Tag: Books

The ‘Mighty’ Book Haul

What started on twitter when I stumble across a couple of new writers—Vivien Chen and Suleikha Snyder—and followed them, then became a hunt for their work online, obviously, to buy. And then? I went kind of crazy. I blame it on lockdown, lockup, locked-in, and having a credit card burning a hole in my purse. It wants to be used. It begs to be used.

So I exercised my right to go on a spending spree buying, well, yes, of course, books.

Like I need more to pile up on my coffee table TBR pile.

But there’s no talking sense into me, like any of us with the ‘addiction’.

So what have I ordered? Well, here we go:

  • THE EMPIRE OF GOLD by S.A. Chakraborty
  • BITTER MEDICINE by Sara Paretsky
  • OVERKILL by Vanda Symon
  • WONTON TERROR by Vivien Chen
  • EGG DROP DEAD by Vivien Chen

Then, not only that, there’s the pre-orders for later this year and, also, because I’m like that, next year too! Oh, go on, tell me I’m out of control, and I’ll laugh in your face and tell you, what else am I to spend my hard earned money on?

So what else have I pre-ordered?

  • INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed
  • KILLER KUNG PO by Vivien Chen
  • FATAL FRIED RICE by Vivien Chen
  • THE SURVIVORS by Jane Harper
  • FIFTY, FIFTY by Steve Cavanagh
  • ARCHITECTS OF MEMORY by Karen Osborne
  • ENGINES OF OBLIVION by Karen Osborne
  • THE CONDUCTORS by Nicole Glover
  • DARKNESS FOR LIGHT by Emma Viskic
  • CONTAINMENT by Vanda Symon

Eh, yeah, I know … I don’t want to think about what my next credit card bill will be. Eh, now, distract me with something shiny, or cat and dog photos …

Day #86: Ways to Support Authors

Most book lovers already support their favour authors, one way or another. But here are a few more ways in which you can show your support.

Obviously, the most important way is, of course, to buy their books. But also, maybe once a month, try a different author too. Buy a random book, even if it’s in the sale pile. Try and extend your reach, money allowing of course, in sampling different genres as well as authors you might be unfamiliar with.

It’s a great way to discovery, as well as helping less well known authors with sales.

Another way, while in a book shop browsing, is to take a photo to post on social media, of book covers that catch your attention, especially of your favourite author’s latest release or a book you really enjoyed.

And while we’re talking social media. Follow authors on media you frequent, and engage with them. Comment on their posts, and retweet them.

Also, if you are a book blogger as well, let them know you are open to accepting Guest Posts from them, or in doing a promo post on an upcoming release. Share books and authors that excite you with your followers. Get listed on an author’s PR to receive email updates, and occasionally, ARCs as well.

It’s important to remember, that if you are a book blogger, and you do reviews, NOT to include the author in social media if the review was less than stellar. Reviews really are for readers. It’s not only unprofessional to rub an author’s nose in the fact you spotted a typo missed by the editorial team, it’s demeaning to all involved.

Instead, recommend books and authors to new readers or your followers. Do lists of favourite authors, and top ten books in a genre you love. Do positive posts that reader and also, authors, can benefit from.

Pre ordering books from your local bookstore not only helps the author’s sales and sales rankings, but also your local bookstore too. The same with your local library, if they don’t have that author or that book in you want to read, ask them to order it.

One of the ways my family and I promote books, is to buy one another books and gift them to each other. I’ve discovered so many authors I might never have, had my niece or sister not sent this book, or that one, at birthdays and Christmas. And, if in the end, it was a book you didn’t really enjoy, gift it to your local library especially if it’s a hardback or recent/current bestseller.

One of the last things you can do to help authors, is send them fan mail. Yes, we all love receiving things in the post, they are, after all, only human. And a lovely handwritten card saying how much you enjoyed a book, goes a long, long way to lifting an author’s spirits.

It’s the small gestures, that speak the loudest. Help, by making a difference, however small that might be.

Day #84: Books, Books, Books

Oh, and don’t we just love discovering new books and their authors! Well, I know I do. And since reviving Book Blurb and starting the Martian Chronicle, I’ve been rooting around the world wide web looking to see what’s up and coming, what’s just been released, and trawling twitter for the same. And I am so happy to have had so many recommendations, both in crime fiction and historical, but also fantasy and science fiction.

Let’s start with two great recommendations from Jules (over on Twitter) for two of Diane Setterfield’s books: ONCE UPON A RIVER and, THE THIRTEENTH TALE. Already added those to my wish list at my book seller’s website.

