Saturday, 31 December 2011

Writer Revealed Book Awards 2011

Writer Revealed Book Awards returns for another year. This is a completely biased list, based on the books I read in 2011, and based only on my opinion. 

Best Classic
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Best Action/Adventure
The Six Sacred Stones - Matthew Reilly

Best Children's
Matilda - Roald Dahl

Best Comic
Nemi - Lisa Myhre

Best Crime
Fantasy in Death - J. D. Robb

Best Fantasy (Epic) 
This was the hardest category this time, because I read Patrick Rothfuss, G. R. R. Martin and more of G. G. Kay. But in the end, The Wise Man's Fear did surpass them all. 

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss

Best Fantasy (Romantic) 
The Laurentine Spy - Emily Gee

Best Fantasy (Novella/Story Collection)
Twilight's Dawn - Anne Bishop

Best Fantasy (Urban)
Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

Best Fantasy (YA)
Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer

Best Inspirational Fiction
The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho

Best Literary Essays
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Anne Fadiman

Best Memoire
Howards End is On the Landing - Susan Hill

Best Science Fiction
Next Logical Step - Ben Bova

Best Science Fiction (YA)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Best Writing Craft
How to Read Like a Writer - Francine Prose

Best YA
Princess Diaries: Ten Out of Ten - Meg Cabot

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Laura Anne Gilman

1. Your childhood favourite
TARAN WANDERER by Lloyd Alexander

2. Your current favouriteNot really sure I have one, actually.  I have many books I love, but none that last beyond the start of the next new fabulous read.  The most recent, maybe was MOON OVER SOHO by Ben Abrahamson (I read the 2nd book first, my bad)

3. Your top five authors
oh, impossible.  But here’re five I value highly…
Lloyd Alexander
Robin McKinley
Dorothy L Sayers
Joe Haldeman
Isaac Bashevis Singer

4. Book(s) you’re reading now
Natana Barron’s PILGRIM OF THE SKY

5. Book(s) you’ve pretended to read
Silas Marner.  I think that’s it.

6. Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover
I have occasionally picked up a book for its cover, but I’ve never bought it, for that reason.

7. Book you’re a champion for
as a former editor, I can honestly say “hundreds.”

8. Book that changed your life
… um… Every book that means something to me changes my life.  Sometimes even books that don’t mean anything to me, change my life.   Phil Dick’s UBIK broke my brain and put it back together.  So did John Irving’s GARP, for a completely different reason.  And likewise everything Roger Zelazny ever wrote.  And Eli Weisel’s NIGHT, and Judy Blume’s ARE YOU THERE GOD,

9. Book you most want to read again for the first time
TARAN WANDERER.  Or maybe THE BLUE SWORD, by Robin McKiney

10. Book you turn to for comfort

11. Favourite line from a book
it’s not a line, but an entire passage, from A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, by Peter Beagle, and it ends “All lights go out.  So do all fires, if it’s any comfort.  Love me, and look at me, and remember me, as I’ll remember you.  There’s nothing more.  Sit close and shut up.”

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

To All My Wonderful Friends

May you all have a fantastic Christmas! 

All my best wishes, and love. I appreciate any and all the time you spend reading this blog. 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Mark Robinson

1. Your childhood favourite
I wasn’t a big reader when I was a kid but I do have very fond memories of “The Phantom Toll Booth” 

2. Your current favourite
Prey by Thomas Emson (this changes frequently) 

3. Your top five authors
Neil Gaiman
Terry Prachett
Jim Butcher
John Meaney

4. Book(s) you’re reading now
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
99 Coffins by David Welington
Overclocked by Cory Doctorow

5. Book(s) you’ve pretended to read
None that I can think of

6. Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover 
Keeping it Real by Justina Robson
Jennifer Government by Max Barry

7. Book you’re a champion for
Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko & Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

8. Book that changed your life
It would have to the the colour of magic by Terry Prachett, it’s not of his best by a long shot but when I first read it I didn’t read much. This is the book that made me realise how much fun it is to lose yourself in a good book.

9. Book you most want to read again for the first time
Another really hard question, I’ll have to say Stardust by Neil Gaiman. There are about 15 books at least that I could give as an answer 

10. Book you turn to for comfort 
Smoke & Mirrors By Neil Gaiman (awesome short story collection)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Erica Chapman

This is such a cool idea, Dolly! Thanks so much for inviting me to participate ;o) I adore your blog. Always have!

