BookTube; Second Video; First Book Haul!

Hello fiction lovers,

I’d been having a bit of trouble uploading my newest video… I tried doing it last night but it failed, then somehow it uploaded an older version of it before I had finished editing it… I don’t know. I don’t even know. SO. I have finally managed to upload the finished version of the video! It’s my second BookTube video and my first book haul video! As I continue to blog and BookTube, I learn new things every day and start to find my voice. I hope you come along for the ride! Here is the link to my latest BookTube video! If you watch it, thank you! And please subscribe 🙂

New Page! Book Blogging: A Glossary.

Howdy Folks,

I’ve just added a new page to the blogA glossary! When I first entered the world of book blogging, there were lots of terms I was unfamiliar with. Over time I grasped thembut I am immersed in the book blog world quite regularly. For those fellow newbies, or casual blog readers out there, I thought I would add a glossary to make your life a little bit easier.

You can find it here. 
(You can also find it in the menu under Features)

End of the year survey for 2014



Hey guys, 

Sorry for my silence! I went on Holiday Hiatus and I guess I never mentioned that. So, sorry! Right now I am in the process of editing my second booktube video! It’s my December book haul! You can find the link to my channel in the sidebar! 

As the the year winds down—we’re on the final stretch now!—everyone is posting about their favourites of 2014 and their reading/blogging resolutions for 2015. I thought, what the heck, and am going to jump on that bandwagon! 


I thought a good way to sum everything up would be to participate in the Perpetual Page-Turner’s end of year survey! Later in the week I will tell you about my reading resolutions and the challenges I will be participating in, as well as my blogging resolutions! 
2014 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read: According to Goodreads, 75! I’ve beat my challenge by 5 books! 

Number of Re-Reads: I think probably zero. 

Genre You Read The Most From: That is a really tough call. I read a wide range of genres. I think probably just General Fiction or Thriller? 


Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
My favourite was Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. It was supposed to be a thriller but it was not thrilling at all. 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
I was recommended Wild by Cheryl Strayed and honestly didn’t want to read it. I didn’t like non-fiction and I’d heard that there were some rough bits in the book. I ended up loving it (despite the rough bits) and found that I actually love memoirs. 

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I always push books on people and I don’t think many people actually read them… Since I push so many… However, I did a book tour for The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo in the summer and a couple people read that one! 

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
I don’t read many series. I prefer stand alones because they take less commitment and often pack more punch. There were a few series starters that I read and enjoyed this year. I think my favourite was The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson. I only read a couple of sequels this year. So, I’d say my favourite was Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella. I only ended one series this year. It was pretty awesome though! The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millenium 3) by Stieg Larsson. 

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
Emma Healey!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Before this year I didn’t typically read comics. I’ve read several this year and have been loving it! My favourite was Ms Marvel

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Probably Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Zero things. But if I were much of a rereader, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers would be up there. 

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?
Probably The Ghost Bride  by Yangtze Choo. 

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Humphrey from The Rise & Fall of Great Powers! He is such a complex and eccentric character. 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
We Were Liars by E Lockhart. While this wasn’t my favourite book for several reasons (mainly plot and lack of character development), the writing was amazing. Stunning. Marvellous. 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
I’m not sure that any of the books I read this year were life changing, but I did read some thought provoking ones. One of the most though provoking books I read was The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey. 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
The Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
So many. I love quotes. Here’s a good one from Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by AS King:
“Did all outcasts come to this realization at a certain point in life? That being an outcast from a bogus and pornographic society actually was a good thing? I hoped so. I hoped there was an army of us out there, smiling about it at that very moment.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: Ms Marvel (120 pgs); Longest: Dragonfly in Amber (743 pgs)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne. At the end I was like Whaaa….. ?!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (OTP = one true pairing)
I don’t know. I didn’t even know what this meant haha. I’d say Adam and Mia from the If I Stay duology. I really like them. 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Humphrey and Tooly in The Rise & Fall of Great Powers.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Probably The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson. 

