The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Books, Bookstagram and Bookswaps

I have been a bad blogger.

January was my last post. In two and a half months that would be a year since I last posted. Does that mean I haven’t been reading? Definitely not. I have read many books. Some were great, some blah, two handfuls were excellent but most of the books I have read this year, have been a three star read. Saying that, my mind has been terribly distracted, so maybe its not them, it’s me;-) I’ll document my excellent book list at the end of this post. You can let me know if you agree, or not.

I may not have been blogging, but I have been more active on Instagram, or more precisely, Bookstagram. Not heard of it? It’s the place to go for photographs of elegantly placed books, cats,  books and cats, cats and books, books and more books. It’s a fun place to be, you meet bookish peeps, exchange bookish information,  discover fandoms you’re not really interested in,  find local stationery suppliers, and sometimes, you even get to talk books to those who chat on insta. It happens…;-) But the best thing I discovered this year was the SA Bookswap.

What a fabulous start up by Tams from @Bibliobookwolf. Tams initiated conversation with me via Booksta inviting me to join the South African Book Swap. Which is exactly that.  Swapping books. With a stranger. Or someone you have only stalked on insta. Or, someone you actually know on insta. There is always a theme. Partners discuss the budget amongst themselves. There is always an unboxing date to ensure suitable levels of excitement, (of which there is much). Countdowns, Giveaways, Discounts from various accounts. It’s all types of fun. So much so, I am putting together a box for a fellow bookstagrammers daughter, from my daughter – an avid reader and the live unboxer for me on social media.  I am currently participating in my third one, unboxing day 13th December. If you want to find me there here is my handle @thebookclubblog101. 

I did however discover a Secret Santa Bookswap (*squeal*) via The Secret Book Cub on facebook (just this morning), which I promptly signed up for. Yes, I have a problem. I love sending books via mail, and I adore recieving books in the mail. You could say I am slightly addicted to book swaps… you wouldn’t be wrong.

So, bookswaps aside, scroll for my five star reads of 2019 and just below that, my daughter’s list of must reads.

 My five star faves of 2019 so far:

Educated – Tara Westover

On writing – Steven King

Death on the Limpopo – Sally Andrew

Us against You – Fredrik Backman

Plus one – Vanessa Raphaely

The Enumerations – Marie Fisher

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Heartless – Marissa Meyer

Lab Girl – Hope Jahren

My daughter’s five star reads:

Harry Potter  – All of them – JK Rowling

Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase and Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan

A Place called Perfect and  The Trouble with Perfect – Helena Duggan

Holes – Louis Sachar

The Magic Misfits – Neil Patrick Harris

What were your top faves this year?

 

 

 

 

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Raising a Reader.

Books. What are they but a pile of papers sewn or glued together? Filled with words of wisdom from the wise. Or nonsense rhymes which make us laugh. Characters and letters printed in pretty fonts. Stories that lead us into adventure, teach us how the world can be and find rare friendships within the pages. Books. A pile of papers sewn or glued together. To impact on our lives if we let them. And for most of us, something we purchase without much thought. We may not like to pay almost R300 for a book( if you live in South Africa), but we can. And we do.

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This year, as like last year we will be donating funds to Little Libraries and if you would like to get involved, please take a look at their Facebook page Little Libraries. Camille does such wonderful work in getting books and educational supplies out into parts of Africa where it is really needed. I donate through the year to Little Libraries and you can too, but what we urgently need right now are books for Grade 4, 5 and 6.

There has been a plea for help, a Bookdrive if you will, to Potchefstroom. Please read the message below:

Hi Everyone!

My name is Kelee and I’m teaching at a school that is a model core c school and it is lacking in books.

I’m looking for reading books for my children at my school. Grade 4, 5 and 6. If you know of anyone that has children’s books that they can’t sell because they are the too damaged and want to re-home please could you WhatsApp me on 0760112839.

I would appreciate any and all donations!!!

(I’m an ideal world I’d have one book per child = 165 books.)

PS: I live in Potchefstroom and will pay for postage.

 

As I have a Grade 4 child who is an avid reader and believe me, she goes through at least a book or two a week, so the call for books resonates with me. I will be going through her bookshelf this weekend to see what has been read and is ready to be re-homed and I would love for you to do the same. And then donate them to this worthy cause. And even though Kaylee is looking for those specific grades, Little Libraries needs for the younger reader. Board books, Learning Letters books because, in rural Africa, many of our children cannot read. So, collectively between you and me, lets help raise a reader. In more ways than one. And with the children of Africa who need it.

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If you would like to get involved and donate books to either of these worthy causes, please support us. If you live in Durbanville or the vicinity thereof, you are welcome to drop off and I will organise the delivery to LL or Potch. I will also be able to collect in certain areas. You can contact me on purplerob2 at gmail.com if you have any books to donate.

Help us to raise 165 books for Potch.

Help us to raise a Reading Nation.

Help us to Raise a Reader.

