Showing posts with label everyday life of a reading addict. Show all posts
Showing posts with label everyday life of a reading addict. Show all posts

Tuesday 18 October 2016

The Greek Mythology Tag

I was tagged for 'The Greek Mythology Tag' by both the lovely Emily @ The Paperback Princess and the fantabulous Tina @ As Told By Tina.

Go check out their awesome-sauce blogs because they officially rock!

Zeus - God of the Sky: Favourite Book of Your Own Category

I am going to pick the uber-specific category of favourite vampire detective novel (yes, yes this is a thing; a thing that I read; do not judge me until you've tried my way of life.)

My favourite vampire detective novel is the first in Tanya Huff's Blood books: Blood Price (UK - US.)

Not only is there a vampire detective who writes romance novels in his spare time, but he's also the illegitimate, bisexual, son of Henry VIII - really, what more could you want?!

Plus, this is the series that really got me hooked on urban fantasy - though, unfortunately, it's no longer easy to get hold of copies in the UK (argh!)

Hera - Goddess of Love and Fertility: Favourite Book Couple

At the moment, I'm shipping Linda and Sarah from Robin Talley's Lies We Tell Ourselves (UK - US,) to the point where they're nearly at OTP status right now (plus, canon F/F romance!)

You can read my review of Lies We Tell Ourselves here.

(Fangirling notes:

Shipping = wanting characters to be in/approving of romantic relationships.

OTP = One True Pairing. A relationship you will defend to your last breath. Despite the name, most people have several OTPs.

Canon = Official.

F/F = same-sex female romance.)

Poseidon - God of the Sea: Book that Drowned you in Feels

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (UK - US.)

I really don't think I need to say any more.

Athena - Goddess of Wisdom and Handicraft: Series with the Best World Building

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison does such a great job of setting up a post-tomato-apocalypse (I kid you not,) urban fantasy world, where vampires, witches, etc. are living out in the open.

Plus LGBTQ+ characters! :)

Hades - God of the Underworld: Book with a Dark Plot

OK, so many I could go for here... you know I like the gothic-y-ness...

I'm going to go with Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (UK - US.) This is definitely not one for the faint of heart.

Even those who've seen either of the film adaptations will be surprised at the brutality and grit of this book, as well as the hugely uncomfortable plot-aspect of the paedophile who is manipulated by our vampire-child, Eli.

Scandinavian horror is a step past Scandinavian noir - though (in this case at least,) exceptionally skilled. You have been warned.

Aphrodite - Goddess of Love and Beauty: 2016 Release with the Most Beautiful Cover

I don't know - a lot of the time, the UK has different covers to other countries anyway...

Oh! I know! The cover of graphic novel The Beauty, Vol 1 (UK - US.) Wow, that is still one of the most striking covers I've seen.

You can check out my review of The Beauty, Vol 1 here.

Ares - God of War: Most Violent Book you've Read

Hahahahahahahaha - OH MY GOD, do you know who you're talking to????

All of the gothic-y-ness often leads to the stabbage. #TrueStory.

It's really hard to measure one type of violence against another, but I'm going to go with The Crow (UK - US) here.

A legendary graphic novel, this includes rape, violence, and a core of pain, melded with James O'Barr's poetic skill and ability to somehow make bleak scenes beautiful.

Hephaestus - God of Blacksmiths: Scorching Hot Character

Loki. Obviously.

(When Loki is Lady Loki, she's also pretty damn hot; #JustSaying)

Artemis - Goddess of the Hunt and Fertility: Kick ass Female Character

Red Sonja - that famous comic heroine who is so often de-clothed and subjected to out-of-character actions by unskilled, misogynistic, hands - is, at her very heart, the woman who will save a kingdom and cut the hand/thing off a molester on the same day.

Apollo - God of the Light and Healing: Sequel that Redeemed a Series

Actually can't think of one right now - my brain is just throwing white noise at me. Sorry!