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I would never have picked up Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future if it hadn’t been recommended by Book Riot and the Bookrageous podcast. I hadn’t even heard of AS King previously (I’m not huge into YA).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Probably Adam from If I Stay. 

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey!

24. Best World building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Probably The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Ms Marvel!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
A few! Most recently I teared up while listening to the audiobook of Where She Went by Gayle Forman. 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Ghost Horse by Thomas McNeely or Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne. 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Philomena by Martin Sixsmith (even though some of its credibility is dubious). This was made into a film. I saw the film first. It’s a true story (though the details in the book are arguable). It’s so sad… 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
I would probably say The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Right now I can’t think of any that made me mad… 



My Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?
Any blog I like I discovered in 2014! Cause I’m a newbie to this world! I really like River City Reading and Jorie Loves a Story. 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
Ghost Horse by Thomas McNeely. Because the author commented and told me that my review was thoughtful 😀 And it was fun to write. 

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
Adventures of a Book Blogging Newbie: IS ANYBODY OUT THERE? It was fun to write and lots of people responded!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I haven’t participated in many things, but I am planning to in 2015! But I really have enjoyed participating in Book Tours with TLC. 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
When bloggers whose blogs I love commented on some of my posts 🙂

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My first Arrivals&Departures Post (I.E. My monthly wrap up). 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
All of them… But I’m only a newbie! It will come (hopefully)!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Book Riot! I love that website. 

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I didn’t know there were so many challenges out there! I participated in the the Goodreads challenge and challenged myself to read 50 books. I passed that at the end of the summer and upped it to 70. I made it to 75!



Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
So many. Probably Station Eleven.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Honestly, I haven’t looked ahead much to what is coming out… I am on the book tour for Kimberly’s McCreight’s upcoming release (she is the author of Reconstructing Amelia) and I am really looking forward to that.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Refer above…

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
I am really looking forward to the sequel to The Queen of the Tearling. 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
There are so many things. In my reading life I want to read more diversely. In my blogging life I want to be more consistent in all things.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I recently read One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis and enjoyed it. It has already been released in the UK but it is coming out at the end of January in North America. (PS check back for the tour!)

How about you? Would any of your books be the same as mine? 
If you’ve participated in this survey, link me in the comments! 


Top Ten Tuesday #6: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year 

Honestly, my book wish list changes just about every day. Because of this, I generally prefer to get gift cards to bookstores. That way I can buy whatever, whenever the mood strikes me! But, if you asked me right now, I would want the following:


How about you?


Adventures of a Book Blogging Newbie: PLAY NICE


If you find yourself blogging, and you’re like me, the idea of blogging etiquette won’t cross your mind. Maybe it won’t occur to your that there are actual humans on the other side of every screen. But there are. Therefore, there are “rules” of etiquette when it comes to blogging, like there is in life. Some of this is pretty common sense—mainly, don’t be an idiot. But, sometimes you can be an idioit without meaning to. This, however, is not a very good excuse. (Example: Finders keepers is not a rule that nice people live by!) What you intend is not as important as how you come across. I can be pretty oblivious sometimes, and, if it wasn’t for bloggers blogging about blogging (lol@that phrase) I would still be making a lot of stupid faux pas. 

So, here is what I have gathered from some experienced bloggers:

  • You can’t just play dumb. Seek out the info—it’s your responsibility.
  • Make sure you properly attribute things that you use. Also realize that sometimes this is not enough. You may have to ask the creator for permission (and they may say no!). Better be safe than sorry!
  • Just because you find an image (or anything really) on Google doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Some things are public domain, but others aren’t. Know what you’re using. Don’t steal. Use stock images, take/make your own images, or BUY them. This is something I’m just learning! 
  • Don’t spam people. No one likes to be spammed. And you may be blacklisted for this! 
  • If you are commenting on other blogger’s posts, say something meaningful! Don’t just say, “Nice post” and then plug your own blog/website. If you’re going to comment, do it as part of the overall conversation—don’t just advertise. Also be aware of the blogger’s preferences on commenting. Some bloggers do not like you linking your blog in the comments at all. If this is the case, don’t do it! I personally like it when you leave your link—I want to comment back and it’s much easier if you tell me how to get to your blog. 
  • Speaking of commenting, if someone leaves a nice, thoughtful/complimentary comment on your blog, respond! Don’t ignore them. 
  • If you are talking about something on your blog that comes from someone else, or participating in a meme that was created by someone else, make sure you give them credit! Let your readers know where the idea originated and link back to the creator’s blog!

