hashtag twitter book chats; part deux

bookworm things

Yes, I did write a blog post about Twitter chats last year. I was raving about them, and to be fair, most of my thoughts are still the same. I still adore participating in Twitter (book) chats. I still think they are a great way to interact with fellow readers, with finding more books to read, and to interact with writers.

However, circumstances have changed things for me in regards to actually participating in chats, and that, my dear friends, is what this particular post is about.

twitter chat title two

Pretty much since late last year, I have been missing the book chats I usually participate in due to a variety of reasons. First, we were packing up our apartment in Auckland for our move back to Asia. Then we were busy with setting up in Asia, and visiting family we had not seen in a while.

And now? Now I have come to one very important conclusion:

Time differences suck.

When we were still staying in New Zealand, it was much easier for me to participate in chats because 9pm EST meant the afternoon – usually lunchtime – in Auckland. These days, that same timing for a chat means breakfast time. It means that little bit of time I get with the husband and the father-in-law in the mornings before they head off to work.

It means I cannot make the chats I loved to participate in without compromising on time with my family.

And it’s led me to consider organising a Twitter chat that is more conducive and convenient for Asian – particularly South East Asian, if only because that’s where I am – bloggers. The trouble is, I am not entirely sure what it takes to organise and run a chat such as the ones I’ve been participating in. I’m looking into it, that is for sure, but I also know that I cannot do it alone.

I have to find someone to help me out. Someone in a similar time zone to me, with similar interests so that we can run this thing without too much butting of heads. Someone who is up to the challenge.

This does not mean I’m not going to participate in any of the other chats going on. I’m definitely going to try to catch a chat or two every few weeks, if possible. I miss interacting with the friends I’ve made.

I just also want to put together something that is convenient for me. That does not involve me sacrificing time with my family. I’m sure there are other bloggers who feel the same.

What do you think? Should I try and come up with a book chat with timings that Asians can make it for?

2016-04-12 11:46

review; team human

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Team Human
by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie.

And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel.

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review; interworld

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Interworld
by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves

Joey Harker isn’t a hero.

In fact, he’s the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house.

But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension.

Joey’s walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces – armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions.

When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds.

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the year of the diverse?;

bookworm things

It is 2017! And I promised myself that I would try to be better about posting discussion posts on the blog. Yes, that means my schedule is a lot slower than other bloggers, but hey, so long as I keep blogging, right?

But even so, it has been difficult for me to get into the right mindframe. I was having a tough time trying to figure out what I should write about for my first post of 2017. And then it hit me.

No, not literally.

I got an email notification that Cait @ Paper Fury had a new blog post up, so obviously I went to read it. Her 2017 YA Genre Predictions (Which Can’t Possibly Go Wrong) included guest bloggers’ thoughts on what would be on the rise this year in the book community. Which gave me the inspiration I needed.

No, not to do the same thing.

But some of their predictions did spark of a train of thought. With the louder and more stringent demands by readers, is 2017 going to be the year for diverse representation?

the year of the diverse

I’ve talked about diversity before. More along the lines of PoC representation, but that is something that has come up on this blog a couple of times. I am all about diversity in media. More characters that look like me, sound like my grandparents – more characters that struggle with mental or physical disorders without being shamed for it or miraculously ‘fixed’ at the end of their journey.

Basically, I want it all.

And it seems like this year, I’ll be getting it. Or at least, some of it. It is safe to say that #OwnVoices has caught traction with a number of book bloggers, and it just keeps building up. So I’m definitely ready to see some of these books talked about on the blogs I visit. I’m also definitely ready to try to get my hands on these books myself.

Books about generally marginalised groups of people, by members of those communities?

Yes, please!

It’s not that I don’t think an author cannot write about something they have not experienced. Of course they can! So long as they do with respect, and with a lot of research. There’s just something about reading a book by someone who understands what they are writing about because they have experienced it.

I know I’m looking forward to delving into their stories, their experiences. Between Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Bellza, Saints And Misfits by S.K. Ali and A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, it looks like I’m going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to writers with an Asian background. This – is a first for me.

And then there are the other books – the ones about the other types of diversity. And we know that these stories will not be diverse just for the sake of being ‘diverse’. I’m hoping for little to no harmful stereotypes or harmful tropes. I’m hoping for a rich and vibrant world, where everybody is different and everybody has a voice.

Hey, it could happen.

What do you think? Will this year be the year of diversity? Will this year meet our expectations, or will it fall sort?

And what are some of the diverse (not necessarily #OwnVoices) books you are looking forward to reading in 2017?

2016-04-12 11:46

 

review; the enchantress returns

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The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns
by Chris Colfer

After decades of hiding, the evil Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty is back with a vengeance.

Alex and Conner Bailey have not been back to the magical Land of Stories since their adventures in The Wishing Spell ended. But one night, they learn the famed Enchantress has kidnapped their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced.

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review; gemina

review

gemina

Gemina
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

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review; the star-touched queen

review

the star touched queen

The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most… including herself.

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2016; it’s a wrap

2016 wrap up

Would you believe I don’t actually remember when I last posted something on this blog? For someone who only just started blogging this year, that is – probably not a good sign. It’s the same for my bookstagram. I think I posted six or seven photos, and then I’ve hoarded the rest I’ve taken. I don’t even know why.

I may have bitten off more than I could chew this year.

