The Book Blogging Test

It may surprise you to know that I not only have a blog about books but I follow a number of blogs about books. No, really, I do. So every now and then one of my fellow book bloggers publishes a post that’s a little interactive. This one comes from Angel Reads and if you like the majority of the books I blog about, you will love her website. Plus, she does giveaways every now and again, so there’s a bonus.

Anyway, I finished Bloodlines last night and realised that I have prematurely started re-reading that particular series. I still have 23 days until Silver Shadows comes out. So instead of finishing The Fiery Heart too early, I decided to start on some of the books I haven’t read before. Which means more writing. Yay!

Before I came to this realisation, however, I had this post saved to my drafts so that I could have something to post about while I was in the midst of re-reading. But I love these interactive posts in the book blogging community too much to let the “test” rest so I’m going to do it now. Enjoy, guys!

What are your top three book pet hates?

  1. Any kind of typo or grammatical error that I come across while reading. Not only does it shatter the illusion of the world being created by your imagination, but it shows a lack of care on the behalf of the editor. Editors are the unseen gatekeepers between an author’s manuscript and the book you hold in your hands. Mistakes only make it into books when the editor misses them. Editor or proofreader, I should say. So when the gatekeepers aren’t paying attention, the story suffers. I don’t know if you guys have read The Obernewtyn Chroniclesbut those books were, apparently, edited by Isobelle Carmody’s grandmother. And, unfortunately, it shows. Great story, but the constant typos made it hard to completely immerse yourself in the plot.
  2. Actually, let’s run in this vein for a bit: sloppy editing gets me too. Have you ever noticed that the first book in a series is, usually, the best? Everything is more finely tuned than the later books. The reason for this, I think, is that the editor starts out as  the big, powerful gateway to getting published. Most of what the editor says is taken as gospel and changes are made to polish the manuscript so that it can shine as brightly as it possibly can. But once the author has a few bestsellers under their belts, the editor shies away. I think they become terrified that if they, the editor, suggest too many changes to a hugely successful author that the author will go to a different editor or publishing house. So they let the author get away with things that they really shouldn’t. I’m generalising here, because there are some brilliant writers who never get sloppy (Richelle Mead and Neil Gaiman are definitely among them). But then there are authors like Lauren Fucking Oliver. This actually happened in her train wreck of a novel, Requiem:
    Where the hell was the editor? No, screw that, this just shows how poorly Oliver thought of her story and of her readers by this point in the Delirium trilogy. She wrote that horrific sentence. Obviously, that “book” was a slap-together job because she was behind on her deadline.
  3. When the cover art for a series changes part way through said series. How hard is it to wait until the whole series has been released in the original cover art before “updating”?

Describe your perfect reading spot.

Snuggled under a blanket with a mug of tea in one hand and some Tim Tams next to me on some kind of setting appropriate surface (coffee table, bedside table, arm of a chair). Winter is perfect book reading weather.
But then, I guess, in summer you can don some sunnies and read by the beach with the sound of the waves lulling you into relaxation overload.

Tell us three book confessions.

  1. I cover all of my books in clear contact before reading them. This has been a habit ever since the cover of my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets started to peel apart. The plastic bit peeled away from the cardboard and I could not believe it. I spent the next few days covering every single book I owned in contact so that it would never happen again.
  2. I read bits and pieces of the Fifty Shades trilogy online to see what the fuss was about.  I had to close my laptop in disgust after reading the tampon scene. I felt physically ill.
  3. I find it very difficult to read fiction based in reality. Unless it is an unbelievable reality, like Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries or Avalon High. Give me fantasy, dystopia, or sci-fi any day.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

I teared up a little during The Fault In Our Stars, but no tears actually left my tear ducts. I know I cried during Clockwork Princess and The Book Thief, but I can’t remember which I read most recently. Pretty sure it was the former, though.

How many books are on your bedside table?

There isn’t actually any room on my bedside table for books. I have too much junk on there. I should really think about clearing them off. But, what I do have is maybe the most perfect present anyone has ever given me. Big call, and I probably pissed off a few people in saying it, but it is so true. You should’ve heard my voice when I unwrapped it. Are you ready for this?

image

What is your favourite snack whilst your reading?

Tim Tams! Chocolate and reading is the closest any of us can get to heaven while still living on Earth, I swear.

Name three books you would recommend to everyone.

