BA Post Challenge: Recommendations

Before we get settled into this week’s topic, check out my news for the future of BA’s Posting Challenge.

BA’s 26 Posts Blogging Challenge

BA's 26 Posts Challenge for Book BloggersWelcome to BA’s 26 Posts Posting Challenge for Book Bloggers! The aim of this challenge is to create one post a week, focusing on books, book blogs, and a scattering of personal topics, for 26 weeks. You can learn more, or be kept up to date with topics here.

Posts will go up every Sunday, but you can post any time during the week (all topics are pre-listed), and share your posts in the comments for others to find. Please refrain from targeting individuals, bullying, or slandering in your posts. Share your opinions, but keep it diplomatic if anything negative comes up so this can be, and stay, a fun challenge.

This Week’s Topic

Recommendations: What are your feelings and reactions towards being asked for reading recommendations, especially when it’s from those who either don’t read your preferred genres or you’re not up to speed on what they would love?

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesdays: Required Reading For Teens

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and Bookish with a new list subject every Tuesday.

This week’s Top Ten is Top Ten Books You Believe Should Be Required Reading For Teens. Straight away I think this might be a tough one. I can already think of ones that adolescents shouldn’t be forced to read… Not ones that they should be reading. So here goes.

  1. Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden – Apart from being a well written book, the main characters are all young adults and I think age set is important when trying to find something that a certain demographic can identify with. Plus it’s set in the bush, the Aussie bush, and at the same time it isn’t written in such a way where kids who have grown up in suburbia can’t enjoy it as well. It’s not about the bush, but it still utilises the isolation that is part and parcel of Australia.
  2. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta – Unlike the above book mentioned, this one is a novel I read in my teens. For someone who went from kids books straight to adult books, quite a few books I came across that were aimed at young adults felt condescending. Looking For Alibrandi was one of the novels that didn’t feel condescending at all. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Lacking Recognition

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and Bookish with a new list subject every Tuesday.

This week’s top ten is Top Ten Authors That Deserve More Recognition.

I like this week’s theme because there are so many great authors out there who don’t get a shoe in or aren’t as appreciated as the big, well known names. I like trying to find the authors that are indie or just starting out and I do prefer review requests with those authors as well. It’s hard to get to so many though, the author pool is so vast, that I think it can make a real difference if more readers check out those little known or new authors, as well as established ones.

Anyway, enough rambling! Here’s my list in no particular order;

  1. James Phelan – Ok, I’ve only read one of his books (Chasers), but it was pretty awesome and I haven’t seen him mentioned anywhere else. More people should mention him or at least just that book! So that’s what I’m doing. The whole reason why is all in that review and the book is the first in a trilogy. Continue reading

Must Reads: Australian Fiction

As mentioned in my last Must Reads, seeing as the majority of recommended books that I came across were either American or UK based, I decided I should do an Aussie one. Especially seeing as I’m Aussie, I figure I should do a list as an Aussie reader. I should really read more Australian based books…

The problem with that list was people speaking about Australian fiction from 2010 isn’t as popular as fiction from everywhere else and a lot of awards and what have you are announced in the next year, mid to late year next year, so instead I’m putting together a list of 15 Australian Novels from before now that have been popular or highly recommended.

As per usual this list isn’t influenced by my personal opinion or tastes, but is a result of me scrounging around on the net and gathering what bloggers and forum posters etc say.

15 Recommendations of Australian Fiction (in no particular order) Continue reading

Must Reads: Best Fiction From 2010

Here is a list of the books mostly recommended for the year 2010 as collated from scouring the internet, rather than from book seller lists and whatnot. These are the books that bloggers, forum posters, and everyone else sharing online have mentioned. Most of these are by American authors so next year on the first Monday I plan on doing a Must Reads for Australian books from 2010.

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates.

In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both—and escape the merciless progress of time—in the transporting realms of art and music. Continue reading

An Interview With Sarah

If you’ve been following my blog or popped around just a few times you may have noticed the page Sarah’s Books, but who is Sarah? I don’t mention her much (except for on my about page) because I reserve my posts more for the books rather than my personal life.