So, we're going to sneak into my Bookshelf... It's non-existant since I have most books on my kindle now. I know. I know. I'm a traitor. LOL. But, I LOVE my kindle!! Here's a pic of [cue disjointed voice of Gollum from LOTR] "my precious."  and my kitty Zeus ;o)


1. Your childhood favourite
I loved the Babysitter's Club books (am I dating myself?) I mean, uh... Harry Potter. Yeah. No, really. It's To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

2. Your current favourite
Gah. It's a tie. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

3. Your top five authors 
Cassandra Clare, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman

4. Book(s) you’re reading now 
Just finished Clockwork Prince. AMAZING.

5. Book(s) you’ve pretended to read 
Ha! I don't pretend. I either read it or don't. No faking it for me!

6. Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover 
Divergent (so glad I did), Legend by Marie Lu, (ALSO a great decision, so great!)

7. Book you’re a champion for 
To Kill a Mockingbird, I can't believe this is on the banned books list. My favorite book.

8. Book that changed your life 
Again, To Kill a Mockingbird. It taught me a lot. But, I'll say Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series got me to write my first book ;o)

9. Book you most want to read again for the first time 
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. (swoon) does it get cuter than that book? I don't think so.

10. Book you turn to for comfort 
Any YA contemporary romance. I LOVE Jennifer Echols. I had to read one of hers after Clockwork Prince. I was ready for some happy ;o)

11. Favourite line from a book 
Oh, this is hard... Ooo! I will consult Goodreads quotes for this. It's a bit longer than a line, but it's so beautiful. It's from Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere. “Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

That was fun!! I can't wait to see what everyone else's are!! SO cool!! Thanks again, Dolly!!

Have a great week, everyone!

You can find me at
or on twitter at @ericamchapman

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Carol Ward

1. Your childhood favourite

It was a book of fairy tales called Castles and Dragons. I remember a few of the stories in it, but the book itself was lost somewhere between childhood and getting married. I haunt the used bookstores and antique shops, hoping to find another copy, but so far I’ve had no luck. My second favourite would be Black Beauty – I remember my mother reading it to me chapter by chapter.

2. Your current favourite

Current favourite? That would have to be the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward – mostly ‘cause I’m reading the newest one and that makes me want to read the others again. :-)

3. Your top five authors

Charles de Lint, his writing is so lyrical and I love the way he weaves together myths and legends from different cultures into his stories.
Jamie DeBree, not just because she’s a friend, but because no matter what she throws at her heroines, they always rise to the occasion. And because no matter what genre she’s writing in, her stories are amazing.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, I ate up his books when I was a teenager – Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Pellucidar . . .
Anne McCaffrey, do I really need a reason? Just read one of her books.
Holly Lisle, because not only is she a fabulous author in a variety of genres, she really does “pay it forward” with her fabulous web site full of writing advice.

4. Book(s) you’re reading now

Lover Unleashed, by J.R. Ward
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly
Tempest (rereading), by Jamie DeBree
Into the Unknown (non-fiction), Reader’s Digest Books
Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman

5. Book(s) you’ve pretended to read

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. I always hated books we were forced to read in English and for some reason I really couldn’t get into this one. I read the first chapter, the last chapter, and watched one of the movie versions to get through the test.

6. Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover

If you mean for the illustration on the cover, then just one. It was Demon In the Mirror, by Andrew J. Offutt and Richard Lyon, and I bought it for the Boris Vallejo cover. It turned out to be a pretty good book too. :-)

7. Book you’re a champion for

Wuthering Heights, by Charlotte Bronte. It always amazes me, the number of people who don’t like this book. It was one of only two books I was assigned to read in high school that I actually liked.  

8. Book that changed your life

There’s two of them really. The first is the Kadin, by Bertrice Small. Back when I started reading romance novels (as a teenager) there were two kinds: Harlequins, which were set either in England or Australia and whose heroines were either nurses or secretaries, or bodice rippers, which were pretty much “woman gets kidnapped by hero and forced into sex until she realized he's her true love.” In the Kadin, the girl does get kidnapped in the beginning, but she doesn’t remain a victim. She turns things around and deals with her situation on her own terms. And when she escapes, she returns to her home and actually makes something of her life. This was a big revelation for me, and changed the way I viewed romance (in books).

The second is Moonheart, by Charles de Lint. This was the first urban fantasy I ever read. Up until this point I had no idea you could cross genres. Reading a fantasy in a contemporary setting was a real eye-opener for me and opened a whole world of possibilities for my own writing.

