A Year in Review: 2016

A Year in Review 2016

There was a lot to be sad about and to mourn over in 2016. We lost many brilliant sparks and the political culmination of Brexit and the Presidential Election this year has left us wan with disappointment. So, instead of focusing on all the ways that 2016 was a collective disappointment, I want to take one last look back over the small victories and happenings in my personal life that made 2016 enjoyable!

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Novel and Graphic Novel Giveaway!!!

Hi Guys!

Today I have an awesome giveaway for you all and I’m actually giving away 2 books! I’m giving away Scarred for Life by Kerry Wilkinson and Kick Ass 3 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr (covers featured below).

There will be two winners, one for each book. Find out how to enter below!

Scarred for life by kerry wilkinson

Kick Ass 3 By Mark Millar and John Romita JR

Scarred for Life is a thriller crime novel, the 9th in the Jessica Daniels series. Centered around the death of a student but this is only one of the problem’s she’s facing right now!
Kick Ass 3  is the culmination of the series and includes the final 8 comics with in it. Are you desperate to find out what happens to Hit Girl? And is Kick Ass’ doubt too much to over come?
To enter you must be:
-A European Resident
-18 or above (or have your parent’s permission to release your address)
Please note that your address will be passed on to the relevant publisher as they will send the book from their office, this allowed me to open the giveaway further than just UK residents. Your information will not be passed to any other third parties or used for anything else.
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact me through the comment system on this blog or via my twitter @KyraWolf289.
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

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Books: The ‘Undead’ Media

“Printed books have been wrongly declared dead or dying so many times before that I think we can be completely confident of their survival, forever undead.” Lisa Gitelman, What are Books.

 

The book has, in the past few years, evolved beyond expectation and yet remains somewhat behind the idea of the digital age when compared with other forms of entertainment. Because on the surface that is what a book is for – the consumption of content, either fictional or factual, for the purpose of either providing information or for enjoyment. Since various scholars, authors and publishers have had a crack at what they thought about the future of the book, I thought I’d have my say too.
So there are 3 things you need to know before I begin:
    1. The printed book ain’t going nowhere.

 

  • All novels are books, but not all books are novels.
  • Books aren’t undead. They’re alive and kicking.


 

My main concern is not about what is better, the ebook or the physical book, (though if asked, I answer physical book) but the question behind this: Why does it matter? Not only this but what makes the digital vs physical antitheses rather than complementary? And where do audiobooks fit in on this scale?
 
Why should people prescribe to one side of the fence or another? The reason being is that large corporations have no iota of care for the integrity of the book industry. They only want to sell books as vastly, quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result, this means that those who prefer the feel of a hardback cover to slide through fingers as they remove the dust jacket to avoid creasing it will have to pay several pounds extra for the luxury, while those who prefer a digital copy will only have to worry about their screen cracking.
 
In my eyes it is only a matter of time before books do what the visual industry did and combine their sales. ‘Wanna buy a book for a friend? Pay slightly extra and we’ll give you a free ebook copy for yourself!’ Before we know it audio, physical and digital will become the combined sales package, and why not? But will people really want that?
 
If you’re like myself, then you make prefer the physical book. Being able to browse lazily through your shelves until you hear the faint pulse of a hidden gem that you bought several months ago but didn’t have time to read at that moment. But, equally, you may also find the value of having an ebook copy for textual analysis. I buy every single one of my course texts physically, though I can guarantee I’ll be looking for free editions on kindle within a few weeks when I start writing an essay so I can search for keywords.
 
I guess my point is that each medium has its own qualities that make it useful.  I know for a fact if I could buy a book and have the ebook copy included for a slightly higher price, than I would definitely choose that option, knowing I could buy gifts for friends and have to book myself to discuss later. Reading is an equally solitary and communal act, depending on how you choose to partake in the experience.
 
