Discussion

International Women’s Day Book Recs!

#BEBOLDFORCHANGE

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange – to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity. Check out the official IWD Videos.

International Women’s Day Non-Fiction Recs

International Womens Day NonFiction Books

  • Bad Feminist (4.5/5*) – I read this book a couple of years ago, and it awakened my inner feminist! Fantastic, accessible read. Full review of Bad Feminist.
  • Hot Feminist (4/5*) – Polly Vernon tackles the difficult questions surrounding modern-day feminism with sarcasm, insight, and wit. Full review of Hot Feminist
  • The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success (4/5*) – While not marketed directly to women, this book touches on many of the qualities deemed necessary to get-ahead, that women tend to struggle with, in their battle to be assertive and remain “liked” in the workplace. Full review of The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success.
  • I Call Myself A Feminist (3.5/5*) – Is “feminism” still a dirty word? This book contains short essays from 25 women under thirty, dissecting what feminism means to them.
  • Full Frontal Feminism (3/5*) – While this isn’t a favourite of mine, there are interesting and useful nuggets of information in this text. A good introduction or all-rounder, it wouldn’t be my go-to recommendation, but it does add to the conversation.
  • Lean In – I shamefully started, but have yet to finish this one. From what I’ve read it’s full of eye-opening anecdotes and facts, and it’s definitely the kind of book you need to read with a pen and paper handy to take notes!
  • Why Women Don’t Ask – I’m in the middle of this read, and it’s another great one that looks at the innate differences between genders, and how these can be overcome, as well as how to work within the constraints of societal perception, for women to succeed in the workplace!
  • I Am Malala – One that is on my bookshelf, and I have yet to get to. If ever there was an inspirational woman, Malala Yousafzai is she.
  • Everyday Sexism – Another I have on my TBR, what started as a TED Talk and anonymous online forum, has now become a phenomenon, and published text. This book argues that sexism has been normalised. And it’s time for change.

International Women’s Day Fiction Recs

International Womens Day Fiction Books

  • The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh (5/5*) – One of my favourite books of 2016, this novel is based on the true story of Mother Ross, a brave and fierce Irish woman. When her husband is taken as a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. And that’s just the beginning! Full review of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh.
  • Through the Barricades (4.5/5*) – This is a story of friendship, love, war and revolution. She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her. Full review of Through the Barricades.
  • Asking For It (4.5/5*) – A brutal, important, relevant, and emotional novel, based on true events. A book all ages and genders should read. I was compelled to write #NotAskingForIt upon finishing the book. Full review of Asking For It
  • Only Ever Yours (4/5*) – Suppoesedly reminiscint of The Handmaid’s Tale, this debut novel will make you stop and question the society around you. eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. Full review of Only Ever Yours.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – I recently purchased a copy of this, and have heard nothing but good things about it. A dystopian novel where women’s rights are completely revoked. Is the truth stranger than fiction?

Check out Wordery’s top picks with up to 33% off RRP, and FREE delivery!

Do you have any recommendations to add to this list? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add them in to make one super list of recommended reads!

The Books that Built the Blogger with Rachel from Confessions of a Book Geek!

Today, I’m being featured on Cathy’s blog, 746 Books, where I’m discussing The Books That Built the Blogger! Pop over and check out my five picks!

746 Books

built-bloggers

This week on The Books that Built the Blogger, I have the fantastic Rachel from Confessions of a Book Geek. I had been following Rachel for a while before we realised that we both live in the same town in Northern Ireland! She is a font of all YA knowledge and I love her enthusiasm and insight.

rache

Hi! I’m Rachel from Confessions of a Book Geek, and I’m here to share with you five books that have shaped my reading, or had an impact on the kind of books I tend to gravitate towards. As a kind-of millennial (I think I’m just a little too old to be considered a “proper” one), it’s so tempting to shout “Harry Potter!” for any and all questions relating to my favourite books, books that made me, books that shaped me, books I’m obsessed with, etc. I’m not sure if it counts as…

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Reviewing My 2016 Resolutions (and NEW bookshelves!)

reading-and-blogging-resolutions

Even though I rarely check in on them to see how I’m getting on, for some reason I still feel it’s necessary every year to sit down and write some bookish and bloggish resolutions. Occasionally, I’ll even do a couple for “real life” as well. Visualise it, write it, achieve it, and all that jazz! Without further ado, let’s review last year’s resolutions to see how epically I managed to fail in 2016!

1. Actually Get Some Bloody Bookshelves!

THIS one, I have achieved!

harry-potter celebrate gif

We’re off to a good start. Finally, finally, I have beautiful bespoke bookcases to call my own.

new-bespoke-handmade-walnut-bookcases

These were designed by me, with a 3D visual of how they would look provided by my sister (to make sure I LOVED the design before I went ahead with buying the materials!), and they were handmade by my dad. A true family project! They’re walnut veneer, with solid walnut edging, and clear varnish finish. And I am IN LOVE with them. I’ll be doing a post all about them soon, with lots of pictures!