9. Book you most want to read again for the first time

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

10. Book you turn to for comfort

The Woodwife, by Terry Windling. I don’t know what it is about this book . . .

11. Favourite line from a book

I honesty can’t think of a favourite line. Every time I try, my mind goes blank. :-)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

The only kind of shopping I really like these days is book shopping (and handbags, but only when I'm travelling), and as a result, piles of books in my house have increased to scary proportions. Since I keep all my books, that means they all get to stay in one, cosy, happy, crammed place.

So I've set myself a challenge to read at least 100 print books from my TBR pile before I buy any more books. (well this is not written in stone, because I might have to buy some books, otherwise I really could suffer from withdrawal symptoms). As the intention is to make sure I read volumes I have, the rule is one book = one volume. So for example, an omnibus edition with three books, only counts as one for this purpose. Since I do love keeping my book lists, I will keep my TBR Pile Reading Challenge list somewhere too, so you can see what print books I'm reading. 

How big are your TBR piles? Do they get out of control? And when they do, what do you do about it? 

Monday, 19 December 2011

WR Recommends - Must Read Crime

  1. Fantasy in Death – J. D. Robb
  2. Buckingham Palace Gardens – Anne Perry
  3. Poirot Stories – Agatha Christie
  4. Miss Marple Stories – Agatha Christie
  5. Tommy and Tuppence Stories – Agatha Christie
  6. Sherlock Holmes Stories – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. Stephenie Plum Series – Janet Evanovich

Saturday, 17 December 2011

5 Reasons Why You Should Comment On Blogs

I remember, when I first started reading blogs I used to read a lot of them, and comment on a few. Then as I got more into blogging community, began to appreciate the work and effort people put into their blogs, I stated leaving more and more comments. But eventually, it came to a stage where I simply didn't have time for reading that many blogs if I wanted to do anything else (like writing), so now, I read far fewer blogs every day. But for all the ones I read, I try to leave a comment as often as possible. 

Here is why: 
  1. It says that you found the content helpful / interesting / amusing enough to take a minute and leave a comment
  2. It encourages discussions amongst others who comment and also between the blog writer and the readers
  3. It shows new visitors to the blog that some people do read the blog and leave a comment, which might encourage them to do the same
  4. Everyone feels good about being appreciated. In blogging world, comments are an easy way of showing this appreciation of the content someone's providing
  5. It's a give and take thing. If you leave a comment on someone else's blog, it encourages the other person to leave one on yours.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Nik Perring

Your childhood favourite
I remember really loving Mossflower, by Brain Jacques.

Your current favourite
There really are so many, it’s impossible to pick one. I recently read Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the first time and I loved that so, for now, that’s what I’ll go with.

Your top five authors
Again, SUCH a difficult question to answer as there really are so many. But the first five who come to mind, I think, would be:

Aimee Bender
Etgar Keret
Kurt Vonnegut
Michael Kimball
and Kafka.

Book(s) you’re reading now
At the moment I’m reading a book ‘Naïve. Super’ by the Norwegian, Erland Loe. I’m finding that a lot of the books I enjoy the most are translated, and I’m not sure translators receive quite as much credit as they deserve. So: Nice one, translators, from this writer!

Book(s) you’ve pretended to read
I don’t think I’ve ever lied, saying I’ve read something I’ve not. Knowing me it’d be to the person who was an expert on whichever book I said and I’d get found out straight away. I wish I’d read more Dickens though, and more of the classics. But I haven’t, and there’s not much I can do about that as there’s so much other stuff I want to read first.

Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover
I think I actually only did this for the first time the other day, and that was for ‘Naïve, Super’. We all know we can’t judge a book by its cover, but a good one does help. (Link for the cover:

Book you’re a champion for
I’ve been banging on about Aimee Bender’s books for a few years now, and I can’t see me stopping just yet! They’re magical. They’re brilliant. I think, and this is only my opinion, that she’s the best writer out there at the moment. So I’d heartily recommend ANY of hers. And probably Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, too, because that is a genuine masterpiece. As is Michael Kimball’s ‘Dear Everybody’.

I’m a champion of mine as well, of course.

Book that changed your life
‘Willful Creatures’ by Aimee Bender. It showed me that I could write the kind of things I wanted to write, and also the standards I’d have to aim for. And without my professional hat on, I think the stories in it are about as perfect as you’ll find.

Book you most want to read again for the first time
Probably ‘Willful Creatures’ again, for the magic. Or Frankenstein, maybe.