  1. The entire Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Hands down, best series I’ve ever read.
  2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
  3. The Every series by Ellie Marney. Aussie YA + Sherlock = perfection.

Show us a picture of your favourite bookshelf on your bookcase.

At present, I don’t own a bookshelf. I left it behind when I moved to Canberra. So all of my lovely books are still in their boxes. Whenever I want to read something, I have to go on a bit of an archaeological dig just to find the specific book I want. Maybe that’s why I buy so many books: so I don’t have to go digging all the time. Instead, I’ll just show you the makeshift “shelf” currently housing my TBR pile, next to my bed:

wpid-img_20140628_084140.jpg

Write how much books mean to you in just three words.

Escape. Therapy. Contentment.

What is your biggest reading secret?

That even if I want to spend all day reading on my days off, I can’t. Reading is such a silent activity that when I’m home alone, sometimes I get freaked out if I’m quiet for too long; I start hearing noises from outside and I get a little paranoid.

I am Tagging…

  1. thebookboozer
  2. Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic

But if you guys want to get in on the action, just copy, paste, and go for gold!

Postscript: I wasn’t trying to plug myself, guys, I promise. All of the links to previous blog entries were just so that you could get a little more detail on some of the books I mentioned. Plugging myself would be next-to-useless, seeing as you’re already here!

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About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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26 Responses to The Book Blogging Test

  1. thebookheap says:

    Neverwhere is my favourite Gaiman and in the top 3 of my own favourite books. Gah, it’s just perfect!!

    ooh covering the books in clear contact is cool! I’ve recently taken to buying used hardcovers for cheap on amazon marketplace and i’ve found if I buy them from “ex-library book” they are likely to have the plastic covers on them, which makes them feel all nice and official! Definitely a good way to go! I might look into covering the paperbacks I have…

    I too very rarely read fiction set in reality. There is a reason I primarily read a lot of Young Adult, for some reason, “Adult” fiction struggles to comprehend the idea of magic and supernatural elements and apparently the most exciting thing to happen to women after age 20 is finding a husband, and after age 40, a divorce- no thank you.

    • Bec Graham says:

      I so need to see the Neverwhere TV show. Peter Capaldi is in it. I love the radio play, though. McAvoy, Cumberbatch, Dormer, Cribbs….it’s just awesome. I highly recommend it. I’ve listened to it so many times.

      I shy away from hardcovers usually. The beautiful cover art is always on the dust covers and always gets ruined. When I was reading CoHF I took the dust cover off so it wouldn’t get ruined. I couldn’t cover it because of the awesome art on the inside of the dust cover. So I just have to be super, super careful with it.
      I really should buy more used books…but I just love the smell of new books too much. 🙂

      TESTIFY! Why is it that so many people get divorced or married at the end of “adult” books. It’s like that’s the main goal or something. Or they’re just needlessly complicated. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part I just get really bored.
      Belinda Alexandra is an awesome adult writer though. Seriously, her stuff is amazing. You just can’t read too many of her books at once because they tend to follow the same structure…which is only something you notice when you go on a Belinda binge like I did a few years ago…

      • thebookheap says:

        That neverwhere audio book was absolutely magnificent, like really. I don’t listen to audiobooks but that rendition made me want to! I’m very tempted to actually start them and use Audible…I discovered they are great for when you are knitting haha.

        haha I buy the hardcovers because they last longer and I like the feel of them- plus with me buying them from the marketplace on amazon, I’m recycling someone’s old unwanted book for like £2.81. It’s a win-win! (I’m a broke part-time worker and need to save every penny I can-I’ve actually just renewed my library card for the first time in 10 years, very excited to start using that again. I stocked up on books at christmas so I’m still making my way through that shelf. I’ve effectively been on a book buying ban since december!)

        Seriously, especially in fiction geared towards women, aka most of the “General fiction” section. Nothing exciting ever happens in those books, there is always “and then whats-his-face-boss/guy/handsome stranger appears…” and I automatically roll my eyes. I may have to look into her work in that case! Thanks for the rec!

      • Bec Graham says:

        I’ve joined Audible but I find it hard to listen to books while I’m reading different ones. The only ones that didn’t mess with me were the Doctor Who ones. I found myself mixing up details of the “Stardust” audiobook with CoHF and so I had to stop listening. Otherwise Jace and Clary would have gotten lost!