2. Revive Babes and Books!

This was a massive fail. I honestly can’t believe it’s been so long since we buddy-read a book! The group consists of me, Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie and Stef @ Caught Read Handed. Check out previous Babes and Books reviews. What do you think girls, should we give this a go again in 2017?

Babes and Books Feature

3. Make Review Notes!

I did actually make some review notes in 2016, but definitely not enough! It SO helps to have notes when writing up reviews, especially if like me, you’re quite behind in getting the reviews posted for the books you’ve already read. I should really focus on this in 2017, it would make life much, much easier.

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Running Away From Reading Challenges!

running-away-from-reading-challenges

Reading Challenges are a hot topic, and there are A LOT to choose from.

There’s the super popular PopSugar Reading Challenge, and the equally infamous Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, then of course there is the Goodreads Challenge, as well as the vast number this community comes up with themselves, and this year I’m putting my foot down.

I’m saying “no” to reading challenges.

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How Much Do You Spend On Books? 2017 Edition

How much do you spend on books 2017

At the end of 2015, I started analysing how much I spend on books each year (see how much I spent on books in 2014, and how much I spent on books 2015). It’s a really popular post, and one I like to do to try and keep control of the spending situation. Typically, I prefer physical books to eBooks, and I prefer owning books as opposed to borrowing them from the library. This has resulted in a substantial TBR pile (based on my current rate of reading, it would take around 5 years to get through the books I currently own… eek!), and while I’m not a believer of Book Buying Bans, I think it’s a great idea to be mindful of what I’m spending my money on.

In 2016, I definitely started buying more books in physical bookstores (I ❤ Waterstones), and unintentionally (at least initially) reduced the amount I was buying through Amazon. As I’ve gotten older, and become less ignorant of the publishing Industry, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the amount of time and work involved in book publishing, and I’ve begun to understand how Amazon’s pricing policy undermines the Industry.

For a long time, I justified cheaper purchases because I was a student, or a recent graduate, who couldn’t afford to spend a lot on books. While I’m not exactly rolling in riches four years after graduation, I am in a position where I can spend that little bit more for a personal and physical customer experience in a bookstore, and that means something to me. That being said, I’m still a firm believer in value for money, so I rarely buy RRP.

Spending that little bit more means that, hopefully, a physical bookstore will stay part of my high street, and it usually means I’m buying books I’m super interested in, rather than sneaky impulse purchases. I haven’t tracked my in-store spend for 2016, but it’s something I really want to do this year. Surely keeping a receipt jar won’t be too much trouble? (Though it may possibly be a massive eye-opener!).

The following figures are taken from my online order histories, and don’t include gifts or books bought from a charity shop. The amount I’ve spent also doesn’t include the benefits of using discount codes and cash-back deals from Quidco to make further savings (which I highly suggest you do!).

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Crazy and Best Search Terms 2016

crazy-and-best-search-terms-2016

Last year, I brought you the Crazy and Best Search Terms of 2015 and I’ve decided there are some posts I like redoing as a bit of an annual review, so today we have the Crazy and Best Search Terms of 2016!

First up, lets check in on those unknown search terms. Last year I had a total of 6,089 unknown search terms, this year that figure has grown to 12,723, and as ever it still really, really gets on my nerves! Search terms are a fantastic way to figure out how people are finding you on the Internet, and all these unknown ones are completely useless. That being said, there were also some entertaining and humorous phrases…

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My Second #OTSPSecretSister Experience

2016-Discussion-ChallengeWhen my first round of #OTSPSecretSister ended, I wrote a post all about my OTSPSecretSister experience, and now that another round has sadly come to an end, I thought I would do it again to encourage all of you to participate in this project at least once.

To recap, OTSPSecretSister is the fabulous invention of Brittany @ Book Addict’s Guide, Alyssa @ Books Take You Places and Amy @ Tripping Over BooksThe project is a “cheer club” – you are paired with a “Secret Sister” and send them letters, cards and gifts over the course of 6 months, before revealing to them who you are. While you’re doing this, you have your own Secret Sister who’s looking out for, and sending cheer, to you.

The project started in the US only, but now there are Secret Sisters in the UK, Belgium, Canada, and Australia. Check out #OTSPSecretSister on Twitter to see what all the ladies (and guys!) get up to. I really enjoyed taking part for a second time, but I’m taking a break for this next round as I’ve other things going on, and don’t feel I can commit to it fully just now, which wouldn’t be fair to the other participants. I’ve a feeling I’m really going to miss it though, so no doubt will be back doing it again soon!

The Secret Sister I Sent To – Natalie @ Food For Bookworms

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This Or That Tag!

This or That Tag

The lovely girls over at Closet Readers tagged me in the This or That Tag, created by Ayunda from Tea and Paperbacks.

Reading on the couch (sofa) or in the bed?

Bed. It wins every time. I think I like reading on the sofa too, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to test that theory. I can’t read if the TV is on in the background, and there’s usually someone watching TV. Between blogging, reading, and other life-happenings, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom.

Definition of a Librocubicularist

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