Monday 2 November 2015

Week in Review: 26th Oct - 2nd Nov

I don't use this blog much at the moment as I tend to be busy with Teens on Moon Lane, but thought I might try something new. I figure I tweet links to posts and articles I love ALL THE TIME, so maybe it would be worth putting them together in a more permanent fashion. This is, for now, a one-off, but could potentially be recurring.

I loved this There Were Books Involved review of Jenn Bennett's The Anatomical Shape of a Heart - more familiar to me, at least, under UK title Night Owls. That, and Sarah Benwell being hugely enthusiastic about it on Twitter, has pushed it towards the top of my TBR pile.

It was fascinating to attend the Rock The Boat blogger event a few months ago, and it was clear from talking to people there how much they valued bloggers. This post on their site definitely shows that!

An old post that I got seriously excited about when talking to Katherine Woodfine, author of The Mystery Of The Clockwork Sparrow - Marcus Sedgwick's wonderful classic children's/YA feature on The Dark Is Rising, including a fantastic picture of Susan Cooper's original plans for the sequence!

Speaking about excitement, I got Karina Ramage's brilliant Demons CD in the post! (If you're interested in listening to Karina, who blew me away a few weeks ago when I saw her playing by the South Bank Centre, check out her Soundcloud!

And I was rather thrilled to be retweeted by Penguin Books after posting a photo of myself and my friend Grace with Anastasia Catris's gorgeous Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies on Global Colouring Day!

Speaking of Grace, I LOVED hearing about her fabulous time at Stylist Live! Check out her brilliant post on it.

(Also, if you're able to contribute to her JustGiving for Little Princess Trust it would be MASSIVELY appreciated! She's on £1725 at the moment and really really hoping to get to her goal of £2000 before she finishes radiotherapy.)

On the subject of charity, it's amazing to hear that Nosy Crow are giving £5 from every copy sold of Anne Booth and Sam Usher's Nativity retelling Refuge to War Child - made possible as everyone involved in producing, distributing and selling the book are doing so without making a profit. More details here.

There's been a LOT of talk on diversity this week, much of which I'm keeping out of as other people can say things far better than I can in many cases - although I am hoping to try and write something about the diversity workshop I ran with Wei Ming Kam at YA Shot. I would strongly, STRONGLY recommend people read the following.

Katherine Locke interviewing Simon Tam of Firefly about asexuality, just one of the many excellent posts for the Gay YA's Asexual Awareness week.

Kaye on Ice Cream and Sprinkles, replying to a post by Roger Sutton. (The comments on that Roger Sutton post are definitely worth reading, for a change when it comes to internet comments!)

Agent Aletha on 'Reading While Asexual', also as part of the Asexual Awareness Week.

Ellen Oh on The "Diversity Agenda People".

Justina Ireland on Earned Equality.

I was also able to take part in #AceYAChat, run by Nita Tyndall - a chat about the representation of asexuality, demisexuality, and the ace spectrum in general in YA. This was WONDERFUL and it felt very special to be able to talk about the ace spectrum in a welcoming and supportive environment. A massive thank you to Nita for running such a great chat!   

Obviously, my go-to people for diverse book recs are numerous, but one of the top ones is American author Dahlia Adler. Dahlia's #DahlBC is a wonderful idea and she's just announced her November books, which you can find here. I would MASSIVELY recommend George by Alex Gino to everyone, and Cam Girl by Leah Raeder to everyone over 18, while I'm reading Dahlia's own Just Visiting at the moment and loving it!

One of the people at YA Shot who took part in the workshop was Charlotte from Firefly Reads, whose blog I don't think I'd seen before. It's quickly become a favourite of mine - her posts on the UCL MA Publishing course she's studying on are particularly interesting!

YA Shot was an incredible day, by the way! So many great events and wonderful people there. My Wednesday came to an emotional end as I met up with some of my best friends to say goodbye to our friend Caitlin, who we wanted to say goodbye to before she moved away from London. Thank you to the lovely staff at Fourteenth Colonie for a brilliant night - this also explains why my profile picture is suddenly fixed in place on Twitter; I don't think anything's going to beat this one. (But feel free to try, David!) Caitlin, London won't be the same without you.