For the most part, blogging etiquette is common sense. It’s just like real life: Be kind, be courteous, be fair, don’t steal.

Have I missed anything (probably)? Do you have any blogging etiquette pet peeves? Share your wisdom in the comments!

Book Tag: Would you rather…?

book tag book blog fuelled by fiction beth


1. Read only trilogies or stand alones?
Definitely stand alones. There are some trilogies that I love (LOTR), but generally I don’t like the story dragging out. It packs more punch when it’s a stand alone (unless it’s LOTR). 

2. Read only female or male authors?
Probably female authors. I’m really drawn to books with strong female leads and female authors tend to do that more/best. 

3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
I don’t have a B&N nearby, but I definitely prefer shopping in physical book stores. I like to walk around and look at the books, pick them up, read the book jacket… Just touch them a lot lol. 

4. All books become movies or t.v. shows?
Probably movies. While they generally have to cut stuff out for movies, they at least don’t usually change things too much or add weird junk. I find with TV shows (unless it’s a mini series) they tend to change things up too much or drag things on. When they start to drag they can end up adding in stuff I don’t like to be able to keep it going.

5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
5 books per week duh!

6. Be a professional reviewer or author?
Professional reviewer, I think. I prefer reading novels to writing them. When I do creative writing, I’m not big on sharing it!

7. Only read your top 20 favourite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?
Easy. Always new ones. I’m not a big rereader. 

8. Be a librarian or book seller?
Probably a librarian! I don’t much care for retail. If it was a hobby store and I didn’t much care about sales, then I would love to own a bookstore. But I hate hate hate working in retail. 

9. Only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?
Well, my favourite genre is general fiction… So… I’ll go with just read fiction! 

10. Only read physical books or eBooks?
While I don’t have anything against ebooks, for me the pleasure is just not complete if I’m not flipping through the pages myself. 

I feel like you’re probably supposed to “tag” other people in a book tag, but I don’t really know many other bloggers well enough yet! 😛 If you’re a blogger and you’ve done this tag, I’d love it if you linked it in the comments! If you are a blogger and you decide to do this tag now–again I’d love it if you linked it! 
(Note: I’m not 100% sure who the creator of this tag is. I think it is a booktuber but I don’t know their link! Apologies)


Top 10 Tuesday #6: Best Books I Read in 2014

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Top 10 Books I Read in 2014:


Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
I think this one is probably my favourite this year.

Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal
If you like comics at all, or want to give them a try, I recommend Ms Marvel! Love it! Love Kamala Khan!

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
If you like thrillers, you will love this book. Chances are, you’ve probably already read it!

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
This one was really good. I read it very early in the year and it has stuck with me! That’s how I know it’s a good one;)

Bossypants by Tina Fey
I listened to this one as an audiobook on a road trip. I laughed so much. I love Tina Fey. This just truly cemented it.

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
I read this one is the summer. It has the most interesting, eccentric characters… probably ever. 

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
This is one of the memoirs I read this year. I loved getting a glimpse into the the life of Joanna.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong
I read this one early in the year. It has the perfect amount of mystery with a sprinkling of the supernatural.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
This one was a little pessimistic at times, but the Foxmans are a family you definitely need to meet (i.e., read this book, kthnxbai)
How about you? Read anything good this year? Have you read any of the books above? If so, what did you think?