Next up are some fantasy and science fiction recommendations of books just released, releasing soon, or will be out by next year.

This includes THE CONDUCTORS by Nicole Glover, which weaves historical fiction with magic. I’m really excited about this one.

As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.

And will you look at that cover? I’m hooked. As I am with THE SOUND OF STARS, by Alechia Dow, in which Earth has been invaded and subdued by aliens.

Today, seventeen-year-old Ellie Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie still keeps a secret library.

When young Ilori commander M0Rr1S finds Ellie’s library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more.

Humanity’s fate rests in the hands of an alien Ellie should fear, but M0Rr1S has a potential solution―thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous journey with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Yes, this one is more teen and YA fiction than the other two, but still, it sounds a really fun premise, and will you look at that cover, who wouldn’t want to read the book to find out what’s going on, I mean, right?

Whatever choice of books you choose to read, I hope you find something that grabs your attention. Hit me up with your suggestions, and recent reads and recommendations. Historical, crime, or fantasy and SF, I’m game for them all.


Day #65: How to Bee

I finally started a new book this morning after not being able to settle enough to read, these last couple of months. The YA sci-fi themed book, How To Bee, is written by my online friend, Bren MacDibble (@macdibble). An ex-pat New Zealander living in Australia. I’ve read her work on and off for a number of years and always get excited to get my hands on a real, honest to goodness, print copy of her work.

Why? Because they are always beautifully printed, carefully crafted, and with prose that will melt your heart, uplift your spirits, or make you damn well laugh out loud and, if you’re not careful, snort coffee all over the place—which happened to me reading her sci-fi short story, Delicacy, some years back.

How To Bee is a feisty, heartfelt read, with prose that just flows pulling you straight into Peony’s world, and her place in it. This young girl’s life isn’t plain sailing, set in the future where insects are extinct and fruiting trees are hand pollinated by young, agile kids, who scramble through the branches, doing bee’s work.

In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. Peony lives with her sister, Magnolia, and her grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Even though she is only nine — and bees must be ten — Peony already knows all there is to know about being a bee and she is determined to achieve her dream.

Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known. Peony is taken to the city to work for a wealthy family. Will Peony’s grit and quick thinking be enough to keep her safe?

I’m half way through already, and loving every last word of Peony’s struggle to achieve her dream and, no matter what age you are, I highly recommend you grab yourself a real, or virtual copy, and thoroughly enjoy a trip into the future where little girls can, and will.

This is, without a doubt, a 5 star read.

Author bio:

Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand, so is an expert about being a kid on the land. She now lives in Melbourne with her family and a cheeky dog, Basil, works with gifted children, and teaches writing at TAFE.

Check out more at her website: www.macdibble.com

Title: How To Bee
Author: Bren MacDibble
Publisher: Groundwood, 2020 (Allen & Unwin 2018)
ISBN: 9781760294335
Genre: YA SF | Children’s Fiction | Environment

WINNER: CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2018
WINNER: 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature
WINNER: 2018 New Zealand Book Awards, Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

Today’s Aside: WWW of Books

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. And is open to anyone to participate. I haven’t really done one of these in aggggggges. Mostly because I haven’t been in the reading mood. You would think with all this time on our hands we’d be reading every minute of the day. But it’s been difficult. Most of the books on my TBR pile are crime fiction and to be honest, I don’t want to read about murder right now.

If anyone can recommend something historical, or uplifting, or maybe, funny. A comedy read would be good, even a YA novel that’s not dystopian. Anyway …

To join in, just answer the following three questions:
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m not actually reading anything at the moment.


I recently read THE BREACH by M.T. Hill, but I wasn’t overly impressed with this UK-based SciFi thriller, that to be honest, fell flat with thin characterisation, and a plot that failed to deliver. It did started out well, but just finished with a fizzle.

I then read the outstanding, and bone-chilling THE WAITING ROOM by Eve Smith, that was so close to what’s happening now, it was as well I read it before the whole COVID-19 thing was fully underway. It’s not something I would recommend reading now, unless you are prepared for being shocked or heartbroken. This is superb writing, at it’s best, because it’s so damn subtle when you realise just what’s going on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Well, that’s the BIG 1 million dollar question. But I think I’m pretty confident it’s going to be THE SILENT OF BONES by June Hur, a historical set in Korea during the 1800s, which is garnering excellent reviews. And one I got very excited about earlier this year, and pre-ordered. It’s in the post, as they say, so I should get it within the next few days, I hope.

I might even start it this weekend. Maybe …