The July wrap-up.

July. The month I took away to re-evaluate and restart. It was very much needed and I was completely burnt-out. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write. I was in a proper slump. It was not a fun time.
So I turned my attention to other hobbies/past-times; video games, tv shows, gym, etc. It really helped refocus my mind, and whilst I still couldn’t sit down and write, I did manage to push through my reading slump. And I really really got back into reading. Without the pressure of reviewing everything I was reading (well, mostly), I powered through a lot of books on my ever-growing TBR.
In the end, I ended up reading 7 books! My very own mini victory.

Books Read;

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller | Hot Mess – Lucy Vine | One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus | The Dry – Jane Harper | This Savage Song – V. E. Schwab |
Our Dark Duet – V. E. Schwab | Wilde Like Me – Louise Pentland

My favourite of the month would definitely be Our Dark Duet; it was emotional, it was thrilling, it was heartbreaking, it was e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I loved loved loved this duology and thought they were both written so perfectly.
My least favourite would probably be Hot Mess, although I enjoyed it, it just had some real competition! It was a fun story that I found surprisingly relatable, the lead character really resonated with me in some ways. I also love reading contemporaries set in England because I love recognising names/slang/places/brands.

Overall, it was a great month for reading as I enjoyed every single book I read. It was also quite a varied month of reading too; I enjoy mixing up the genres I read as it keeps them all quite fresh and I never get bored of a particular one.

Books To Read;

I’m not one for setting strict TBR’s. I am very much a mood reader, and I don’t often read two books of the same genre in a row, I always like to mix it up as I mentioned above.

But I do have a couple of books that I want to get to this month at least so I guess I’ll tell you about those.

Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett | The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater 
Salt To The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

I have awaited Jenn Bennett’s new book for ages, as I loved loved loved Night Owls (The Anatomical Shape Of A Heart for U.S readers!). So, when this at last came into the bookshop on my last shift I knew it would be one of my last discounted purchases.

I, also, finally purchased The Dream Thieves at long last, as much as The Raven Boys wasn’t my most favourite, I did love the characters, just not the lacklustre plot, so I do really want to see how they progress, it just wasn’t at the top of purchase list.

Last month I got my hands on Between Shades of Gray, a very very lucky charity shop find, and it broke my heart. The way the author wrote just broke me and left me wanting more at the same time. Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment.

 

So there’s my potential TBR, but definitely not guaranteed. I make no promises, although I do plan on starting Alex, Approximately today, so that’s a start.

A discussion; blogging burnout – what to do when it all gets to be too much.

Please excuse the audaciously long title, but my creative juices are running dry. Although, perhaps the title gave that away.
So, another discussion type/life post coming your way ladies and gentlemen, something that I’m going through this very moment; blogging burnout – when it all gets to be too much.
I’m sure, like me, blogging is not your number 1 priority in life. You adore it, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve probably got school/college/university work, or a job (or 2!) that’s either part-time or full-time. Then there’s all the reading you need to catch up on, your TV shows, your films, your music. You may have other hobbies and interests, besides your blog, so you have to fit that in too.
And sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day, and it all becomes a tad overwhelming.

That’s where I am right now, that’s my headspace. Overwhelmed, overworked, and just exceptionally tired. I love blogging, I love that this outlet is available and for the most part, free. I love that I am able to combine my passion for writing, with my passion for reading. And I definitely still can’t get over the fact that people legitimately read this blog. It blows my mind everyday. I couldn’t be more grateful that people, even somewhat, value my thoughts and find my posts on the spectrum of decent.
Yet recently, it’s felt more like a chore to blog. Perhaps I’ve simply put too much pressure on myself, which wouldn’t be surprising. But the need to put content on my blog has taken away some of my enjoyment of the act of blogging. I still get into grooves where I can get lost in the post I’m writing, but other times I’m sat staring at blank screen willing the words to appear.
I scroll through all your posts, but in reality all I want to do in curl up with my dog and binge-watch Netflix whilst eating terrible food. Although even that will lead me to worry I’m putting too much weight on and should probably join a gym and there I am, heading down a dark spiral. That dark spiral will lead me to question why I even run a blog and that I might as well delete it now and save myself the hassle. Honestly, I exhaust myself.

I always wish there was a reason for all of this but your mind can be your biggest enemy. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this internal struggle, the monologue that incessantly digs at you and never knows when to shut the fuck up.
So how do I get out of the whole I dig myself?

