book review · books · features · lists · shanti

Fiction-Non Fiction: Language

I have decided, in my finite knowledge and wisdom, to turn fiction-non-fiction recommendations into a series. This is mostly because I realized that I have been reading some non fiction books which group nicely into categories and non-fiction is AMAZING and somewhat underappreciated, I feel, in my blogging community. So over the next few months there will be a couple of these posts, once I figure out all of the groupings. There’s going to be a post about genetics books, nature writing books, semi-funny memoirs, economics possibly…it’s a series in development (if you have suggestions, please let me know!)

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book review · books · discussions · shanti

‘Tis The Season of Rereading: The Austin Chronicles

Hi Virtually Readers! It is December which is half YAY ADVENT JESUS FAMILY FOOD SUMMER and half OH NO THE YEAR IS ALMOST DONE. But whether feelings of coziness drive you towards books or feelings of panic drive you towards books, our annual feature ‘Tis the Season of Rereading is back for its fifth (!) year. Way back in 2014, Shar and I decided that we really like rereading books in our holidays and wintertime, and ever since then we’ve had this recurring seasonal feature on Virtually Read. It is fun! As always, there is an open invitation to join in if you would also like to reread a book, write about it and link back to us, but no pressure. Anyway I have some gooood stuff lined up for this but the first one is rereading the Austin Chronicles. Continue reading “‘Tis The Season of Rereading: The Austin Chronicles”

book review · books · shanti

Returning to Ingo

Hi Virtually Readers! I really enjoyed writing a post about Emily St. John Mandel’s books the week before last and it made me think that I should do a bit of a series or group reviews, which are more fun and interesting to write in some ways than single reviews. So it’ll be Ingo this week and Naomi Novik next time and maybe Madeliene L’Engle and Zadie Smith after that—a blend of new-to-me authors and rereads. Anyway, the Ingo books are ones which I treasure deeply, so much that I hauled them back to New Zealand from India. I appreciate their whimsy and wisdom just as much now as when I was 8 and 11.

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books · shanti

What makes a good audiobook

Hi Virtually Readers! I’m an avid listener of audiobooks. They help me read so much more and process things in different ways. However, I didn’t recently find myself listening ton an audiobook for a class, and the only effect it achieved was making me fall asleep (ironically enough, the book was called ‘The Big Sleep’). However, there are so many good audiobooks out there. what makes an audiobook compelling?

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blogging · discussions · shanti · writing

Book Bloggers Responsibilities

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about whether it is a book bloggers responsibility to promote reading, and if you want to know my thoughts on that, go read the post! but I also promised to write a post about book bloggers responsibilities in general, and this is that post. What are a book blogger’s responsibilities? After all, this is something we do by choice; not just reading, but reading and then making things out of it. Do we have any obligations? And what does that mean for me?

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books · features · lists · shanti

talking to other bookish people

You are on a bus, and you see that someone a few seats ahead of you is reading a book. You peer around, looking for the cover. It’s a book you’ve read! Someone else is discovering words you love right now, and you’re witnessing it. What a glorious sight. But then the question comes: should you talk to them? what do you say?

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book review · books · shanti

Starry Eyes Blog Tour-Review

So, I have a bit of a reputation for talking about light pollution. Like, a lot. Like, start a conversation with me about anything apart from university, and withing three minutes we’ll be onto a) books, b) light pollution, or c) GDPR (In other news, I’m a delight at parties and make everyon want to be my friend). And one of the things I talk about when I talk about light pollution is about how the places without light pollution are out in the wilds; the places I go tramping (or ‘hiking’ if you’re American) to. The sky is a place of perpetual wilderness, but too often we can’t see that because we are immersed in the small lights of our own creation. (that was deep). So, I loved that this book talked a lot about the value of wildeneress and stars. It also had excellent character development and lots of complexity. I’m participating in the blog tour for this book today, which I’m really excited about, thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia , who gave me a copy of the book.