        That is a good way of looking at it. I did buy “Sins of the Brother” second hand, but I can’t read that again so I gave it to a mate. That book gave me nightmares….
        I shouldn’t buy as many books as I do, but I can’t help myself. I’m at uni and I have a little disposable income cos I’m living at home for a bit, but I’m supposed to be saving for next year, when I move out again. I am on a book buying ban, but if I see any of the BBC reissues of the Sherlock stories, I have to buy them and same with the next books in any series. Other than that, I’m off the grid.

        *Sigh* general fic. I just skip over it. And romance? Ugh. I mean, the books I read to have some epic romances (Will and Tessa anyone?) but them ending up together isn’t the only interesting thing happening. Romance just seems, to me, the lazy way of not having to come up with subplots. Or an actual plot where the romance is a subplot, you know?

        Wow…now I sound like a book snob. That’s my bad >.<

  2. thebookheap says:

    No I’m exactly the same. I mean I enjoy a romance as long as it is good and well founded (none of this rubbish “bad boy” trope ugh.) but I much prefer books where the romance IS the sub-plot and there is something bigger going on in the story. I’m going through my goodreads recommendations and adding some adult fiction to my list now, because I want to branch out of YA a bit more and I am in the mood for some romance lately (woe is me ha), I’ve come across some interesting looking ones- but yeah, any romance has to be “sub-plot”, it can’t be the main focus of the story. I really enjoyed The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, and I love sophie kinsella’s books as well, if you haven’t read any of hers.

    I looked up Belinda alexandra, by the way- she wrote the Charmed book Kiss of Darkness! That was one of my favourites (yes I was a huge charmed nerd and yes I have about 60 books of the tv show upstairs in a box under my bed, mwahahaha) I’ll definitely look into her work, which one would you recommend??

    • Bec Graham says:

      I get in the mood for some solid romance too, but I usually end up watching bad chick flicks (27 Dresses gets worse every time I watch it. He’s Just Not That Into You is gold though).
      I need to branch out a bit. I realised I was stuck in a genre rut the other day, but I went to a book blogging forum not so long ago and scored books from a bunch of genres, so that helped :). I also have NOS4R2 in my TBR pile.It’s horror, so that is DEFINITELY not my usual scene. I’m kind of excited though.
      I’ve heard of Kinsella but I haven’t read her. Researching now! And I love that title “The Girl Who Chased The Moon”. Sounds beautiful.

      Oh, no way! That is so cool about Alexandra. Ummm, my favourite book of hers by far is “Tuscan Rose”. “Wild Lavender” is a close second, with “Golden Earrings” on its tail in a close third. She just released “Sapphire Skies” which I haven’t got to yet, but I really want to. It’s on my FTBR list 🙂

      • thebookheap says:

        Ahhh see, I slept through HJNTIY. Hahaha. I love While You Were Sleeping and Serendipity though (yes, I admit serendipity makes no sense and is awfully written, but I love it anyway).

        What is NOS4R2? Kisella is hilarious and brilliant, I actually don’t recommned her shopaholic series though, my favouritees of hers are Can You Keep a Secret? (I cry laughing every time oh my god), and Twenties Girl (more sweet than funny, sentimental).

        The girl who chased the moon was lovely, I also enjoyed her book the Sugar Queen.
        Tuscan Rose looks really intriguing, and I’d already added Golden Earrings to my wish list. Definitely going to try her out in the near future!

      • Bec Graham says:

        Sometimes all you need is a tragic chick flick and some chocolate and all is right with the world. How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days is pretty good too. But Love Actually? My favourite. And Valentine’s Day is pretty good too, even if it is a Love Actually rip off.

        NOS4R2…like Nosferatu, yeah? The scary kind of vampires. Like Dracula or Rochelle Mead’s Strigoi. Written by Joe Hill. I can’t remember the blurb, but I remember being so impressed that I bought it. And I HATE horror.

        Funny books are hard to find. Some people try but they usually fail. I’ll have to give “Can You Keep A Secret?” a go. And Twenties Girl, seeing as I am one! Haha.

        Tuscan Rose is incredible. Alexandra does has a preoccupation with WWII but Golden Earrings has nothing to do with it, really? And her other books explore the era from all different sides. You’ll have to tell me what you think! I love plugging Aussie writers. I read so few (shame on me) that when I find one I love, everyone has to know about it!

    • I’m just sitting here, basically stalking all of these comments and enjoying your guys’ conversation 🙂 Don’t mind me just being a creeper!

