started blogging to get my stories told.

ERIK:  Where is your favorite reading spot? 

MICHAEL: My favorite spot to read is my back porch.

ERIK: How long have you been a blogger? 

MICHAEL: I have only been blogging since April of this year.

ERIK: What do you like about reading?

MICHAEL:  I love the experience of being a different person for a while.

ERIK: If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

MICHAEL: “A Gentleman and a Gangster”.

And that it for our blogger interview! If you wish to be in a blogger interview with me, comment below and I will send you the list of questions to fill out. It is a great way to open up to your readers and let them know a little bit more about you! I look forward to many more of these with my fellow book bloggers!

Cheers and have a great Sunday!


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Book Review: Practice Makes Purpose by C. Paul Schroeder

A new book review of Practice Makes Purpose: Six Spiritual Practices That Will Change Your Life And Transform Your Community by C. Paul Schroeder. This book was a short read at only 198 pages and had some good insight into life and how to approach it.

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Synopsis: The Six Spiritual Practices are a new formulation of a very old set of teachings and disciplines. If you apply them regularly, you will have more energy and vitality, more focus, more compassion, more clarity, and more joy. And these effects will ripple outward into your marriage and family, your parenting, your workplace, your friendships, your neighborhood and city. These practices will change your life and transform your community. They will connect you and the people around you to Purpose, the experience of belonging to something infinitely greater than ourselves.

This book was interesting. It has a lot of good values and it teaches you to gain purpose through 6 spiritual practices. It is kind of like a self-help book but for re-evaluating your day to day decisions on how to interact in different situations. I mainly found that the 6 practices help a lot with self-control.

The author uses examples of how these steps can help in family life and work life so it makes it relatable. It is a great book for someone that wants to gain access to another side of themselves.

I’m not a big fan of self-help type books but this one was a decent read and easy to get through. If you are looking for some spiritual evaluation, take this book for a spin.

You can find the book on Amazon.

Book Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author to read and give an honest review.

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I have been nominated for an award!

Hey book bloggers, guess what!?!? I have been nominated by Ari Augustine from Ravenous for Reads to win the 2017 Liebster award! If you get a chance, go check out her blog. She is an avid book blogger and does fantastic reviews along with interviews and content for writers. She has a book tube channel which is also really cool and something I hope to get to myself someday.

Now you may say, what is a Liebster? I am not too sure either but it sounds cool right? I checked it out and here is more info on the 2017 Liebster Award. I also grabbed the image from Ari’s blog because I didn’t know where else to find it but this is the official badge for the award.

Liebster

So in the rules, it tells me that I should write about my favourite blog/blogger. That would have to be Kathy @ Books & Munches because she basically started talking to me when I started blogging (which was only a month ago) and has made me laugh with her hilarious comments. She also takes the time to comment on almost all of my posts which was the whole reason I started blogging; to be able to talk to others about books and overall just geek out (plus review books for authors). She is a great book blogger and shares a lot about her reading lists, hosts contests and brings the book community together through conversations and even card exchanges 🙂

Alright so Ari left some questions for her nominees (the questions are in bold and my answers are italic):

  1. Do you judge a book by its cover or give the blurb the benefit of doubt? I tend to give the blurb the benefit of the doubt as I have read so many books that turned out to be fantastic even if they had a crappy cover. I do really enjoy a beautifully laid out book cover though 😛
  2. What are you reading at the moment? Right now, I am currently reading the last book in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. It is called the Library of Souls.
  3. If you could only take one book with you, what would it be? Hmmm this is a tough one. If I had to choose one, it would be The Glass Castle as it shows and teaches you that no matter where you come from or what happens to you, you can always move forward and live a happy life if you make it for yourself. Pretty much look after yourself because you are who you live with for your whole life (if that doesn’t make sense then we have reached the inner workings of my mind and I have started to babble).
  4. This one is a two-part question: Favorite villain? Favorite hero?My favourite villain would have to be the Jackal from the red rising series and my favourite hero would have to be Daredevil (no making fun….unless you want to, I won’t be offended)
  5. What do you enjoy most about blogging? The part I enjoy most about blogging is the different conversations I get to have with likeminded people about books that we have read. Talking about books and their fictional worlds is so fun and you get to see how others interpreted something in a novel that you may have seen differently in your imagination.
  6. What’s your blogging routine like? My blogging routine is generally done at night as I work 9 to 5 as a web developer. I will write my posts between 10pm and 11:30pm to be published next day around 10am.
  7. When did you begin your blog and where do you hope to take it? I began my blog about a month ago and I plan to eventually get to a point where I am following a lot of book bloggers and have attained a following so that my reviews will be seen by many and maybe companies will approach me to represent them in the book blogging community.
  8. Tea, coffee, or cocoa? Coffee all the way but mix some cocoa in and you have yourself a Mocha.
  9. Hardback or paperback? Paperback (not as heavy and easier to read with one hand while brushing your teeth or cooking or whatnot)
  10. If you could visit anywhere in the universe, in or out of time, parallel or present, where would it be? This is going to sound lame but I would just go to Australia. It has been my dream to go there ever since I wrote a speech about the country in grade 4.
  11. You’re going on an epic adventure to save the world. Name two characters who would help you succeed. Katniss Everdeen because she is badass at rebellions and Gandalf because he proves his loyalty and is an excellent mentor/friend.
  12. What’s your favorite word? Potential.

 

My nominees for the award are as follows and you guys can answer the same questions that I did because I really liked them:

I hope you guys can participate by writing your own posts to keep the love going and I look forward to reading all of your posts!

To finish it off, it says to write 10 random facts about yourself so here you go:

  1. Chocolate Oranges are life in my eyes.
  2. I like music better on vinyl (nothing like that scratchy sound).
  3. People say my spirit animal is a giraffe (it’s because I slap people with my neck lol jk)
  4. I play a lot of League of Legends (if you play, my summoner name is Krundor so add me up)
  5. I eventually want to have a Golden Retriever and a Border Collie.
  6. My preferred beer of choice is Pabst Blue Ribbon.
  7. Scary movies and awesome.
  8. I am a huge comic book fanatic (ask me about my collection, I dare you)
  9. Arkells are a great band (take a listen, you will like them)
  10. My favourite movie of all time is Its A Wonderful Life.

And that’s all for now! Talk to you later book worms and I will be resuming with the book challenge tomorrow!