First of all, I cuddle my dog. He’s soft and warm and incredibly gentle in nature, and my favourite to snuggle with.  I’ll step away from my laptop for awhile, I’ll walk said doggo (he’s name is Barney and he’s a Spaniel mix in case you wanted to know) and tune out the world. Maybe I’ll sit downstairs with my Mum or cuddle up with my boyfriend and forget that I even run a blog for awhile. I’ll ensure I’m in a positive mental state before I even glance at my laptop. Then when I do inevitably glance that way, I’ll pick up a book. The subject that caused this all to begin. Once I remember just how much I love reading, how much passion and drive I have for writing, how much inspiration and creativity I surround myself with everyday, suddenly, that weighted feeling that comes with looking at WordPress, doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.

Inevitably, this will not be the last time this happens, but I know, I’m in such an open community, the book blogging world is courageous and understanding and I’m happy to be a part of it. I also want everyone to know that you are not alone, blogging is first and foremost, a community, one with people always willing to listen. Sometimes venting to an unbiased stranger is incredibly relieving.

And if blogging really does get too much and you need to step away. Then step away. Honestly, your blog will still be there when you get back. Even if it’s not blogging that is the cause of your negative head-space, your stress, whatever, letting go of some of your everyday pressures can do wonders.

Blogging burnout happens to all of us, it’s just writers block plus the networking and the planning and all the other activities that come as part of the package. It’s important to remember that it does happen to all of us, and it’s not that big a deal as your mind may make it out to be! Because I sure know mine makes it’s feel like such a big thing.

What are the ways you deal with blogging burnout? What are your go-to tactics to help you on your way to back to blogging? Please share away!

T5W #15: Books as event/party themes.

Oh, what a creative topic! I missed out on last weeks topic through my own incredibly bad memory. But I’m back again, with this weeks T5W! This week we’re talking about books that would make a good party/event theme.

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group now run by Samantha at Thoughts On Tomes. Where you are given a topic to post about every Wednesday; simple. You can find the link to the Goodreads group here.

So time to get my thinking cap on, let’s get down to it.

Continue reading “T5W #15: Books as event/party themes.”

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Award tag time! I love doing awards as it brings with it a nice cosy feeling of appreciation that your blogging is being read, by one person at least!
Side note; I really like the name for this award, very fitting with the season and the fact we are actually getting some sunshine here in England as of late – even if it means consistent hayfever, that is a price I am willing to pay.

I was tagged by the lovely Jacquie over at Rattle The Stars, one of my favouritest blogs (yep, so loved that deserved that made up word!), so I feel supremely lucky to have been tagged by them.

R U L E S

1. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator.
2. Nominate 11 blogs.
3. Ask them 11 questions.

Q U E S T I O N S 

O N E – How often do you update your blog?

I aim for three times a week, with one of those posts being a Top 5 Wednesday, this is generally achievable unless I am behind on my reviews!

T W O – What’s the last book you bought because of its amazing cover artwork?

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor. It has the most dreamy (completely intentional, I am not sorry), artwork I’ve seen on both a dust cover and actual hardcover and inside page, I’ve seen in such a long time.

T H R E E – Favourite historical time period?

I really love reading about Ancient Greece, or anything influenced by that. Or Medieval – Tudor/Stuart Britain also.

F O U R – Most disappointing read so far in 2017?

Snotgirl, was undoubtedly my least favourite, it just wasn’t something that I particularly enjoyed.

F I V E – What did you do on your last vacation?

I went to Side, Turkey with my boyfriend! It was our first holiday together, so we just enjoyed the lovely weather and free bar, it was a great little getaway for us.

S I X – Pirates or Assassins? 

But what if they were both akin to Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag? I’ve read better books about assassins, watched better films and shows about pirates. If I were to choose, it would be assassins.

S E V E N – A series you used to love but don’t anymore?

I used to really love The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, but that’s definitely faded in the last few years.

E I G H T – What’s the longest book that you own?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. It comes in at 870 pages, I believe this is the biggest book I own, unless I’m missing one!

N I N E –  Which book do you plan on reading next?

I’m very much a mood reader, but as I’m reading a contemporary right now, it will most likely be one of a different genre; so it will be between
– The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
– Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
– This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

T E N – Unicorns or Mermaids

Ah, a much easier choice! Mermaids, as I’ve always wanted to be one!!