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Do you write?

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I didn’t. I used to, many many moons ago when I still believed in the power of my words. Because one random incident stopped me writing. What was it? I reread some of my journaling and thought, what on earth are you on about? I was a confused young adult, with no real direction and after reading this particular piece (for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what it is now), I cringed and stopped putting words down on paper.

Until my daughter was born, and I realised I needed to write, that I could not keep my words bottled up inside me anymore, and Imsonotablogger was born. I delved into the land of blogging and it served its purpose for many years until life got crazy and busy and I no longer found the time to write…

Skip to 9 years later, when I started looking for a writing course to do. I was turning the big 40, the call for writing a book too loud to ignore and halfway through being 40, I discovered the 7 Day Writing Challenge with the author Joanne Fedler. After seeing the advert on Facebook for a couple of days, I clicked the link.

(It took me a few days because I am always wary of advertising on FB, how they manage to target their market so efficiently freaks me out a little) But when I did and realised that it really was what it said it was, I signed up for the 7 Day Writing Challenge. It was free, and time wise quite doable in my rather crazy schedule. I knew I could fit writing into my life, without it causing too much extra mayhem.

The beauty of the 7 Day Challenge is that my words were woken up. The delicious Joanne Fedler, who teaches with compassion and a no-nonsense approach to being accountable for your thoughts and actions. She teaches the balance of craft and consciousness, so you are not “just writing” but feeling your way into your writing. Which for many of us, that may be the scariest thing. But Joanne manages the transition with care and compassion so you are gently dipping your toes into the waves of words, feelings, and memories of what is alive inside us.

Why am I telling you this?

For three reasons:

  • Firstly, this free 7 Day challenge affected me so much, I signed up for a year-long course to Write My First Draft. Yes, I have always wanted to write a book and Now I am. Becuase writing really is as simple as putting one word in front of the other and letting your fingers do the typing.
  • Secondly, I don’t share things I don’t believe in. I believe in this.
  • Thirdly, if you sign up for the free 7 Day Challenge, at the end of it you have the option to enter a competition to win a scholarship for the Author Awakening Adventure. Which is an 8-week course and really fires up the imagination(that is where the idea for my book originated).

So, even if you think you CAN’T write but want to, this is the perfect starter portion to see where it leads you. It runs from the 18th – 24th January 2018.  And if at the end of it, you really don’t want to explore the landscape of words within you, then don’t. This is the start of a brand new year, release your creativity, for 7 days, and see what gets born from it.

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2017 Book Reviews Top 10

Goodness, I have been neglecting this little corner of books. I may not have done much writing in here, but I have done much reading.

2017 was a fabulous reading year. There were not many duds, though if I was reading something I really wasn’t enjoying, I put it down and started something else. There are way too many good books in the world, to spend time on books I am not enjoying. I give them an honest try but if they don’t tickle my tootsies, then I abandon them…

No 10

boundless sublime

The Boundless Sublime – Lili Wilkinson

This was a great a novel about a cult and how easy it is to fall into the trap of words. A superb YA novel.

No 9

caraval

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Thoroughly enjoyed the magical YA novel. It was a unique story and very well written

NO 8

more than this

More than this – Patrick Ness

Another YA, what makes you think I am a fan? But this was different and engaging and asked the questions, are we real? Do our thoughts define us?  I loved it.

No 7

the jewel

The Lone City Series started with The Jewel

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Granted it was a little wishy-washy in places, but I thought the storyline was original and fun.  It was also super easy to read and kept me entertained through all three of the books. ( I went through a spate of reading books that my daughter can eventually read, this set has been saved for future reading)

No 6

beautiful

Beautiful broken things – Sara Barnard

Once again, this was not your straightforward YA novel, this one had some meaty bits and showed the power of friendship. Especially when we are young and feel things more intensely. A good read. And save for future reading.

No 5

fever

Deon Meyer – Fever

A South African author mainly known for his thrillers, brought this dystopian novel into the world of books, and thank goodness he did. It was great, and he hit the notes just right. Set in SA, with a wonderful twist in the end. If you are into Dystopian, then this should not be missed

No 4

conception

Ms Conception – Pamela Power

Another great SA author, new to me, but on my list of faves. This was hilarious and managed to tear me out of my reading slump that hit me this year. Her writing is funny, true and loved that I could relate to the book. Read it, its good.

No 3

bear

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

Wow, just wow. This one had me through the ringer. I cried big ploppy tears onto the screen of my kindle in this one. A story about family, life, and gender roles. This book Needs to be read.

N0 2

eleanor

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman

Another Wow. This book was an extremely well-written debut novel. I loved it, I loved the characters and I think Honeyman pulled it off with aplomb.

No 1

music

The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce

One of my all-time favourite authors, Joyce got the balance in this book just right. It was perfect, I loved it and you should read it. A book about life, and how we Don’t live and what happens when we don’t and how the small things are the big things and music plays an important part.

