Sorry, didn't get this done last week, but there's a BUMPER edition to make up for it here!
I normally start off with non-bookish things, I think, but there are two
just-announced deals I am HUGELY excited for so going with them to kick
things off! Karuna Riazi, who tweets as @gildedspine and is one of the
people on Twitter I admire the most, has a deal with Simon &
Schuster's new Muslim-themed children's imprint Salaam Reads for MG
fantasy The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand which sounds incredible.
Balzer + Bray won a massive 13 house auction for a YA debut I've heard
incredible things about, Angela Thomas's #BlackLivesMatter inspired The
Hate U Give. Even better, from my point of view as a UK blogger, Walker Books are publishing it here!
brilliant Safe Space blog, which Jess and her fabulous team of
contributors launched a few weeks ago, continued with lots of superb posts!
Safe Space's 'about us' section explains "Here at Safe Space we
understand that it's hard as f**k being a girl." While from comments
I've seen on Twitter, I know that lots of girls and women are loving
reading this blog, I hope boys/men are also reading it - I know that if
I'd had access to blogs like this growing up I would (hopefully!) have
been in a better position to understand some of the issues that girls
have to face. Links to individual posts, all of which I massively recommend.
Growing Up With Big Boobs - Jess
Liveblog your Period - a bloody nuisance - Rachel
Hair Today - And Probably For Good - Jo
You're Amazing. Just The Way You Are - Laura
How I Self Care My Mental Health - Jess
Redefining Achievement - Joy
Because I'm Worth It - Emma
Food, Glorious Food! - Faye
Single and Free - Debbie
In other awesome Safe Space news, they've announced that there'll be guest posts on the site in March from two of my favourite bloggers, Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time and Caitlin from Chronically Caitlin. Both are wonderful writers and I can't wait to read their posts!
I loved Caitlin's post on Netflix, 11 things she's learnt doing exercise class, her February in review post and her gorgeous thank you to her mum. She also gave me a fantastic guest post for Teens on Moon Lane in the #6Degrees series, which she's done a huge amount of work with me on.
Other brilliant posts on Teens on Moon Lane - 5-4-3-2-1 posts from Aimee Carter and Anna McKerrow, Alwyn Hamilton's #6Degrees, Abi Elphinstone's favourite lines from The Shadow Keeper. And last week was CountdownML - previews here and here and Storify here.
A really brilliant post from Grace - no surprises
there, admittedly - about having plastic surgery as a result of changes
to her face from her brain operations. And another great one from her on
creating characters. And a FANTASTIC one on All You Read Is Love which sounds like an amazing bookshop/cafe - can't wait to go there myself!
was thrilled to see lots of authors I love up for the Waterstones
Children's Book Prize! This 'love-letter to booksellers' from Melinda
Salisbury, shortlisted for her outstanding debut The Sin-Eater's
Daughter, is wonderful.
Day isn't always the greatest day for those of us who are single,
whether or not we want to be. (I do, personally, but am getting fed up
by people's disbelieving looks when I try to explain this to them!) This
Louise O'Neill column from Valentine's Day 2015 was EVERYTHING I wanted
in a piece on February 14th - not sure how I missed it last year.) Louise is, as ever, also wonderful writing for The Irish Examiner about dating a younger guy.
And for the aromantic people out there, this post by Denali Leone on writing aromantic characters in YA is superb, as is Laya's on the lack of aromantic visibility in YA!
to show that I'm not COMPLETELY anti-romance - I promise! - Irish
senator Katherine Zappone's video "Our Road To Yes Equality" was
course, the vast majority of people on my timeline had exactly the same
Valentine - BOOKS! I thought this video from Julianne was wonderful.
also Valentine's Day themed, these 'quiet YA' contemporary romance recommendations from YA Interrobang are outstanding! (And they include
three of my favourites, Everything Leads To You, Open Road Summer and
Under The Lights!)
The #CoverKidsBooks campaign from MG Strikes Back continues with a brilliant interview with 4 superb children's booksellers and another with 4 awesome librarians!
course, while it's great to see coverage of kids' books, there are some
papers who I'd rather stayed away. I eye-rolled hard at the Daily
Mail's article bemoaning the lack of happy YA and blogged in response.
Camryn Garrett, fabulous teen blogger, wrote a superb post on why Beyonce's Formation matters for girls like her.
notice of two hugely-anticipated events on Monday 14th March! At the Yorkshire
Grey, Non Pratt and Robin Stevens follow last year's outstanding event
giving advice to authors with a guide to author events.