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books · features · shanti

Curses for the Booklover

Sometimes I wish I was magical and could lay curses on people. Not, like, deadly curses. But just enough ones so that it’s really annoying. (this was a feature in a book I read in the last five months but I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS BUT IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT PLEASE TELL ME THE TITLE). Anyway, if the person who you want to curse is a reader, here are some gentle suggestions. And if anything like this has happened to you recently, you might want to think about who would have a reason to curse you.

Curses for.png

  • The Book Slump Curse

This is a pretty basic one. Chant ‘you won’t finish any books/and no new ones will take your fancy/the book slump has its hooks in you’ five times while balancing a book on your head and sitting in a library.

  • The Character Names Sound the Same and You Won’t Remember Who is Who Curse

Make a broth of ink and willow tree leaves, and pour a ladle of it out at all of the cardinal directions around where the reader lives, starting with East, then North, and so on. They won’t remember the character names and will be confused and it will seriously detract from their experience of the book. Mwahahaha.

  • The Stress Induced by Getting Too Many Books From the Library and/or Publishers

Rip up a calendar and write YOU HAVE TO READ OR ELSE YOU WILL LET EVERYONE DOWN on the scraps of paper. Then find the readers TBR (or e-reader case) and slip the paper in between the pages. Guaranteed 100% success rate.

  • The Wait Is This a Sequel Curse

Open goodreads on your device of choice, then shake your device gently, humming the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song and pausing every three minutes to mutter you can’t tell if it’s a sequel or not. After fifteen minutes, the information about whether the book in question is a sequel or not will disappear from Goodreads. Note: it will disappear for both you and the person you’re trying to curse, so make sure that you don’t get hurt by the curse. Note 2: You must be friends (on Goodreads) with the cursee for this to work.

  • the There Are A Lot of Books in the World curse

This curse works by overwhelming the reader with how many books they’ll never be able to read. This is most effectively caused by leading them to a library, or a bookshop, but can also be achived by recommending them books in oblique ways. I recommend writing book titles in the sky with a plane, leaving slips of paper with authors written on them in the bookworms shoes, or writing a ‘found this awesome publisher/imprint with books you’d like’ text on the hour. This is a very kind curse, but remember that the agony of indecision will cause the cursed person to writhe in agony on the floor. The curse will only be effective if you run your finger along your bookshelves (or scroll the ebooks on your e-reading device) while humming their favourite song.

  • the reading is not enough curse

do you really want to inflict some next level punishment on someone, what you need to do is find a book that has heavy fandom attached to it (six of crows, Simon vs., SJMaas, Illuminae, whatever you can think of), and get them to read it, then slowly–ever so slowly–lower them into the seething pot of fandom. Send screenshots of fan posts to them! mention the book in every conversation! Find fanart and buy it and give it to them. whatever you can think of (it is easiest to do this if you are also obsessed so that someone can share the intensity of your suffering) to pull them into the whirlpool of fandom. Chances are that they will stagger out three to five years later, emotionally bruised but forever your frenemy.

What are some bookworm curses that you’ve had to face? and have you encountered these ones? tell me about it in the comments!

 

 

book review · books · shanti

Just Visiting: the friendship story you need

I was feeling sort of book slumpy last week (mostly because I had been separated from all the physical books I wanted to read (by airline baggage limits and four hundred kilometres, can you believe?), and checked out a lot of books from the library to . Just Visiting finally got me back into reading. The story is as filled with sunlight as the cover promises. Anyway, I loved the depiction of strong friendship and the complex exploration of what it means to leave home for education.

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book review · books · shanti

I Was Born For This

Hi Virtually Readers! I like to escape to other places, though I’m not good at doing it. I like books and cake and essays and blogging. I have never gotten deep into a fandom—I think you need a tumblr account for that—but I would still call myself a fan of many things. And I Was Born for This is a book about fandom. While I don’t see myself in the obsessive fandom that Angel has for The Ark, I still loved how Oseman writes about obsession and immersion in other people’s lives. After all, that’s why I read. (a copy of this book was provided for review by Harper Collins New Zealand, which was nice of them, but it has not impacted my thoughts because I knew I was gonna love it)

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