If you would like to see the rest of my book, you can find them on Goodreads. I struggled a little to decide which books to add to this list becuase out of the 50 books I read, at least 30 of them were great.

And now onto 2018. Where, while I am reading (Currently on The Boy with No Shoes, William Horwood’s memoir) I will also be writing the first draft of my book. I have joined a writing course with the author Joanne Fedler and I aim to have the #tragicfirstdraft completed by November. So keep an eye on this page….

Happy Reading!

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Apologies!

The Book Club Blog has been quite silent since our last give aways. First it was school holidays, then, we all got ill, well, me in particular, which is strange in itself as I don’t usually get ill, but for a week, there I was, stranded in my bed, luckily I had a few books to read when I had an hour where I felt awake enough to read;-)

 

So, I don’t have any give aways at the moment, but I thought, seeing as though it is half way through the year, HALF WAY!!!,  I would share with you the books that I have read so far. I am aiming for 100 books this year and I am pretty much half way, which is a good thing, though there is still so much to read and I am definitely on the market for a kindle. If I happen to end up going to the UK next year, that will be my first purchase….

 

So, back to books, here is my first half of the year books:

 

2011 January
1.  Helen of Troy – Margaret George*
2. Mr Toppit – Charles Elton
3.  Hindi-Bindi Club – Monica Pradhan
4.  Brown Owl’s guide to life – Kate Harrison
5.  The Sugar Queen- Sarah Allen Addison*
6.  Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
7.  The Journey – Brandon Bayes*
8. Heart and soul – Maeve Binchy
9.  The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield*

February

10. The Cookie Club – Ann Pearlman
11.  After the Party – Lisa Jewell
12. Glitz – Louise Bagshaw
14.  The Devil you know – Louise Bagshaw
15.  The girl with the dragon tattoo – Steig Larson*
16.  The girl who played with fire – Stieg Larson*
17.  The Passage – Justin Cronin
18.   The Girl who kicked the hornets nest – Steig Larson*
19.  Dark Visions – LJ Smith

April
20  When God was a rabbit – Sarah Winman*
21  Time to smell the roses – Michael Hoeye*
22 Sin, Sushi and survival – Erla-Mari Diedericks
23 Under a blood red sky – Kate Furnivall
24  The girl who chased the moon – Sarah Addison Allen*
25 The Sisters Grimm – Michael buckley

May
26 Sepulchre – Kate Mosse*
27 Ants in the Big Onion – Annica Foxcroft*
28 The Flood -David Maine
30 For one more day – Mitch Albom
31 Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen*
32  Louise Bagshaw- Desire

June
33 Lucy Willow – Sally Gardner
34 The undrowned child – Michelle Louric*
34 Have a little Faith – Mitch Albom*
35 The Manservant Mysteries – Lee herrmann

July
36 Halo – Zizou Corder
37 The Winter Ghosts – Kate Mosse
38 The Game – Diana Wynne Jones
39 Garlic and Sapphires – Ruth Reichl*
40  Louise Bagshaw – Destiny
41  The Place of Secrets – Rachel Hore
42. Mini shopaholic –  Sophie Kinsella

 

The books with a star next to them I found were particularly great stories and the rest were good. I have a Jodi Piccoult book awaiting my perusal, she is not my favourite author but we will see how this book goes and I am eagerly awaiting an author interview with Kate  Mosse, I find her books very interesting and enjoyable, it will be great to get to know the author behind the books! Only two books I really really didn’t enjoy are the ones in bold. Have you read them, what were your thoughts?

 

So, what have you been reading this year, and anything which stands out?I am always looking for my next book hit, so please tell me what you have sunk your teeth into and enjoyed.

 

Happy reading all!

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Cape Town Book Fair

This next weekend marks the 5th Cape Town Book Fair, being held at the CTICC. (That’s the Cape Town International Convention Centre for those not in the know).

I can’t wait! Last year I went along with The Man and Bean in tow and I had an awful time, I had to rush past stands full of books, stands full of pamphlets, stands full of all things bookish because The Man was grumpy. This year, I am going alone. I am planning an all day event, to browse, to peruse, to gain my full enjoyment of having an entire afternoon dedicated to looking at books.

In the chefs kitchen, Tina Bester will be there at 3pm on Saturday 31st July, and in case any of you are wondering who she is, she is the author of  Bake. The most delicious book on baking that one could ask for,and she has a fairly new book out called ‘Comfort’, which I am itching to get my hands on.

Amongst many other authors that I haven’t heard of, I know, bad me! Jodie Picoult will be at the fair doing Book signings. As well as staying at the Mount Nelson Hotel, you can purchase tickets at R165 for a high tea together with Jodie on the 1st August for 10.30am.

Me, I just want to look at books!

For all the info you need head on over here :

http://www.capetownbookfair.com/

and if that doesn’t tempt you, if you use your book shop loyalty card, you can get 50% off the entry price!

See you there?!

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