Scholarly retention of information suggests that to have a functioning archive everything must be written down and recorded, though the web through a kink in that. So if we can store all information online, what is the need to rip down trees and print the words again? There is every reason. Backups, upon backups upon backups. Printing is the archaic backup.  Though it would be a great loss to have all digital only books washed from existence at the touch of a button, it would be a far greater loss if we did not have physical backups for scientific innovations and historical events.
 
By no means are books the undead. They are living, functioning and better than ever. Because books don’t just exist on pages. They exist on our computers, in our libraries, and most importantly in our minds. As long as people are reading, why should it matter which medium they decide to do it through?
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My Favourite Bookshop!

So everyone!

I’ve never actually spoken about this before, but I wanted to introduce you to this little gem I like to call my book haven. Now this is technically my favourite second-hand book shop so all of these books have already seen at least one cycle of love and attention.

Now for those who don’t know I like to collect traditionally leather bound copies of texts, particularly poetry. However, I don’t have the funds (yet) to stock myself up with first editions of copies so I tend to hunt these copies down in second-hand bookshops!

Of all the ones I’ve been to, the one that consistently provides good quality and well loved editions of books and poetry for reasonable prices has always been the Oxfam Bookshop in Headingley, Leeds.
It’s not in the city centre, about a 40 minute walk but as a uni student it’s also a really good place to find copies of books that other students have left behind, unwanted after finishing their course.

I’ve always had a great experience there and more often than not there are also students working the desk and they’re happy to help you if you want to i
nquire or if you want to chat about the books you both enjoy!

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Review: Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

★★☆☆☆

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

Royce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

Review

For me this book was a bit of a dud. I liked the premise but I’m tired of reading adult fiction that makes all women seem like the broken ones who need a strong alpha man to make them whole or bring out their spark. There needs to be more literature of this genre that shows independent women who take control and maybe take the man by surprise (if this exists and I haven’t found it let me know!) I liked the difference of the story though, that’s what pulled me through to the end. There wasn’t anything to do with a man who’s wealth gives him the right and ability to have any which woman, but instead a military, hard working and caring (despite his brutish attitude) man. Lauren’s character is very stereotypical of the person who’s brought up with wealth but wants to prove they are capable of doing things themselves, this gives her a naive sense of security which the novel shakes up.

This is what I call shitlit. If you’re tired or you want to take a break this is an ideal read, but don’t be ready to come away from it questioning your moral philosophy on life.

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Review: “Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

“Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

Video – http://vimeo.com/42372767

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him t

o break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art.

Review
This book is an creative adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech for University of the Arts in 2012. I will say now to anyone who is interested in going in to a creative field that you should read/watch this little piece of inspiration, because Neil Gaiman is as articulate as ever in giving advice on the arts. He goes through his story in brief of how he went straight from school and started writing as much as he could, to where he is now. It’s a brilliant piece of verbal literature and it definitely got me thinking more about what I want to write and how I want to go about it.
Also I want to commend Chip Kidd who did the graphic design for the book that added an extra element of creative process and thinking that without so would have completely changed my perception of the book.
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Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads):

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more – he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone – raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances – with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty.

Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power – with just a touch he can see peoples’ darkest desires – to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.

Review

 

This book was one of the most intense books that I’ve read in a while. Having taken a break from the heavy reading scene, I found this to be a cleverly written piece of fiction. The character of Ig is by far one of the most complex and brilliantly written characters I’ve read in a while.Not to mention the constant undertones of religious referencing which gave the book an extra feel of sin. This book is all about the things it reveals looking mostly in retrospect at events that lead to the moments where Ig discovered exactly what happened to Merrin.

What I enjoyed about this book was that even though it is very heavy on the religious connotations you don’t have to be a priest yourself to understand it. This is down to the way Joe Hill illustratively interweaves this into the characters lifestyles and their thoughts.

This novel is a brutal retelling of a horrible event but ultimately shows that humans are secretive and sinful and it did so bloody marvellously!

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