Book you turn to for comfort

I don’t tend to re-read books, so the ones I do, for whatever reason, I think makes them exceptional. Again, anything by Aimee Bender. Anything by Etgar Keret. There’s a passage in ‘Dear Everybody’ that’ll make me cry, nine times out of ten, whenever I go back to to read it. It’s on page 236 of the hardback, and it’s about dividing the memories of a relationship once it’s over between the two people who were in it. It’s stunning.

Favourite line from a book
So it goes.

Nik Perring is a writer, author, and editor from the UK. He writes, mostly, short stories. The stories he’s written have been widely published, in the UK and abroad, in print and on-line. They’ve been collected in the book ‘Not So Perfect’ ( Books, 2010), read at events, printed on fliers and used, with one of Dave Eggers’, as essential material on a creative writing course in the US.

‘Freaks!, ( an illustrated collection of short stories, co-written with Caroline Smailes, will be published by The Friday Project (HarperCollins) in April 2012.

His online home is here:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Adam Slade

Many thanks to Adam Slade for divulging information about his bookshelf. You can find him at his blog Editing Hat. 

1. Your childhood favourite
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. I started reading the Pratchetts at 12 or 13, and I'm still buying them whenever a new one is released. The man is a genius.

2. Your current favourite 
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett! Seriously, that book doesn't get old. My favourite of the year, though, would be Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy. Such incredible characters.

3. Your top five authors
Terry Pratchett, Joe Abercrombie, Jim Butcher, RA Salvatore (for his Drizzt series), and Scott Lynch (the Gentleman Bastards series). If it was top six, I'd include Stephen King, for his Dark Tower series, but since I don't read horror I don't like most of his stuff.

4. Book(s) you’re reading now
I'm currently reading Ketchup is a Vegetable by Robin O'Bryant, after being bullied into it by a friend. I'm glad they did. It's a non-fiction series of humorous essays about motherhood and parenting. Normally I don't read anything like it, but now Robin has me wanting to expand my horizons a little.

5. Book(s) you’ve pretended to read 
None. I don't pretend I've read something, and I'm honest if I don't like something. This has garnered me some funny looks (I couldn't stand Pride and Prejudice, and I'm not about to pretend otherwise), but I read for me, not for other people.

6. Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover
None. My books are always stored spine out, so there's no point. Anyway, it's the words that matter! :-)

7. Book you’re a champion for 
Any written by a friend. It's hard getting out there in the publishing industry, so I'm always willing to throw up a post/review/interview to help.

8. Book that changed your life
I've honestly never read a book that changed my life. For one thing, I almost exclusively read fantasy, so it's more escapist than mind-altering. The closest has been Joe Abercrombie's First Law books, which changed the way I write.

9. Book you most want to read again for the first time 
The entire Discworld series. I'd love to rediscover them as an adult, and see if my opinions changed.

10. Book you turn to for comfort 
Anything by a favourite author. That said, I don't reread something until a fair amount of time has passed (years). I dislike remembering plot points before they happen.

11. Favourite line from a book
I have a terrible memory for specific lines, and only two stick in my mind. "YES" from Reaper Man (it's said by a god, and Pratchett used a font the size of a paperback page for effect), and "I just have to wait for Jean to get here," from The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is used in a flashback then again later on in a crucial scene. VERY well done. :-)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2012 Annual Reading Challenge

It's that time of the year, my friends. I invite you, once again, to join in the annual reading challenge. 2011 was super successful for me, as I not only surpassed my 80 books target, but went over 110 books. So for 2012, I'm going to aim for 100 books. 

100 books - 1 year. That sounds a lot, but when I think about all the hundreds of thousands of book I want to read, it's nothing really. Yet, one must remain realistic. 

What about you? How many books are you going to aim for? Don't forget to leave your links for your challenge, so I can follow your progress to. My "Books Read" list for 2012 will be available on this blog. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, 12 December 2011

WR Recommends - Must Read Inspirational Fiction

  1. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  3. For One More Day – Mitch Albom
  4. Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho
  5. The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho

Sunday, 11 December 2011

2012 - The Ecletic Reader Challenge

As regular readers of this blog may already know, I LOVE reading challenges. Usually I create my own, because I don't like being dictated by others as to what I should read. 

But this time, I'm joining Shelleyrae's Eclectic Reader Challenge, which is right up my street. The goal is to read at least one book in the following 12 genres. 