TLC Book Tour: “Woman with a Gun” by Phillip Margolin Review & Giveaway[closed]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Woman With A Gun by Phillip Margolin 
Mystery, Thriller (?)
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 2nd, 2014 by Harper
$33.50 (CAD)
 
Note: As a tour host selected by TLC virtual book tours, I received a complimentary copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.


It’s 2015 and aspiring novelist Stacey Kim visits a photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. She sees a photo by Kathy Moran of a woman on beach wearing a wedding dress, holding an antique six shooter behind her back—titled “Woman With a Gun.” Immediately Stacey is taken in. Who is this woman? Why is she in a wedding dress? Is she suicidal? Homicidal? Why that gun? When she finds out that this photo is from an enigmatic murder investigation ten years ago, she can’t resist. She must know more. She decides to wtite a novel inspired by this photograph. 
 
From there, the story goes back in time, switching from 2000 to 2005, giving us the background of the photo. We follow the prosecutor of the case, the photographer of “Woman with a Gun,” and other characters to learn the truth behind the image—and what mysteries still remain. 
 
I really like the premise to this story! The idea of the photograph inspiring a newbie novelist is really intriguing. The entire plot of the novel revolves around that photo. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; well, Margolin says they’re worth more words than that-this ones worth s whole novel!
 
While I really enjoyed the premise, I think that, personally, I would have executed it a bit differently. There is nothing wrong with Woman With a Gun’s structure, but I think I would have found it more interesting if any one of the characters were explored more in depth. This novel seems to be almost entirely plot-based. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there was a clear protagonist and we experienced some character development. The characters as they are are quite three-dimensional, but I did not experience a lot of change in any of them throughout—they didn’t grow. Not only that, but the perspective seemed to continually shift in order to best serve the needs of the plot. This at times was a bit much— like getting a chapter from a very, very minor character’s perspective, and never really hear about them again. 
 
That being said, I did enjoy the novel. It was a solid murder mystery. I did not, however, find that it was a thriller, which is how it is marketed. There was nothing particularly thrilling about it. It was a legal/police mystery procedural for the most part—and a pretty good one at that!
 
If you like traditional-style mysteries that aren’t totally clichéd, give this one a go!
 
Buy Now: 
(Note, some of the above are affiliate links)
 
 
Beth Fuelled By Fiction Phillip Margolin Woman With a GunAbout Phillip Margolin
Phillip Margolin has written eighteen novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers, including the recent Worthy Brown’s Daughter, Sleight of Hand, and the Washington Trilogy. Each displays a unique, compelling insider’s view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, he lives in Portland, Oregon.
Find out more about Phillip at his website, and connect with him on Facebook.
 
 
Phillip’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, December 2nd: The Steadfast Reader
Tuesday, December 2nd: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, December 3rd: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, December 4th: Under My Apple Tree
Monday, December 8th: The Daily Dosage
Tuesday, December 9th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, December 10th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, December 10th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, December 10th: Great Minds Read Alike
Thursday, December 11th: Bibliotica
Friday, December 12th: FictionZeal
Monday, December 15th: Fuelled by Fiction
Tuesday, December 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, December 17th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Thursday, December 18th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Friday, December 19th: Reading in Black & White
Monday, December 22nd: Ace and Hoser Blook
Tuesday, December 23rd: Living in the Kitchen

Short Review of “Belzhar” by Meg Wolitzer

 Fuelled By Fiction Belzhar Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer 

Young Adult, Magical Realism
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 30th, 2014 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

The Wooden Barn is a boarding school for “troubled” teens. It’s meant to be a place of healing. Jam Gallahue finds herself here against her will after the death of her boyfriend Reeve. Jam ends up in a selective class called Special topics in English, and, in this class, Jam and five other students discuss the work of Sylvia Plath. Their teacher gives them each a journal in which to document their personal experiences throughout the semester. One night, Jam pulls out the journal and begins to write. Suddenly, she can feel Reeve’s arms around her. She turns, and, there he is. Reeve. Alive! But she’s no longer in her room at the Wooden Barn. She’s… somewhere else. Somewhere the journal has brought her.