Hermes - Messenger God: Book with the Best Message

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig (UK - US.)

Why? Read my review.

Hestia - Goddess of the Home: Book that's the Most Relatable

Luna The Vampire: Grumpy Space by Yasmin Sheikh (UK - US,) because I, too, am a grumpy millennial space vampire.

You can check out my review of Luna The Vampire here.

Demeter - Goddess of Agriculture: Favourite Bookish Setting

I don't know - I tend to forget places pretty easily. Narnia, maybe.

Dionysus - God of Wine and Celebration: Anticipated Release

Ummmm... nothing in particular, in honesty. I have enough books to read right now!

Ooh! I know! There's a new Robin Talley book slated for 2017 called Our Own Private Universe - and I really want to read that!

Liked this book? Try these:

Monday 17 October 2016

The Writer Diairies - Learn to Love the Chase

Writing is hard.

You possibly know this - but writing is not an easy thing to do. Putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard is only a tiny fraction of the story.

(Ha, 'of the story' - I just noticed the pun!)

You've got to try and string these weird little symbols into words, and then those words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, chapters, a book!

And all of those little symbols comprising your paragraph, chapter, book, whatever, contain a plethora (woo! I have smart vocab dammit!) of worlds, characters, meanings, and cultural cues behind them. Sometimes the author writes subtext that even they don't know they've put in there.

And all of that takes time. It takes skill which you may or may not have (yet - skills are things you can build!)

I've been writing the 3rd part of my Cinderella posts (see part 1 here!) and it's going exceptionally slowly.

Because writing is a bit like whittling (not that I've ever whittled anything, so I have no idea where that metaphor came from.) A bit here, a bit there, and it can take forever.

But guess what? You have to learn to love that slow process.

You have to understand that it's ok for it to take a long time - as long as you keep working on it, it will be done when it's done, and not before.

You've got learn to revel in the thrill of chasing down the correct word. You've got to learn to enjoy weaving the words together, and letting your fingers dance almost rhythmically across the keyboard.

Because that's the way it works.

You can't create out of nothing - you have to love it, to care about it, to watch it sashay it's way into existence. If you don't love the process, you're not going to write anything worth while.

(It is however OK to also get p*ssed off at the process, and shout a string of swear-words and/or colourful insults at the screen. #TrueStory.)

You also have to understand that sometimes it doesn't work out - and that's ok too.

It's not going to work every time. But if you enjoyed the time you spent working on it, then it wasn't a waste - it just gave you something different to what you thought it would.

Maybe I made sense in this post, and then again, maybe I was talking cr*p.

What do you think? Is it necessary to enjoy the process of writing in order to be a writer?

Like this post? Try these:

Saturday 15 October 2016

Mental Health Conditions ARE Real Problems - And Books Need To Realise It

(This post discusses mental illness, negative representations and perpetuation of stigma around mental health, depression, anorexia, and suicide.)

Don't you hate it when you're reading a fairly awesome book, and then there's some ignorant and hurtful mental health representation just thrown in there?

You're there, enjoying yourself, and suddenly there's an ignorant portrayal of mental illness which does nothing but perpetuate the stigma around these conditions.

girl under umbrella pic

OK, let me rewind and explain what brought this on:

I've just finished reading We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (UK - US.)

Overall, this is a great contemporary novel about our point-of-view protagonist, Darling, growing up in Zimbabwe, and then moving to America.

It's not a perfect book - but then, what is? I was enjoying it though - but there was a chapter which left me with a sour taste.

What was my problem with it? Well, dearest nerdlets, I'll tell you.

In this particular chapter, a few chapters before the end, there is a rich, white, American girl called Kate. Darling does some cleaning work for her father.

Kate tried to kill herself not long before the two girls meet. Kate is starving herself because she thinks she's fat, even though she's super skinny.