So I asked myself, ‘What if someone is curious and wants to know more about this elusive Sarah (just a side note: Sarah is my partner, which probably explains a lot, but I was hoping this would also be a first in a series of guest posts/interview swaps). The solution? An interview with Sarah. I asked her a bunch of questions and this is what she told me.

If someone came to you and asked, “Tell me about yourself” what would you tell them?

I would tell them that I am an English teacher, that I’m open minded, that I like films, books, music, and that I love my job.

If you had the option to sit down to dinner with 3 authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

Jack Kerouac, Chuck Palahniuk  and Sylvia Plath. Jack Kerouac because On the Road is one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read and to get an insight into his thoughts would be incredible. Chuck Palahniuk because I think for him to be able to write a novel like Fight Club he must be an interesting guy. Sylvia Plath because I studied her poetry in high school and it really changed my view on poetry (which I hated originally), I’d really like to see what was going through her mind when she finally succeeded in killing herself.

Same again, but the none bookish – choose any 3 famous or non-famous people that you would like to eat dinner with, dead or alive, and why?

My Poppa, he died when I was 18 months old, I’d really like to know him. My uncle, he passed away 4 years ago and I really wish I’d had a chance to talk to him more before that happened, and my best friend from when I was 16, she committed suicide when we were in high school, I still feel, sometimes, that I could’ve done more, and I’d like to tell her I’m sorry. (Sorry those were so depressing)

What would be the most impacting novel/book or novels for you in all of your reading? And have they helped to change your outlook at all?

I think the most impacting novels have probably been On the Road, The Day After Forever and Someone Else’s Daughter. On the Road really made me realise how much a novel can change the way you approach your life and see the world. Sal and Dean were great characters for me to see change and grow throughout the novel. The ideas behind Kerouac’s “beat” novel are really inline with my feelings towards the “alternative” side of our society.

The Day After Forever is written by Erin Skiffington. Erin was 16 when she wrote this novel and it was my favourite novel all through high school. It changed the way I looked at realism as a genre and really began my love for realistic novels.

Someone Else’s Daughter is the story of the torture and murder of Anita Cobby, a young woman who grew up in Western Sydney. Being from Western Sydney myself, this novel really affects the way I feel about where I grew up. The murderers went to the same high school I went to and lived in the same suburb I lived in, so it was a very hard hitting novel for me. I’m also very interested in the minds of psychopaths.

What Have Been Highlights From The Last Year?

Highlights of 2010 definitely are starting at my new high school and getting to know all the new kids and establishing myself as a teacher there. The other big one was of course meeting my beautiful girlfriend.

What Are You Looking Forward To In The Coming Year?

Traveling, moving out, furthering my teaching career.

Word on the street is you’re going to Europe, what about your trip are you looking forward to the most?

I’m really looking forward to experiencing something new, I need to get out of my comfort zone and I haven’t been overseas in awhile. I’m looking forward to visiting France, which I have a great interest in and have been studying the language. I’m just generally looking forward to seeing new and different things.

What genres do you prefer to read and which ones do you find you actually read the most of?

Realism is my preferred genre but I also read dystopian and true crime. I read realism the most as I find it hard to be involved in stories and characters which I cannot relate to and are not believable to me.

What do you feel you must achieve in life?

I must be a good person. I think the most important thing to me is to be a good, compassionate, open minded, accepting person, if I can achieve that, I think I will be happy.

You can catch Sarah on her blog, I Never Could Get The Hang of Thursdays, and you can follow her on Twitter as well.

If you’d ever like to do an Interview Swap with me sometime let me know (just leave a comment somewhere if you want) and I’ll try my best to schedule time for it.

Must Read Recommendations

If someone came to you and asked you to pick one book that they must read in their whole life time out of the following genres, what title would you recommend and why? You can choose several genres, all genres, or only one if you want to and if I’m missing one you can add that too.

  • Science Fiction
  • Horror
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Crime
  • Fantasy
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Paranormal Fantasy
  • Thriller
  • Suspense
  • Mystery
  • Romance
  • Steampunk
  • Cyberpunk
  • Historical Fiction
  • BDSM
  • Sadomasochism
  • Erotica
  • BLGT Fiction
  • Bizarro
  • Classic Literature
  • Modern Literature
  • Dystopia
  • Western
  • Short Fiction