On Reviewing: Leave a Little to the Imagination

Today is the last day of Armchair BEA, and we end off with a topic of choice. I’ve been meaning to discuss a phenomenon among book reviewers that bothers me a bit. I’m not going to say it is wrong, but I am going to suggest we might need a change of perspective.

spoonfed reading Continue reading “On Reviewing: Leave a Little to the Imagination”

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Armchair BEA: More Than Just Words

I’m joining Armchair BEA for the first time this year by participating in a few discussions. My dream is one day to attend the real deal… but till then, this will suffice. Today’s discussion is about books that are “more than just words”, and to this end I’m sharing three mini-reviews for books I recently received via NetGalley. (Links click through to longer GoodReads reviews.)

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

I was a bit worried about reading this because I’m not a gamer and I feared that not understanding the culture would hinder my enjoyment. I need not have worried. In short, Anda is a bit of an awkward, seemingly unhappy teenager in a new town, who gets introduced to the world of Massive Multiplayer Online Games, where she joins an all-female guild and becomes known as a kick-ass player. But she also encounters “gold farmers”, a very real occurrence in MMOs. It becomes her mission to “kill” gold farmers, until she befriends one gold farmer from China and realises that most of them are playing long hours just to make a living. Continue reading “Armchair BEA: More Than Just Words”

Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces Of Art

Book covers can be awful and they can be meh and then they can be fantastic – and I’d be lying if I said I’d never picked up a book purely because of it’s beautiful cover. With TTT this week, we highlight some of those covers we’d consider to be pieces of art, quite literally. These are all covers that I’d love to have as large versions in my own future personal library.

Books are listed by author and the cover artist, and linked to the artists’ sites where possible. Feel free to inform me if I missed something.

books as art Continue reading “Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces Of Art”

Hell Week is Over. But I’d Rather Talk About SAS.

I survived Hell Week. Not sure what that is? Check this post, right at the end.

I don’t really want to talk about it though. I’m pretty traumatised. Thanks to a huge amount of prayers and support and motivation from my family and friends, I survived it. I honestly did not think I would get past Tuesday.

My worst subjects, Surgery and Orthopaedics, went really well. My best subjects, Ophthalmology and Anaesthetics went REALLY badly. We only get our results in like a century though.

Exactly one year ago today, I disembarked Semester at Sea’s MV Explorer in Barcelona. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I miss falling asleep on the rocking ocean. I miss the countries – all of them. It was a great experience.

Watch this spoken word by Stephen Brown, whom I met in the Illness Narratives course we both took on the ship. I tear up every time I watch this. It is the best representation of that voyage. Transcript below.

Continue reading “Hell Week is Over. But I’d Rather Talk About SAS.”

A New Generation of LGBT YA

April is LGBT-month with LauraPlusBooks and FightingDreamer. Although I am studying VERY HARD (I really am), I wanted to get this post in really quickly. I realised a while ago that I haven’t read that many LGBT books. I’ve read quite a few where a secondary character is LGBT (The Mortal Instruments, Mara Dyer, etc) and quite a few short-story collections, like Yes, I am! and OMG QUEER. Then there was Every Day (which is kind of, I don’t know, pansexual?) and Luna.

Recently I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It was incredible (not quite a five-star read, due to some issues I have with the final bit of the book) and while reading I kept thinking how this narrative felt to me like a revolution not only in LGBT writing, but YA in general.

Continue reading “A New Generation of LGBT YA”

Ten Things That Should Be Written About

This post is scheduled a few weeks in advance as I am currently on a rural rotation without decent internet access. Responses to comments will thus be slower than usual. This week with The Broke and The Bookish we discuss our “reading wishlist” – in other words, things we wish authors would write about. Guys, this one was HARD! Obviously I did not want to give away anything that I might be working on (sorry)… I finally came up with some. They’re not all super unique, but I would like these books anyway. So if you want to write them, go for it!

Continue reading “Ten Things That Should Be Written About”

Madiba and the Child

We were on holiday when the news about Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela broke late Thursday evening. With little to no internet, WordPress was not an option (if you don’t blog it, did it really happen?), but the past few days have been a period of introspection for the whole of South Africa. It has been years since I tried my hand at writing verse. It follows below.

Continue reading “Madiba and the Child”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

I grew up by the ocean. Feeling the sand under my nails and scrabbling as the water tried to swallow my sandcastles was second nature to me. In the late summer months, after-school activities meant going to the beach. I am glad I have never had to live inland, but I am convinced that my first year at university was so difficult because I was thirty minutes from the nearest beach with no transport to get there. These days I spend every weekend by the sea with The Boy, and recently I spent almost four months living on the sea. So, love is not the right word for how I feel about the sea. It is more like, LIFE. Here are just a few of my favourite “sea” pictures.

Linking up with Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

P.S: click here for some photo’s of Cape Town seas during the Super Moon – it is not called the Cape of Storms for nothing!