Kate is clearly anorexic, and depressed.

girl pic

Darling's reaction? Well, Darling's reaction is to laugh at her. Because according to Darling, Kate has no 'real' problems, and is therefore being ridiculous.

Let me make this clear: mental illness is not directly linked to what money you have. Mental illness does not care how comfortable your living conditions are.

Mental illness is not something you can get over simply by being more grateful for what you have, and neither is it a result of being ungrateful.

Mental illness can happen to anyone. At any time.

sad girl art pic

This depiction of Kate as nothing more than a silly, spoilt, rich girl is harmful. You don't get to judge her - no matter who you are.

We are given no background on Kate, and no rectification of these implications about her. She appears only in this chapter, and then is gone, not to be mentioned again.

Her pain - and the pain of millions of people like her - are used simply as a way of saying that American kids are ungrateful and complain too much, when other people have it a lot worse.

Yes, there are people who are worse off financially etc. than Kate. She has a safe home, a fridge full of food (as Darling points out,) and an overly-spoilt little dog which has its own wardrobe.

But pointing these things out to people with mental health problems does nothing but make them feel worse.


You can be a millionaire with a mental illness. You can be in poverty and have a mental illness (and certainly, I'm not denying that there are often higher rates of mental health problems amongst those with lower incomes.)

Being unwell - being ill - with a potentially fatal illness (depression can kill; anorexia can kill,) is NOT BEING UNGRATEFUL.

And it's time people started to realise that.

Like this post? Try these:

Thursday 13 October 2016

Comics Wrap Up - Things Are Shaping Up To Be Pretty Odd

Film Trailers

Marvel made a Doctor Strange trailer that makes 2 different trailers! One when it's played forwards, and one when it's reversed.

It's called 'Strange's Time' (yes, the trailer has it's own title, but to be fair, whoever made it is probably pretty chuffed with themselves right now.)

Here it is played forwards:

Annnnd here it is in reverse:

And just because I like your robot, dear nerdlets, here's the new TV spot for Doctor Strange too:

TV Trailers

Dudes, the next series of DC's Legends of Tomorrow looks EPIC!!!!

As a reminder: this is the series which totally shouldn't work but does - a ragtag spinoff with minor characters from CW's DC pantheon, along with him-off-Dr-Who (otherwise known as Arthur Darvill, here playing Rip Hunter,) and a flying time machine.

We also have one of the only LGBTQ+ superheroes to ever make it on screen (and still be LGBTQ+ - Harley Quinn, Mystique, Loki, et al. had that part of their identity erased when transferred to screen) - the amazing and beautiful Sara Lance, aka the White (formerly the Black) Canary.

Yes, my dearest nerdlets, this looks pretty damned cool:

Graphic Novels

This week I read and reviewed Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead (UK - US.)

This is a fun and zombie-filled kids/all-ages graphic novel, which I enjoyed a helluva lot more than I thought I would!

So that's it for my week in comics, dearest nerdlets: on to the next week!

Like this post? Try these:

Sunday 9 October 2016

Nerd Church - No Future

Poverty. Inequality. Racism.

This is what our Prime Minister is advocating, though she covers it over with a smokescreen of faux-reasonability.

By claiming that Britain will be a meritocracy, what she is actually saying is that those who grow up without the advantages of connections, financial stability, and the best education money can buy, will not be supported by their government.

She is saying that if we are unable to get on in life, it is our fault, and not the fault of a warped system that still cares more about who your father was and what your postcode is, than your actual potential.

She is advocating an 'in it for yourself' attitude. She is suggesting there are no barriers in British society to those from poorer backgrounds, when this is blatantly untrue.

She may talk prettily about supporting hard-working people, but what she has actually done is throw us all under the bus.

And somehow she has the cheek to come out with policies which actively discriminate against non-British-citizens, including our doctors and medical staff.

Yep, our doctors. The people who actually do things like... oh, I don't know... SAVING LIVES.