I was immediately drawn into this story of first love and deep loss. Jam is a quirky and enigmatic character, with secrets to hide. She meets some other interesting people in her class and they become close. Throughout the novel, and our experience in Belzhar, we learn more about each character and their past. In the end, there is a realization about Belzhar that I was a little unsure of. I didn’t think it was a bad realization, but it left be feeling unsure of how to respond to Jam’s character. I didn’t feel that Wolitzer made any sort of stance about it. There was no reaction. This left me a little confused.

So, a solid book that seamlessly weaves in a little magical realism. However, the way Wolitzer handled the ending left a little to be desired.

Adventures of A Book Blogging Newbie: IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?

Book Blogging Newbie
I don’t blog to get page views. I blog because I love it and I need an outlet (let’s be honest, my friends and family are sick of hearing me talk about this stuff so much). However, getting pageviews would be nice… But how do I do it? Some of the blogs I’ve been reading suggest a few things, mainly: SEO (search engine optimization), social media, quality content, and engagement. But what do those things mean and how do I do it? 


Search Engine Optimization
This means using keywords, titles, and tags that are search friendly—i.e. when people type stuff into a search engine, your blog should come up. This is something that I am working on. I’m trying to add tags to my images and catchy, helpful titles to my posts. How do you think of words and tags to use? Think about the way people use search engineswhat questions do they ask and words do they use? Keeping that in mind helps think of what words to use.

Adding tags to photos was something I didn’t even know existed! You can add searchable tags that aid with SEO that are not visible in your posts. If you, like me, don’t know how to do this, here’s how (if you’re using Blogger):

Step 1: Select the image, and hit properties.

Blogger image tag tutorial

Step 2: Enter your tags in the box titled “alt text.” 
Blogger image tag tutorial


Social Media

I put my blog on Facebook and Twitter a few months ago. I don’t have a gazillion followers or anything, but I have reached the triple digits, which is encouraging! I’ve linked up both these accounts to my blog so a link to my posts shows up there. I always try to respond to any mentions or comments! I have a Pintrest page as well, but I always forget about Pintrest. I bet being consistent probably helps… I’ve also recently added a link to my Instagram. I’ve been a bit hesitant to put my personal stuff out there. However, I think as long as I am conscious of what I’m posting it will be okay! (So, follow me on Instagram for some fun bookish/kitty pics:P). I think it’s important to remember to be consistent, engaging, and be relevant! Don’t spam! 


Quality Content
This is a tough one because I have no idea if what I’m writing is any good at all. However, I am trying to branch out from just book reviews because, while reviews are awesome, there are other awesome things out there. I have begun participating in some memes (like Top Ten Tuesday) to join in with the blogging community! I have also started this feature. So that’s something. To help ensure that my content stays “quality,” I’m going to do my best to heed this advice:

  • Don’t spam
  • Keep up on all things bookish. Know what’s going on in the book world! Especially in relation to whatever your niche is!
  • Have a diverse range of post types: don’t do all memes, or all reviews, etc, if you want people to stay interested. 
  • Be original and creative. Don’t copy others ideas, and don’t just do the same ole same ole all the time.   


Engagement 

I think I’m pretty good at this one. (Mainly because I don’t get a lot of reader engagement, so it’s easy to keep up!) Making sure you respond to readers is pretty important. I try to always respond on social media and individually to comments on any of my posts! It’s also important to engage with other bloggers. They can send traffic your way and vice versa (plus it’s just fun to make new blogging friendies!). 


There has been some slow but steady improvement in my number of page visits, and this is really encouraging! The only thing to do is keep up what I’m doing and try to be more consistent with it! Thanks to all the seasoned bloggers out there who post blogging advice! 

Special mention to Parajunkee, River City Reading, and Book Nerd Canada


Join me next week for another edition of Adventures of a Book Blogging Newbie.