At Waterstones Piccadilly, Katherine Webber (my favourite chair!) is
leading a panel of four incredible authors - Jandy Nelson, author of
perhaps my favourite YA novel ever, The Sky Is Everywhere, Lisa
Williamson, whose The Art Of Being Normal was my favourite YA novel of
2015, and Sara Barnard (Beautiful Broken Things) and Alice Oseman (Radio
Silence) authors of two of my favourite contemporaries of 2016 so far!
another great opportunity for authors on Tuesday 15th March, as Unbound
associate editor Scott Pack, an expert in the publishing industry, runs
a Guardian masterclass on how to get your book published.
advance notice of an awesome Twitter event for April - Beth Phelan, an
agent at The Bent Agency (my favourite agency!) is hosting a Twitter
pitching event, #DVpit, to showcase pitches by - and especially about -
marginalised voices. Details here.
Fascinating guest post from Faber cover designer Will Steele on Enchanted Books, talking about what a designer does!
the bookish subscription service which my friend Daphne has set up -
and which we helped pack a couple of weeks ago - has just been sent out!
Great reviews from A Novel Haul Maximum Pop, Pretty Books, Tales of Yesterday and The Never Ending Book Pile.
Very excited to see the Carnegie longlist announced! So
brilliant to see everyone here - I think Sarah Crossan's One would be
my pick but there are so many I love! (And The Imaginary, by AF Harrold
and Emily Gravett, is in with a chance of the Carnegie/Greenaway double
which would be AMAZING!)
I went with Debbie to see Jem and the
Holograms a week last Tuesday, not really knowing what to expect. This
Rogerebert.com review nails just how charming it is!
to see cover reveals for lots of books that I'm desperate to read, Audrey Coulthurst's Of Fire And Stars, Nat Luurtsema's Girl Out Of Water, The Secrets of Billie Bright by Susie Day, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Cuckoo by Keren David and The Inventory: Iron Fist by Andy Briggs.
KEEP meaning to write my first #2016ClassicsChallenge post! This one,
from my friend Stacey, who runs the challenge, is fabulous - I can't
wait to read We Have Always Lived In The Castle! And another outstanding one from her on one of my favourite books, Three Men In A Boat
On the subject of the Classics Challenge, a fantastic list of classics perfect for YA readers here from Sophie at Maximum Pop!
2016 Kids Indie Next List preview looks really great - awesome to see Rebel
of the Sands, which I adored, and When We Collided, which I can't wait to read, in there!
Sara Barnard wrote a brilliant guest post for the Guardian on top 10 female friendships in YA!
The just-announced Stripes Christmas anthology, I'll Be Home For Christmas, is going to be INCREDIBLE! Can't wait to read stories from Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Lisa Williamson, Benjamin Zephaniah and so many other great authors. AND it's to raise money for charity Crisis - wonderful!
It was fascinating to see results of the World Book Day poll for top heroes/villains and future classics! And on the Book Tokens Caboodle site, I loved this post about 8 unsung heroic mums in literature ahead of Mother's Day - fab piece Stacey!
Fantastic post by Roe McDermott on why men saying #NotAllMen are a problem.
Help choose a cover for the BRILLIANT Meg And Linus by Hanna Nowinski, which I am a huge fan of!
And a really superb post from Louise Jones on her Borderline Personality Disorder tendencies here.
I loved Rachel McIntyre's post for this blog on how Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights inspired #1 Rule For Girls.
And an outstanding Justina Ireland post on Windows, Mirrors and The Spaces In Between.
I love this response from Julia Eccleshare to a parent asking how to wean their son off endlessly rereading Wimpy Kid! Like Julia, I'm a big fan of rereading.
Great post from Lili on 20 more pieces of culture shock she's experienced since coming to the UK.
The Jhalak Prize for Book Of The Year by a Writer Of Colour sounds amazing! Also
amazing, it was brilliant to hear that the Bare Lit festival was a
stunning success! Check out this Flickr album for photos.
Fantastic Imogen Russell-Williams piece here about feminism and friends in YA. It's really amazing that Katie Leung will narrate the next Robin Stevens book, Jolly Foul Play!
review of Ma' Plucker by Debbie here - I was invited to join her and a
few of our friends when they went, but was already busy - this review's
making me regret that even more! I also really loved Debbie's February in review post.
author Stephanie Burgis is looking for books for 4-11 year olds for her
son's school library - can you help? Check out details here if you're able to send any!
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments section if I have!
First blog post for some time, and there's a fair chance this will get super-rambly. I basically have a LOT of thoughts about reviews, c...
I'm delighted to welcome my wife, the wonderful Eldritch Soda (I tried to get her to change her name to Eldritch Dean, but no luck, sadl...
I love the ingenuity of author Sophie Kirtley in today's Indie Advent post, a 10 step countdown of fabulous reasons to shop at Salisbury...