Mrs May, this is what you have done in your short time in office: you have screwed us over and then smiled smugly while telling us to be grateful.

I have only one word for you, Mrs May, the worst insult a Welsh woman could possibly give - and I'm sorry it's come to using such language:

Mrs May, you are THATCHER.

Nerd Church is a weekly post where I try to make this world better and end up very frustrated! I'll try to be less political next week - but no promises!

Like this post? Try these:

Saturday 8 October 2016

#OneNiceThing - 13 Ways To Make The World A Better Place Without Spending A Penny

In honour of fantabulous YA author Juno Dawson's #OneNiceThing effort to defeat the bad stuff going around (and Theresa May,) with kindness, by doing at least one nice thing per day, I decided to write a short list of ways you can make the world a better place without spending any money whatsoever!

(Of course, there are also many things you can do by spending minimal amounts, but I wanted to concentrate on a handful of completely free stuff here.)

  1. Say please and thank you. Say sorry when necessary.
  2. Use social media for good, not evil - like, RT, share, etc. things which you support: authors, charities, bloggers, or just friends.
  3. Help people out - offer to carry things, hold doors open, let pedestrians cross the road when you're out driving.
  4. Hug your family, friends, and pets!
  5. Play games on FreeRice to earn rice for the World Food Programme via advertiser's fees.
  6. Say something nice - compliment your friend's clothes, leave a nice online comment, etc.
  7. Find a petition on that means something to you, and sign it!
  8. Support Amnesty International's campaigns by signing petitions and taking action to protect human rights.
  9. Don't litter - put your rubbish in a bin, & recycle where possible.
  10. Send your old and broken jewellery to be recycled for charity. Two great UK charities which do this (via FREEPOST addresses) are: The Alzheimer's Society, and Parkinson's UK. A lot of smaller, rather than larger, charities tend to do this, so try Googling to find great causes.
  11. Send your old Inkjet cartridges to be recycled for charity. Loads of charities do this. And most are more than happy to provide FREEPOST labels or bags.
  12. Donate things you no longer want to charity shops or fundraising sales - and yes, this includes books you'll never read again ;)
  13. And, and this one is the Golden Rule - the one which, if you follow it, you can't go far wrong with: DON'T. ACT. LIKE. A. JERK! ;)

So what are you waiting for? Go do #OneNiceThing.

Sunday 2 October 2016

Nerd Church - Dear Tommy Wallach: An Open Letter

(This post is going to deal with such heavy topics as suicide, mental illness, and people acting like f**king jerks.)

Dear Tommy Wallach,

You don't know me, in fact, it's likely you'll never read this letter. But it's important that I write this.

You wrote a book. A YA book which deals with suicide. That's a heavy topic, and one which should be handled with the utmost care.

Given your behaviour on Twitter, I doubt very much you have the maturity to handle this topic.

You made a joke. A cruel joke. This is what you said:

Clearly, from your lack of an effective apology, and your decision instead to lock down your account, you don't understand what you did wrong.

People understood that this was a joke. No need to keep repeating that. We just didn't think it was funny.

The flippancy with which you spoke about jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge - one of the key themes of your novel, apparently - was horrible.

There have been times in my life where I've thought about ending things.

Take it from someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety for well over two years - people referring to suicide in this way is hurtful.

Firstly, you are saying our lives mean nothing more to you than a cheap joke, used for your own purposes.

You are being callous, cruel, and uncaring.

You are telling people who are already low that they have no meaning. Have you got any idea how little it might take to tip someone over that edge?

Secondly, you are disrespecting every single family member of every single suicide victim in the world. You are saying their loved ones' deaths are funny.

You are saying their hurt means nothing, that those people meant nothing - that they weren't wonderful sparks of light that were taken too soon. That they weren't someone's sibling, spouse, child, parent, grandparent, cousin, friend...

They were. Do not disrespect their memories.