1. Literary Fiction
2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
3. Romantic Fiction
4. Historical Fiction
5. Young Adult
6. Fantasy
7. Science Fiction
8. Non Fiction
9. Horror
10. Thriller / Suspense
11. Classic
12. Your favourite genre

For "Your favourite genre" I just take it to mean a genre that's not included in the list. While I read all of the other genres, reading Horror will be out of my usual choice. So that's something. 

You can read more about the challenge at the link above, so come and join if you wish. 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

WR Recommends - Must Read Memoires

  1. 84 Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
  2. The Diary of A Young Girl – Anne Frank
  3. A Writer’s Diary – Virginia Woolf
  4. Nella Last’s War – Nella Last
  5. Night – Elie Wiesel
  6. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin
  7. The Upanishads - Eknath Easwaran

Saturday, 19 November 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 - Progress Report

This year NaNoWriMo has been quite frenzy free, except for the first day where the frenzy of starting is almost a ritual. Usually, I try to finish my whole draft or at least as much as possible during NaNo, but this year I don't mind if I do only 50K. So while there have been some unproductive days, on the whole, I have made a steady progress. It's a good thing in a way, because while I'm doing NaNo, I am also continuing with other things going on in my life. On the flip side, it doesn't really feel like a challenge. But on a more positive note, I am making progress, and that's the important thing. It is in fact a positive thing because if I can write 50K easily enough in November, I can do it whenever I am writing a first draft. 

So current word count is 37167. I plan to have 50K done by 27th of November, and unless things go drastically wrong from here, I don't see an issue. But I look forward to finishing this draft in December. 

What about you? How is your NaNoWriMo going? How are you finding it? Challenging, fun, despairing? 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

WIP 2 First Draft & NaNoWriMo Insanity

This afternoon I finished the first draft of WIP 2. It's a second a book in the series, and I started writing it because I wanted to develop my world further, and explore the characters further, which incidentally helped with editing the first book. However, it means that I'm currently in no hurry to edit this book, because until the first book is sold (working on the damn query letter) there is no need to worry about the second one. 

But the purpose behind dedicating the whole weekend to finishing this book (wrote just over 10K, and now the draft is finished at 94K+) was to be free for NaNoWriMo. I considered not doing NaNoWriMo this year, because I had this book to finish, plus I'm working on submission package for the first book, day job is nightmare busy and life continues...but I simply can't resist the pull of NaNoWriMo, and now that this book is finished, I feel like I have to give it a try. 

So it's one day to figure out which book I will work on for NaNoWriMo, hopefully have at least a skeleton outline, and then in a day's time begins a whole month's insanity. Well, actually 28 days, because on 29th of November I'm going on a holiday for some winter sunshine. 

What about you? How is your writing coming along? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Do you know what you will be working on?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

BristolCon 2011 - A Great Event

I'm still recovering from yesterday's BristolCon. A whole day full of fun, excitement, intelligent (and sometimes weird) conversation, and a whole lot of books. 

Official start time was 9, so I was there at 8:30 of course. Advantage of that is that I didn't have to queue up to get my name tag. Managed to catch up with some nice people I met last year, and met some new people as well. Jo (the supremely efficient chairperson for BristolCon) was already a busy-bee, as was Meg - providing panellists with their schedules, setting up books for sale etc. I was on three panels this year. It was good schedule for me, first 9, second at 10, third at 11 - all 50 minutes long, with 10 minutes break in-between. But that meant that after 12, I was free to be a visitor and sit into everyone else's panels. Being on panels was good fun (at least for me), despite some nervousness that comes from being a newbie. But I have to say - my fellow panellists (mostly writers, some artists) are the most wonderful and supportive people you could ever meet. Our audience was great too, and the whole thing went smoothly, and we all had a good laugh, especially in the Battle of the Books panel. Paul Cornell and John Meaney were excellent champions for their chosen books - though I still think Paul has some audience hypnosis power. 

Mike Shevdon did a session on Archery. It was informative and fun, and it could've given Legolas some tips about archery. Another fun session which included Joanne Hall and Paul Cornell on the panel was G.R.R.M Is Not Your Bitch! The sentence made famous by Neil Gaiman's blog post was now an event at BristolCon. 

For the first time at BristolCon, we had two parallel streams of programmes. It went wonderfully, though often many of us were left wishing we could be in two places at once because all the events were fantastic. Last year was fun, but I just feel like this year we did so much more. Dealer's room was full of wonderful books and authors. In the afternoon, two book launches which included Gareth Powell's book "Recollection" that received a fantastic review in The Guardian. 