The plagiarism stuff last week was mind-boggling and I won't even TRY to explain it - instead, I'll direct you to Jenny Trout's always fantastic blog. I also loved her blistering takedown of a journalist suggesting that romance novels were all the same, really.

And, speaking of people who are constantly providing great posts, I really enjoyed Lucy's 5 Female Authors I Adore post at Queen of Contemporary while it was also great to see her Project UKYA "I Pledge UKYA" campaign get off to such a great start! Sofia's post Why I Love The UKYA Community definitely struck a chord with me while Holly Bourne's UKYA Life Highlights were brilliant!

And Holly's fabulous Am I Normal Yet? also inspired another superb campaign, Joanne Stapley's brilliant #BookishSpinsters hashtag about feminism. I loved reading posts from Joanne and Sunny on 'What Is Feminism?' and look forward to reading future prompts, and hopefully taking part myself as I know Joanne wants guys to get involved as well.

There were three contenders for the best news of the week - Debbie got us Cursed Child tickets, YALC tickets went on sale (for anyone who hadn't blown their entire bank balance on Cursed Child tickets - hoping they don't sell out TOO soon!) and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda got optioned for film! Becky Albertalli's gorgeous gay contemporary romance is perhaps the sweetest book I've read all year and I would LOVE to see a big screen version.

Over on Teens on Moon Lane, I got David Owen, author of Panther, to take part in 5-4-3-2-1. I really enjoyed this, particularly one of the pieces of advice he'd give to himself if he could time-travel to before he was published "Don’t follow literally thousands of random people on Twitter to build your own follower number in the hope of looking important. It’s pointless, and will just leave your Twitter in a terrible mess. You’ll also inadvertently follow some truly reprehensible people."

We also got the shortlist of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, which is excellent! Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree is one of my favourites of the year, Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders was perhaps my favourite of last year, while David Almond's A Song For Ella Grey and Sally Nicholls's An Island Of Our Own are high on my TBR.

Offline, it was a busy week for me - two outstanding Leigh Bardugo events, Showstopper: The Improvised Musical with Debbie, which is well worth seeing, and the aforementioned farewell gathering for Caitlin. I also saw Spectre, which I enjoyed, and The Martian, which I ADORED! As well, I went with various other #ukmgchat regulars on a bookshop crawl organised (fantastically well!) by Miriam Craig and Lorraine Gregory - a great day out, going to Dulwich Books, Tales on Moon Lane and Village Books. After that on Saturday, I wandered down to the Southbank food market, where I bought a burger from Woodwards Farm, delicious as ever, and duck fat chips from The Frenchie - gorgeous!

The joys of bookshop browsing - and actually looking at adult books for once - meant that I saw Ferguson's Gang: The Secret Society That Saved Rural England for the first time. This looks WONDERFUL and will definitely be buying soon! On Sunday, more bookshop browsing meant I picked up Love Hurts, the anthology edited by Malorie Blackman, to look at Susie Day's story Tumbling and somehow found myself at the till after reading three pages. I haven't read the rest yet but this gorgeous story about two girls who ship Sherlock and John together and fall for each other while discussing the show online is WELL worth the cover price on its own.

Nearly everyone I know is busy doing NaNoWriMo, I think (I'm feeling slightly left out!) If you can tear yourself away from your novel for five minutes, these tips and tricks from The Book Belle are great!

Other reviews and posts I loved - Debbie on The Imaginary, Luna on her Diversity Month and The Louth Leader on one of Abi Elphinstone's many primary school visits!

Finally, there were fairly major updates to the spreadsheet of reviews and upcoming releases, as Debbie continues to be amazing at updating it while I was less lazy than normal! Check out next year's releases.

Have there been any great posts I've missed? What was the highlight of your week? Leave me a comment!

And to finish off, a few more #ColourMeMindful pics.

1 comment:

  1. I love colouring in books! And I love that the latest thing at the moment is colouring in books being marketed to adults?! How fabulous is that!