Thirdly, you referred to the bridge as 'sexy' - claiming this was why you wouldn't mind jumping off it. Do not needlessly romanticise suicide.

It's not made any better by the fact that it's in a pretty location. People still die.

Known suicide spots attract the suicidal because human beings follow the examples of others.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most deadly suicide spots in the world.

Do you know what it's like to live near a suicide spot - even a small one? My nearest local suicide spot is less than ten minutes away on foot.

There are several others close by. Every time something happens, your heart breaks.

And the aura around these places - or around a spate in suicides in a town or county, is like a lead weight pushing you into the ground.

But when you're feeling particularly low? Those places call out to you, even if it's just a little. Because wouldn't it be easy to...? And you can't think like that.

10 minutes from my home. I have to pass it to go to the shop for milk. I have to pass it on my way to and from doctor's appointments. Think about how that feels.

And you certainly have absolutely no right to put that idea into someone else's head.

I cast my mind back, when I was reading your dumpster fire of flippant stupidity and defensive faux-apologies, to the times when I have considered ending things.

If I came across your tweet - casually, on my feed? If I had come across that at my lowest of moments?

It may honestly have been enough - especially if you were someone I followed ardently. You would have killed me.

So, Tommy Wallach. Please understand that your words matter, they are powerful - which, as a writer, you should have realised before now.


If you need help:

The Samaritans (not a religious organisation) in the UK are always happy to hear from you about literally anything.

You can ring them free if you're feeling suicidal - or if you're just bored or lonely and want a chat.

Their number is 116 123 in both the UK and ROI.

You can e-mail them at

You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch with them - they're there to talk about anything, big or small.

International Helplines:

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Saturday 1 October 2016

Month in Review(s) - September 2016

September was the month that various sh** hit various fans.

In case you're not caught-up on all the goings-on of the bookish online community, let me briefly summarise:

  • Some people questioned authors about the lack of diversity in their books (no matter you're opinion on this, those people had the right to ask the questions.) This resulted in trolling.

  • There was a video on BookTube (the bookish portion of YouTube,) by a horrible person who sees diversity as a dirty word, and is generally a bigoted jerk. She then took offence when it turned out a lot of people didn't agree with her.

  • White supremacist & Nazi trolls decided to spread their racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. hatred by trolling members of the online bookish community. Most of these people were also Trump supporters.

  • A US library magazine called VOYA showed some of the worst customer service you can imagine in their response to criticism of their apparently bi-phobic reviewing.
...I think that covers most of it. It was an... interesting month.

But we, as a community, are pulling through this... I hope.

As far as my blogging stats go this month, things have been good :)

I discovered an acronym for my blog which had been staring me in the face the whole time - DORA. Which I will now be using when Diary of a Reading Addict is too long-winded.

I passed 30k page-views for the first time (!!!!) and now see between 100 and 300 page-views on a typical day :)

I gained a handful of followers on BlogLovin and Twitter, though not as many as I would've liked.

I also noticed something in terms of my Twitter followers, which kind of upset me.

Whenever I tweet about anything to do with LGBTQ+ issues, I lose 2-3 followers; that's per tweet where I mention queer issues, characters, books, etc.

At first I thought it was just coincidence - but after that it became too regular, and I couldn't believe it was coincidence any more.

It's not like I tweet about LGBTQ+ an excessively large amount... is it? I don't think I do.

Anyway, I figure I'm better off without followers like that. As upsetting as that is.

But I just want to thank all the people who do read this blog, like and RT my tweets, comment on my posts, and continue to follow me.

I love you. Each of you is worth 1000 of those homophobic a*sholes.

In a month of trolls, bigotry, and bad news, there were two high-points - my birthday, and you guys.

So, to the books I reviewed this month:

Young Adult

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova - Fantasy, Witches, LGBTQ+
As I Descended by Robin Talley - Ghost story, Horror, LGBTQ+



The Sun Dragon's Song #1 - Kids, Fantasy