Keith, the founder of a popular writing software Scrivener was there as well, explaining further details about the software, and answering questions about upcoming Windows version. Cheryl Morgan was a fabulous moderator on the Battle of the Books panel. I attended KaffeeKlatsch with John Meaney and we learned not only about his writing prowess, but amazing Yoda Powers. KaffeeKlatsches gave a good opportunity to have decent conversation with writers you really wanted to spend more time with. 

I'd intended to leave early, as soon as all the workshops finished but I was having so much fun that I decided to stay till the end. Just as well because the quiz was fun, and thanks to supreme knowledge of Philip Reeves and Iain our team (Minion + 5) actually came second. The said minion provided me much amusement. 

By the time it ended, I realised I'd missed the last train home. However, wonderful Jo Hall and her friends came to rescue, and gave me a lift home. Good thing too, because by that time I was totally knackered. 

So all in all, a wonderful day, spent in wonderful company. 

And for those of you who can be in Bristol area next year, 2012 BristolCon is scheduled on 20th of October. I can't wait! 

Friday, 21 October 2011

10 Things I Love About Paper Books

E-books are all very well (I love my kindle), but for those who think they are the SAME as paper books, here are 10 things, paper books give me, which e-books don't. 

  1. I love to see the creases and crinkles that a book gets when it's been everywhere with me for days, and sometimes weeks.
  2. I love to look at beautiful cover arts, feel its "skin", enjoy the artistry of it. 
  3. I love it that I can find my most favourites books, just by the feel of them without having to look, because I know so well how they feel in my hands, and how their covers feel.
  4. I love seeing piles and piles of books in my house. There are plenty of things that can be thrown out or shoved into boxes. Books deserve to be seen. Looking at my collection is like looking at art-work meant personally for me. 
  5. I love it that my books grow old with me. Their pages yellow, sometimes dust gathers, they have their smell. Just like people.
  6. I love it that they are all different - sizes, shapes, fonts, formats, colours. They are as varied as characters in them. Again, just like people.
  7. I love it that all the hard work gone into writing, publishing, marketing these books results in a tangible product that I can hold in my hands.
  8. I love it that books - like people - make a first impression. And I don't mind it when they prove me wrong for judging them by their cover. 
  9. I love to see a nice, tidy pile of books in a series that look almost same, but slightly different. Just like the characters and stories who change, without losing their essence.
  10. I love it that when I look at these piles and piles of books, instead of useless junk in my house, I feel good about what I've spent my money on, and the cosiness and comfortable feeling it brings to my home.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Classics Reading Challenge

There are many classics I want to read, but a list of all of them might get a bit overwhelming. So I'm starting with eleven. 

  1. Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence
  2. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Magnetism - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. The Diary of a Nobody - George & Weeden Grossmith
  5. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  6. Tom Jones - Henry Fielding
  7. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad
  8. Carry on Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse
  9. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
  10. Rob Roy - Sir Walter Scott
  11. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Reading Challenge Page

The more observant amongst you may have already noticed that this blog has a second page now. "Reading Challenges." 

I love making book lists, and my reading lists change quite often, but there are certain books that I always meant to read, or certain genres that I want to devote more time to. And that's where reading challenges come in.

I already have two live reading challenges - Annual Reading Challenge, which is actually complete for this year, because I met my target of 80 books, and Fantasy Reading Challenge, in which I shall read 103 fantasy books.

But I will add some more, though bit smaller (I'm thinking maximum 11 books in each challenge) to give me a continuous reading challenge of some sort, and you know how good it feels to cross things off the list! 

So few more reading challenges will come up...but meanwhile, feel free to share updates on your reading challenges, or join in with mine. And let's all celebrate our love of books! 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

NaNoWriMo2011 is just around the corner. If you don't know what that is - check out the website. But basically, it's a writing marathon where we all gather together and write 50K in the month of November. 50K is what you have to write to get the winner badge from NaNoWriMo. But the spirit of the whole thing is about writing. As much as you can. Go into the creative mode, follow the story, and just write.

My first NaNo was in 2009, and since then I look forward to it every year. Yes, I can and do write all year around, but there is just something much more exciting about participating in this epic event. I guess it must be similar to people who participate in running marathons, even though they can run just as much by themselves. 

So if you haven't tried NaNoWriMo, give it a go. And if you are a veteran, come and say hi. My user ID there is Lost Wanderer.