  3. beckyday6 says:

    YES. I love your editing rant on this, and that Lauren Oliver paragraph made me cringe. :S I own the first book in her famous series, Delirium, I think? I bought it cheap and second hand but I’ve heard some things since that make me wonder if I will like the book…

    I too have a preference for all things fantasy, whether it’s a whole fantasy/science fiction world or just elements of it. It takes a REALLY good contemporary to get my attention. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I didn’t love TFiOS like everybody else did because I’m so picky about it.

    I’ve never heard of The Every series, I’m intrigued!

    • Bec Graham says:

      DON’T DO IT! FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T DO IT! Delirium is the worst thing to happen to YA fiction since Twilight. Seriously, that trilogy is the biggest let down EVER. And it sucked twice as hard because her debut novel, “Before I Fall” was IMPECCABLE. I love it so much. I think Oliver just thinks we’ll read whatever she writes.
      Delirium is amazing. Like, the first book. But the rest of the series is just terrible. AND THEY’RE MAKING THE SERIES INTO A TV SHOW. It makes me so angry.

      That’s what it’s called: contemporary fiction! Thanks! TFIOS was good because it was kind of exceptional, you know? Like all of Rainbow Rowell’s stuff. And you know who else you should read? Hannah Moskowitz. Start with “Teeth”. She’s amazing.

      Ohhhh check out my reviews of the Every series. I’ll start gushing too hard if I start talking about them now. The books are INCREDIBLY Australian, but just go with it. You don’t get to see such amazing Aussie-isms too often. 🙂

      • beckyday6 says:

        Ohh god. BUT I ALREADY OWN IT. I’m going to give it a go, but it I don’t get on with the first book I will be leaving it there. After making it all the way through the Hush Hush series I’m not going to do that to myself again (minus the House of Night series, I have to finish that, I’m so many books in). I’ve seen things about the TV show, isn’t Emma Roberts in it? It looked like her anyway and I don’t take to her very much.

        No problem. 🙂 Adding Teeth to my Goodreads wishlist as we speak.

        Right ahead of you, I just did! One of my favourite fantasy authors is Australian.

      • Bec Graham says:

        That’s the trap, though. I raved about the first book. And then it all unravelled. Oliver just seems to hate her readers and her characters. I have no time for lazy authors. I can’t believe I stuck with Fallen. Seriously, I could have spent that time reading something amazing. And I didn’t realise how lame The Hush Hush series was until I reread before reading Finale. I blame my teenage self. She loved them.

        Moskowitz was still in HIGH SCHOOL when she wrote one of her books, she’s that talented. “Break” is another awesome one by her but it is a little dark. Seriously incredible though.

        Aussie fantasy? I feel like a bad Aussie – and fantasy reader for that matter – for not knowing any Aussie fantasy authors 😦

      • Bec Graham says:

        And yeah, Emma Roberts is attached to the Delirium show. I thought she was great in Valentine’s Day and We’re The Millers but I don’t understand why they’re making a show of these books! It’s like they want books to be mediocre

  4. I’m still waiting for that YA Sherlock series to be available in the US! You’ve talked about it so often that I’m dying to read it.
    -TC

    • Bec Graham says:

      It’s still not available over there? That totally sucks! But I may have an explanation for you: international publishers kind of insist that Aussie authors “Americanise” their work. Change the spelling, take out our idiosyncratic turns of phrase. Seriously, it happens. If they did that to the “Every” series, it wouldn’t be the same. It would lose something in translation. I think the same happens to UK authors too, but I only know about the Aussie ones fpr certain; they told us all about it during my writing degree.

      I wonder if you could use our Aussie booksellers’ websites and get it delivered? We have Dymocks and QBD as our major ones 😀

      • Ohh, I’ll definitely try that! Thank you! (I prefer the non-Americanised versions anyway. American English is weird.) -TC

      • Bec Graham says:

        It’s strange how many versions of English there are! Have you ever read a novel in proper English English? “Swap” is spelt with an “o”! And other weird stuff haha

      • I did read a novel in proper English English a few years ago when I lived in France. Since I was young and naive, I thought it was just really terrible editing! I felt so silly when I realized that the spelling is different over there.

      • Bec Graham says:

        I did the same thing! Or I thought it was a stylistic choice. I felt so silly when I realised… The pitfalls of language, eh?

  5. Pingback: The Book Blogging Test | thebookboozer

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