Not all of that was my fault. I honestly thought, going in, that I would be able to handle things. Last year, even with my Masters going on, I managed to read about 30 odd books. This year, I hit 9. They were books I wanted to read, of course, but for a while I could not begin to fathom at the difference between the two years.

And then it hit me. This year, on the personal front, has been rife with changes. Good changes, for the most part. Great, even. But changes nonetheless.

Despite these changes, I managed to complete and get printed my first ever book! It was specifically written and put together for my nephew’s first birthday. A very specific little baby book for a very specific little man. But it was an accomplishment I was very proud of. It has also sparked a desire to make more of these sorts of books for my little nieces and nephews, and possibly turn it into a small business. I’m in the planning stages.

I also took part in NaNoWriMo this year, my second time after a rather disastrous attempt two years ago. This year, instead of focusing on one project, I decided that since I tend to burn out quicker when only working on one project, I would add in my word count for any and all fiction writing I did during the month. I was also planning to take it easy, giving myself an aim of 25,000 words instead of the 50,000 most people aim for. By taking into account any fanfiction I wrote, and my RP responses over on Tumblr, I managed to hit somewhere over 40,000 words! I’m still rather proud of this.

On top of that, the husband and I moved back to Asia in November this year. We’ve spent most of the year planning and packing up, and now there’s lots of unpacking to do. Luckily, we don’t stay alone, but there’s still work to be done.

So that more or less explains what I’ve been up to this year, but this means that my planning for next year has to be more careful.

Especially considering that I found out sometime when my posts began dying down that we’ll be expecting a little one. That explained my headspace in regards to writing and reading to me – there’s just been no focus. We’re very excited, but it also means that I have to sort my priorities for next year.

Instead of trying, like I did for a while this year, to write two posts a week for the blog, I’m going to slow down considerably over here and on the bookstagram. I do not want to delete completely – it feels too much like quitting, and honestly, that is not something I want to do. I tried to put together a schedule for 2017 instead, one that will allow me to balance my personal and blogging lives a little better. And not overwhelm me, hopefully.

Tentatively, the schedule is as follows:

  • Schedule one of the backlog review posts for every two weeks.
  • Post reviews of what I’ve read as and when I’m done with the book and have written the reviews.
  • One discussion post every third week of the month, whether on reading or writing or blogging. Or even on recipes, since I’ve tried a few this year.
  • Quarterly review of the year?

It’s a far cry from a lot of other bloggers, but this is where I’m at. This is where I’m comfortable. And in the end, this blog is for me to get my thoughts out, isn’t it?

As for bookstagram, I’m thinking of possibly posting two pictures a week instead of two a day like some people do. I’m still figuring out the whole book photography thing, but I’m going to have a new subject for photography next year, so. As long as I post something, I’m happy.

To any readers I have, I apologise for the lack of posts, and I hope to be able to keep to my schedule in 2017. I have two reviews to complete and post, so you can look forward to those in the first weeks of 2017.

To the bloggers I follow, I have not been reading posts recently, but I hope to start reading and commenting again in 2017. Crossing my fingers that I do not get overwhelmed again.

Have a happy new year, everyone!

Till 2017,

2016-04-12 11:46

 

review; princess of the midnight ball

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Princess Of The Midnight Ball
by Jessica Day George

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

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;the life and times of writers

bookworm things

Let me start off by saying, if you write, you’re a writer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re published or not. If you studied English, or whatever language you may write in, in college. It doesn’t matter if you’ve posted your work online or sent it to someone for validation.

If you write? You’re a writer.

Of course, writing comes in all shapes and forms. I’m not here to go into that. I’m here to go into the most relatable things writers feel across the board. In my opinion, anyway.

Note; these posts are taken from Tumblr, and I cropped out the original post’s URL because not all of them were in the post, and I didn’t want to not credit someone and credit others. Feel free to head to my Tumblr blog and check out the actual posts, though.

thelifeandtimesofwriters

Number One;

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The irony of this is the procrastination involved in being a ‘writer’. Or is that just me? I mean, whenever I find posts about writing on Tumblr, the ones that relate to me the most are the ones that talk about having a plot, but when you open your project, you just sit blankly in front of the screen.

Number Two;

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To be fair, this sort of ties in to Number One, but still. You have to pick and choose your battles. In the Venn Diagram of Writing, the three circles never overlap. If they do? YOU LUCKY DUCK, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO WRITE!

Number Three;

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When you’re writing, you’re having trouble getting the words out, or something about it is just not the way you pictured. When you’re not writing, you’re thinking about writing. No matter what you’re doing, you feel like you should be doing something else. You just cannot win.

Number Four;

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You have a great story idea! You try and write it. You do well for the first few weeks or months, and then you fall into a slump. Writers’ block sucks. And then! You get another story idea! Rinse and repeat, over and over. I have finished maybe one original piece of work, and the rest are WIPs. Whoops?

Number Five;

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Just, something is keeping you from writing. All the time. Even when you want to write. (I did say they were all related, didn’t I?)

Writing is hard. Any writer who says otherwise is lying. (Or a robot.) (Or an alien.) But seriously, with all the distractions around us, no wonder I’m more likely to be reblogging writer woes into my #thelifeandtimesofwriters tag on Tumblr than actually writing.

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Now, to go and prove this post right…

2016-04-12 11:46