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My Dream Bookish Panel

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Have you ever thought about your dream author panel? Which authors would be there? What they would be speaking about?

Personally, I’d never considered this before but then Eventbrite inspired me to put together my dream author panel, and I couldn’t resist taking part!

However, I couldn’t just stick to one panel – I have far too many favourite authors for that! I went a little over the top and came up with five panels instead (I mean, I started off with about ten, so really you’re lucky that I cut it down). Like I said, I have way too many favourite authors.

Fantasy

Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas & V. E. Schwab

My favourite genre has to be fantasy, so clearly my ultimate book panel would be dedicated to it. And these three authors are all incredible (although I think V. E. Schwab is my favourite of the three). I’d love to hear about how they came up with their fantasy worlds.

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Are Star Ratings Even That Useful?

We’ve all been there, right? You’ve finished a book, you’ve logged onto goodreads and marked it as read, and then you get stuck. Why? Because you have no clue what rating to give the book you’ve just read! Was it three stars? Was it four? Was it somewhere in between?

But my question to you today is, do these ratings actually mean anything? And do we really find them useful?

Let me elaborate. I like star ratings. I like having an overview of the books I’ve read in the course of year by seeing their star ratings. It gives me a good sense of what sort of reading year I’ve had. (And also I just like having reading stats…)

But I think the issue with star ratings is that my ratings probably mean something completely different to yours. Sure, our five stars are probably very similar – “that book was absolutely amazing and I want to shove it in everyone’s face!!”. I’d imagine that our one star rating is similar too – “why did I even read that? that was a terrible book”. But what about the ratings in between? WHAT DOES A THREE STAR RATING EVEN MEAN?

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The Best Reading Spots // Cosiness Is A MUST

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One of the best things about reading is being able to curl up somewhere and getting comfy for a few hours, right? You can just totally lose yourself in a book and it’s world (until a sibling/flatmate/stranger decides to pester you for some unknown reason). I was thinking about some of my favourite places to read, and it got me wondering what your favourite places were too.

But of course, I’m going to share my favourites first. I can’t let you guys do all the hard work.

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Where are the books set at uni?

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I am a huge fan of YA. (You might have noticed, considering that this is a YA book blog and all). The thing is, while I’ve been at university, I’ve realised I want to read books about other people at uni. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on stopping reading YA – I just want to add a few other books into the mix.

This craving led to me googling things like “university books”, “books set at university”, and “books about students”, and I found a lot of lists. I added a couple of books to my TBR, but honestly? Most of the books on those lists aren’t really what I was looking for. I want something more like Rainbow Rowell’s “Fangirl”, rather than a literary classic.

Also, all the books on the lists were set at American colleges? What’s all that about? Have authors forgotten that the rest of the world have universities too? Where are my novels set in the UK that vaguely reflect my university experience?

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The Fabulousness of Audiobooks

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I never really thought that I’d be into audiobooks.

There were a lot of reasons for that – I didn’t have the time, I preferred reading the physical books, they were too expensive. Now I’m wishing that I hadn’t let those excuses get in the way!

My first taste of audiobooks was way back, at least twelve years ago. My family had Danny, the Champion of the World on cassette, and it used to be my favourite thing to listen to in the car. (And it ended up becoming one of my favourite Roald Dahl books because I listened to it so much!) Audiobooks didn’t feature much in my life after that, until we fast forward to the summer of 2014, when I listened to Code Name Verity.

That was an experience and a half.

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An Adventure In Bullet Journaling

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I’d been thinking about starting a bullet journal for a while. They seem perfect for me – I can’t live without a planner, but I also make countless lists on my phone, in other notebooks, on my laptop… The list goes on.

Having it all on in one place seems like the ideal solution.

However, I’m not the best at persevering with new projects. (Seriously, I’m awful. It’s a wonder that this blog has managed to survive so long!) So I thought maybe blogging about it would actually push me to not give up.

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My TBR Jar

What did I get up to this weekend? Well, I decided to create my own TBR Jar!

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The finished product

Why exactly? I was bored and got inspired for about five minutes! I just grabbed an empty jar and some paper and, boom! A TBR jar was created. It was actually pretty fun, although it took me ages to write out all the book titles. Clearly, my TBR is a little too long.

book list
So many books!

I’m looking forward to using it though – hopefully it’ll mean that I actually get through some of my TBR instead of just buying new books all the time… Okay, I’m still going to buy new books all the time. Still, picking a book at random to read should be interesting so I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.

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Chilling on the widowsill

So how do you choose what books to read next? Do you have a TBR jar? Or are you more of a mood reader?

discussion

Reading Contemporary

Leila Sales - This Song Will Save Your Life

Whilst reading This Song Will Save Your Life the other day (which is an amazing book by the way), it hit me that I hadn’t really read many contemporary books at all. Honestly, I don’t think I ever considered picking up a contemporary book when I was younger. I just couldn’t care less about them. I’d always been a huge fan of fantasy because of the new worlds that you could delve into, and it felt like a total escape from the real world. A total escape from the problems in my life at that point in time. I never saw contemporaries like that. They seemed as if they were just a continuation of everyday life where any problems you had could easily appear on the page before you. I was completely wrong. I had no idea how amazing contemporary books could be.

John Green - The Fault in Our Stars

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine told me to join goodreads and that was when I first started branching out in what I read. Through goodreads I discovered numerous book blogs and started to see a lot of good reviews for a lot of contemporary books. The same names kept popping up on tumblr and in book reviews, and I kind of felt like I should read one of these books to see what the fuss was about. So, at the beginning of 2013, I read The Fault in Our Stars. And I cried. A lot. That was when I began to realize that I liked contemporary books.

Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor & Park

Still, I didn’t exactly decide to read all of the books that I’d missed out on over the past few years straight away. I slowly added a couple of books to my reading list, like Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, just to see if I’d like those too. And I loved them. After reading those, that was probably the moment that I realized why so many people are huge fans of contemporary. They’re still a way of escaping personal problems in our lives and getting to live in another world for just a short amount of time. Yes, there are still problems to be faced in the world inside the book, but we get see how other people deal with those problems. And even though there isn’t always a happy ending, there’s still always hope that there could be one.

So, having realized that I do really need to read more contemporary books, does anyone have any recommendations of their favourites? And has anyone else felt like this about this genre of books or maybe another genre?