E L E V E N – Least favourite genre, why?

Uh, most smart-thinking types; sociology, psychology, philosophy. And the self-help/spiritual types. They are just not really my cup of tea. I read to escape – and these are far from escapist.

M Y    Q U E S T I O N S

  1. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, what house are in?
  2. What is your current read, and what are your thoughts on it so far?
  3. What is your favourite colour, and why?
  4. Are you a Disney fan? If so, what is your favourite Disney song?
  5. What songs are your current favourites?
  6. What do you think your next book purchase/borrow will be?
  7. Do you have a favourite flower? Or one that you just find pretty that popped into your head when you read this question?
  8. Do you have a pet? Alternatively, do you want one/more?
  9. Modern or historical settings?
  10. What books have been on your TBR list the longest?
  11. Tea, coffee, neither?

N O M I N A T I O N S 

  1. Hilary @ Ravishing Tales
  2. Ali @ I Wuv Books
  3. Chanda @ Chanda Reads
  4. Mish @ Bibliophile Mish
  5. Angie Elle @ Books and Beauty Are My Bag
  6. Breanna @ Pages Bound Together
  7. Angie @ The Bookish Feels
  8. Joanne @ YA Guitarist
  9. Karina @ Afire Pages
  10. Savana @ The Biblio Life
  11. Books Are All You Need

T5W #12: books that would make good video games.

This a topic right up my street! I adore books and I adore video games. So, putting the two and two together is a dream idea. There are so many ideas just floating around my head right now, so narrowing it down was so so difficult, but here we go!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is in collaboration with the BookTubeSFF Awards. And, as always, Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group now run by Samantha at Thoughts On Tomes. Where you are given a topic to post about every Wednesday; simple. You can find the link to the Goodreads group here.

Continue reading “T5W #12: books that would make good video games.”

The Black Cat, Blue Sea award.

Coming at you with an award tag today, and I just love these kinds of posts. It’s very hard for bloggers to receive any sort of recognition really, so any kind is always welcome. I adore award posts as they show us all how dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate bloggers are about their work!

I was tagged by the wonderful Charlotte Annelise, who runs a beautiful blog that you should all checkout, here! Thank you so much for tagging me, it’s so so appreciated.

About The Award

blackcat1

 

‘This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.’

 

 

The Rules

  1. Anybody nominated can nominate eight other bloggers.
  2. The nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator.
  3. The questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions.
  4. If any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award.

Charlotte Annelise’s Questions 

O N E – Would you rather live in a nice apartment in the city, or a big house in the country?

A nice apartment in the city. I do love the idea of a big country house but I adore the city. I adore the cultures and the experiences and adventures and the variety.

T W O – What is your favourite genre to read and why?

Fantasy. Fantasy will always be my first and forever love. Harry Potter is the reason I love reading and the reason I read so much fantasy. I love the escapism and the worlds that are created. The imaginations of some authors are mind-blowing.

T H R E E – Where is your favourite place you’ve visited whilst on vacation?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I legitimately nearly cried when I walked into Hogsmeade. It was just all of my dreams, except in those two days they were real. They were real and it was the best experience of my life (so far).

Questions

  1. What is your most favourite world that an author has created? One that you can envision yourself living it, getting lost in?
  2. Where’s your ideal place to snuggle up and read a book?
  3. What book/book series have you always wanted to read, yet for some reason or another, haven’t gotten around to yet?

Tags

I am going to cheat and not tag eight bloggers because that is a struggle, so I’ll only tag a few.

  1. Rakel @ MiRakelBooks
  2. Tiana @ The Book Raven
  3. Brittany @ Ginger Night Owl 

T5W #10: future classics

A topic that I’m not manipulating to my own inadequacies, what a revelation! This week’s topic really was on that got me thinking. The books that I think would be considered future classics, in my mind, are those that had an effect on me. These are the books that shaped the way I think or were incredibly thought-provoking, or just made such an impact on me that I’ve never been able to forget them.

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is in collaboration with the BookTubeSFF Awards. And, as always, Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group now run by Samantha at Thoughts On Tomes. Where you are given a topic to post about every Wednesday; simple. You can find the link to the Goodreads group here.

Let’s dive into this weeks T5W.

Continue reading “T5W #10: future classics”